9 extravagant holiday gifts

November 20, 2009 – Each year, Neiman Marcus unveils a handful of over-the-top fantasy holiday gifts. Take a quick spin through the luxury retailer’s 2009 Christmas Book and you just might forget about scaling back this year.

 Cupcake Car

Price: $25,000

This cheery confection is like a delicious-looking go-kart. Coast down the road in style at a top speed of 7 m.p.h. in a Cupcake Car that comes in different-colored “flavors,” as well as your choice of decorations like sprinkles and icing. And yes, it comes with a matching hat.

 

ICON A5 Sports Aircraft and Pilot Training for Two

Price: $250,000

Forget the his and hers towel set. Instead, how about a luxury aircraft built for two? The Icon A5, designed by the same team who created the X-Prize winning SpaceShipOne, is made of lightweight carbon fiber and features several James Bond-like touches including “spy-movie wings” that fold up, as well as the ability to touch down on land or water. But even 007 needed a license to kill — so included is a FAA-certified Sport Pilot License training for two.

Algonquin Round Table Experience

Price: $200,000

New York City’s Algonquin Hotel is an historic landmark with a long tradition of hosting the brightest minds in literature and the arts. For a cool $200,000, you and a guest can rub elbows with the likes of Malcolm Gladwell, Nora Ephron and John Lithgow at an exclusive dinner party. Neiman Marcus will donate the proceeds to First Book, a charity that distributes reading material to children in need.

 

Sustainable Design Art Chandelier

Price: $12,000

“Green design” may conjure images of solar panels and sustainable skyscrapers. But British artist Michelle Brand found her inspiration at the bottom of a plastic soda bottle. Brand’s artistic eye saw the shape of a flower at the base, so she collected 366 bottles from a landfill to create the Cascade Lancashire Chandelier. The resulting fixture is five feet of incandescence.

World’s Fastest Electric Motorcycle

Price: $73,000

The Mission One is the fastest electric sport bike on the planet, which debuted at this year’s TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design) Conference to rave reviews. This motorcycle reaches 150 m.p.h. with 100 foot-pounds of instantaneous torque. And forget that tailpipe squeal and exhaust — the Mission One runs on a lithium ion battery pack with a 150-mile range, for zero carbon emissions.

 

Hall Artisan Wine and Art Experience

Price: $20,000 and $3,200

Only true lovers of the finer things need apply. For $25,000, you and a guest can learn artisan winemaking and even create your own personal bottle of vino in a private blending session at the Rutherford Estates winery. Enjoy a gourmet dinner then spend the night at nearby Auberge Resorts Calistoga Ranch. On a tight budget? Snap up an exclusive collection of Cabernet Sauvignons not available to the general public for $3,200.

 

The 2010 Jaguar XJL Supercharged Neiman Marcus

Price: $105,000

Yes, the famed luxury automaker created a car just for this catalog — and only 50 of this limited-edition Jaguar XJ flagship line will be built. This new third-generation, 5-liter V-8 features showy details like a media hub, a glass roof and illuminated tread plates, and it growls with 470 horsepower. Also included is a five-piece set of matching navy blue Jaguar luggage.

 

Maker’s Mark Master Distiller Experience

Price: $7,500

Take a VIP whiskey-making tour of Maker’s Mark’s classic distillery in Louisville to see how “perfection in amber” is made. Master Distiller Kevin Smith will guide you and a friend through the process step by step. End result: Two bottles of the stuff will be etched with your likeness and dipped in gold wax. Enjoy the amber goodness over a gourmet dinner hosted by Bill Samuels Jr., the top brass at Maker’s Mark.

 

Insect Lab Specimen Artwork

Price: $8,500

Maine artist Mike Libby transforms insects in golden works of art in his Insect Lab. After collecting and posing specimens from around the globe, Libby adds antique pocket-watch parts like gears and springs to create a unique vignette. For this limited-edition series of nine, he chose to house the African Flower Beetle under glass.

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