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The Consumer Category

We bring you the chic and unique, the best and most bizarre shopping offers both online and offline. We offer you tips on where to buy, and some of the less mainstream and crazy, individual and offbeat items on the internet. Anything that can be bought and sold can be featured here. And we love showcasing the best and worst art and design.

Watch: The Watercress line light up at Christmas

watercress line

“Tonight the BF and I went and stood on a bridge in the middle of nowhere to catch a glimpse of a train. It was well worth it,” tweets Tom Lynch.

The Watercress Line runs between Alresford and Alton.

The Mid Hants Railway started life in October 1865 as the Alton, Alresford & Winchester Railway and was intended to connect the existing lines at Alton and Winchester and provide an alternative route between London and Southampton…

In 1937 the line from London to Alton was electrified which meant that the Mid Hants line was no longer part of a through route…

The line, from Alresford to Alton, was subsequently purchased from British Rail in 1975 and through the hard work of the volunteers the first trains ran in May 1977 from Alresford to Ropley. The new company, based on volunteer staff, then re-opened the remaining line in stages, with the extension to Medstead & Four Marks in 1983 and final section to Alton in 1985.

You can book a ride on the Watercress Line here.

Posted: 26th, December 2020 | In: Technology, The Consumer | Comment


Katsushika Hokusai’s The Great Wave off Kanagawa made with 50,000 LEGO bricks

Katsushika Hokusai’s The Great Wave off Kanagawa made with 50,000 LEGO bricks

To make your hobby also your job is the dream. Japan-based artist Jumpei Mitsui is a LEGO Certified Professional. Yeah, he makes objects from Lego for a living. He’s recently recreated Katsushika Hokusai’s woodblock print “The Great Wave off Kanagawa from 50,000 cobalt blue and white LEGO bricks.

Katsushika Hokusai’s The Great Wave off Kanagawa made with 50,000 LEGO bricks

See Mitsui’s wave at the Hankyu Brick Museum.

Posted: 20th, December 2020 | In: The Consumer | Comment


Day Of the Dead: Buy Jose Posada’s Calavera T-shirts, cards, bags, prints and magnets

Mexican illustrator José Guadalupe Posada (1851 – 1913) is best remembered for his calaveras, representations of the human skull and skeleton seen in Mexico’s annual celebration the Day of the Dead ( Día de Muertos; October 31st – November 2nd).

Posada began creating calaveras in 1880 for publication in Antonio Vanegas Arroyo’s inexpensive coloured broadsides sold in markets, on the streets and at festivals.

Posada depicted animated skeletons at work, dancing, playing instruments, mourning the dead, illustrating rhyming ballads (corridos) and stories about love affairs. The stories and Posada’s art expressed the social and political concerns of the period. Death lampooned the vain and rich, including Mexico’s dictator Porfirio Díaz. In Posada’s calaveras, shorn of finery, rank and flesh, everyone was equal.

On January 20th 1913, 3 years after the start of the Mexican Revolution, José Guadalupe Posada died penniless. He was buried in an unmarked grave. In the 1920s that his work was rediscovered and hailed by French ex-patriot artist Jean Charlot who described Posada as “printmaker to the Mexican people”.

Flashbak Shop has prints of Posada’s brilliant work, plus bags, terrific magnet sets and T-shirts. Take a look here.

Check out the Calavera items on the Flashbak Shop.

Posted: 11th, November 2020 | In: Key Posts, The Consumer | Comment


The best Christmas cards delivered to your door

Over on Flashbak, they’ve greeting cards for any and every occasion. There are birthday cards, Christmas cards, cards for love and cards that simply say ‘I’m thinking of you’.

These greetings cards are printed on high-quality 330gsm Fedrigoni card. They come delivered to your door. Cards are either A5 or 5×7 and can be ordered as singles or packs of 10.

