Tacky and tasteless ornaments are a reliable feature of Christmas, and mistletoe-themed ones are often amongst the worst. This year we are being offered the mistletoe drone, a concept arguably started by TGI Friday last year when they had a version flying round their restaurants.
TGI Friday’s promotion, by the way, was somewhat blighted when one of the drones crashed into a customer and sliced off part of her nose…
I hope this new model, marketed by Hammacher Schlemmer, is much safer, though it is just as tasteless, possibly more so! Hammacher Schlemmer, for those who haven’t heard of them, are a US-based gadget company who have been offering ‘the Best, the Only and the Unexpected, for 167 years’, apparently.
Recent highlights from their website include a video camera baseball cap and a remote control rotating stand for your ipad. So a mistletoe drone fits right in. The main issue I have with these fake mistletoe offerings is that they are not actually mistletoe, and bear little resemblance to mistletoe, so whilst they sort-of echo an old tradition they also insult it by removing the primary requirement – actual mistletoe.
The idea, of course, of their mistletoe drone ($69.95 plus shipping….) is that you pilot the thing overhead to extract a kiss from your partner/prospective partner/unsuspecting passer-by. An interesting idea, through fraught with hazards if you’re operating it DIY as you need to stop piloting when you start kissing.
In Hammacher Schlemmer’s promotional video (link opens in a new window) you can see that as soon as Mr PlasticGadget takes his eyes off the drone to kiss Mrs PlasticGadget the drone veers off. So he quickly abandons the kiss to, er, control his toy (!). The gadget really needs a geostationary orbit lock.
The promotional blurb talks, rather suggestively (or is it just me?), about ‘digital proportional throttle and directional control, enabling precise placement for optimal effect’. But I think that’s just about the drone.
It also suggests up to 20 drones can be flown at once – but doing that might risk straying into nose collision territory.
And if you think this is just a bit of plastic tack for the 2015 season, think again. The Mistletoe Drone comes with the Hammacher Schlemmer Lifetime Guarantee: ‘If this product ever disappoints you, for any reason, you may return your Hammacher Schlemmer purchase for exchange, credit, or refund’.
Sadly they can only fly for 5 minutes without recharging, so the fun and collisions will be over quite quickly.
More Mistletoe Matters – links to more tasteful mistletoey things to read, buy or do
Grow-Your-Own Mistletoe – kits and gift cards from the English Mistletoe Shop
A Little Book About Mistletoe – printed and Kindle versions
Mistletoe Matters Consultancy – all about mistletoe in Britain
The Mistletoe Pages – even more about mistletoe
Mistletoe Surveys – seeking your input…
Mistletoe Matters on Facebook
Mistletoe Matters on Twitter
Coming soon from Mistletoe Diary:
- Mistletoe Surveys – updates and new links
- Mistletoe Management – issues and opportunities
- Mistletoe Conservation – news and views
- Mistletoe Auctions 2015 – quality and prices
- Mistletoe Oaks – news and views
- Mistletoe in the Media – 2015’s hits and misses
And other marvellous mistletoe minutiae…