Thursday, December 12, 2013
From staff reports
On Friday, shoppers will wake up before dawn to storm malls, big-box stores, downtown shops and other retail outlets in an attempt to snag the best deals on everything from iPads and sweaters to Barbie dolls and video games.
But what if your idea of a fun day after Thanksgiving doesn't involve standing in line in the cold and dodging arms and elbows while trying to get your hands on the latest gadget that will be sitting on the shelf in six months?
That's what this guide is for.
If you're looking for a unique gift that you can buy without even having to get out of your pajamas -- something that no one else is even thinking of purchasing -- we've got you covered. And we didn't take price into consideration, so if you have the moolah to spend, hoo boy, can you go wild here. Likewise, if you're on a tight budget, there are several items that are ultra-cool but won't break the bank.
Because, when it comes to holiday gift lists, they really should be "wish" lists, as Sears and others promised us in our childhood.
So enjoy our bizarre holiday gift list, and let the wishing begin.
• FULL-SIZED BATMOBILE REPLICA: "Atomic batteries to power, turbines to speed." Millions of children have uttered that iconic phrase that Robin used while starting the Batmobile in the campy 1960s TV show "Batman." But wouldn't it be cool to utter those words while sitting in the front seat of an actual Batmobile?
The expensive toys website firebox.com is offering a replica Batmobile, modeled closely on the car in the show. And just like the real Batmobile, it's got a flame-throwing rocket exhaust, double bubble-shaped windshields, a push-button ignition switch, a flashing red "bat" beacon and a Batphone. Goes from zero to 60 in five seconds.
The price is $191,952, but hey, millionaire crime fighters like Bruce Wayne certainly didn't worry about money, so why should you?
• 5-POUND GUMMY BEAR: Thrill the candy addict on your list with the World's Largest Gummy Bear. Weighing in at 5 pounds, this 9.5-inch-tall bear is the equivalent of 1,400 regular gummy bears, and packs a whopping 6,120 calories. But they're gluten-free!
Flavors include blue raspberry, red cherry, green apple, orange, pineapple, bubblegum, grape, cherry cola and three-tone bears. Bears made with one flavor cost $29.99, while the three-tone bears (for example, raspberry, orange and cherry) are $35.99.
Don't let its size intimidate you. The World's Largest Gummy Bear has a shelf life of a year, so there's plenty of time to eat it. As the website that sells it notes: "If eaten in appropriate amounts, the WLGB probably won't kill you."
• FENWAY PARK DIRT COASTER: Even though they stunk things up this past season, the Boston Red Sox remain great fodder for silly gifts. For the Sox fan on your list, how about a drink coaster and clock set made from dirt from Fenway Park? It includes a certificate of authenticity, as if that matters. For $179.99, that's barely more than the cost of a decent ticket to a sure loss.
• RED SOX FANTASY CAMP: Enough said. For a starting price of just $4,695, you can spend eight days in January on a sun-drenched field in Ft. Myers, Fla. You'll get to practice and play with a roster of former Red Sox stars, the guys whose baseball cards you collected. And you can actually play two games in the same stadium where the Sox have spring training.
Last year's cast of Sox fantasy camp stars included "Oil Can" Boyd, Butch Hobson, Dave Henderson, Bill Lee, Frank Malzone, Trot Nixon, Bob Stanley and Luis Tiant. For 2013, the camp has added Rico Petrocelli, Bret Saberhagen and Mike Timlin.
• GOLD iPHONE COVER: Have a tech geek in your life who already has everything? Here's something he or she doesn't have: a 14K gold iPhone cover. For a cool $10,000, this present brings true bling to the world of cell phone accessories. The over-the-top gift comes in yellow or rose gold, and each is individually numbered and engraved.
The Miansai by Michael Salger piece will bring designer style to even the most mundane conversations.
• PRINCESS DRESSES FOR ADULTS: The ladies on your shopping list may not be able to become real-life princesses, but they can dress like one.
Should you have a royal-size bank account, splurge on the $4,050 Alice Temperley Amoret black lace dress that Kate Middleton (aka the Duchess of Cambridge) is fond of wearing. She was spotted in the figure-flattering gown at the London "War Horse" premiere and the 600th anniversary gala for her alma mater, St. Andrews University.
Too rich for your blood? Then go for a made-to-order replica from i-want-that-dress.com that will set you back a mere £229 ($364).
• "COLLEGE" SWEAT SHIRT: Some things are priceless. Like the image of John Belushi making a mockery of his collegiate career in his film masterpiece "Animal House" while wearing a sweat shirt that simply said "college." No university name, no insignia, simply "college." For those of us who live our lives according to rules learned from that film -- "Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor?" -- that "college" sweat shirt is a prize worth pursuing.
