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$1.44M submarine in Neiman Christmas Book

IRVING, Texas, Oct. 3 (UPI) -- A $1.44 million submarine and a $75,000 robot are among the "fantasy gifts" highlighting luxury U.S. retailer Neiman Marcus's Christmas catalog.

The Christmas Book, which gets much free publicity for offering unusual and extravagant gifts not otherwise sold in its stores, also offers a private holiday concert for 500 people, performed in your hometown by Russia's world-famous Kirov Orchestra and hosted by U.S. TV personality Regis Philbin, the 160-page catalog shows.

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Other gifts include a $2.3 million, 10-acre home site framed by Montana's Paradise Valley mountains, a $35,000 100-foot-long dragon topiary whipped up on your property with 15 indigenous plants and a $73,000 cell phone with 7.2 carats of white and pink diamonds set in 18-karat rose gold.

Early chain President Stanley Marcus introduced The Christmas Book's tradition of extravagant and unusual gifts in the 1955, when U.S. journalist Edward R. Murrow asked him if the store offered anything unusual that might interest his radio listeners.

Marcus invented on the spot an offering of a live Black Angus bull accompanied by a sterling silver barbecue cart, subsequently altering the catalog to include his new idea, priced at $1,925.

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This year's 160-page book, mailed to 1.8 million customers, marks Neiman Marcus's 100 anniversary.

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