I received some catalogs in the mail this week showing off some products for this holiday season. I sometimes look through these just to see what’s new and maybe get some ideas for new products or stuff to modify. One catalog that caught my eye was Solutions. You can see all there stuff at Solutions.com.
I am going to list a few items that caught my attention either because they are so simple I wish I thought of it, or because they are handy, or just unique enough to post. I might also comment on a few that I think are dumb, poorly executed, or could be improved.
Since I am only browsing a catalog I do not own any of these and have not tried any of the items I am only commenting on what is offered. I am also not affiliated with solutions.com in anyway and do not receive any incentives for the free advertising I am about to give them. (but I wouldn’t say no to it).
Actually amazon.com has some of these things and usually for less. And I am affiliated with amazon.com so I will give you a link if it applies.
As I find other interesting products I will put them in new posts and categorize them under “gift ideas”. You can then see all related posts by clicking that category in the sidebar to your right. or just click here.
This first product is a Shadow Wall Light #82057.
This caught my eye because they basically copied Adam Frank’s lumen. The Frank Adam’s version is a real oil lamp with a real flame that jitters about and brings the image to life. This one at solutions.com however is an LED light and it sounds like it just projects a steady light no flickering, so there is no perceived motion in the projected image it is just static. I met Adam Frank this summer at a local Design Meetup in NYC he was nice enough to answer my questions about the design world so I feel I can at least help market his products when I can… The Solutions LED version is $29.95, but for a bit more – $48 – you can get the original lumen oil lamp from Adam Frank. So why buy the LED one? To avoid open flames? Well, my prodmod intuition is very skeptical of this “LED projector”. I don’t think the image will look too well and as you can see in their photo the edge of the focused LED light is visible, sharp, and artificial in the bottom area. Whereas the lumen is more.. organic. I know I sound artsy but how else would you describe it? Oh and the LED one is an ugly gold color and the lumen is a cool stainless steel. Is that better?
Here is a photo of Adam Frank’s lumen for comparison. His silhouettes artwork is a lot cooler too.
And I just found this video about the Lumen on brightcove.tv which originates from gifts.com.
The lumen is also available at the momastore in NYC and in the video they market it as a substitute Christmas tree. Hmmm perfect for a studio apartment.
Clip on Tray with Light for your couch #82290. – $19.95
Now you can place your drinks or books right on the arm rest and don’t need no stinking coffee table or fold up dining table. Again this is good for people like me living in a small apartment with limited floor space. I always wanted one of these but never bothered to spend the $20 for it. It even has a light! Not that I really need it or think it would be in the least useful. Doesn’t everything come with an LED nowadays?
Butter Keeper #69325 – $14.95
Don’t you hate it when butter is too cold to spread, but you don’t want to leave it out and get it all funky? Well apparently you can just seal it with water and keep it out on the counter. Maybe you can make one of these with a small espresso cup and a saucer.
Over-Cabinet Towel Rack and Hook #81106 #81105 -$6.95
I thought these were pretty cheap for brushed stainless steel. I could always use more hooks and bars around the kitchen. And if you live in an apartment its nice not to worry about making more holes in walls or cabinets.
Pull-a-Plug #82303 – $9.95/pair
How simple of a product can you get? A flat plate with a nylon loop tied to it. Its not even a one piece plastic part. Someone actually tied the loop to the plate. And it sells for $9.95 for a pair. Wow, can we just make this stuff ourselves? Why pay for this? The plate can’t be metal right, it would short out. Maybe a strong plastic?
Well at least it shows that anything you think of can be a product and any product can sell to somebody sometime. So if you had an idea and thought it was too simple, just ignore your gut and sell it anyway. Most people can’t just make stuff they want or care to spend time figuring it out. No matter how simple it is someone is bound to buy it, as long as you convince them its useful in anyway. Keeping it cheap helps.
Sorry not available on amazon.com
Sleeve ‘N Store #82181 – $19.95
Another example of a simple product that addresses a simple need. Keep those Christmas lights in order. Its just a plastic sleeve and funnel. $20! It probably costs $1 in parts. Forget about patenting your simple ideas, just go and make them and sell them, be rich!
Zip Notes #82232 -$24.95
Did you know you can buy a Post-it note dispenser? They actually make rolls of this stuff? Good, neither did I.
Its even motorized and powered by 2 AA batteries. If you ever need a motorized paper cutting mechanism for you next project you can always start here. I guess a blade just slides across the paper?
Lighted Wooded Ledge #81100. - $39.95
I don’t like this one but its worth looking at to learn something from. I have to say YUK. I also don’t like the name.
It’s an OK idea but from the photo it looks like they are using LEDs with narrow beams. This web photo looks better but if you go to their site and click additional images you can see the point sourced lighting on the cream color shelf.
This is a good example of a good idea with poor execution. Like a lot of stuff coming out of China these days. I love the idea of battery powered LEDs because I hate wires and I sometimes like accent lighting. But I think they could have used wider angle LEDs for a better diffused look for the same cost. Even if I wanted one of these I ain’t no way spending $40 + shipping to find out.
80 hr Coil Candle by the Hour #80945 - $29.95
I have never seen this before but after a quick search I see it’s available in a lot of places. I don’t have a need for a big candle like this that burns for that long, but it has some interesting features. It’s wax is flexible, you pull an hour’s worth of wax at a time, the holder is adjustable, and it automatically extinguishes when it reaches the holder. Pretty neat. I guess if you pull out more than an hours worth the wax cord just flops over.
Amazon also has a bunch of these but solution.com is actually a tad cheaper. $30 vs $35
Get your Clamp on!
Baker’s Dozen Cable Clamp Pack #80839 – $24.95
Oh so ever useful clamp tie things. Power cords, garden hose, power cords. Even if I didn’t have a mess of cables to deal with I would love to just sit there and open and close them over and over. Zzzzzip.. clickickickick! They are like handcuffs without the jail or the kinkiness.
You get 13 for $25.
13? Hells yeah. I’ll clamp anything I can get my clamps on. What would you clamp?
well if you don’t need 13 you can buy as you need at amazon.com for less.
Germ Guardian #82241 – $49.95 – $69.95
Killing germs with UV light and not making any noise sounds cool enough for me. It plugs right into the wall socket. It claims to kill germs that cause staph infections too, so it must be good!
Amazon has this on sale for $49.99. compared to solutions.com $69.95