The blog formerly known as   Fake Plastic Fish

July 27, 2010

More Plastic Crap, brought to you by SkyMall

Do you flip through the SkyMall Catalog when you fly? Isn’t it great? In addition to adding greenhouse gases directly to the atmosphere from the flight itself, we can also shop our way to global warming. (And yes, I feel guilty every time I get on an airplane.)

Here are a few of the SkyMall gems I spotted during my recent trip…

A plastic cat litter box in the shape of a plant pot, complete with plastic plant:

Sky Mall Crap

This isn’t just tacky, it’s not even functional.  First of all, if you turn it to the wall to hide it from guests (as in the inset), how is your cat supposed to use it? And can you imagine sticking your head in there to clean it out? Who would let their cat track litter through the living room? The sad thing is that people might buy it thinking it’s a cute idea and then trash it when they discover it’s not. Just more plastic in the landfill.

Here’s a fake plastic Sumo Wrestler statue for your yard:

Sky Mall Crap

And if having the statue in your yard is not tacky enough for you, you can buy the glass-top table version and make the fat little guy work for you.  Simply tacky or downright offensive?  You be the judge.

Here’s an upgrade to that staple of gadget catalogs, the Snuggie:

Sky Mall Crap

Why settle for a fake plastic blanket with sleeves when you can add PVC wiring to it and suck up energy while you read?  I’ve never understood this phenomenon.  You can’t stand up and walk around in a snuggie in the first place.  You surely can’t move around in a plugged in version.  What’s the point?  Wouldn’t a bathrobe and a regular blanket work better?  (Or am I just bitter because my cat tried to eat the Snuggie my dad sent me for Christmas a while back?)

How about plastic surgery without the surgery?

Sky Mall Crap

Really?  Is anyone going to cover their face in Neoprene (or whatever this thing is made from) more than once or twice before realizing how silly it is and tossing it out?

And in the category of fun for a minute and useless for a lifetime, check out this wireless car mouse:

Sky Mall Crap

Can you say, “carpal tunnel”? This novelty might be good for a laugh when the recipient opens the box but will most likely sit on the shelf over the desk when he realizes his old mouse is a lot more comfortable.

Here’s the thing: some of the other gadgets and contraptions in the SkyMall catalog could actually be useful to someone.  In fact, I found myself thinking, “Hey, that would be cool,” a couple of times.  The trouble is that when we’re stuck on a plane and feeling anxious about hurtling hundreds of miles per hour thousands of feet off the ground, we just might be a little more susceptible than usual to advertising.

How many people stop and think before ordering something that seems cool for a moment?  I, at least, have my priorities in order, and as soon as I get over this cold/flu I came home with, I’m ordering this for the backyard:

Sky Mall Crap

Just kidding!  (Or am I?)

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I only post ads for products I use myself. Your support helps to fund my plastic-free mission.

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13 years ago

Maybe the people who make the cast cement crow will make a cast cement zombie? Both would look awesome in your front yard! Btw – I have TONS of tomato volunteers – do you want some?

Elizabeth B
13 years ago

This hurts me.

13 years ago

I’ve been eyeing that garden zombie on Think …can you just picture it comming out of my compost pile! Yay! Maybe it’ll work at keeping the dog out of the garden (until he starts to bark endlessly and I’m forced to get rid of/move it)

My cousin (an avid fan of zombies and vampires) would want one. I could paint some weird vortex looking thing on the wall above her bed and affix the garden zombie to her wall. The nightmares it will surely give her is enough incentive to order it.

(I’m only being slightly sarcastic here…. if I was a bit more morbid and had the kind of money to throw around on zombie paraphanelia I’d actually get it)

13 years ago

What is SkyMall . . . never heard of it.

13 years ago

In fairness to Sky Mall look at any catalog today and it is full of plastic crap. Tonight on TV you can buy the plastic pasta maker with the lid with holes to use as a strainer and you get a plastic chopper included all for 10 dollars, that will sell at a garage sale for a quarter. I also saw plastic rocks in a store today for your landscaping needs. We are doomed to be buried in plastic. g

Condo Blues
13 years ago

Since all of all the real plants died in my front flower beds twice and plastic is forever which means it won’t die when I plant it in my awful soil, can I please get a special dispensation for a row of Garden Zombies? It will get my HOA off my case for not having anything in my flower beds.

Unless SkyMall sells the 6 ft tall Garden Yeti (yes there really is such a thing.) then I want a row of those. I can dress it up in season outfits like the crazy people do for those concrete geese in their yards.

13 years ago

I’m not terribly crafty, but I bet I could make that zombie out of clay. I mean, errors on my part would just make it that much more terrifying, right?

Beth, I’m struggling to live a less plasticky life, but you are like a guardian angel on my shoulder, reminding me at every opportunity to find a better solution. Thanks for being my conscience.

Sandra Lee
13 years ago

The toxic smell from that neoprene face lift mask would make me ill in a heartbeat. How can anyone tolerate that junk? I’m so glad there are alternatives for all the above.

13 years ago

gotta love zombie humor. yes, it’s too bad it’s not ceramic.

I actually just saw that litter box on a website the other day, and obviously everyone made fun of it. as far as putting the litter box against the wall goes, we’ve done that in our house and as long as you leave some space, the cats can get in, they’re very nimble.