Shooting Star – From Les Etoiles; Derniere Feerie by Joseph Mery and illustrated by J.J. Grandville, 1847.
Utagawa Hiroshige – Drum bridge at Meguro and Sunset Hill, 1857 Meguro taikobashi yūhinooka (The Drum Bridge at Meguro and Yuhi (or Sunset) Hill). Ukiyo-e print shows hows pedestrians crossing a stone bridge during a snowstorm.
Mano Poderosa (The All-Powerful Hand), or Las Cinco Personas (The Five Persons), 19th century. Oil on metal (possibly tin-plated iron), Mexico, Brooklyn Museum.
Comet – Illustration from French satirical magazine ‘L’Assiette au Beurre’, 1910. Artist Unknown.
Leonid Meteor Shower Over Niagara Falls -1892 – Illustration from Edmund Weiss, Bilder-Atlas der Sternenwelt [Image atlas of the star world], Stuttgart, 1892 via Smithsonian Library Washington DC.
FUCK 2020 featuring Santa Claus With a Handgun by Will Crawford – 1912.
Louis Wain, Three Cats Singing, c. 1925, Greeting Card
Utagawa Hiroshige (Japanese 歌川 広重), aka Andō Hiroshige (Japanese 安藤 広重; 1797 – 12 October 1858) : Travellers on horseback in the snow, woodblock colour print. between circa 1835 and circa 1837.

See the full range of Christmas cards on the Flashbak Shop.

Posted: 27th, October 2020 | In: Key Posts, The Consumer | Comment


Spell out your name and desires with these fantastic erotic alphabet fridge magnets (NSFW)

A bloke one revealed that NORWICH was not his favourite football team, but an acronym he’d send his wife. The other liberty he’d take was to have the leading ‘N’ stand for’ Knickers’. As you try to work out the code, you might like to cook up of of your or just spell the entire message and stick it to your fridge with these fantastic fridge magnets featuring Joseph Apoux’s Erotic Alphabet of 1880.

Flashbak has fine range of merchandise featuring the racy letters, including prints for each letter (perfect for the smallest room), and a great set of stickers. And these magnets are every bit as good. You can buy the full 26 letters on three economical sheets, or each letter as an individual magnet in a choice of three sizes.

  • It’s ‘Knickers Off Ready When I Come Home’.

Posted: 21st, October 2020 | In: Key Posts, The Consumer | Comment


Buy prints from the Mark Weiss Rock Legends Archive – wow!

Mark “WEISSGUY” Weiss is a world-renowned photographer who has traveled the globe photographing music legends from Van Halen, Ozzy Osbourne, Debbie Harry, The Clash, Prince, Queen, The Ramones, Aerosmith, and Mötley Crüe to Metallica, Guns N’ Roses, Bon Jovi, and KISS. Weiss’s images capture the artists onstage, backstage and behind the scenes. His images are now available to buy at the brilliant Flashbak Prints Shop.

He visually documented historic events including the US Festival, Live Aid, the Moscow Music Peace Festival, and the PMRC hearings in Wash­ington, DC. His photographs have been pub­lished in thousands of magazines worldwide, and he is responsible for two of the era’s defin­ing album covers, Bon Jovi’s Slippery When Wet and Twisted Sister’s Stay Hungry. His inimitable photographs helped craft the visual imagery of rock and metal in the 1980s.

Growing up in Matawan, New Jersey, Mark made a deal with a neighbor at thirteen years old to mow his lawn for the summer in exchange for a 35mm camera. He then filled his teenage nights sneaking into concerts to shoot the biggest acts of the ’70s. After being arrested for selling photographs outside a KISS concert in 1977, he walked into the offices of Circus with his portfolio and soon landed his first centerfold spread – a photo of Aerosmith’s Steven Tyler. Soon after, he became the publication’s staff photographer.

In the years to come, Mark became a fan favorite and a star in his own right, with a Creem magazine reader’s poll ranking him as one of rock’s top photographers of the era. 

Rock prints

Buy the prints her – you can get the signed by Mrs or unsigned. Either way the quality is outstanding.

Posted: 7th, October 2020 | In: Key Posts, The Consumer | Comment


Luxury holiday company promotes Auschwitz death camp as part of Christmas ‘escape’ package

The marketing blurb for Inspired Luxury Escapes is tempting: book your “escape” to Krakow. There’s booze, sausages and the world’s No.1 Nazi death camp:

As the Christmas period approaches, Krakow transforms into a captivating winter wonderland. With the Old Town’s medieval streets providing the backdrop, wander 80 market stalls picking up unusual decorations while sampling traditional Polish dishes. Not to mention everyone’s favourite festive tipple – mulled wine. Included in our special offer is a tour of Auschwitz-Birkenau, the most notorious Nazi concentration camps.

