Tuesday, September 2, 2008


I love infomercials. I love the bad acting, the over-enthusiastic clapping, the professionals who SWEAR this is JUST LIKE the appliance they use, the dramatic awe…I could watch them for hours. I think I’ve seen them all, so when I caught a new one for a product I hadn’t seen before – Tobi – I was thrilled.

But what a let down.

Basically, Tobi is a clothing steamer and we are supposed to believe that it is the same quality that the clothing retailers and people in the fashion industry use right before they send their clothes down the runway. It’s even portable! Just flip a switch and you can carry that gallon of water around by a strap on your shoulder!! (If you think your purse is heavy, try loading it up with a gallon of water and carting that around the house).

First is the female host, who of course does not believe that there is ANYTHING out there that can save her from the drudgery of ironing. Then comes the footage of women ironing and they are all disheveled like they were in a cat fight while the iron was heating up. Then out bounds the Tobi guy (and bounds is really the only way to describe his entrance) who shows her that with ONE EASY PASS wrinkles just FALL OUT.

He repeated ONE EASY PASS and FALL OUT about 10 times each in the first two minutes before he got the female host to repeat it after him (with the appropriate amount of awe in her voice) and then they proceeded to Tobi all kinds of fabrics and even Tobi’d a square of a plastic garbage bag to show how gentle Tobi is. Why anyone would want to iron their garbage bags is beyond me, but I guess really rich people have to keep their household staff busy somehow.

Then came another benefit – it removes odors! Less dry-cleaning! And I couldn’t help but wonder how much they had to pay the little old lady in the pink lipstick to say “I sniffed it and I really believe I could wear my sweater more than once.” Because while her lips said yes-yes her eyes said NO-NO. It was during this section that I really got distracted because they pulled out a suit jacket that looked like it had been crumpled up in the corner of a frat boy’s room for about a semester and while they Tobi’d it back to life I couldn’t help but wonder if frat boys who have suddenly realized that they have a job interview in an hour and finally find their one suit jacket under a pile of dirty magazines and beer cans in a corner are really Tobi’s target audience. Tobi seems more like a gadget for someone who plans ahead.

Of course I was enticed but I have learned (the hard way) that before I whip out my credit card and start dialing and ordering I should go online and do some checking. So I typed in “Tobi reviews” and about 12 of the 15 I read mentioned BURNS. There were several bits of advice about how to avoid the burns that involved oven mitts or those giant gloves that people who train eagles wear, but unless they are included WITH my Tobi I don’t think I’ll be ordering one soon.


Rob P said...

Hi there,

I came across your blog and thought it was very informative. While you are correct that there are many bad reviews, I've also seen many positive ones. There are some great benefits to steam cleaning, regardless if you use a Tobi or not. www.tobisteamerreviews.com has more info that can help.


Stacey said...
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