By Wares November 14, 2018 Industry features & issues

Our annual slightly tongue in cheek suggestions of products to "zhush" up your product mix as Christmas approaches.

To view a PDF of the complete profile as it appeared in Wares magazine, click the download button at the bottom of this page.

With Christmas on the horizon and the time for New Year’s resolutions also approaching, we wanted to question whether the average Kiwi appliance/CE retailer’s product mix isn’t a bit static.

With some indy retailers getting into beds & bedding and everyone always searching for that cool product to entice consumers through the doors, how about shaking things up and considering some of the products or at least product types on the following pages?

To the best of our ability we have tried to find items that aren’t readily available on local retail shelves and with the thought in mind that maybe they should be…

Panasonic MS-DS100 Shoe Deodoriser

Panasonic has been doing well dipping its toes into SDAs in New Zealand, so how about this as a fun extension to that portfolio?

Aimed at the Japanese market (as so many of these more unusual appliances are!), this new gadget eliminates shoe odours at a particle level using the company’s patented nano technology.

While some may ask why, sneaker aficionados will tell you that sneakers, especially limited editions, can be a major investment, making this no-wash, no-chemical, super-safe deodorising solution a godsend for shoe geeks and those devoted to celebrations that involve doing a “shoey”...

The Dreamery by Casper

This one’s not so much a product as a way of showing products off. Big hit US mattress manufacturer Casper has taken customer experience by the horns and set up The Dreamery.

There, busy New Yorkers can stop in, take a nap (in a Casper bed of course), have a coffee, then be on their way. You can drop in anytime or book an appointment in advance.

Generating revenue while letting people truly test out the benefits of your product makes a lot of sense and with some in the channel getting into mattresses but struggling to justify the floor space, the Casper model may provide some inspiration.

HAL 9000 with Command Console

There are plenty of smart speakers available but none have the sheer visual impact of this brilliant replica of the psychotic HAL 9000 computer from the classic sci-fi movie, 2001: A Space Odyssey.

Made by Master Replicas, this is the world’s first voice-activated and remotely updatable prop replica.

Reproduced with loving detail from the film’s studio blueprints, the HAL 9000 is Alexa-enabled but also comes with interactive audio and video that bring back some of the more chilling moments of the original 1968 film.

Purchasers can opt for just HAL’s lens unit as a standalone Bluetooth speaker or go for the entire console for the full Wi-Fi-enabled, interactive experience.

Luna Display

File this one under “why didn’t I think of that?” The tiny red Luna Display USB is an unassuming little wireless device that turns an iPad into a second display for a Mac.

Plugged in via USB C or Mini DisplayPort, set-up is completed in seconds using Wi-Fi and the free app and. Luna Display is currently only available for Apple products but there are plans for Windows versions to come.

Mighty Vibe Spotify Music Player

Need your Spotify fix but don’t want to take your smartphone (or wireless speaker) with you?

This tiny music player stores Spotify Playlists and podcasts offline. With an app, users can download 1,000+ tracks to the miniature device when in Wi-Fi range, then leave the phone behind to hit the trail or treadmill.

Mighty Vibe plays back via wired or Bluetooth headphones or speakers and updates playlists automatically.

Control is simple and intuitive with a voice reading out playlist names.

Hot Wheels Rocket League Rivals

The little boys in us couldn’t resist this one…

As Mattel’s Hot Wheels continues to reinvent itself faced with the scope, immediacy and portability of videogames, the iconic brand is teaming up with its digital competition with the introduction late this year of Rocket League Rivals, a remote control vehicle kit that brings Psyonic’s madcap, super-popular Rocket League cars-plus-football videogame into the physical world.

Toys in our channel?

A better bet than being left with popcorn makers halfway through 2019?

MIRROR Interactive Home Gym

MIRROR is a full length interactive smart mirror that’s being touted as a kind of home gym-slash-tutor.

Users can check their own reflected form while simultaneously viewing one of the MIRROR instructors performing pre-recorded or one-on-one live training workouts.

Users can also interact with friends, share stats and more. Comes with its own built-in speakers and can display heart rate information on screen if connected to a heart rate monitor or capable smartwatch.

Segway Drift W1 e-Skates

With Lime e-scooters hitting New Zealand and sales of e-bikes going off around the country, there is a clear market for novel forms of transportation.

Which means that Segway’s recent release of electric powered skates is timely.

Initial accounts say they are a lot safer, easier to use and more fun than you might think.

A pair of skates weighs in at 7kg, reaches speeds of 21ks and gives around 45 minutes’ riding time depending on riding style and terrain.

Comes with a dual cable that charges both skates simultaneously.

Predator Thronos

If you’re having trouble fitting in beds & bedding you’ll struggle with this one.

Less a gaming chair and more a gaming cockpit, Predator Thronos is built for completely immersive gameplay.

Once seated, an arm with no less than three curved 27” monitors descends to dominate your field of vision, as well as a keyboard and footrest effectively encasing you in a gaming world.

Once locked-in, users can recline the whole set-up up to 140° for almost horizontal gaming.

This OTT gaming rig is obviously niche but just think of the wow factor!

Mattel Alpha Training Blue Interactive Velociraptor

Cute wheeled or tracked STEM robots be damned, let’s have a dinosaur!

Mattel’s interactive Velociraptor is based on the character from Jurassic World and, like Blue, it can be trained to be friendly and perform tricks on command.

Users can also choose an RC mode for total control of Blue’s movement and sounds which, by all accounts, are creepily lifelike.

Good thing it’s only 16 inches tall!

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