13 years ago

I’ve perused the Sky Mall catalog for years now and have always wondered, “Who buys this crap?” Now I know. ;-) (Although I have told my husband that the sumo wrestler is a gotta have item.) Of course, I do find it great entertainment when I’ve gone through all the reading material I’ve brought for my flight. It reminds me of a statistic I read, something like 90% of what we purchase is no longer in use 6 months later. With Sky Mall items, I would venture to say most of the items don’t make it past one month.

13 years ago

I love that the zombie description says it “arrives in three pieces”…of course a zombie that’s been rotting in the ground wouldn’t be whole! I’ve always thought the Sky Mall was a joke, like the Onion. It isn’t? At least an electric snuggly would require the addition of flame retardant chemicals, so you can get an extra dose of toxic along with the useless (whatever happened to a blanket?)

13 years ago

I soo like the zombie . . . but don’t worry Beth, I won’t be getting him — unless maybe if he shows up at my local (liquidation) dollar store right around Halloween when I might not be able to resist.

Sarah "Angry Butterfly" Schumm
13 years ago

Hey – Some of us encase our faces in neoprene every day!
Someone should make ceramic zombies- that would be killer!
Stop hatin’ on the polar-fleece! You can get it made from recycled plastic bottles.

13 years ago

*life = live !! :)

13 years ago

shudder… snuggies have also made it to Australia… the thought of an electrified snuggie makes one cringe.. apart from the nasty materials they are made from they look like a massive fire hazard. The zombie does have potential tho… lol – designer resin: guaranteed to out life you and your offspring for sure !

Reenie Rogers
13 years ago

Totally junk. Not for me, kitsch like startle-man in my yard, which borders a swamp in a forest would be very freaky. Some nearby neighbors would get a laugh out of seeing him. Do you like miso soup, Beth? That always helps me with cold/flu. I hope it passes real soon. Thanks for all the inspiration to live without so much plastic.

Chris Oxford
13 years ago

We recently had to have a nuisance tree removed from the courtyard in front of our house. It threw up shoots everywhere and dropped disgusting see pods that looked like snakes in the dark. The roots were also lifting the sidewalk. Now we have a large circle in the courtyard that we need to wait a year before planting another tree.

The sumo wrestler and zombie were tempting, but I think I will go with the nine foot tall bare-breasted mermaid that I saw at one of the Costco road shows. The mermaid is made of some kind of stone so should be more earth-friendly, and is sure to tick off the home owners association. ;)

13 years ago

Great Post Beth – I wanted the zombie too – I love how they refer to the plastic molded stuff as “quality designer resin”. Ha – I have a cat and I thought the SAME things for that cat tray under a plant. …Hmmm, so how does the ‘turning it around’ thing work… there would be litter all over my living room floor… (o;

13 years ago

two words that just do not belong together… “designer resin” *shudder*

13 years ago

i have been arguing about such sky shoppe stuff for ever now…i simply dont get why people think they are smart in bringin forth such ideas and going ahead with investments and manufacturing these products in bulk…another pet peeve…all the teleshoppe ads…ahhg…they get on my nerves….i cant understand how consumers cant relate to the final landfill when they buy “stuff”

13 years ago

Good news department – I just read that the Nissan Leaf, the all-electric car they are about to come out with, has an interior made from recycled pop bottles.

You are right about so much plastic stuff being useful for a moment then lasting a lifetime. At least a car is useful for more than a moment and if interiors can be removed and shredded to be reborn as new interiors it would be great. The fact that Nissan is mentioning the recycled pop bottles, which might make some potential buyers think “yuck!” is an indication of the importance of the environmental issue when producing new things.

Stacy @ Moderate Means
13 years ago

I so want that zombie. But $90?!?! For a plastic dead guy? Just can’t do it.

But I want him anyways. He’s just that cool.

Oh well, the neighbors should be relieved it’s plastic because they probably wouldn’t be the fans that I am.


Marieta Francis
13 years ago

I to am amazed at the crap in the SkyMall book and can’t figure out how to order anything right then – when I’m reading the cataloge! Bummer! There’s a place in my backyard for that Zombie..maybe it will stop the racoons from digging there!

13 years ago

I pick up the remnants of plastic crap off the beach weekly that people HAVE TO HAVE; cheap sand toys, water bottles, tennis balls (for dogs), straws, plastic bags, condiment packets, snack bags . . . I could go on but you get the picture and it isn’t pretty. There are so many essential items in plastic now that the thought of buying non-essential plastic crap makes my stomach hurt!

13 years ago

I flip through Sky Mall sometimes when I am super bored on a plane and am just amazed at the amount of useless stuff in there. I can’t believe enough people buy things to actually keep them in business…

Sian Wu
13 years ago

Kudos Beth, SkyMall is entertaining but filled with so much plastic junk! Ok, the zombie is kinda awesome, but I bet it smells horrible. All Halloween supplies reek of cheap plastic to me. For Halloween, why not make a zombie cake, and put your leftovers in the yard? It’s biodegradable and will be much-appreciated by your worms and crows.

LInda Anderson
13 years ago

What “great” plastic crap. It made me laugh. It should make me cry because when I see stuff like this, I think we are doomed.

13 years ago

I’m SO totally ordering that Zombie. As plastic-sinful as that is, it’s also EPIC and my yard would be enhanced tenfold with that in it on Halloween. LOL

13 years ago

Ok- call me tacky… but I love the Sumo wrestler table and the zombie. Gawd I can’t help myself

Nancy Warfield
13 years ago

I for one would buy the zombie in a heartbeat were it made of earth-friendly materials!