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15 Oversized Facts About Snuggies

At one point or another in the last two decades, you’ve probably purchased a Snuggie. Whether as a gag gift or as a genuine device for keeping you warm (hey, it works), more than 30 million of the once-ubiquitous sleeved blankets have been sold since their debut in 2008. You probably know that a cheesy infomercial was a key to the product’s success; here are 15 things you might not have known about the Snuggie.

1. SNUGGIE WASN'T THE FIRST BLANKET WITH SLEEVES.

Though there are several other oversized, body-length blankets out there, which sell under brand names like Toasty Wrap and Hoodie-Footie, there is only one Snuggie. And while it may be the most famous of the bunch, it’s not the first blanket with sleeves. That honor belongs to the equally fun-to-say Slanket, which was invented by Gary Clegg in a University of Maine dorm room in 1998, then brought to market in the mid-2000s (more than two years before the Snuggie’s debut). In an interview with The New York Times, Clegg called the Snuggie a “cheap knockoff” of the Slanket and said that it “undermines the integrity” of his product.

For his part, Scott Boilen—president and chief executive of the Allstar Marketing Group, which produces the Snuggie—doesn't pretend that they invented the concept. “We had seen products like these in catalogs for a while—even before the Slanket came out, I think,” Boilen told The New York Times. “And we thought if we could put a clever commercial behind it and offer it at a better value price, then people would buy it … We would all be in not-great shape if there was still just one car company.”

2. EVEN ITS INVENTOR WASN’T CONVINCED IT WOULD BE SUCCESSFUL.

Even Boilen couldn’t have predicted the enormous, and immediate, success of the Snuggie. The fact that it was made at all was kind of a numbers game, as the company tested a total of 80 products that year. “If you told me we could only test 50 products, the Snuggie might not have made the cut," Boilen told Yahoo! Finance.

3. THE SNUGGIE’S SUCCESS BOOSTED SALES OF THE SLANKET.

While the Snuggie may have nabbed the bigger headlines (and more than one parody), its brisk business was a boon to its competitors as well. Between 2008 and 2009, the makers of the Slanket more than doubled their profits—from $4.2 million in 2008 to an estimated $9 million in 2009. “Their infomercial is raising general awareness about the product,” Clegg said.

4. RIDICULOUSNESS WAS PART OF THE BUSINESS PLAN.

Like the Clapper and so many other As Seen on TV products before it, the utter ridiculousness of the original Snuggie commercial is what brought awareness to the product—which quickly translated into sales. In a way, it was all part of the business strategy. “There is a bit of the ridiculous to it,” Boilen said of the commercial. “So that catches people’s attention.”

5. THE COMMERCIAL WAS INTENDED TO RAISE AWARENESS OF THE PRODUCT, NOT PROMPT SALES.

A dirty little secret of the As Seen on TV business is that those over-the-top commercials aren’t really meant to sell product—they’re created to raise awareness about a product, so that major retailers like Wal-Mart will place an order, which is where about 95 percent of a product’s sales come from.

“We can do 1000 focus groups for people to tell us what they’ll do, but when you actually air a TV commercial and somebody gets off the couch to go on a website or call a number and actually place an order with their credit card from a company they never heard of and wait a while to get it, that person’s definitely going to buy it at retail,” Boilen explained to BuzzFeed. “If we build awareness to a certain level, we’ll sell through retail.”

6. THE SNUGGIE WAS PROFITABLE BEFORE IT BECAME AVAILABLE IN RETAIL STORES.

While retail is the ultimate goal of any As Seen on TV product, the Snuggie actually made money before it hit the shelves at brick-and-mortar stores. In February of 2009, warmth-minded customers could already purchase a Snuggie at Walgreens and Bed, Bath & Beyond. In an interview with The New York Times at that time, Boilen predicted that “every major retailer” would be carrying it by the fall.

7. THE SNUGGIE PUT THE KIBOSH ON SLANKET’S RUN ON THE BIG BOX STORES.

While the general marketplace may be large enough to withstand a lot of sleeved blanket competition, the retail store industry doesn't quite work that way. Though Slanket’s Clegg was on track to see his invention make its way into retail stores, all that came to a halt when Snuggie arrived on the scene. “In 2008 things were going great for us and we were preparing to approach big box stores in the summer of that year,” Clegg told American Express OPEN Forum. “All of that ended, though, in August. That is when we saw the first test commercials for Snuggie … I was down at first, but I knew there was nothing I could do.” When asked whether he considered legal action, Clegg said no: “I never thought about that. We also didn’t have a patent because textile patents are really hard to protect. It is like having a patent on socks or T-shirts."

