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News > Midsized Companies
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A bowling alley for Christmas?
Yes, for $1.45 million; Neiman Marcus fantasy gift guide also features suit of armor, zeppelin.
September 28, 2004: 3:01 PM EDT
By Parija Bhatnagar, CNN/Money staff writer

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NEW YORK (CNN/Money) - Merry Christmas! Here's your very own $1.45 million bowling alley.

If that doesn't make your gift fantasy come true, you might want a $20,000 custom-fitted suit of armor instead.

Those are just two of the ultimate "fantasy gifts" featured in luxury retailer Neiman Marcus' 78th annual Christmas book, for which money is no object.

"For our customers, the arrival of The Neiman Marcus Christmas Book marks the official start of the holiday season," said Brendan Hoffman, CEO of Neiman Marcus Direct, in a statement.

"This year's gift assortment is more innovative and luxurious than ever before and is available in its entirety online," Hoffman added.

Yes, that even includes the his-and-hers bowling center.

The 5,000 square-foot, four-lane bowling and entertainment center includes all the bowling equipment, his-and-hers bowling shoes, a multi-media system with two large-screen plasma TVs, and a karaoke machine. The package also offers lessons from professional bowlers.

The His and Hers bowling center for $1.45 million.  
The His and Hers bowling center for $1.45 million.

For those with a penchant for collecting 15th century memorabilia, Neiman Marcus has 20 supposedly historically-accurate suits of armor available for custom order. The suit will be custom-fitted and hand-hammered from steel. This gift also offers a his-and-hers option, two sword-fighting lessons, and a custom-fitted arming doublet undergarment of padded linen.

"This is a book that every year gives adults the chance to become children again by dreaming about the ultimate gift," Ginger Reeder, senior vice president with Neiman Marcus Direct, said in an interview.

But dreams don't always turn into reality. According to Reeder, every year the retailer sells about half of the "fantasy" items featured in the catalog.

For example, the $10,000 mermaid suit featured in last year's catalog still hasn't found a buyer.

Said Reeder, "Our regular items draw bigger business for us. This year we think brooches will sell well."

Other fantasy gifts this year include a limited edition NM Las Vegas Trike that features a 330-horsepower V8 Chevy engine and two bucket racing seats. The trike also has a stereo system with earphone jacks built into the headrests. The price tag: $65,000.

There's an underwater Deep Flight aviator costing $1.7 million, which lets you enjoy underwater exploration up to 1,500 feet with ease and comfort.

Not unique, or expensive enough? Then how about a $10 million airship.

Neiman Marcus is offering buyers their own private zeppelin that's been re-engineered and refitted with modern technology to carry commercial passengers. It can accommodate 12 passengers, a pilot and a flight attendant.  Top of page




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