WalletPop attempted to cull the the functional, fabulous and frugal from the recently wrapped International Gift Fair in New York City. Much of the show featured the tchotchkes coming to a novelty shop or airport kiosk near you, so we had our work cut out for us.
Here are my top five -- sorry, Terrorist Teapot, you didn't make the cut -- in no particular order.
Teroforma's soapstone cubes keep your whiskey or other liquor chilled longer than real ice cubs, and they don't dilute the taste, according to the maker. You just stick the Whisky Stones in the freezer and plop them into glasses when the guests arrive. Much of their value comes from the conversations they might inspire when the cocktail banter runs dry. The cubes are reusable and look cool in your Canadian Club. Nine cubes for $25, we were told, but online they're listed at $20.
The combination of eco-chic and utility makes Brelli's biodegradable clear plastic rain poncho for kids irresistible. It's an impermeable and science project rolled into one. Children can wear it as many times as they want, then bury it. Don't worry, Mom, it'll rot like apple peels! It folds into a pouch for purse or backpack convenience. Designer Pam Bronsius also makes an adult trenchcoat and poncho but the higher price removed it from WalletPop consideration. $22 for one child's poncho (red ribbons make it more for girls).