SkyMall, Catalog of Offbeat Products, Not Doing So Well

Hugo Martín has a really fun story in the L.A. Times looking at SkyMall, the in-flight catalog that reaches an estimated 600 million travelers a year. Business hasn’t been doing so well (the company lost $3.2 million within five months last year), and SkyMall product managers have been looking for new weird items that could become best-sellers for them:

SkyMall product managers travel to toy conventions, electronics expos and inventors conferences to hunt for those products. They also review the dozens of submissions sent each week by inventors and manufacturers.

Over the last two years, the hottest sellers have been a bed with storage drawers under the mattress ($300 to $600); a super-slim neck pillow ($20); shirts that squeeze in bulging bellies ($30); framed photos that spell out the names of colleges ($50); and T-shirts specifically made for guys named Bob ($20).

But the Garden Yeti — a rosin statue of the mythical ape-like creature — remains the company’s unofficial mascot. The statue comes in three sizes, medium (21 inches tall), large (28 inches tall) and life size — nearly 6 feet tall and 150 pounds for $2,250, plus $225 for shipping.

Whenever I think of SkyMall, I think of the hot dog toaster oven that warms up both hot dogs and buns at the same time. I’ve thought about buying it as a gag gift many times, but have never pulled the trigger. Sorry, SkyMall!

Photo: Paulo Ordoveza

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