8. IT MIGHT HAVE BEEN INSPIRED BY DR. SEUSS.

Dr. Seuss Wiki

The Snuggie has been compared to many things; in discussing its popularity, Jay Leno wondered, “Why don’t you just put your robe on backwards?” and Ellen DeGeneres suggested that the company “Should throw in a pointed hat so you can look like a wizard.” But many see a literary influence in the amorphous garment: the Thneed, a catch-all textile seen in Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax, which can act as a shirt, sock, hat, toothbrush holder, hammock, or dozens of other things.

9. IT WAS ONE OF THE EARLIEST PRODUCTS TO BENEFIT FROM SOCIAL MEDIA.

The introduction of the Snuggie occurred at the same time that social media platforms like YouTube, Twitter, and Facebook were becoming more important to businesses. “It certainly put us on the public’s radar,” Boilen said of the role social media played in increasing public awareness of the product. “It was the first product that really went viral, that really went mainstream like that. It was probably the first product that had the advantage of social media really peaking.”

10. THEY GO GREAT WITH BEER.

While the Snuggie commercial promoted how great the product could be at home on the couch, and even at a football game, barflies were quick to adopt the uniform. In 2009, a group of Snuggie-loving beer drinkers organized the first Snuggie Pub Crawl in Cincinnati, Ohio. Over the next few years, more than 100 other Snuggie crawls happened.

11. CONSERVATIVES LOVED THEM.

In 2009, Americans for Tax Reform’s Derek Hunter—who admitted that he bought his own Snuggie in a not-so-sober state—managed to convince a few of his fellow conservatives, including Andrew Breitbart and Tucker Carlson, to don his blue blanket and posted their photos to his Facebook group, The Snuggie Cult. He even convinced his boss, ATR president Grover Norquist, to do it. "From there, it blew up," Hunter told Politico. "Within the next hour I was inundated with messages from people who wanted to see it, try it on, and have their picture taken in it. I figured it could be fun, so what the hell?”

12. OPRAH WAS A FAN, TOO.

When it comes to celebrity endorsements, there are few people more powerful than Oprah Winfrey. In March 2009, Snuggie’s “designer” line of products—which came in all sorts of colors and prints—got Oprah’s seal of approval on The Oprah Winfrey Show (while Tyler Perry sat awkwardly by her side in a zebra print blanket). And in true Oprah fashion, every audience member brought one home. (You get a Snuggie, you get a Snuggie, everybody gets a Snuggie!)

13. SPORTS FANS WERE COMPETITIVE ABOUT THEIR SNUGGIES.

On March 5, 2010, approximately 20,000 Snuggie-clad Cleveland Cavaliers fans showed up to watch their team beat the Detroit Pistons by seven points. It was a large enough gathering to earn the crowd a Guinness World Record, but it didn’t last long. Just one month later, 43,510 Los Angeles Angels fans donned similar attire, crushing Cleveland’s record.

14. THAT “BUY ONE, GET ONE FREE” DEAL WASN’T SUCH A DEAL AFTER ALL.

In 2015, Snuggie’s parent company, Allstar Products Group, agreed to pay out approximately $8 million to customers to settle a complaint that the company duped many customers into purchasing a buy one, get one free deal—which really wasn’t such a deal after all. “This agreement returns money to thousands of consumers in New York and across the nation who believed they were buying items at the price advertised on television, but ended up with extra merchandise and hidden fees they didn’t bargain for,” New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said. The customers signed up for two Snuggies for $19.95, but ended up paying almost twice that when all was said and done.

15. NO ONE KNOWS WHY THE SNUGGIE CAUGHT ON.

No one really knows why the Snuggie became such a pop culture phenomenon—not even its creator. "If I knew how the Snuggie became so successful, we’d have 15 more products like that,” Boilen said. “It just struck a chord at the right time."

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25 Things You Didn’t Know You Could Recycle
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According to the EPA, Americans generate 254 million tons of waste each year. Here are a few things you may have been throwing out that, with a little effort, you can actually recycle.

1. DENTURES

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Grandpa's choppers may hold $25 worth of recyclable metals, including gold, silver, and palladium. The Japan Denture Recycling Association is known to collect false teeth, remove and recycle the metals, and discard the rest of the denture (which is illegal to reuse). The program has donated all of its earnings to UNICEF.

2. HOLIDAY LIGHTS

Bundle of holiday string lights

Got burnt out holiday lights? The folks at HolidayLEDs.com will gladly take your old lights, shred them, and sort the remaining PVC, glass, and copper. Those raw materials are taken to another recycling center to be resurrected. (In 2011, the State of Minnesota collected and recycled around 100 tons of dead lights.)

