It's Rudolph the red-nosed robot

Neiman Marcus, the Chicago store patronised by the very rich, has excelled itself in this year's Christmas gift catalogue - with his 'n' hers robots, a snip at $400,000 (£241,000). The 6ft automatons will answer the door, greet visitors and carry purchases indoors.

Neiman's catalogue is renowned as much for its excitable prose as for its crazy prices. A $10,000 "Mermaid Suit", for instance, is described as a "custom-designed prosthetic suit [that] fits over the hips and envelops the legs, creating an extremely realistic blend of female and fish".

Then there is the $800,000 Laser-Inscribed Diamond Ring, the $50,000 Monogrammed Multicore Five-Piece Luggage Set and the $27,000 Luxury Ice Fishing House "constructed on steel skids for easy transportation" in which family and friends "can drop lines into six fishing holes in the floor and fish in cozy comfort".

There's one other thing you should know about these products: every year people with big pockets and small brains actually buy them.

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