As the orders poured in, Richard was already one step ahead, sourcing similarly unique and useful products for his first mail-order catalog. He described his mission in life as “Picking out these fun toys for grown ups”. The “toys” included the first telephone answering machine and the first hand-held micro-computer. Others, like the Ionic Breeze and Razor scooter (the most popular gift of 2000) anticipated emerging consumer trends. In 1991 the company set up Sharper Image Design to develop and patent its own products.
Throughout, Richard was the face of The Sharper Image appearing in infomercials and on every well-known talk show from Good Morning America to David Letterman. After twenty nine years, Richard Thalheimer left The Sharper Image in 2007. The company continues only online as Sharper Image under new ownership. Today, Richard connects with the inner child in all of us through his online business RichardSolo. He flies his beloved Cessna aircraft and spends precious time with his family. His legacy is substantial and pervasive. Under Richard’s leadership, The Sharper Image revolutionized the way we create, think, live and play and brought new excitement, quality and innovation to the consumer experience. As his former CSO describes it, “He touched everyone in the country.”