Highlights from the National Hardware Show 2012

May 9, 2012

Last Thursday marked the close of the 2012 National Hardware Show. With over 2,500 exhibitors in attendance, 100,000+ products, and over 25,000 more attendees that last year, it was a great three day event in Las Vegas. We noticed more new products than had ever been showcased in years past—focusing on making projects easier and everyday living more affordable and “green”.

::Simplifying Projects::

Scotts Snap Lawn Care System
Scotts Snap Lawn Care System seems as though it would make maintaining a lawn simple. No more large bags of fertilizer to haul around, and no more setting the spreader to different settings. This product looks simple, intuitive, and practical. They offer a variety of Snap-Pac’s, including grass seed, fertilizer, and insect or weed killers. Sounds like the perfect product for those who want a great lawn with little effort.

Scotts Snap Lawn Care System

Why didn’t we think of this? Tape-Ease is something everyone has needed at one point or another. The small, plastic fixture connects to the end of standard 1” measuring tapes to secure it to objects so that only one person is needed to measure long distances. The design grabs the work surface with a small peg or a rubber bumper. Great idea, right?!

Tape-Ease (photo from

StayDri Pet Shower
Despite the hard economic times, consumers are still spending money on their pets. This year’s show had an entire area dedicated to just pet products. One of these products, the StayDri Pet Shower, caught our eye—perhaps due to the large stuffed dog that was featured standing in the product. It is plastic tent-like enclosure on an adjustable base that keeps pets from splashing in the bath. Built-in armholes allow owners to scrub their pets, and adjustable legs allow for customizable height. A small pet version designed for cats and toy dog breeds fits on a kitchen countertop.

StayDri Pet Shower (photo from

Apollo Precision Tools
The Apollo Precision ToolsHousehold Pink Tool Kit is a fun, versatile array of tools for small household projects. Featuring a pink color scheme and a rugged carrying case, this multipurpose kit is ideal for a wide variety of general household projects. The best thing about this product is that a portion of each kit sold is donated to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation.

Apollo Pink Tool Kit

Arrow Staple and Brad Nail Gun
It never hurts to have a staple gun at hand for projects that come up. We like the T50R.E.D.™ Staple & Brad Nail Gun (from Arrow Fastener Company) because of its ergonomic rubber grip, patented easy-squeeze design, and bright red color choice.

Arrow Staple & Brad Nail Gun (photo from

::Making Living More Affordable and “Green”::

Sun Joe Cordless Lawn Mower
The Sun Joe Mow Joe is an electric lawn mower that provides an eco-friendly solution for mowing your lawn. The battery powered machine provides a quicker, cleaner, and simpler way to maintain your lawn. It offers all of the characteristics of a gas mower, but without the gas, oil, and tune-up hassles. Not only that, but we thought the sleek design and the use of colors was great as well.

Sun Joe Electric Lawn Mower

Heat Storm Infrared Heater
Heat Storm introduced the first quartz infrared wall heater at the show. It can heat up to 600 square feet and consumes only 1,000 watts while using less than two square feet of wall space. The heater plugs into any household outlet and pulls cool air from along the walls. The heater is compact, safe, and efficient.

Heat Storm Infrared Heater

iPlant Indoor Sprout Garden
The new iPlant Indoor Sprout Garden lets you grow fresh and healthy sprouts in less than a week without hardly any effort at all – just add seeds. This automatic sprout cultivator creates an optimum growing environment for sprouts and features an automatic sprinkler, a temperature-controlled heater, and shaded design.

iPlant Indoor Sprout Garden

LED Technology
LED light bulbs generate very little heat, transferring most of their energy directly into light and eliminating excessive heat buildup that can adversely affect energy costs. ViriBright and Feit Electric both featured a number of energy-efficient lighting solutions at their booths for both residential and commercial applications. LED technology is 90% more efficient than incandescent or halogen and several of the bulbs are designed to mimic the look of incandescent bulbs.