So get your own "Animal House" disciple the perfect gift this year -- a replica of the "college" sweat shirt online at realcollegeshirt.com. The website helpfully shows what a lot of competing "college" shirts look like, so you can see that they don't really follow the film. The sweat shirts are priced at $24.95 to $29.95, depending on sizes.
• SURVIVAL KIT: With television abuzz with reports of the coming apocalypse (zombie or otherwise) on Dec. 21, many have caught the doomsday prepper bug. They're tunneling bomb shelters in their backyards and stockpiling years' worth of canned goods.
Should someone on your list be late to the end of the Mayan calendar preparation party, no worries. You can give them the gift of survival (at least for two weeks). For $229, the Deluxe Survival Kit from myfoodstorage.com supplies food and water for two weeks, plus other end-of-the-world essentials such as a Swiss army knife, two-person tent, Mylar sleeping bags and playing cards (because surviving the apocalypse can be pretty dull stuff).
• TOILET TATTOOS: So, you think you know someone who has everything? Betcha they don't have a Toilet Tattoo. (Motto: "The Only Way to Crown Your Throne.") These reusable plastic films ($9.95 each) electrostatically cling to a smooth toilet lid, giving you the opportunity to express yourself to your house guests even in their most private moments.
Among the dozens of designs available are animal prints, surfboards, a skull-and-flames, Buddha and a birthday cake (although the lingering mental image of toilet and food may send you back to the bathroom later). There's even some designs that are appropriate for Maine, including a big moose, a black bear (good for the University of Maine fan on your list), a deer and an image of the famous West Quoddy lighthouse.
• PALATIAL CHICKEN COOP: Urban hipsters love their chicken coops. If you have cash to burn, why not show them how it's done with the Heritage Hen Mini Farm, complete with a flock of heritage-breed birds chosen especially for you?
If Donald Trump were a chicken, this is where he would live. The Versailles-inspired chicken coop "house" includes a nesting area, a living room for nighttime roosting, a chandelier and a library with real books on chickens and gardening. You'll also get two custom-designed raised beds for vegetables or herbs. All of this costs $100,000, as much as a real house. Delivery, believe it or not, is not included.
• WINSLOW HOMER BOBBLEHEAD: Yes, when you're one of the greatest American artists ever, you will eventually get honored with your own giant springy head. The Winslow Homer bobblehead, or "nodder," is just what you need on your desk or bookshelf. "Nodder" was a term coined for the early 1950s bobblehead dolls that depicted a variety of popular figures, so it's more "cultured" than plain ol' bobbleheads. It costs $32 at the Portland Museum of Art.
• ALBUM COVER PUZZLES: Here's something for your favorite music fan to puzzle over: Imagination Games has launched a series of jigsaw puzzles based on classic album covers. From David Bowie's "The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From Mars" to The Grateful Dead's "Aoxomoxoa" and The Rolling Stones' "Let It Bleed," the puzzles will bring famous album cover art to life -- albeit slowly -- right before your eyes. The puzzles retail for $21.95, and are available at Urban Outfitters, Barnes and Noble and other retail outlets.
• SOUND EGG: Got a music fanatic or hardcore gamer on your list? Want to blow their mind? Behold the Sound Egg. Think of it as a comfortably padded isolation chamber with a 100-watt, 2.1 stereo amplifier (which can be upgraded to a 5.1 system) and a 10-inch sub-woofer. You just climb in, switch it on and forget about everything else. The Sound Egg comes in a vibrant array of custom colors to fit any decor. The base price is $1,450, and shipping is $300.
• BOWLING ZOMBIES: Two hot trends come together in the form of Bowling Zombies from Front Porch Classics. Nine of the 4-inch wooden pins are ghoulish out-for-blood zombies, and the 10th is a damsel in serious distress. The goal is to knock out the zombies without taking out the damsel. Zombie Bowling retails for $21.95, and is available at various online shopping outlets.
• DIAMOND COMPUTER MOUSE: For the true computer geek, how about $24,180 for a computer mouse? This one from Pat Says Now is made from 18-carat white gold and nearly 60 cut diamonds. Hey, at least it has a three-year warranty.
Staff Writers Ray Routhier, Bob Keyes, Aimsel Ponti, Meredith Goad and Avery Yale Kamila contributed to this article.
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Finally, you can call the special people in your life in style from Hannaford to find out if they want salsa or bean dip, with the Miansai by Michael Salger 14K gold iPhone cover.
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For the “Animal House” disciple, a replica of Bluto Blutarsky’s “College” sweat shirt.