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Tag Archives: Seasonal

Animatronic Asylum Door Prop – Your Hallowe’en Planning Is Officially Over

Animatronic Asylum Door Prop (Image courtesy YouTube)
By Andrew Liszewski

Yeah, I know, it’s not even October yet and I’m already posting Hallowe’en related gadgets. But if you want your house to be truly memorable to local trick-or-treaters, you gotta start sooner rather than later. Particularly if you’re looking to integrate something like this into your haunted decor. The Asylum Door prop looks exactly like it sounds. A grimy, weathered door at an insane asylum. Except that instead of a reinforced glass window, there’s a 22-inch LCD display showing footage of an inmate trying to escape. The cracking glass effect when he hits the window with an ax is cute, but it’s when he starts swinging at the door that the real tomfoolery begins.

As you can see in that video, thanks to some cleverly hidden pneumatic mechanisms, it appears as if the blows from his ax are actually having an effect on the metal door. Bulging it out on the viewer’s side. After a really lame effort the inmate gives up — probably to go watch Wapner — and the door subtlely returns to normal. A company called Pale Night Productions claims to have first created the effect, and sells a slightly different version on their site for $3,750. While the one appearing in the video is available on Etsy for $3,500.

[ Pale Night Productions – Asylum Door ] VIA [ Technabob ]

A’ME Heated Bike Grips

A’ME Heated Bike Grips (Images courtesy A’ME)
By Andrew Liszewski

For most casual riders, the arrival of Fall, and eventually Winter, means their bikes go into storage until the temperatures warm up again. But if you use your bike for commuting to work, or are used to dealing with the elements on a ride, freezing temps probably aren’t going to stop you. Particularly if you invest in a set of these heated grips from A’ME. They easily replace the standard handlebar grips on your bike (you just slide them on and tighten a screw) but are a vast improvement since they heat up to one of 6 different temperature settings.

Besides just comfort, the heated grips also improve bloodflow and dexterity in your hands when it’s freezing outside. So, you know, you can still operate your shifters and brakes. The various components to the system, including the grips, the battery pack and the charger are all sold separately. But you’re certainly better off just getting the whole setup as a kit for $199.

[ A’ME Heated Bike Grips ] VIA [ Urban Velo ]

Animated Snake Wreath – Because There’s No Such Thing As Overdoing It When It Comes To Halloween Decorations

Martha Stewart Animated Snake Wreath (Image courtesy Grandin Road)
By Andrew Liszewski

Like it or not, Summer’s pretty much over. Kids will be returning to school soon, tourists will return to their podunk towns and the temperature will start plummeting. Most people lament the departure of the Summer months, but I tend to look at it as bing one step closer to Halloween. Not only is it never too soon to start planning your spooky decorations, but you can never have too much. Seriously, when have you ever looked at a house decorated for October 31st and admired it for being tastefully done? Never. Halloween’s all about going over the top, like hanging this tacky snake infested wreath on your front door. (Or every door in your house, if you’re doing things right.)

Available from Martha Stewart’s brand, the wreath is covered in rubber snakes that appear to have worked their way into every crevice. And thanks to a motion sensor, motors and a set of 4 x AA batteries, the snakes spring to life whenever anyone approaches. Well, more appropriately, the wreath starts shaking and vibrating so the rubber snakes appear to spring to life, while hissing and rattling sound effects are played. It’s $59 though, making it a great candidate for a DIY project.

[ Animated Snake Wreath ] VIA [ The Green Head ]

8 1/2 Foot Tall Inflatable Stay Puft Marshmallow Man

Inflatable Stay Puft Marshmallow Man (Image courtesy
By Andrew Liszewski

I usually think these kinds of giant, inflatable holiday decorations are just plain lazy. Particularly for Hallowe’en when it’s so easy to create something far spookier for trick-or-treaters. But this time I’m willing to make an exception because this 8 1/2 foot tall inflatable Stay Puft Marshmallow Man from Ghostbusters is all kinds of awesome. He’s available for pre-order from ThingsFromAnotherWorld for $88, which is a little expensive, I know. But, 1) That probably includes the air pump needed to keep him inflated and menacing and 2) It’s an 8 1/2 foot tall Stay Puft Marshmallow Man!!!… I rest my case.

