Posted by Nicci | Posted in Exercise Equipment, Way Back Wednesday | Posted on 09-06-2010
This post begins our Way Back Wednesday series, in which we look back at former seen on TV products and infomercials—the good, the bad, the ugly . . . and the downright strange. From Thighmaster to FlowBee, we’ll look at the products that made us wonder, “What were they thinking?” and we’ll note how far we’ve come. We’ll wax nostalgic over the commercials that made us laugh and the personalities who brought them into our homes.
We begin our journey down memory lane with one of the iconic fitness products of seen on TV marketing: the Thighmaster. Plugged in the early 90’s by Three’s Company actress Suzanne Somers, the Thighmaster promised, “We may not have been born with great legs, but now we can look like we were.”
See the 1991 Thighmaster commercial here:
As one watches the commercial, one can’t help but wonder just how shapely surgeon Herbert L. Gould’s thighs must be—after all, he recommends it, and he uses it.
The Thighmaster boasted that it could be used not only for sleek thighs, but also for working the chest and arms. While the commercial shows the limited practical use of the Thighmaster by current standards, we can look at some of today’s more popular and effective fitness products and see their roots in the Thighmaster. The UltraFlex, Iso7x, and FlexShaper all take the Thighmaster’s good qualities and expand on them. Like the Thighmaster, they are lightweight, portable, and easy to use. They use flexible resistance as a way to tone muscles and burn fat and calories. However, the UltraFlex, Iso7x, and FlexShaper reflect the evolution of the Thighmaster in their increased range of motion, two-way push/pull resistance, and greater number of available exercises per product.
While the Thighmaster may “feel the burn” of becoming obsolete, Suzanne Somers can take pride in launching a product that gave birth to some of the most effective exercise equipment available today.