Mulled wine and so much more than the more humdrum Nazi death camps advertised on other Christmas escapes:

Inspired luxury escapes Auschwitz

Its a “great way to get into the Christmas spirit”:

inspired-luxury-escapes.com

Book now to ensure disappointment in the depravity of humankind.

Posted: 30th, September 2020 | In: Strange But True, The Consumer | Comment


Christmas Gifts: 26 Erotic Stickers from Joseph Apoux’s Alphabet Pornographique

Hold the satsuma. Stocking fillers come no fruitier than this collection of stickers featuring all 26 letters of Joseph Apoux’s Erotic Alphabet of 1880. A single print of the French artist’s ‘Alphabet pornographique’ and the A-Z as individual wall art are available as prints on fine art paper. But to customise a skateboard, laptop or book, the stickers are the tops.

Joseph Apoux's Alphabet Pornographique
Buy the Stickers here

The entire sheet measures 14inches square, and individual stickers are just over 5cm square. Two of the prints below give you an idea of how the designs appear as in the flesh. Global shipping is on offer. So you can send them as a gift to anyone anywhere.

Joseph Apoux's Alphabet Pornographique
Joseph Apoux's Alphabet Pornographique

Joseph Apoux’s Alphabet Pornographique and other delights are the Flashbak Shop.

Posted: 25th, September 2020 | In: Key Posts, The Consumer | Comment


Every letter of the Victorian Erotic Alphabet is now available as a print

Stuck for a housewarming gift, anniversary pressie or something to put in the downstairs loo to entertain the guests? Don’t be. You can buy Jospeh Apoux’s fabulous Erotic Alphabet of 1880 as a poster and study all 26 letters as individual prints. Buy two prints to represent the happy couple’s initials, perhaps; three for the ménage à trois; and lots for the orgy (bulk deals available on request).

Boris Johnson porn sex

All the letters are printed on the most gorgeous fine art paper using the best inks.

Sexy T-shirt

Give them the gift that keeps on giving. See the whole range here.

If you would like to spell out a word, name, slogan or whatever on a T-shirt, bag, card or print, please get in touch here:

The Erotic Alphabet – Cards, Tees, Prints and Totes.

Posted: 15th, September 2020 | In: Key Posts, The Consumer | Comment


FUCK 2020 – see out a terrible year with these fantastic T-shirts

Santa Fuck 200 T-shirt

Say ‘FUCK 2020’ with these great T-shirts from the always brilliant Flashbak. There are also cards and a great Tote bag featuring Santa Claus with a Handgun by Will Crawford, created way back in 1912. Our pick is the T-shirt. The unisex T-shirt’s come in black and a large range of colours.

Posted: 9th, September 2020 | In: Fashion, The Consumer | Comment


Boris and the Bookshelves – books have been reduced to props

Boris Johnson books Michael Gove

Did you see the books arranged behind Prime Minister Boris Johnson at Castle Rock school in Coalville, Leicestershire. Was the school librarian making a point in their choice of books to backdrop Boris? Titles on the top shelf included: Betrayed, The Resistance, The Subtle Knife, Fahrenheit 451, The Toll, Oliver Twist and Terry Pratchett’s genius Guards! Guards! What could it all mean asked the assembled hacks. “No comment,” said the school, which is, of course, a comment.

“Books seen behind Boris Johnson tell their own story,” says the Guardian headline. “Has a savvy school librarian or English teacher snatched a golden opportunity to have a pop at the PM in front of the nation?” asks a reporter from the TES. “Are the books behind Boris artfully arranged with a secret political agenda and commentary on the current government?” mused the Indy.

What you might not also have noticed is the PM’s words on the exams results fiasco. “I’m afraid your grades were almost derailed by a mutant algorithm,” guffed Boris. “I know how stressful that must have been for pupils up and down the country. I’m very, very glad that it has finally been sorted out.”

