This holiday season, even as consumers say they're pulling back on spending, experts like Tod Marks, senior editor at Consumer Reports magazine, expect that purchases of unusual products will stay strong.
"A lot of people laugh at them but a lot more consumers actually pay attention to these things," he said. "There's some either underlying curiosity or promise or implied performance that underlies these things … it's putting a piece of bait on a hook and dangling it in front of some very hungry consumers."
For the most part, strange products come at relatively low price points and that too, of course, is appealing to shoppers, Marks said.
"At best, these products maybe do something useful," he said. "At worst, you're not out a lot of money and you get something to talk about."
ABCNews.com took a look at some unusual merchandise available in the last few years. Are these products more than just conversation pieces? Decide for yourself.
"Talk about sexy. You'll have to hold the ladies back after they get a glimpse of these tighty-whities."
So goes the infomercial for Handerpants, the "underpants for your hands."
The sales pitch for the $11.95 product -- which looks like fingerless gloves made in the same design of traditional men's briefs -- may be tongue-in-cheek, but the Handerpants Web site and infomercial also list specific uses for the product, including as a liner for gloves that might prevent chafing.
Handerpants manufacturer Archie McPhee & Co. said thousands of Handerpants have been sold since the product debuted in August.
A stuffed teddy bear that attaches to seat belts, the Tiddy Bear may have a snicker-worthy name, but its makers say it tackles a real problem: the discomfort associated with the pressure a seat belt strap puts on a person's shoulder and neck. One of the product's creators is a breast cancer survivor.
But the Tiddy Bear's makers are well aware of the product's humor value.
"Obviously you get some people that laugh," said spokesman Scott Singer. "It certainly gets a lot of people's attention."
An infomercial for the $14.95 product -- which has received more than 1.5 million views on YouTube.com and inspired a bit on the talk show "Ellen" -- shows several women and one man strapping the bear onto their seatbelts and centering it on their chests.
"That teddy is a real ladies man," one YouTube commentor wrote.
Need to carry your dog places but want to keep your hands free for running errands? The makers of the Pup to Go dog carriers say they've got the solution for you: a dog carrier that straps onto a person's chest and abdomen.
Pup to Go co-founder Meena Mansharamani says that using the Pup to Go carrier, which sells for $125, should not be a replacement for walking. Rather, it allows dog owners to take their dogs to places where it might be difficult to walk them, such as a crowded street fair.