Over the years during the holiday season, I have smiled bemusedly at gadgets hawked on TV as prospective gifts. Thoughts that popped up in my mind have usually been one or more of the following:
- Really? A saucepan would work, and most people already have one.
- Gee, another appliance to take up shelf, cupboard, or drawer space.
- Does that gadget really work?
- [price, usually ending in .99] sure seems like a lot for what that thing is supposed to do.
Gadgets in the past that trigger one or more of my above thoughts include the hot dog cooker, hamburger cooker, butter melter, toaster-sized deep fryer, and rotisserie. I admit I succumbed to having bought a deep fryer and a rotisserie (different times). The deep fryer is long gone, it never seeming to have delivered goods as expected. An additional concern was what to do with the excess oil. I donated it so long ago, I don't remember much about the oil or device anymore. As for the rotisserie, it had great promise, especially for roasting turkeys under 10 pounds. The key is "10 pounds". Almost NEVER have I found such a peewee turkey in a store.
My most recent turkey experience with the rotisserie was maybe two years ago, when I trimmed some turkey body parts to make it weigh under 10 pounds. The cooking process was underwhelming. The turkey was eventually too big around to gracefully fit in the rotisserie cavity, circumference-wise. After some time of the turkey rotating and roasting, the meat contracted lengthwise but its girth expanded, which exposed the imbalance of my insertion of the spit into the turkey. (Spit—funny name for the turkey immobilizer, as spit also means to eject [something] from the mouth—also, the action's output.) The meat began bumping and thumping the window door until the cooking time finished (whirr, thud, thump, whirr, thud thump, ...).
My roast method now includes placing the turkey on a turkey lifter that's inside a 16-inch diameter cake pan, parking a meat thermometer in it, than roasting according to recommended time and temperature for its weight. (I admit, I also own a pair of poultry lifters , which I have used occasionally but forgot to last month.)
Two electric versions of products I saw advertisements for recently were an electric cookie gun and electric wine bottle opener. They are real products, but they make me think of the gag gift Spencer's used to sell—the electric fork. Anyway, I can't see myself foregoing elbow grease to get electric versions of a cookie gun or wine bottle opener.
Anyway, as I was in my local drugstore waiting for my photo order for outgoing greeting cards, I used the half-hour wait time to browse a merchandise area for gadgets. I felt I hit some sort of jackpot. Not only were these items amusing to me, but they neatly fit into the 99¢-effect pricing, which I blogged about in November.
I am omitting urls for the products I have listed below, as readers, if they want to acquire additional details, should research to satisfy their own satisfactions, including finding product reviews and price comparisons. For many of the products, the premises and/or prices leave me speechless and commentless.
Point 'n Paint
(wholesale distributor, IDEA Village; $19.99)
The package states "No tape" and "Paint entire room in less than an hour". (Please, no heckling about the text case.)
Save a Blade Automatic Razor Sharpener
(distributor, Exceptional Products Inc.; $19.99)
The package says "up to 200 shaves from a single blade".
Emjoi Tweeze (distributor, Tristar Products, Inc., $19.99)
This item comes with 2 AA batteries. The packaging states "Easily removes facial hair except eyebrows".
Touch N Brush Hands-Free Toothpaste Dispenser
(distributor, Allstar Products Group, Inc.; $19.99)
No electricity. No batteries.
Set of 12 Bottle Tops Turn Your Drink Can Into A Bottle
(Tele Brands, $9.99)
Packaging states "Snap top onto standard cans" and "Keeps Carbonation Longer".
One Touch Hands Free Can Opener
(distributor, Harvest Direct; $19.99)
You place the unit on top of a can, after ensuring that you have inserted 2 AA batteries ("sold separately"), then press the button. The opener walks around in a circle. Actually, I used to own an electrical can opener, which had long ago departed for the great scrap heap in the sky. Can't say I miss it. Besides making do with a hand-crank opener occasionally, I see that many cans these days have pull tabs, further reducing the need for using an opener.
Emson Egg Genie
(distributor, Emson; $19.99)
With this appliance, you can cook up to 7 eggs at one time. Eh, I always thought a saucepan was versatile enough.
The hamburger cooker of yore seems to have evolved into two newer types to reflect a more recent selling of hamburgers—the "slider". The gadgets I ran across were the Big City Slider Station and the Chicago Slider. (I think previous name attempts have been "mini-burger" and Burger King's "Burger Buddies". )
(distributor, East West Distributing; $19.99)
This gadget makes four square burgers and uses electricity. Scoop meat into the cavities, close the clamshell lid, cook.
Big City Slider Station
(distributor, Harvest Direct; $19.99)
This gadget makes five round burgers and uses a stove top. Scoop meat into the cavities, press down with its mating part, cook.
As I have all the equipment I think I need now, I'm short of cabinet space for new gadgets, I'm skeptical of them working, and I prefer to spend the money on other items, I hope Santa isn't inspired to bring me any of the items I recently spotted and listed. Maybe I'll ask for things not available in stores or online. Can't tell; otherwise, wishes might not come true.