That mutant algorithm was coded by human beings. Sally Collier, the head of England’s exams regulator Ofqual has resigned. Jonathan Slater, the most senior civil servant in the Department for Education (DfE), is ‘stepping down’. But Gavin Williamson, the Secretary of State for Education, aka The Mutant, remains. Look for codes and symbols of defiance by all means, but in so doing try not to miss the obvious. Nearly 800 libraries have closed since 2010. Johnson holidayed amid the exam disaster-class, popping up to tell us that he was reading Lucretius’s On the Nature of Things.

Johnson, that school librarian and political pundits dialling in opinions from seats positioned in front of their bookshelves – watching on for signs of wrong-thinking by their peers and enemies – all assure us that books matter. But schoolchildren suffer through the lack of books and formal education. The local library has gone and there’s no longer a free space to sit, read the think. Books have been reduced to props. And that is telling.

Posted: 27th, August 2020 | In: Books, News, Politicians, Tabloids | Comment


Cashing in on death: the Covid-19 plush toy (made in China)

You can buy a Covid-19 Plush toy and snuggle up to a stuffed effigy of the virus that has killed and contributed to the untimely deaths of thousands of people.

Covid-19 plush toy

Somebody wrote the following:

It’s quite incredible (and mildly terrifying!) how a bunch of tiny microbes can have such a profound impact on the world.

You’ve been trying your very best to avoid it for the last few months, but now you can get your well-sanitised hands on COVID-19 – in cuddly plush form!

As you search the web for a cancer cuddly or an ebola action figure, another company says a small percentage of money raised from sales of the cuddly Covid-19 plus toy will go to “charities supporting healthcare workers who need essential supplies, vulnerable families who need care and children who are losing healthy meals due to school closings.”

As nurses and doctors snuggle up to the thing that might kill them at work – and the sane wonder why you didn’t just give all the money to charity – you can know that the Covid-19 toy is made in China – just like the real thing!

Covid 19 plush toy

Says no-one: ‘Where can I get Covid-1 to 18 and complete the set?’

Posted: 22nd, August 2020 | In: Key Posts, Strange But True, The Consumer | Comment


Summer and indoors sunglasses to keep the sun and people at the right distance

Sunglasses should only be worn indoors by professional gamblers, prisoners, Jack Nicholson, Z-listers who wants to be noticed, hungover international cricketers and anyone who understands the risk of being mistaken for Bono. Sunglasses make elderly women look like assassins and elderly men look shifty, especially if they’re wearing a dog collar and / or talking to children. This is how you wear glasses and look the business. It’s about style and need in harmony. And if you want to look sharp and not pay over-the-odds for shades, you can do so at our pals Smart Buy Sunglasses. They offer free shipping and 100-day returns.

Posted: 11th, August 2020 | In: Online-PR, The Consumer | Comment


Madeleine McCann: Old news for sale and who Brueckner did not kill

Madeleine McCann: a look at repotting on the missing child. In the stead of any news on the hunt for the missing child, the Daily Express gawps at the parents. News is that Gerry McCann had an ‘image fixed indelibly’ in his memory from less than an hour before his daughter disappeared”. This was “revealed during a book written by the parents on the missing toddler”. First up, dear Daily Express: get a sub-editor. Yesterday’s garbled news form Reach plc titles (the Express, Star and Mirror) was riddled with typos and literals.

Maddie Mccann book

The scoop is that Kate McCann wrote something in her book, Madeleine: Our Daughter’s Disappearance and the Continuing Search for Her. That book was published in 2011. The Express has taken 9 years to tell its readers what was “revealed in it”.

Here’s the extract – “the heartbreaking account of Gerry’s final memory of seeing his daughter”:

“Madeleine was lying there on her left-hand side, her legs under the covers, in exactly the same position as we’d left her. For Gerry, this became one of those images I described earlier, pictures that fix themselves indelibly, almost photographically, in the memory. He paused for a couple of seconds to look at Madeleine and thought to himself, she’s so beautiful. After pulling the bedroom door to, restoring it to its original angle, he went to the bathroom before leaving the apartment.”

As the Express reads old books to ‘reveal’ nothing new, the Mirror looks at Christian Bruckner, the convicted German peadophile and rapist accused of kidnapping and murdering Madeleine McCann, a claim he denies. The headline is a sort of anti-news:

Madeleine McCann suspect Christian Brueckner ruled out of raping and murdering girl, 11

Any facts?

