Are As Seen on TV Products Worth It?
There’s something about an “As Seen on TV” product that carries a certain mystique. My kids want these things more than the toys they see in big-box stores or on Amazon. And, oddly, even I’m more curious about the products aimed at adults (Pajama Jeans, anyone?).
The thing that’s truly remarkable is this: These products are, in fact, available in the aisles of most big-box stores and on Amazon. So I tried a bunch to see if the appeal lies in the crazy mystique attached to “Special TV Offers” or if they really would change my life for the better. Here’s what happened ...
“It’s a pillow! It’s a pet! It’s a Pillow Pet!” Yep, you can’t get that jingle out of your head. More importantly, neither can your kids. In a rare foray into buying stuff I see on TV, I found excuses to purchase these adorable, semi-functional comfort items for my kids. And while they have not attached to them like a favorite lovie, these pillows do come in handy on road trips.
Don’t let anyone fool you. This is an outdoor toy. Unless you are my husband, who decides to try it out in our living room and kitchen, which offer 35-foot ceilings, a chimney, a ceiling fan, a new hanging light fixture and, oh, yes, plant shelves 20 feet off the ground. Hence why I would tell you more about our adventures with it — if only I could reach it.
Bona Hardware Floor Mop
We. Love. This. Thing. Brand-new, dark hardwood floors show every bit of dust. The Bona Hardwood Floor Mop makes that dust go away and buffs a nice shine on the wood finish. The spray actually works, and the dispenser is fun to use; you can spray for yards! No, I don’t ordinarily sing the praises of cleaning products. But I also don’t ordinarily find one that satisfies my instant-gratification gene.
This ball (meant for use in “the mysterious art of contact juggling”) arrives in my home with much fanfare. Then we open the box. We find ourselves reading a list of warnings. Things like “Do not use this over hard floors, such as wood, tile … ” Okay, that limits us a bit, but we are undeterred. Except that there are more warnings about accidental dropping and breakage, and we live with a three-year-old who’s a magnet for such things. Even the son for whom it was purchased seems hesitant to play with this ball, for fear of breaking it.
For the life of me, I can’t figure out the appeal. It’s a battery-operated hamster that runs on an exercise wheel. My kids, 7 and 3 (sorry, Seth, three-and-a-HALF!), named the hamster Steve. Since no actual hamster waste will be produced by Steve, I’m letting them keep him. But I still can’t figure out why they want to.
Plush Animated Bank
We are trying to encourage the kids to save money, so I figured a plush doggy that barks every time you drop a penny in could be fun. The bank arrived with a note that said temporary batteries should be replaced. I opted to put that off for a bit to see if the dog was entertaining enough without sound effects. The joke was on me when the thing began a spontaneous bark-fest at 2 a.m., which rallied the live canine troops in my house, which then rallied the pint-sized human troops, which then made me irrationally angry at a barking bank. I had only myself to blame.
This thing makes me want to take a shower. But not for the reasons you’d expect. Yes, I worked up a little sweat, and I could feel my arm muscles engaging, but there is no getting around the fact that shaking the weight with proper technique mimics the stimulation of, ahem, another type of muscle entirely. The one thing that the weight did do was inspire me to really exercise. It comes with a six-minute workout video, which I now use as a warm-up before switching to an interval training DVD or a Wii Fit game.
If it’s true that raising body temperature can increase calorie burn, well, that’s still not enough to get me to wrap myself in a neoprene sleeve every time I work out. It’s not remotely attractive and is only going to add visual bulk, which in turn will make me feel uninterested in working out. Can’t explain exactly why — but this is an anti-motivator.
Now THIS I like. My three-year-old thought it was a funky lounge chair. In fact, it’s a tool that engages your core throughout lots of full-body exercises. I like the quick pace of the 10-minute workouts included with the rocker, and I also liked the fact that I had that satisfying, slightly sore feeling for a couple of days afterward.
Heaven help me if I have a spill that requires one of these. It’s not “ready to use” the minute you need it — you have to soak it, then wring it out, then attack the spill. When’s the last time your kid knocked over a gallon of OJ, and you didn’t immediately race for the paper towels? Oh, hold on honey, while I prep the cleanup thingie. No thanks. Also, it doesn’t air-dry so easily. And it smells kinda funny.
What’s better than a bottle of bubble bath? A bottle that you can put into a machine that spits a never-ending supply of bubbles! The husband saw this, referenced a favorite Eddie Murphy joke about Jacuzzis, and wondered aloud why regular bubble bath isn’t good enough. And it is, I swear. But this thing? It’s better. ’Nuff said.