It seems awfully early, but to be fair, when I was a kid the Sears Wishbook showed up around Labor Day. It was highly anticipated. Then again, you'll note that this catalog is entitled "Holiday Supplement 2015," and indeed this is the second or maybe third we've gotten in the last month.
Hammacher Schlemmer is a wonderful store in midtown Manhattan (much better than FAO Schwarz, was, I think), at 147 East 57th Street, and has a longstanding catalog business. They have an excellent two-part business plan:
1) Corner the market on M's.
2) Put the strangest thing they can find on the cover and don't say where it is in the book, forcing you to page through the whole thing to find out what the hell it is.
They have the M thing covered, and have since Mr. Hammacher changed the name of their then-hardware and furniture store from Hammacher & Co. to Hammacher Schlemmer & Co. in 1883. As for the second, you can see on the image above that they have it down solid.
So, what is that thing on the cover? A pennyfarthing Vespa? A bike for hobbits? An updated logo for The Village?
No, it's a Freestyle Slalom Skateboard! Might be fun for the snowboarder in your life during the summer months. Just two hundred bucks.
I've bought less expensive things from Hammacher Schlemmer. Like the Spa Aromatherapy Blanket I sent to a beloved relation, who had an allergic reaction to the aroma.* But there's all kinds of gift choices for the person in your life that don't cause allergic reactions. Like the Superior Headache Relieving Wrap, which not only relieves headache, but also looks awesome. It puts the Sty in Stylin'.
Hammacher is flat-out the best place I know to find some crazy thing for that crazy person on your list who has everything, especially if money is no object. Video recording ball caps, distillers, RC flying drones. golf ball locating glasses, personalized bobbleheads, alarm clocks louder than a chain saw, sideways roller skates, smartphone-controlled skateboards, hand-crank cell phone chargers... It's an amazing selection.**
So, even though it's still September, you may want to start thinking about Christmas gifts, from Hammacher Schlemmer. Or just send me a Hammacher gift card and I'll pick out something nice for myself. Thanks a lot.
**Prices range from Up There to Astronomical. Welcome to New York!