Daily Archives: July 18, 2010

Critiquing the 12 Days of Christmas in July


If you have ever bought anything from www.ShopElvis.com, you probably get their frequent e-mail announcements of items they are promoting.  If you are like me, you have received lots of these.

However, I’ve never seen anything like the sales blitz they put on the past two weeks.  It was called 12 Days of Christmas in July.  Basically, it was a new e-mail promo each day featuring a group of items from their catalog at reduced prices.  It all started on June 30, and my first thought was that they were just trying to blow out some slow-selling merchandise.  I figured I would look them over and get a few laughs at some of the ill-conceived items.

Boy, was I wrong.  Almost immediately, I found something I really liked and would love to own.  Of course, there were losers too, so I decided to critique the best and the worst of each day’s offerings, and report them here on ElvisBlog.

Good                          June 30                         Bad

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 White Light Ladies T-shirt                                        Jailhouse Rock Replica T-shirt

T-shirts were the theme for the first day.  The “Jailhouse Rock Replica” was an easy call for the worst item in this lot.  It just looks silly – like a retarded necktie or something.  They will have to cut the price below $20 to get rid of this one.  My pick for best goes to a T-shirt with a colorized Al Wertheimer photograph of Elvis in concert at the Mosque Theater in Richmond, VA, June 30, 1956.  The key to this one is evident in its title: “White Light.”  Al Wertheimer took several other photos that looked much like the one above, except they did not have the explosion of light in the background.  That was caused when a fan snapped a flash bulb at the exact same time that Wertheimer took the shot.  The result is an image with a celestial feel.  This is an excellent T-shirt.

Good                            July 1                              Bad

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Sunglasses Ornament                                                    Picture Frame Light Set

Day 2 was a group of Christmas ornaments, and the string of little Elvis photos doesn’t do much for me.  Maybe it would, if it had ten different pictures and went for a lot less than the $20 sale price.  However, the gold colored sunglasses caught my eye.  I must admit, I have always been fascinated with Elvis’ sunglasses.  I have fifty-one different digital photos of him wearing his signature design.  I once bought a box of a dozen knock-off Elvis sunglasses, and I’m wearing one of them in my blog bio photo.  The quality of the ornament appears good, and the $6 sale price is reasonable, so this looks like a worthwhile purchase.   Unfortunately, this ornament will never grace my Christmas tree.  If my wife caught me hanging one, she’d kill me.

Good                                  July 2                           Bad

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Official Graceland Guide                                                Graceland Full Wall Sticker        

Graceland was the theme for the third day of Christmas in July.  The official Graceland Guidebook sounds like it is packed with excellent pictures and info, so it gets a thumbs-up.  The ad says it is the latest updated edition, so they aren’t just dumping some left-over old version.  This seems to be a good bargain at the sale price of $15.

The Graceland wall sticker may appeal to somebody with lots of bare space on their walls, because this thing is huge.  It measures six feet wide by nearly four feet high.  I might pay $77 for a poster that size of Elvis… but not Graceland.


Good                             July 3                            Bad

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Sun Records Black Cap                                               Fantasy Race Car Cap

The deal on Day 4 was “Buy One Hat and Get One Free.”  I like the black cap with the Sun records logo and young Elvis embroidered on it.  It is simple but distinctive.   However, the “Elvis and Dale Earnhardt Fantasy Race Car Cap” is an overdone mess (as is the name).  Count up the images:  Elvis, the Las Vegas sign, Dale Earnhardt, Elvis’ autograph, Earnhardt’s number 3, and Earnhardt’s autograph.  Too much, man, way too much.


Good                        July 4                          Bad

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 Army Poster                                              Elvis in the Army Panel Shirt

The theme on the 4th of July was “GI Blues.”   The “Elvis in the Army Panel Shirt” must be one of those slow-movers they were trying to blow out, because it was originally priced at $55, and then was reduced to $39, and finally $31 for this promotion.  Good luck moving the last supplies of this one.  The Army poster was a great buy at just $8 on sale, and it is big, measuring 24” by 36”.

Good                        July 5                         Bad

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                           Birthday Dog Tag Watch                                 75 Years Black Matte Zippo 

I was never big on all the merchandise that came out celebrating Elvis’ 75th birthday, but some of them showed up on Day 6.  The “Birthday Dog Tag Watch” is a pretty clever idea.  The ad says 75 rhinestones spell out Elvis’ signature, so they sure must be tiny.  If this concept were used with different designs, and they all sold for $26, this could be a popular item.  I wish EPE had never licensed any cigarette lighters, but there are several in the catalog.  However, I do like this image and the tag line “75 Years In The Making.”  If they had used it on a 24″ by 36″ poster for $8, that would be pretty cool.


