Friday October 24th, 2014

SkyMall, the ubiquitous in-flight shopping catalog, is renowned for having some pretty unique products for sale. While the idea of impulse buying things like a $44.95 dog breed toaster may seem utterly foreign to most, the company must be doing plenty of business somewhere, since it has been in business since 1990.  And wouldn't you know it, the company sells sports-related goods as well! Somehow, most of it is even weirder than the fact that a "dog breed toaster" exists.

1. Bamvino Wine Holder


Price: $43.99

Product description: "This bronze-colored tabletop piece holds most standard bottles of wine instead of a baseball bat. Sculpted to look like a baseball player getting ready to hit a home run. The bottle fits top-down into the player's hands to form the bat. A great decorative gift for any baseball fan."

This is the perfect gift for anyone who loves wine and/or cartoonishly out-of-proportion baseball bats.

2. NFL Mini Garden Tailgate Set


Price: $28.99

Product description: "Focus closely and it looks like a real tailgate! Set up this mini garden inside or out for a great way to show your team pride. It's a great centerpiece for your tailgate parties. This Includes tailgate tent, table, 2 chairs, cooler, beverage tub, grill and pickup truck."

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No. No this would not be a great centerpiece for your tailgate party. You know what would be a great centerpiece to a tailgate party? Food and beer, which would inevitably be spilled all over this mini garden tailgate set should one actually bring a mini garden to a tailgating event. And then when your friend Kevin has one too many and trips and falls on it? Oh man, what a nightmare.

Unless you're one of those weird people who collects dolls. Then I guess you could use it for your dolls.

3. Orbitwheels


Price: $99.99

Product description: "Combining the lateral movement of a skateboard, the inline action of Rollerblades, and the liberty and convenience of Freeline skates, seems like an impossible feat. Until now! Introducing the Orbitwheels, a skate so great you'll want to take it everywhere! The Orbitwheels are two large wheels, one rotates around each foot. Fold the platform into the wheel for easy and compact storage or carrying in hand or in your bag. When you're ready to ride, just snap the platform in place, put your foot in the wheel, and away you go! The large radius of the wheel allows you to ride on a variety of different surfaces. An all new connecting band makes learning to use the Orbitwheels easier than ever. And after you've mastered the wave-like propulsion you can remove the band for amazing freedom of movement."

The description says "you'll want to take it everywhere," and yet I have never seen these things before in my life. Orbitwheels looks like rollerskating's less cool cousin, and that's saying something.

4. Ball Returning Soccer Trainer


Price: $99.95

Product Description: "This is the two-in-one soccer net that lets a player spend more time perfecting his or her game and less time retrieving balls. The trainer's sturdy steel frame is shaped like an X and draped on one side with a curved net. When a ball is kicked into this area, it follows an upward arc before it rebounds with spin and height, requiring the player to trap and control the ball before taking the next kick. The reverse side of the trainer is covered with a taut, vertical net that absorbs most of the ball's impact before returning it, providing an ideal surface for working on shots on goal as well as one-touch heading and passing drills. The lightweight device can be used at home for individual practice, or folded flat and transported to the field for team training."

Also known as The Forever Alone Soccer Buddy.

5. Fyxation Leather 6-Pack Caddy


Price: $59.95

Product Description: "Made in Wisconsin by local craftsmen, we are proud to offer this latest edition to our Tannery Collection. 

We have all been there before. Riding from the liquor store to your apartment or party with a six pack in hand is not impossible but there is a lot of room for error. Our leather six pack caddy securely fastens to your top tube and seat tube offering a secure and hands free way to deliver your precious cargo. Being from Milwaukee (Brew City), we have had more than a few opportunities to test out this product. When properly fastened to your top tube and seat tube and filled with a six pack of suds, there is plenty of clearance between the caddy and your legs while pedaling."

Provided that your only mode of transportation is by bike, then this is pretty ingenious, actually. Just remember not to drink and ride.

6. Portable Tablet Camping Lawn Chair


Price: $59.95

Product Description: "This is the portable lawn chair equipped with a flexible arm and bracket that secures a tablet for easy browsing. The 12" steel gooseneck is clamped to the right armrest and adjusts to any desired position, while its bracket secures most 7"-10" tablets at opposite diagonal corners, enabling 360-degree screen rotation. A pocketed flap under the right armrest has a waterproof inner pouch that protects tablets and two mesh outer pouches for accessories."

We've reached the point where people are too lazy to hold their own tablets while camping.  One, if you're going camping, just leave the tablet at home. You're presumably going into the great outdoors to get away from electronics blasting in your ears at all times. Two, how heavy is your tablet? Dude, go to the gym.

7. Mike Tyson Signed Punch Out Framed Photo


Price: $249.99

Product Description: "This reprint of Iron Mike is hand signed by Tyson, framed in cherry wood, and comes with a Steiner Sports Certificate of Authenticity."

If your stacks of money have stacks of money to burn, this may make a good Christmas gift for anyone who is a fan of boxing and retro video games. The cross-section of people who actually love both is probably incredibly small though. 

8. NBA Subway Sign Wall Art (Lakers)


Price: $99.99

Product Description: "This NBA vintage style subway sign, rather than showing the stops along each subway line, shows the stops along your favorite NBA team's history."

Things Angelenos no longer care about:

  1. Their subway system.
  2. The Lakers

9. Yankees Stadium Office Chair


Price: $649.99

Product Description: "These authentic and legendary blue Yankee Stadium seats, pried from within baseball's cathedral in the Bronx, are now available for fans to take a seat in history. This sports themed office chair will fit great at any corporate round-table or executive desk. These demolition survivors are the most talked about, and sought after collectible on the sports market today. "

Finally, a chair that combines all the discomfort of old stadium seats with the displeasure of being at work! If you walk into a corporate office where this chair is on display, it's a safe bet that you'll have a conversation with some guy who will swear to you in all earnestness that "the Captain played the game the Right Way." You have been warned.

Ryan Wong is a writer for Next Impulse Sports

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