Claudia Ruf was kidnapped from Grevenbroich, Germany, in 1996, while walking her neighbour’s dog – before her partly burned body was found dumped around 40 miles away

So..?

A police spokesman told German newspaper Bild: “After comparing the information obtained, it can be said that Christian B was not in Grevenbroich at the time in the case of Claudia Ruf. In addition, a DNA comparison is said to have been negative.”

Are we now at the point where every unsolved case of child abduction and murder is to cross-checked with Christian Brueckner’s life? Good to look but why now – why not check him before? It all looks a b it ike PR, as if the police having pointe the finger at the revolting Brueckner are desperate to keep his name in the frame. This might be in hope that someone who knows something comes forward. But right now the is only circumstantial evidence linking Brueckner to the worlds most famous missing child. And in light of any evidence saying he committed a crime against her, we should presume he did not.

Posted: 5th, August 2020 | In: Books, Key Posts, Madeleine McCann, News, Tabloids | Comment


Gorgeous art prints by Walker Evans

The brilliant Flashbak art prints shop has a great collection of work by Walker Evans (November 3, 1903 – April 10, 1975). Evans was an American photographer and photojournalist best known for his work for the Farm Security Administration (FSA) documenting the effects of the Great Depression. Much of Evans’s work from the FSA period uses the large-format, 8×10-inch (200×250 mm) view camera. He said that his goal as a photographer was to make pictures that are “literate, authoritative, transcendent”.

Walker Evans set the tone for the American documentary movement of the 1930s and for street photographers of the 1940s and 50s.

See the great Flashbak art prints shop here.

Posted: 23rd, June 2020 | In: The Consumer | Comment


You Can Buy A Face Mask Featuring A Picture Of Your Own Face

face mask own face

You can wear face mask that looks like your face. San Francisco-based designer Danielle Baskin has adapted the N95 respiratory masks to feature your own face.

We’re a service that prints images onto protective face masks. Whether it’s a replication of your own face or your favorite meme, we care about the details. Our masks are sure to make people around you do double-takes and have a brighter day.

Spotter: Danielle Baskin@djbaskin

Posted: 18th, June 2020 | In: The Consumer | Comment


Fight Coronavirus with a DEVO Energy Dome PPE face guard

Devo Energy Dome PPE

DEVO are helping the world fight coronavirus with their personal protective face shield, modelled on their Energy Dome. You can buy one here.

Against all odds after unfortunate experiences with some bad actors & pandemic related delays, we are now able to offer cool DEVO stuff to any spud who might want it. In addition to the masks and classic T’s we have a spiffy, clear plastic, DEVO PPS Shield that is designed to attach easily to the DEVO Energy Dome to protect you from invisible microbes and unwanted bodily fluids. Stay safe in devolved style!

Devo energy dome coronavirus

Wear one and feel cosmic energy vibrate thought your body”

It was designed according to ancient ziggurat mound proportions used in votive worship. Like the mounds, it collects energy and recirculates it. In this case, the Dome collects the Orgone energy* that escapes from the crown of the human head and pushes it back into the Medulla Oblongata for increased mental energy.

Posted: 16th, May 2020 | In: Music, The Consumer | Comment


The 20 books people are most likely to lie about having read

Word on twitter is that these are the 20 books people are most likely to lie about having read.

The 20 books people are most likely to lie about having read

A friend once worked for a record industry bigwig who used to read the pass notes and then pretend he’d read the book. He did it in the hope it’d impress women. He was an utter bellend, of course. And it was enjoyable watching him founder when he met someone who’d actually read War And Peace.

Posted: 6th, May 2020 | In: Books, The Consumer | Comment


Boris Johnson’s daughter in Prada headband storm

Laura Johnson Boris

When they invented prime ministers, they also created Prime Ministers’ children. Unlike the SADDOS (sons and daughters of stars) who can mime, pose and pout in their instagram branded knickers as they work on their celebrity status, the politicians’ kids can either join the Party or find their own way. Carol Thatcher went into Golliwogs, for her brother Mark it was Africa, and Euan Blair went into the boozer and then vomited over Leicester Square. Lara Walker-Johnson went to Oxfordshire and bought a Prada headband. We know all about her purchase because Laura wrote about for Vogue magazine in a story entitled How Time-travelling To My Teen Wardrobe Helped Me Understand Who I Am Today. It’s the kind of vapid tosh made to reassure the unconvinced that minted toff Meghan Markle’s editing of the expensive magazine that advertises expensive things was not a seismic moment in race relations.

