Miscellany: "As Seen On TV" product review - Snuggie Blanket & HD Vision Wraparounds
When you find the "As Seen On TV" label on a product, you can rest assured that there's a silly commercial or infomercial hawking the thing. Beyond that, all bets are off, as I discovered reviewing these two items...
The Snuggie Blanket
We've all seen the Snuggie in stores, since it sold like gangbusters over the wintry holiday season. And at less than 15 bucks a pop, it makes for a cheap gag gift for your friends and family. Here's the commercial spot, showing enthusiastic Snuggie-wearers donning the sleeved-blanket in every life situation you can think of:
A very silly commercial. I half-expected them to show someone clothed in a Snuggie for their funeral.
The actual product is a little underwhelming. The Snuggie is made of a thin, 100% polyester material that causes so much static cling that you can literally hear it when someone peels one off of them. The Snuggie is not warm enough to substitute for a true comforter, and, on a cold night, you'll be a little uncomfortable under the Snuggie if all you have on are pajamas.
The Snuggie's big advantage is that it is wearable - sorta. I found that the sleeves are so ill-placed that it's difficult to walk more than ten yards without the thing slipping off. A real cotton robe worn backwards would actually be much more secure. On the plus side, the Snuggie is large, and should stretch shoulder-to-toe on everyone save an NBA player. If you're under 5 feet tall and seated on a couch, you could probably fold it over for more warmth - it's that large.
The best part of the Snuggie craze, though, is extrinsic: the Snuggie commercials launched a thousand parodies on the Web...
HD Vision Wraparounds
Novelty sunglasses are commonly sold on TV. It makes sense because the market is so broad - whether you're a fashionista or a soldier in Afghanistan, you need sunglasses. But I have a hunch I won't be bringing HD Vision Wraparounds with me the next time I trek to Helmand province:
To be fair, HD Vision Wraparounds aren't any worse than the ultra-cheap, plasticky sunglasses you find in the drug stores. The oversize wraparounds are designed to be worn over prescription eyeglasses, and they actually fit well - at least over my smallish half-frame glasses. As for protection, almost any pair of sunglasses works for casual use, and the side panels help block out sunlight, too. They even throw in a visor clip for your car.
The downside is that the sunglasses feel pretty cheap and they look naff. And you ain't gonna get "HD vision," whatever the heck that is. :-P