A bit off topic, but fascinating

Since many of us see this catalogue while flying, I thought it would be interesting:

SkyMall: The Strange Story of America’s Most Delightfully Weird Catalogue

As you boarded your flight that day, perhaps you didn’t realize you were in the market for a garden statue that looks like Bigfoot. But, as the plane doors close, you curse the FAA regulation that bans electronic devices from being used during takeoff and landing. How do you entertain yourself for these interminable 30 minutes? The inflight magazine? The emergency safety instructions card? How about the SkyMall magazine? Yes, the SkyMall magazine will do. And that’s when you find yourself considering whether you need the The Garden Yeti.

On almost all US flights, you’ll find SkyMall magazine in the seat-back pocket in front of you. This magazine is a catalogue filled with whimsical products that are available for sale. None of these products are things you strictly "need". They’re not even products that a reasonable person could anticipate wanting until they’ve seen it — a baseball bat shaped pepper grinder, a vacuum cleaner to catch flies, an alien butler drink tray, a helmet that promises to regrow your hair using lasers.

Having entertained ourselves by thumbing through the SkyMall catalogue hundreds of times in our lives, but never having purchased anything, we were curious. How does the business of SkyMall work?

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