“I’m trying my best not to buy more clothes right now, uncertain about future financial prospects and conscious it isn’t the time to splurge,” says Lara in Oxfordshire. The posh always name the county they’re visiting not the village or town. A town has windows, public transport and numbered doors. A county has sprawling mansions, bridle paths and land. “But, I must confess, I did buy two headbands,” she adds, “one black and fluffy, from Shrimps, and one pink and from Prada – that I’ve been drooling over for months.”

The critics some fast. “Lara who, according to her website, is a fashion writer,” snipes one writer, adding: “I have no idea what her future financial prospects are, but her recent accessories acquisitions make me think that she’ll be okay.” The mind boggles to think what the backstory will do to the bands’ resale value. “In a moment when economic inequality, globally, and in the U.K., has never been more conspicuous – and when so many peoples’ lives are in her father’s hands – I might have kept this confession to myself.”

Two headbands in and Boris Johnson is King Herod.

In the Daily Mirror, Lara’s purchases are given no lesser importance: “Meanwhile, more than 100 NHS and care staff have died after testing positive for COVID-19 – as keyworkers beg the government for more vital PPE to protect themselves on the frontline.”

Meanwhile is the literary split screen. There’s Lara shopping online for fancy goods and a fashion philosophy while below her the huddled masses look up beseechingly and wonder if all this coverage of to-die-for Prada headbands means Lara will never need buy one again, and if they make face masks?

Posted: 29th, April 2020 | In: Celebrities, Fashion, News, Politicians, Tabloids | Comment


The contents of a UK Government coronavirus care package

The contents of a UK Government coronavirus care package

If they think you need it, the UK government send you a care package to keep you eating in the coronavirus crisis. The contents are:

1 loaf of white sliced bread

1 bag of apples

1 bag of small oranges

1 bag of potatoes

2 cartons of long life milk

1 roll of toilet tissue

2 tins of cooked peas

1 tin of hotdogs

3 tins of tomato soup

1 can of tuna

1 packet of porridge oats

1 tin of peaches

1 pouch of teabags

1 bag dried pasta

1 tin of chopped tomatoes

1 packet of digestive biscuits

2 tins of backed beans

1 pouch of dried coffee

2 jars of pasta sauce

1 vial of shampoo

1 bar of soap

Posted: 20th, April 2020 | In: News, The Consumer | Comment


The Government Coronavirus advice vs Cards Against Humanity

coronavirus

Lots of us got the Government’s letter telling us to stay indoors for at least 12 weeks and protect the NHS. Amy Allen had updated the missive with a a few rounds of Cards Against Humanity, “a party game for horrible people”. The game simple: “Each round, one player asks a question from a black card, and everyone else answers with their funniest white card.”

Cards Against Humanity coronavirus
Cards Against Humanity coronavirus
Cards Against Humanity coronavirus
Cards Against Humanity coronavirus

Spotter: Amy Allen

Posted: 12th, April 2020 | In: Key Posts, News, The Consumer | Comment


RIP the great American artist Mort Drucker

Mort Drucker

Like many of you, I grew up reading MAD magazine and enjoying the famed getting lampooned. Mort Drucker drew much of the magazine’s best artwork. He died this week aged 91. Why did he draw? Because he had to. As he put it: “My mother told me that when the doctor was delivering me I did a caricature of him on my way out.”

Posted: 10th, April 2020 | In: News, The Consumer | Comment


It’s a Squirrel Picnic Table and Bench

Squirrel Picnic Table and Bench

Why not use your free time to paint a picture, write the great American tweet or build a Squirrel Picnic Table and Bench?

Squirrel Picnic Table and Bench
Squirrel Picnic Table and Bench

Spotter: Etsy

Posted: 7th, April 2020 | In: The Consumer | Comment