3. SEX TOYS

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The first step in recycling your toy is to send it to a specialty processing plant, where it's sterilized and sorted. There, all "mechanical devices" are salvaged, refurbished, and resold. Silicone and rubber toys, on the other hand, are "ground up, mixed with a binding agent, and remolded into new toys," according to the aptly titled website, Sex Toy Recycling. Metals, plastics, and other leftovers retire from the pleasure industry and are recycled into conventional products.

4. HOTEL SOAP

Hotel bathroom counter with cups, shampoo, and soap

Not all hotels throw out that half-used soap you left in the shower: Some send it to Clean the World. There, soap is soaked in a sanitizing solution, treated to a steam bath, and then tested for infections. Once deemed safe, the soap is distributed to less fortunate people across the globe. So stop stealing soap from hotels—you may be stealing from charity.

5. MATTRESSES

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You don't need to dump your old box spring at the landfill. Equipped with special saws, mattress recycling factories can separate the wood, metal, foam, and cloth. The metal springs are magnetically removed, the wood is chipped, and the cloth and foam are shredded and baled. In its future life, your saggy mattress can become a summer dress or even wallpaper.

6. COOKING OIL

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When you’re finished making French fries at home, it can be tempting to toss the spent frying oil down the drain. But you shouldn’t—approximately 47 percent of all sewer overflows are caused by fat and oil. There are a few curbside programs in the United States that accept used cooking oil, which may send the oil to a biodiesel plant that will transform it into fuel. To see if there’s a collection point near you, check this website.

7. DIRTY DIAPERS

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The average baby soils 6000 diapers before being potty trained—that's one ton of diapers rotting in a landfill per child. But not all poo-packages have to suffer this fate. The company Knowaste collects and recycles dirty diapers at hospitals, nursing facilities, and public restrooms. After sanitizing the diaper with a solution, they mechanically separate the "organic matter" from the diaper's plastic, which is compressed into pellets and recycled into roof shingles. Meanwhile, paper pulp in diapers grows up to become wallpaper and shoe soles.

8. CDS

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CDs are made of polycarbonate and won't decompose at a landfill. But if you send your discs to The CD Recycling Center, they'll shred them into a fine powder that will be later melted down into a plastic perfect for automotive and building materials—even pavement!

9. SHOES

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Send your beat-up sneaks to Nike Grind and you'll help build a running track. Nike's recycling facility rips apart worn shoes, separating the rubber, foam, and fabric. The rubber is melted down for running track surfaces, the foam is converted into tennis court cushioning, and the fabric is used to pad basketball court floorboards. So far, Nike has shredded more than 28 million pairs of shoes.

10. SHEEP POOP

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Why turn sheep poop into fertilizer or manure when you can make it into an air freshener? The folks at Creative Paper Wales do that, plus more—they can transform sheep poop into birthday cards, wedding invitations, bookmarks, and A4 paper! Sheep dung brims with processed cellulose fiber. The poo can be sterilized in a 420 degree pressure cooker, which separates the fiber from a smelly brew of liquid fertilizer, allowing the fiber pulp to be collected and blended with other recycled pulps, creating tree-free paper.

11. TROPHIES

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Is your room full of plastic bowling trophies from fifth grade? If the thrill of victory fades, you can recycle your old trophies at recycling centers like Lamb Awards. They'll break down your retired awards, melting them down or reusing them for new trophies.

12. HUMAN FAT (WARNING: ILLEGAL)

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If it weren't for legal complications, America's obsession with cosmetic surgery could solve its energy problem. In 2008, a Beverly Hills plastic surgeon lost his job when police caught him fueling his car with a biofuel created from his patients' liposuctioned fat. (Convicting him wasn't hard, since he advertised the substance online as "lipodiesel.") That's not the first time fat has powered transportation: In 2007, conservationist Peter Bethune used 2.5 gallons of human fat to fuel his eco-boat, Earthrace.

13. ALUMINUM FOIL

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Foil is probably one of the most thrown away recyclable materials out there. (Americans throw away about 1.5 million tons of aluminum products every year, according to the EPA.) But foil is 100 percent aluminum, and as long as you thoroughly clean it of any food waste, you technically should be able to recycle it with your aluminum cans (but first check with your local recycling plant to ensure they’re equipped to process it; some aren’t).

14. CRAYONS

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Don't toss those stubby Crayolas! Instead, mail them to the National Crayon Recycle Program, which takes unloved, broken crayons to a better place: They're melted in a vat of wax, remade, and resold. So far, the program has saved more than 118,000 pounds of crayons.

