Shop for Wow, Now! The Sharper Image Expects Robotics and Tech Toys to Rule This Holiday Season
By Robotics Trends Staff - Filed Nov 01, 2007
In stock now is oodles of wow at The Sharper Image (NASDAQ:SHRP), the headquarters for this season’s hottest trends in toys and technology. That’s because the retailer is expecting a tech and toy season predominantly driven by consumers’ desire to interact with products that allow them to escape, fantasize and have fun. Fuzzy slippers and plush toys that don’t have sound chips or sensors have become wants of the past and have been replaced by coveted items like PLEO(TM) the Camarasaurus and a vast array of robotics, electronics and high tech dazzlers.

“We pre-shopped the marketplace and have brought to consumers some of the hottest tech products that capture imaginations and entertainment hours. When it comes to holiday gifting consumers are looking for the WOW factor that they have come to expect through technology,” stated Drew Reich, Executive Vice President of Merchandising for The Sharper Image. “The hottest gift categories for this holiday season will be tech toys and robotics with sophisticated sensory systems and cameras that can beam pictures to computers and cell phones.”

The toy of the season, PLEO(TM) Life Form by Ugobe(R) ($349.95) begins life as a newly-hatched baby Camarasaurus that moves organically, expresses emotion, explores autonomously and responds to the world around him. As PLEO(TM) grows up, he develops his own unique personality shaped by his interactions with its owner. A sophisticated sensory system includes a color camera; sound, touch and motion sensors; and 14 finely tuned motors with over 100 gears.

Other interactive robots include the Robopanda(R) Interactive Robot ($149.95), an animated singing, story-telling robotic companion ideal for young children and robot collectors that performs more than 40 lifelike movements. Star Wars(R)” fanatics will want the R2-D2(TM) Interactive Astromech Droid(TM) ($119.95), which is voice activated and recognizes 30 phrases, responds to commands, and plays games while serving as a dedicated helper and loyal friend. He navigates with sonar and infrared sensors.

“Robots bring out the child in all of us and captivate and fascinate consumers of all ages,” added Reich. “While we have a robust inventory, indications are that these are the hottest gifts of the year and we urge consumers to preorder through our website.”

Other “hot to have and cool to give” toys and products include:

The Sharper Image(R) Phantom! Chess ($199.95) game moves real pieces automatically. Gamers play against this most skilled opponent and most helpful teacher at 120 skill levels from beginner to master. A sonorous voice announces all moves in classic algebraic notation; moves are shown on a dot matrix display and sound effects - a galloping knight or marching pawn - add a new dimension to this ancient game. Puzzle-lovers enjoy a good challenge, and The ISIS Puzzle ($199.95) has challenged experts around the globe. Deemed the most difficult puzzle ever, the ISIS is available in America exclusively at The Sharper Image. A handcrafted metal orb has movable bands etched with hieroglyphics that must be correctly aligned to open it. Each ISIS has its own unique solution among millions of possibilities.

Gaming just got cooler with the Pyramat(R) Wireless PC Gaming Chair 2.1 ($289.95) which makes the most out of the computer gaming experience with dual built-in full-range speakers and a 4-inch subwoofer for awesome digital sound. The chair communicates wirelessly to a computer via an 8-channel, 2.4GHz transmitter and mouse-wheel touch controls are right on the armrest. And when riding the Pyramat(R) PM450WR Wireless Sound Rocker(TM) ($229.95) gamers will feel like they’re inside the video-game action with the most awesome, bone-rocking audio vibes ever to emanate from a wireless game chair. Its 8-channel, 2.4GHz transmitter plugs into the TV and sends digital audio from as far away as 25 feet to the dual stereo speakers and the ARX subwoofer. This one is compatible with every gaming console on the market.

The Sharper Image(R) Wireless Outdoor Speaker System ($299.90) is convenient for poolside, deck and backyard entertaining. And for those looking for a little down time, Sharper Image(R) quiet place(TM) Noise-Cancellation Headphones ($149.95) gives them the choice of relaxing in solitude or, with the flip of a switch, enjoying practically noise-free music. These headphones feature both “active” noise cancellation and “passive” noise reduction.

For those who work out, the Sharper Image(R) 2-In-1 Rower + Recumbent Bike ($599.95) converts from a rower to a recumbent bike for complete upper and lower body workouts. The space-saving foldable unit features magnetic flywheel resistance with 16 intensity levels and handgrips with pulse sensors and an LCD display to show heart rate, speed, time, distance and calories burned. The Sharper Image(R) 2-In-1 Stepper + Elliptical Trainer ($499.95) is the ultimate. This ingenious cross-trainer switches from elliptical strider to a slide stepper in seconds and features a 16-inch extended stride, stable stance and rugged construction. Handlebars show all the critical exercise data.

Photo buffs will appreciate the Philips(R) 10.2-Inch Digital PhotoFrame(TM) ($279.95), the best way to get digital photos and videos off your computer and into your life. The high-resolution LCD shows off digital stills with the same rich detail and vibrant colors as high-quality prints. PhotoEffect Wizard lets you rotate, zoom in, crop or change color images to black-and-white or sepia tone without a computer. And the Sharper Image(R) 1.5-Inch Digital Photo Keychain ($49.95) can carry as many as 30 images on a keychain. Photos can be viewed individually or as a slide show on the key fob’s clear, bright 1.5-inch OLED screen. Mini-USB port and user-friendly software make it easy to transfer photos to its on-board 8MB memory directly from any PC.

For more information or to purchase these and other WOW holiday gifts, visit any Sharper Image store, call The Sharper Image catalog at 1-800-344-4444 or visit http://www.sharperimage.com.

About Sharper Image
The Sharper Image is a specialty retailer that is nationally and internationally renowned as a leading source of new, innovative, high-quality products that make life better and more enjoyable. The Company’s principal selling channels include 187 Sharper Image specialty stores throughout the United States; the award-winning Sharper Image monthly catalog; and its primary Web site, http://www.sharperimage.com. The Company also has business-to-business sales teams for marketing its exclusive and proprietary products for corporate incentive and reward programs and wholesale to selected U.S. and international retailers.

Contact
Cori Zywotow Rice
Hill & Knowlton/SAMCOR
E:  305-443-5454

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