Since our days on the playground, we've all loved the novelty of having things that no one else has. As adults, possessing a one-of-a-kind product still sets us apart from the crowd and can be an ostentatious display of wealth and status. We typically associate yachts, sports cars or even islands with frivolous indulgences of the rich and powerful, but there are some lesser known and equally expensive 'toys' that even the incredibly rich might not know about. Getting your hands on one such toy could really get you noticed.
The following ten are the most elite of the elite toys. They're the sort of thing that you wouldn’t even dream of owning past the halcyon ages of 7 or 8 years old, until you see one and realise your life is incomplete without it. Most of the items here are produced by the innovation retailer Hammacher Schlemmer, who market some of the most ingenious, intuitive modern gadgets on the planet - and some of the most expensive. These are 10 of the most incredible, most expensive toys for adults.
10 The Killer Whale Submarine - $100,000
This awesome toy is a two-person watercraft that replicates an Orca in both appearance and features. The pilot and passenger are protected by a 1/2”-thick acrylic canopy, allowing for submersion in a water-tight cockpit. The submarine is controlled like an aircraft with two levers used to negotiate the submerging, hydroplaning, and jumping. That’s right, with a pull-back on the control lever this baby can jump up to 16 feet out of the water!
It can hydroplane up to 50 mph over the water’s surface, and can cruise up to 25 mph under water. The integrated snorkel ensures air supply to the engine up to a depth of 5’. The dashboard includes all of the regular parameters, including a speedometer, tachometer, engine and air pressure gauges, and an LCD video display.
9 Porsche 917 Le Mans Raceway - $125,000
This full-sized Porsche 917 replica hides a 1:32-scale wooden slot car track underneath the frame of the body. The car track is a reproduction of the world’s oldest active sports raceway, the iconic Le Mans track in France. The car is painted in the same color scheme as the #20 race car from the classic 1971 movie starring Steve McQueen, and it sports genuine race-worn GT tires on aluminum three-piece rims, with working headlights and taillights.
The molded cowling opens up like a clamshell to reveal the track within. The raceway is built with realistic and intricately detailed landscaping, including illuminated signs, streetlights, and famous landmarks. Dual-analog controllers provide control for the 12 limited-edition slot cars, including all of the dominant racing models from 1970-71. A similar Camaro Z28 Watkins Glen Raceway is also available from Hammacher Schlemmer for $85,000.
8 'Watercar', The World’s Fastest Amphibious Car - $135,000
This sweet car is perfect for anyone looking for a twist on traditional boating or towing. The car is powered by a 300-hp Honda engine, and operates like a regular four-speed vehicle on land, reaching up to 80 mph on the road. When it’s time to hit the water, the built-in hydraulic wheel retraction system raises the wheels above the bottom of the hull and redirects the engine’s power to a Panther pump jet, capable of hitting 44 mph over water.
The steering wheel controls the vectored thrust of the pump jet for easy maneuvering over water, and it’s filled with 32’-cubic of US Coast Guard-approved closed-cell foam for maximum buoyancy. The resilient, fiberglass hull and body absorbs bumps, and its 26-gallon gas tank provides a 160-mile range.
7 The Flying Hovercraft - $190,000
This epic hovercraft glides over land and water, but it also soars in the air up to 70 mph. The 130-hp twin-cylinder, liquid-cooled gas engine is turbocharged and fuel-injected, helping to drive the 60” wood and carbon thrust propeller into the air. A 1,100-rpm, 34” lift fan inflates the vinyl-coated nylon skirt to help this beast hover above the ground.
The Flying Hovercraft can hit 30% inclines over mud, sand, swamp, grass, and snow, and its wings and horizontal elevator allows pilots to hop over water- or land-based obstacles up to 20 feet. The hovercraft is run on three vertical rudders based on throttle controls, and a variable drive system allows for the lift fan to make the thing hover.
6 120 MPH Electric Car - $200,000
This little box-car might not be the safest thing on the road, but it’s fast. The electric car can accelerate from 0 to 60 in four seconds, and it reaches a top speed of 120 mph in one gear, without any shifting tanks, thanks to its two electric motors. The same kind of motors (albeit smaller) are found in diesel-electric locomotives, and they combine over 1,000 lb foot of torque.
