The Bathroom Scale: Amazon.com Holiday Tool Guide 2005

The Catalog: Amazon.com’s Holiday Tool Guide 2005. Yes, the online retail giant has a paper catalog.

The Target: People who have bought tools online from Amazon before, or the current resident.

The Models: Although there are exceptions that may also prove out our subconcious homosexuality, like the tight pair of jeans wielding the Black & Decker 18-Volt Cordless Broom, this catalog is heavy with musky, khaki-wearing white men. There is a black family on page 22, making up two of the four pictures in the Rubbermaid section. We could not tie that into a Jeffersons joke, which is probably for the best.

Bathroom Reading Rating: The Multi Tools page shows a strength that is missing from the rest of the catalog, diddling our fundamental male urge to purchase swords by the dozen. Other sections are bland, with product images shot in a white box with little context to show their use. The text overweighs the images. It’s a lot like Amazon.com, actually.

Its blasé design compounds its fundamental shortcoming: reading this in the bathroom makes it nearly impossible to actually order anything. In fact, seeing this catalog did little more than reminds us that, “Oh yeah, Amazon sells tools.” Do we really need a whole catalog when just a flyer would suffice?

As it says right on the busy, uninspired front cover: “See website for details.”

One Dremel Cordless Pet Nail Grooming Kits out of five. As fun as printing email.