Good                          July 6                           Bad

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     Sweater Wind Spinner                                       Blue Suede Shoes Lamp

I really didn’t find anything I liked a lot in the assortment of “Home Accessories” on Day 7.  So, I reluctantly picked the Elvis wind spinner as the daily winner.  It is eight inches across and has the Jailhouse Rock photo of Elvis in the turtleneck sweater when he sang “(You’re So Square) Baby, I Don't Care.”  It is a little pricey, even at the sale price of $21.  I had absolutely no trouble picking the big loser.  Look at this horrid lamp – it’s like some sort of bad April Fool’s joke.  And they want $45 for it on sale.  I don’t think there is a price low enough to move out the supplies of this one. When people come to our house, I like to show them my Elvis stuff, but I would be embarrassed by this.

Good                             July 7                    Bad

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                      ’68 Comeback Special Poster                                       Love Me Tender Poster    

I like Elvis posters, and they were the next theme.  There are hundreds of photos in existence showing Elvis in the ’68 Black Leather suit and they all would make excellent posters, including the one above.  Again, it is 24″ by 36″, and it is an excellent value at just $9.  The pink poster is a Joe Petruccio design, but it is smaller – only 20 inches by 16 inches.  Petruccio has done some wonderful paintings of Elvis, but this one looks washed out.  And what’s with the pink background?  At $11, it will probably appeal to some people.


Good                        July 8                        Bad

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70’s Gold Sunglasses                                            Sunglasses with Sideburns

Ahh.  Sunglasses.  I love this category and most of the selections in it.  The “70’s Gold Sunglasses” are a winner at just $10 on sale. However, the “Sunglasses with Sideburns” is an insult to Elvis.  It’s ironic that Graceland sued several manufacturers years ago for making unlicensed products that besmirched Elvis’ image.  What would you call this?   I call it a disgrace and think it should be pulled from the catalog.


Good                   July 9                  Bad

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      All Shook Up Energy Drink                    Shake Rattle N Roll BBQ Sauce

An Elvis energy drink is a great idea.  As a regular drinker of Diet Mountain Dew, I would love to upgrade to Elvis’ All Shook Up.  This is definitely an item my relatives will hear about as a Christmas suggestion for me.   The item I didn’t like in the Kitchen and Barware category is actually a three-way tie.  In addition to the BBQ Sauce, there is also Steak Sauce and Picante Salsa.   What’s next, Elvis ketchup?  Elvis mayonnaise?   Elvis pancake syrup?  I know.  How about Elvis pink-colored whipped cream – for the kinky Elvis fans.


Good                        July 10                   Bad

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     Vegas ’69 Book                                                  Vegas Gold Stocking

You know there had to be a Viva Las Vegas category.  The “Vegas Gold Stocking” is embellished with lots of faux gems and rhinestones.  It is 17 inches high, and it costs $23.  But, what is it really?  Are you supposed to hang it on your mantle at Christmas?   It’s pretty and all, but there are zillions of things that symbolize Elvis better.  The “Vegas ‘’69 Book” is another item I will be telling relatives about.  At $40 it’s more than I would like to pay myself, but my brother-in-law won’t care what it costs.  “Elvis: Vegas '69” is a new 200-page hardback book by Ken Sharp that commemorates the 40th anniversary of Elvis’ historic return to live performances.  It sounds like that book would be a lot of fun to go through.


Good                        July 11                        Bad

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1,000 Piece Puzzle                                                       Elvis Switch Plate

They saved the ’68 Comeback Special for the theme of the 12th Day of Christmas.  Does an Elvis switch plate sound like a stupid idea to anyone else?  Maybe it would work for those folks who have their own Elvis Room.  $9 on sale.  I think the Elvis puzzle is a good item.  The $17 sale price seems a fair price for a 1,000 piece puzzle.  Immagine a group of Elvis fans getting together, playing a bunch of Elvis CDs, and sitting at a coffee table to put this together.  Once it gets completed, they can fight over who gets to take it home and put it on their wall.


Well, that’s our look at ShopElvis’ 12 Days of Christmas in July.  I can’t wait until I get the e-mails about their 12 Days of ElvisWeek in August.

©  2010    Philip R Arnold, Original Elvis Blogmeister    All Rights Reserved    www.ElvisBlog.net

Elvis, Elvis Presley, and Graceland are registered trademarks of Elvis Presley Enterprises, Inc.

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