Human Bowling Ball
When I say “bowler,” you think of a caveman in an orange muumuu, a burnout drinking White Russians, or, in a worst-case scenario, Woody Harrelson with a rubber hand. Well Hammacher is out to give bowling an extreme facelift with the “Human Bowling Ball.” This inflatable set includes a 3’ tall lane, 5’ tall bowling pins and a 7’ diameter ball. Players climb into the ball and run down the lane, trying to knock down pins while keeping down their lunch. Now when I hear “bowler” I’ll think of Jackie Chan rolling down a cliff in Operation Condor. That’s extreme.
VERDICT: 91% | hammacher.com
Zombies! They’re everywhere! Seriously though, they’re everywhere. From zombie flash mobs to zombie proms to zombie fashion shows to zombie 5K fun runs, if you venture past your front yard, you’re probably gonna run into some. But now even your front yard isn’t even safe, thanks to Gnombies: garden gnome zombies. These resin-cast, hand-painted ghouls come in two sizes: 6” ankle biters and 20” knee gnawers. Even if your area isn’t yet infested with pint-sized flesh eaters, the Gnombies site offers some valuable advice: “Gardens should be avoided at all costs, weeding is not that important.”
VERDICT: 79% | thegnombies.com
Hey, remember that TV show Tales from the Darkside? There was that one episode called “Love Hungry” in which an overweight woman gets a mysterious earpiece and pair of glasses that allow her to see food as anthropomorphized characters. At the climax, an apple, banana and pear with beady black eyes beg her not to eat them. Eventually, her hunger gets the best of her and… let’s just say the ending gave me nightmares. Today, these Fruit Ninja plush toys serve as doppelgangers for those horrible puppets, dredging up that long-forgotten terror. I guess they’re from an iPhone game or something. Whatever.
VERDICT: 88% | jazwares.com
This “mix” consists of a Styrofoam cup of chile powder, salt, various spices and sand (yes, to prevent clumping), into which you pour a 24-ounce beer. It doesn’t seem like an actual cocktail mix so much as an uninspired frat party prank. When properly prepared, the beverage looks and smells like a puddle you’d find under the dumpster outside Señor Frog’s. After taking a few hard pulls off a Don Chelada’s, I understood why it’s billed as a “hangover helper.” You can’t get a hangover if you can’t finish one beer.
VERDICT: 64% | donchelada.com (This is the URL all over the package, but the site seems to be defunct.)
As a wise man once sang, “A horse is a horse, of course, of course.” A chair, however, is not a horse. But what if, by some modern engineering marvel, a chair could behave like a horse. No, the Posture Improving Saddle Seat will not save you from a burning barn and carry you off into the sunset. But, by emulating an equestrian’s healthy posture, it will help reduce back fatigue and stress on the shoulders and neck. And if you’re resigned to being a desk jockey, you may as well have a noble steed.
VERDICT: 71% | hammacher.com