[ 8 1/2 Foot Tall Inflatable Stay Puft Marshmallow Man ] VIA [ The Green Head ]

Wee Tree LED Air Freshener Festively Hides The Stank In Your Car

Wee Tree LED Air Freshener (Image courtesy Perpetual Kid)
By Andrew Liszewski

It’s hard to find fault with a novelty, light-up, tree-shaped air freshener. But the fact that this one doesn’t actually have any scent at all besides “natural cardboard” is a complete and utter rip-off. Who cares how much good cheer you’re spreading with this hanging from your rear-view mirror when your passengers can still smell the wet dog you rode with last week?

I mean they couldn’t have just splashed a dash of cinnamon on there or something? Christmastime is literally a cornucopia of recognizable smells! I’m not even sure if the random, blinking LEDs make up for this oversight, but since Perpetual Kid is currently sold out of them, I suspect many people were more than happy to pay $7.50 for an air freshener that DOESN’T FRESHEN THE AIR!

[ Wee Tree LED Car Air Freshener ]

The Salvation Army Upgrades Their Kettles

Salvation Army Credit Card Kettles (Image courtesy Chief Marketer) By Andrew Liszewski

Forgetting about all that commercial crap we’ve gotten used to putting up with, the holidays are mostly about giving. And nothing symbolizes that more than the Salvation Army’s red kettles that dot malls and street corners across the country this time of year. But this year many of those kettles received a high-tech upgrade that seems to have had a positive effect on people’s giving.

Initially trialed in Dallas, LA and Colorado Springs last year, the new kettles, which now feature a wireless debit/credit card terminal, have been setup in 300 locations in 120 different cities. And since being introduced the Salvation Army has found that the average giving when it comes to pocket change like coins and bills is about $2 or $3, but when using a debit or credit card the average is about $15. The wireless terminals are also completely safe to use since no personal information like credit card numbers is ever stored on the machines, and donors can even get a printed receipt for tax deduction purposes.

[ Chief Marketer – Salvation Army Rings Up Credit Card Kettles ] VIA [ InventorSpot ]

More Geeky Wrapping Paper – Samsung’s Tweetwrap

Samsung Tweetwrap (Images courtesy Samsung)
By Andrew Liszewski

As part of a promotion for their new RF510 “boosted” notebook, Samsung will let you buy a roll of custom wrapping paper featuring a holiday-appropriate pattern of your choice adorned with tweets pulled from either a specific hashtag or username. Well originally they gave out 3,000 rolls for free, but that ship has already long sailed. Now a 19×76-inch roll of the custom wrap is $6.95 which isn’t that expensive actually. Arguably it’s not as cool as the QRapping Paper we brought you last week, but it’s the perfect choice if your giftee is a Twitter fanatic.

[ Samsung Boosted Tweetwrap ] VIA [ PSFK ]

QRapping Paper – The Gift That Keeps On Giving

QRapping Paper (Image courtesy Looptid Industries)
By Andrew Liszewski

Besides making even a gifted box of hand towels look techno-cool, this QRapping Paper (pronounced crapping?) is covered in a grid of QR codes that actually work. On each 20×30 inch sheet there are over 50 of the codes that link to festive videos like drunken carolers, car vs. fruitcake and ornament smoothie. Now obviously the giftee will need to have a camera-equipped smartphone with a QR code reading app installed, so it might not be the perfect gift wrap for all of your friends and family. But since 2 sheets of the stuff will cost you $19.99, you’d probably want to be really selective with it anyways.

[ QRapping Paper ] VIA [ Josh Spear ]

Seated Snowboard Is The Perfect Accessory For Lazy Shaun Whites

Seated Snowboard (Images courtesy Hammacher Schlemmer)
By Andrew Liszewski

I’m not saying there’s anything particularly wrong with a snowboard you can sit on, in fact it looks like a lot of fun. I just don’t think you’ll be getting recruitment letters from Olympic snowboarding teams, even if you manage to pull off a Tomahawk while never getting off your can. So I suggest letting your dreams of corporate endorsements and gold medal glory go, and just literally sit back and enjoy the ride, particularly if you suck at the real thing. You see the fact that you’re sitting means your body’s center of gravity is lower, so you’re less prone to wipeouts or falls. And since your boots aren’t locked in to bindings, you can easily and safely control your speed by digging your feet into the snow. $49.95 from Hammacher Schlemmer.

[ Seated Sled Board ]