15. DEAD PETS

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When Fluffy bites the dust in Germany, you can memorialize your beloved pet by recycling her. In Germany, it's illegal to bury pets in public places. This leaves some pet owners in a bind when their furry friends die. A rendering plant near the town of Neustadt an der Weinstraße accepts deceased pets; animal fat is recycled into glycerin, which is used in cosmetics such as lip balm.

16. SHINGLES

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The EPA estimates that 11 million tons of shingles are disposed each year [PDF]. Most of them are made out of asphalt, which is why more than two dozen states pulverize the old shingles and recycle them into pavement. For every ton of shingles recycled, we save one barrel of oil.

17. PRESCRIPTION DRUGS

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You can—and should—properly dispose of expired prescription drugs. But what about unneeded pills that are still good? Some states let you donate unused drugs back to pharmacies. Some charities also accept leftover HIV medicine from Americans who have switched prescriptions, stopped medicating, or passed away. These drugs are shipped overseas and distributed to HIV victims around the world.

18. FISHING LINE

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Fishing line is made from monofilament, a non-biodegradable plastic that you can't put in your everyday recycling bin. At Berkley Fishing, old fishing line is mixed with other recyclables (like milk cartons and plastic bottles) and transformed into fish-friendly habitats. So far, Berkley has saved and recycled more than 9 million miles of fishing line.

19. WINE CORKS

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Your recycling center probably doesn't accept wine corks, but companies like Terracycle and Yemm & Hart will. They turn cork into flat sheets of tile, which you can use for flooring, walls, and veneer. Another company, ReCORK, has extended the life of over 4 million unloved corks by giving them to SOLE, a Canadian sandal maker.

20. PANTYHOSE

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Most pantyhose are made of nylon, a recyclable thermoplastic that takes more than 40 years to decompose. Companies like No Nonsense save your old stockings by grinding them down and transforming them into park benches, playground equipment, carpets, and even toys.

21. TOOTHBRUSHES

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If you buy a plastic toothbrush from Preserve (which makes its toothbrushes from old Stonyfield Farms yogurt cups and other everyday items), it will take back your used toothbrush and give it a new life—this time as a piece of plastic lumber!

22. TENNIS BALLS

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The company reBounces doesn’t really recycle tennis balls, it resurrects them. If you’ve got at least 200 balls sitting around, the company will send you a prepaid shipping label to help get the box on the road and repressurize the balls.

23. YOGA MATS

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Most yoga mats are made from PVC, the same material in plumbing pipes, heavy-duty tarps, and rain boots. While many local yoga studios will accept well-loved mats and find them a new home, the company Sanuk has an appropriately squishy vision for each mat’s future: It will transform your old yoga mat into flip flops.

24. DEFUNCT CURRENCY

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All governments have a way of dealing with old, worn money. (In 2016, the Indian government shredded old bills and turned them into hardboard.) But what about currency that is no longer legal tender? Ends up you can donate your old French francs, Spanish pesetas, or Dutch guilders to Parkinsons UK, who will recycle the old coins and banknotes.

25. PET FUR

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All of the pet fur on your sweaters, your couches, and your carpet could help save the ocean from oil spills. Hair is excellent at sopping up oil from the environment (hairball booms were used to soak up oil from the 2010 BP Oil Spill), so non-profit organizations such as the San Francisco-based Matter of Trust will accept pet fur to make oil-absorbing mats of Fido's fuzz.

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Move Over, Golden Toilet: Now There’s a $100K Louis Vuitton Potty
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In 2016, the Guggenheim Museum installed a one-of-a-kind, fully functional toilet made of solid gold, created by the Italian artist Maurizio Cattelan just for the museum. Now, there’s another insanely luxurious art-toilet to look out for—and this one you can take home.

Made by artist Illma Gore for the luxury resale platform Tradesy, the Loo-Uis Vuitton Toilet is covered in $15,000 worth of monogram leather ripped from Louis Vuitton bags. Everything but the inside of the bowl—which is gold—is covered in that instantly recognizable brown designer leather. It's one way to show your brand loyalty, for sure.

The toilet is fully functional, meaning, yes, you can poop in it—although that would require you (at some point) to clean the leather undersides of the seat, which sounds … gross. But then again, the leather is brown, so do what you will.

A toilet art piece stands under a pink neon sign that reads ‘No Fake Shit.’
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Does sitting on it feel like using those squishy-soft toilet seats your grandma has? Please let us know, because we don’t have the $100,000 it would take to buy it for ourselves. Note that while the site sells used goods, the description makes sure to specify that this one is new.

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