December 8, 2020

The Shocking Image Holiday Catalog: Mad Scientist Edition

So there it was, an artifact from the murky mists of antiquity that had somehow managed to hurtle itself through space and time to end up in my mailbox -- a **GASP!** Sharper Image holiday catalog!

I couldn’t remember the last time I’d thumbed through one, or for that matter puttered distractedly around a Sharper Image outlet at the airport, waiting for a flight.

Rather than throwing it into the recycle bin, my curiosity got the better of me and I started browsing through it, wondering what marginally useful, overpriced gadgets were popular these days.

Although the catalog was labelled “Holiday Gifts 2020,” it was like paging through a time capsule from twenty years ago. All the old familiar stuff was there: air purifiers, massage chairs, USB photo storage sticks, and of course the “#1 selling” nose hair trimmer.

I could have sworn Sharper Image went under years ago, and sure enough, Wikipedia reports that the company went bankrupt in 2008. But after their assets made their way through more corporate hands than you can shake a selfie-stick at, somebody you never heard of bought up what was left and re-launched the brand last year. Hence the catalog.

Sharper Image’s resurrection has inspired me to wonder what the catalog would look like in an alternate universe, where mad scientists and monsters have lots of disposable income and need gift-giving ideas around the holidays…

Shocking Image Holiday Gifts Catalog - 2020

Still, Curse of Frankenstein, 1957
Space-saving Laboratory Generator
No more having to wait for a lightning storm to bring your latest creation to life! This is our lightest, smallest electrical generator for scientists with modest labs, yet it packs enough power to resuscitate even the largest specimens! Hooks up to a rodent exercise wheel for 100% biological power (rodents sold separately). 56" L x 36" W x 52"H. (60 lbs.)
Item 1313666. $899.95 

Still plus insert, Revenge of Frankenstein, 1958
Floating Eyes Security System
You've invested a lot in your lab, and you want to make sure it's safe and secure. With our new Floating Eyes System, you never need to worry about intruders. The 100% organic eyes will follow anything that moves in your lab, and can be trained to recognize authorized personnel. If they see something unauthorized, they will produce a mechanical shriek that can be heard a mile away. If you're out of town, the optional hand-in-a-tank can send you a telegram alerting you to the intruder. 18" L x 13" H x 10" D. (32 lbs.)
Item 6661313. $1359.95 

Still, Revenge of Frankenstein, 1958
Cryogenic Storage Unit
The Frankenstein Institute recommends that all body parts and specimens waiting to be resuscitated should be stored at a very chilly -150 degrees C (-240 F). The Shocking Image offers scientists a very affordable, yet effective unit for preserving your ongoing work. The unit can easily be set up vertically or horizontally depending upon your space requirements. 85" L x 52" W x 48" D. (263 lbs.)
Item 1366613. $4349.95 

Still, The Devil Commands, 1941
Deluxe Scalp and Brain Massager
A Shocking Image Exclusive! This rugged, state-of-the art device stimulates circulation to your scalp and hair follicles while micro-tendrils gently massage your brain to get those neurons firing at maximum capacity! A perfect way to relax and recharge between experiments! Made of durable space-age materials. 18" H x 12" D. (12 lbs.)
Item 1636136. $749.95 

Still, The Devil Commands, 1941
Atomic Nose Hair Vaporizer
Our most powerful solution yet for dealing with unwanted nose hair! This atomic-powered beauty directs a precision energy beam straight into the nasal cavity, instantly eliminating prickly hairs and nasal congestion. The unit can be mounted on a stabilization tripod to ensure that no accidental jostling results in suboptimal results (sold separately). 32" L x 14" W x 16" H. (18 lbs.)
Item 1363116. $1299.95 


  1. I've already place my order for the Atomic Nose Hair Vaporizer. What I wouldn't give to browse through a Shocking Image store! Very fun article, Brian.

    1. Glad you enjoyed it Michael! Don't forget the tripod with your order, or the Shocking Image company can't be held responsible for the results. ;)

  2. This is fantastic, Brian! 👍🤣
    I need to order the Floating Eyes Security System! 👁

    1. Good choice! They're retro, but reliable, and they won't share your personal information with faceless Silicon Valley executives. :)

  3. Love it! Who needs Sharper Image when you have this catalog? Do you think they have a payment plan? 😉

    1. The Shocking Image company will be happy to take an arm and a leg in separate installments... :)

  4. This is so cool! I hope there's another edition some day. :-)

    1. The Shocking Image elves are working around the clock! :)