ViriBright Booth

In addition, the energy-efficient OLS Home Accent LED Multi-Color Lighting provides a fun pop of color to just about any area. The slim design makes the strips extra versatile and the remote control allows you to change the brightness and color of the lighting. This would be a great product for adding a little excitement to your lighting needs.

OLS Home Accent Multi-Color Lighting

LED technology seems to be everywhere and it won’t be long before all residential and commercial applications will adopt the use of energy-efficient LED light bulbs.

Bamboo Gardener Gloves
These bamboo gloves are made from nature’s most sustainable source. They are soft and flexible, allowing your fingers to move and grip easily. The fingers and palms are coated with a tough layer of foam nitrile which gives you better gripping power and resistance to punctures and scrapes.

Bamboo Gardener Gloves

Instapark Portable Solar Panels
Solar energy is an eco-friendly power source for our everyday use and seems to get more and more popular with each passing year. With its very affordable financial savings along with a plethora of benefits, it can be used to operate your digital cameras, cell phone, MP3 people and laptops. These panels from Instapark are designed for RVs, cabins, homes, boats, back-up and remote power use, and more.

Instapark Portable Solar Panels

EZ Leaf Stomper
The EZ Leaf Stomper, from EZ Lawn & Garden, allows you to pack more leaves into every bag! It’s a universal attachment (shaped as a foot) that goes on the end of a rake to pack more leaves and use less bags – a green product that helps you reduce waste.

EZ Leaf Stomper

::Providing Safety, Comfort, and Color::

Adams RealComfort™ Adirondack Chair
Adams Manufacturing, a leader in resin furniture and accessories, introduced their RealComfort™ Adirondack chairs. The chair is more ergonomic than traditional Adirondack chairs, incorporating patented lumbar and spine design innovations – promoting a more restful back angle. The chair also integrates flex-cushion technology™ and puts softer support beams into the seating to further enhance comfort. The chair is offered in a number of colors – including Tangerine Tango, 2012’s Color of the Year.

Adams Manufacturing RealComfort™ Adirondack Chairs

Relief Pod: Live Ready
With so many natural disasters occurring today, the Relief Pod is something everyone can use. The compact, organized emergency kit unfolds to reveal the contents in color-coded sections and clear individual pockets so you can quickly access everything you need to survive in an emergency situation.

Relief Pod

Dyson-Inspired Handheld Fans
We’ve all seen Dyson’s Air Multiplier with no visible blades, and couldn’t help but think of it when we saw this handheld fan at the show. The fans are safe and easy to clean, with no fast-spinning blades to worry about. It shows how Dyson’s technology has expanded into lower-end models.

Bladeless Handheld Fans

FlexBox Pop-up Tub
This space saving utility tub from Centurion can store almost anywhere with its collapsible body. We liked the vibrant yellow added to the design not only because it adds a pop of color, but also because the material prevents you from cutting yourself around the edges.

FlexBox Pop-up Tub

RCA USB Wall Plate Chargers
We first saw these RCA USB chargers at the CES Show in January. We really like the Night-Glow charger with the light blue ring that illuminates in the dark. A second amber-colored ring of light shows you that your phone is charging and shuts off when it is fully charged. We could definitely use one of these!

RCA USB Chargers

The show was filled with bright shades of blue, purple, green, orange, and red. The gardening tools by Bond Manufacturing, under the brand name Bloom, were some of our favorite colors.

Bloom Garden Tools

In addition, one of the biggest trends over the past year in the U.S has been buying locally-sourced products or products that have been made in the USA. This year, the show had a dedicated area for “Made in the U.S.A.” products that featured over 50 companies (and growing).

Entire area dedicated to "Made in the USA" products

Without a doubt, this year’s show offered more for everyone, whether they were looking for the most innovative products, educational seminars, or networking opportunities. We always look forward to the National Hardware Show to see how the industry has changed in the past year, where it is headed, and how we can help make an impact as a strategic design firm.

We’ll leave you with this photo of a very colorful man we saw at the show. His business card reads “Rainbow Man”!

If you’d like to download a PDF of the highlights, click the link below.


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