Once upon a time, the bonkers Nieman Marcus Christmas Book sold an Arch Motorcycle and an opportunity to hang out with Keanu Reeves
For the past 90 or so years, Nieman Marcus has released a 200-page Christmas catalog aimed at our wealthier, more aspirational, perhaps more delusional countrymen. Packed to the gunwales with luxury goods of every stripe, in the past, the catalog has offered luxury cars, eye-wateringly expensive, custom-made suits of armor, all-inclusive trips abroad, a DIY Boeing bizjet, even a goldang Submarine. They say a fool and his money are soon parted, and the NM Christmas Book seems like a tool exactly calibrated to do just that.
Now, not everything in the catalog is mummy sarcophagi and $20,000, his-and-hers shar-pei puppies. In fact, a few years ago the catalog offered a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that even I thought was pretty cool. In 2015, the Nieman Marcus Christmas Book offered three special edition Arch KRGT-W bikes for $150,000 a pop. Now, that's big money even for an Arch, which isn't cheap. That price tag didn't cover just a bike, however. What you got for your money was an entire "Arch Motorcycle Ride and Experience".
Here's how the catalog listing described it:
"What happens when a movie star with a passion for motorcycles walks into the shop of an acclaimed custom bike builder? They create the bike of their dreams (and yours). Keanu Reeves and Gard Hollinger make up Arch Motorcycle Company, and the KRGT-1—hailed by one reviewer as "the Zen of motorcycle design"—is their first production bike. Framed of steel and aircraft-grade billet aluminum with carbon-fiber fenders and front cowling, it has a 124-cubic-inch V-twin engine that produces 121 horsepower and matching 120 pound-feet of torque. Definitely born to be ridden, this limited edition comes with custom race-inspired trim, performance suspension, and an exclusive two-day ride experience for you and a guest along the California coast with Reeves and Hollinger."
Sounds pretty fun, right? The package included the bike, an all-expenses-paid trip to hang out with the coolest dude in Hollywood, fancy dinners, the whole bit. Sadly, it seems you had to supply your own riding gear.
Nieman Marcus sold all three packages that year, a much better sales record than, say, the bizjet or the sub. Still, that's a pretty crazy thing to buy out of a catalog. What's the craziest thing you've ever bought out of a catalog, either an actual paper one like the NMCB or a 03:00 drunk-buy on Amazon. Let us know.