Bad Tech: Terrible tech buys as seen on TV

Warning: you will feel seedy and worthless after purchasing…

Infomercials and 24-hour shopping channels are the red-light district of tech, where you can find the most outlandish, freaky and class-less gadgets pimped out to hapless “Johns”.


Yours for $35.95!!!

This freakish “facial toning mask” delivers friendly electricity to your face through 26 gold-plated contact points powered by a nine-volt battery. Don’t worry, though, all the metal gubbins is hidden on the inside of the mask; to the outside world you simply look like a John Carpenter serial killer.

Tiddy Bear

Yours for $9.95!!!

You know when you’re in the car and your seatbelt carves into your shoulder? No, us neither, but apparently there’s a solution. Viewed in excess of 2 million times on YouTube, this car-comfort aid is now sold as the Snugglestrap and is basically a bit of padding in the shape of a pink or gold teddy bear that clips on to your seatbelt. It’s promoted in the US by TV chat show host Ellen DeGeneres, proud owner of the most American voice of all time.

Kinoki Pads

Yours for $89.95!!!

Our bodies are crawling with toxins from “food, water and the air we breathe”, according to the in-no-way-fear-mongering infomercial for Kinoki Pads. These white plasters stick to the soles of your feet to suck out said toxins – a process which turns the pads black with badness and, according to one user, makes them smell like bacon – while you sleep. However, according to a study by the US show 20/20, lab analysis revealed no body poisons on the used pads and that even distilled water caused them to turn black. We don’t know about sucking out toxins, but Kinoki Pads are certainly a foolproof way of vacuuming money from your wallet, so fair play to them.

Shake Weight For Men

Yours for $29.95!!!

“Imagine throwing the same 5lb medicine ball back and forth with a friend as fast as you can up to 240 times a minute. That is exactly how the Shake Weight harnesses the power of dynamic inertia, and how!” Yes, this vibrating dumbbell that you clasp with both hands might promise results in six minutes, and the men in the video are indeed very muscled, but there’s only one reason why it’s been seen over 3 million times on YouTube: using the Shake Weight makes people look like they’re giving a Grand National winner a happy ending.

Potty Putter

Yours for $19.99!!!

“The amazing new toilet-time golf game that lets you practice your putting on the potty” is the sell for this piece of astroturf that fits around your loo. Apparently, when you’re bored in the bathroom you rush, which causes health problems. Well, obviously.

Hawaii Chair

Yours for $499.99!!!

This seat is wiggled by a 2,800rpm motor to simulate a “hula” motion with your hips, toning your rump allegedly. It can supposedly be used while you work and we actually typed this verty seennntteenceeee whiiile sitttting on one.

Wearable towel

Yours for $25!!!

A towel that you wear! For women, it’s a kind of towel apron; for men, a towel toga. Why? Because robes are “heavy and hot” and “you want to stay covered after getting wet” while still having “the freedom to use your hands”. Call us old-fashioned, but we’ve always favoured the “drying and getting dressed” approach to post-shower life.

60-second Neck Toner

Yours for $47.29!!!

This Rejuvenique-style electro-cosmetic device looks like a mere electric shaver but is billed as the gym for your chin. Hold it against your mug and it uses “electro muscle stimulation” (EMS, natch) to contract your neck muscles, like a beneficial cattle prod for your jowls.

Comfort Wipe

Yours for $19.99!!!

If you’ve hurt your shoulder, are rather porky or are just terrified of your arse, simply put toilet roll on the end of this 18-inch long piece of plastic and use it to wipe your behind. Press the button at the end of the thing to drop the toilet roll into the toilet. Two things… A) Where do you keep it? B) No.

Cardio Jump

Yours for $29.99!!!

Makes the already easy art of skipping “easy for everyone” by eliminating the pesky rope bit and just having the handles. Using this, they reckon, is just as much exercise as normal skipping. We’ve gone one further and developed something you can pick up for $0.00. It’s called Jumping Up And Down On The Spot.”