The ‘120 MPH Electric Car’ can fit in a 6’ half-lane with more clearance than a semi-truck in a full 12’ freeway lane, which means it can negotiate stop-and-go traffic. You don’t need to worry about parallel parking, either, because it can park perpendicular to a curb. The driver and passenger sit tandem in front to back seats with inertia reels, similar to pilot seat belts, and the stainless steel chassis has a chrome moly roll cage that is Sports Car Club of America standard.
5 Authentic 1966 Batmobile - $200,000
This ridiculously cool car takes a year to make because of the exacting accuracy needed in matching it to the original Batmobile. The roadworthy replica featured in the 1960s TV show boasts a Lincoln chassis with 430 hp, a 383 Blueprint Crate engine, and a Monster TH350 automatic transmission. A rear-facing propane tank creates the same afterburner effect as the original car, although it doesn’t have the atomic batteries or turbines for speed. There’s a built-in Batphone in the cockpit, as well as switch-operated electric actuators to open the trunk and hood. Other features include a Batbeam that raises from a hood-mounted antenna, empty rear parachute packs, and a detect-a-scope screen.
4 The Helicycle - $395,000
This two-seat vehicle converts from a three-wheeled motorcycle to a gyrocopter in just 10 minutes. At 230-hp, and with a four-cylinder engine, this craft can reach a maximum of 112 mph in the air or on the land. Yes, that’s right, you can cruise through the air at over 100 mph in this beast. On street level, the vehicle goes from 0-60 mph in under eight seconds with the agility of a motorcycle. In the air, the gyrocopter’s non-powered overhead rotor spins from the forward motion of the vehicle to provide lift. It was designed to cruise at low altitudes (below 4,000 feet), but it only requires a 540’ runway for takeoffs. The 27-gallon tank provides a 220-mile flight range, and 750 miles on the road.
3 Restored Patrol Torpedo Boat - $1,000,000
The PT-728 is a 67 year-old patrol boat restored from World War II. The keel was laid in 1945, and she is one of 12 remaining PT boats in the world. Although the weapons are deactivated, the boat contains a single .50-caliber and two twin .50-caliber Browning machine gun stations, an aft 20mm Oerlikon cannon, four tubes that housed Mark VIII torpedos, and two depth charge launchers. Other than being one of the most significant war memorabilias, the triple-ply mahogany hull and stern gives this boat a speed of up to 42 knots (almost 50 mph).
The speed that this boat could run prompted Nelson Rockefeller to convert one of the boats into a high-speed yacht in order to commute between Albany and New York. The modern engines provide 1,100 horsepower, modern electronics, radar, and two turbo-charged diesel engines.
2 Kuratas Wearable Robot - $1,300,000
No really. This looks like a dodgy Michael Bay concept, but the wearable robot really does let big kids act like real life Transformers - if they can pay the Hollywood price tag. This incredible machine is the invention of Japan-based Suidobashi Heavy Industry. The 13 feet high robot, which users can board and control in an armoured cockpit, weighs 4,5000 kg and can move at around 10 km/h. It was unveiled in 2012 to much hype, but with the prohibitive price tag it hasn't seen much uptake on the consumer market. UK designer Matt Denton introduced an almost equivalent wearable robot, the Mantis (a hexapod), in 2013 but it's currently only a prototype available for rent.
1 Five Person Exploration Submarine - $2,700,000
This five-person submersible can descend to depths of up to 656’, meaning it's potentially able to access wrecks, reefs, and deep underwater species. All of the explorers are ensconced in 3.25”-thick acrylic pressure sphere that allows for underwater conversation (unlike Scuba gear). Its two horizontal thrusters provide aft, fore, and directional control, as well as a max submersed speed of almost 3 mph (2.5 knots). The two lithium battery banks provide up to eight hours of continuous undersea exploration, and the broad freeboard ensures awesome surface stability. Basically, if you're rich and have childlike fantasies of finding lost treasure, this is the toy you want for the job. There’s also a two-person version available for the bargain price of $2,000,000 from Hammacher Schlemmer.