by John Cheese
Moral (and possibly legal?) disclaimer: If you click the links and then buy the stuff from this article, we make money from that transaction. That said, I own every single thing on this list, and I'll prove it with photos of that stuff in my house. I'll also go a step further on our no-BS policy and tell you the downsides to every single one. Brian and I decided very early on that if we were going to do "store posts," we were going to make them the most honest ones on the internet.
So here's the stuff in my house that most commonly gets the reaction of, "That's really cool. Where can I get one?"
Note: We have no relationship with any of the sellers.
As far as ridiculous doodads go, this is by far my favorite thing I own. I got it as a birthday gift around ten years ago, and it's still holding up today. Every single person who sees it for the first time immediately starts laughing and asks where I got it. And then I stab them in the face and scream, "NONE OF YOUR DAMN BUSINESS, MOM!"
My version has a set of stainless steel knives that sharpen easily and hold their edge better than most of my other cutlery. Unless the manufacturer is a master of hiding seams, they all appear to be single-piece knives, meaning the handle and the blade are not separate pieces. Because of that, they loosely resemble actual throwing knives. BUT ...
The Downside: I say "my version" because the one in my picture is the original set, which I don't believe they make anymore. The one I linked to is the newest version, called "The Ex 2". I have not seen one of those, so I can only go by what the customer reviews are saying. Some people claim the knives rust quickly. Mine, from the original version, have never had a rust problem. But they may have changed the material over the last 10 years.
I bought this badboy in 2016, and I still use it today. But full disclosure: I didn't pay full price for it. They happened to have one in the warehouse with a damaged box, so they knocked 40% off of the price. The lighter itself was fine -- it just came in a dented package. So basically, I got a Sterling silver Zippo for the price of a regular one. Suck it.
The Downside: It's pretty easy to ding and scratch. You'll also want to use a polishing cloth on it every couple of weeks to keep it shiny. Even then, it'll lose some of its luster over time. I mean, it's silver. I got mine because it's flashy, and I got a huge deal on it, but if I had paid full price, I probably wouldn't be using it every day. I would have likely just put it away as a collector's item or something. Or just pulled it out every once in a while when I wanted to set an especially fancy fire.
It usually takes people a couple of seconds to realize that it's a cue stick case, shaped like a coffin, but when it hits, they laugh every time. One of my favorite movie scenes is from The Color of Money. A guy walks up to Tom Cruise, looks down at his case and asks, "What you got in there?" Cruise says, "In here?" Then opens it up, and with a cocky grin says, "Doom." Now that I have this case, everyone in my family hates me, because I refuse to open it without saying those lines.
The Downside: There are currently only 3 reviews for the case on Amazon, and one of the people claims that hers broke apart after a few months. I haven't ran into that, myself, but I can see how it happens. It doesn't necessarily feel "cheap" to me, but I do take extra care when setting it down and opening it up. You can tell it was meant more for novelty than for sturdy protection. I still love mine.
And since we're on the subject of pool ...
I've played pool since before I knew how to write my own name. So, like ... at least 4 years. Pool players will debate this until the sun goes nova, but I personally believe that Aramith makes the best pool balls for the price. I just got a new set a couple of days ago, and they were so shiny, I didn't want to touch them. They sound the way pool balls are suppose to sound, and they roll the way they're supposed to roll. When I switched from my old, generic set to the new Aramith set, it took about 3 seconds to tell the difference. The action on the cue ball is so much better, I actually had to play a few racks just to get used to the difference.
The Downside: These aren't ones you want to have on the table if you have a ton of kids in the house. They're not cheapo, generic balls that you can replace on a dime if one hits the floor and chips. I got these for $55, and that's considered an entry-level set by Aramith standards. Their upper level balls can run more than $300. So I just imposed a "dad rule" where the kids use the balls that came with the table, and dad gets to use the good ones.
I got this as a Christmas gift for the wife, and she loves it. The Retro Duo plays both NES and SNES games, and the black and red one just looks cool as hell. I don't know what more to say about it. It's straight-up old school gaming.
The Downside: Do your research to see if it's compatible with your TV. Even with the correct equipment, this would not work on our 63" Vizio 4k TV. It did, however, work with our bedroom TV, which is a 48" Sanyo. There are currently just under 1300 reviews for this on Amazon, and it has an overall rating of 4 stars, but that doesn't mean people haven't had problems with it. We haven't had problems with ours, but that doesn't mean we won't, somewhere down the line. Fortunately, they're only $45, and we've gotten way more than $45 worth of enjoyment out of it so far.
Man, that's a long title. I'd have just gone with, "Cool rug. Please buy." As you can see, mine is quite dirty because I've decided to use it under my pool table, so I ... don't get my garage floor dirty? I have no idea why I did that, but it looks cool. When I got it, it was actually the same color as the one in the Amazon photo. Now, it's the color of feet and the tears of the defeated.
This one is 10' x 14' but they make them in different sizes. The reason I originally got it is because it's hard to find a big rug that looks good and isn't a billion dollars. This one was originally $735, but they marked it down to $285. Right now, as I write these words, it's still $285. Just skipping around the various sizes, it looks to me like they marked most of them down.
The Downside: Some of the reviews claim that theirs wasn't the same color as the one in the picture. Mine was, but from what they're saying, it sounds like the pattern is heat-transferred, and sometimes, it doesn't quite take? I don't know if that's true or not, but it would explain the differences.
I used to have a big ol' 5.1 surround system for my computer, but it was taking up too much room. I was going to just downgrade to a sound bar in order to free up some space, but then I found these. They fit nicely in the corner, out of the way, and they have that awesome blue glow that makes me feel like I'm in Tron. Since I don't use the speakers very often, I didn't much care what they sounded like. I just wanted a set that produced sound and looked cool.
The Downside: If you're an audio nerd, you'll hate them. They're just regular ol' speakers. They're not meant for high quality stuff like movies or deep-immersion gaming. If you get these, it's probably just because of the glowy thing.
It's a Deadpool hat. I have 2 plain black ones, too, but I'm not putting more pictures of myself on here. That's just creepy.
The Downside: There is no downside to a Deadpool hat.
I bought 3 of these and stacked them on top of each other. Each rack holds 12 cans, and the top surface can hold an additional 12-16. When you pull one out, another rolls up to take its spot. It just makes everything look so much more neat and organized when there's not 3 half-empty boxes, lying around on the counter.
The Downside: The item description makes it sound like an industrial miracle, strong enough to drive a semi over. But it's just a rack. It's not flimsy and cheap feeling, but I wouldn't put a keg of beer or something really heavy on it. The only problem I had with mine is that I have to adjust it just the right way in order to get them to stack up like that.
It's 5 freakin' pounds of blue raspberry gummies. Trust me, that's a lot more than you need. I don't have a picture of them because I ate them all.
The Downside: Do NOT eat 5 pounds of gummies. You will never, ever stop crapping.