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Diamond-encrusted bathtub, flying car at luxury lifestyle exhibition

You don’t have to be a millionaire to enjoy Big Boys Toys, the innovation and luxury lifestyle exhibition that kicked off Friday at the World Market Center’s new conference center.

The event, in its second year in Las Vegas, showcases innovative products, gadgets and collectibles that maybe only a millionaire could afford to buy, but that doesn’t make them any less fun to see up close.

“It’s really the only show in Las Vegas where it doesn’t matter whether you’re male or female, young or old or any person of color,” said Biju Jayaraaj, CEO of the show that originated in Dubai.

“And you don’t have to be rich to get in,” he said. “Everyone can come here and be inspired.”

The show continues Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and is open to the public with a $10 admission. Parking in the World Market Center parking garage is free, and the garage is connected to the entrance through a corridor.

On the exhibition floor are a Swarovski crystal-encrusted bathtub, collectible classic cars, e-bikes, gemstone art pieces — and a flying car.

Stephen Cook, a South Jordan, Utah-based entrepreneur, said he planned to drive his Volante flying vehicle on the Strip on Friday night.

Cook said the Volante aircraft is the only street-legal ATV-experimental aircraft registered and licensed by the Utah Department of Transportation to drive on highways and streets and by the Federal Aviation Administration to fly as an experimental aircraft.

He said one of his goals in exhibiting the flying car is to interest investors in backing his bid to perfect the vehicle and ultimately build a manufacturing plant to mass-produce them.

“Anybody who likes to go fast and get away from traffic is going to want to have one of these,” Cook said at his exhibit space.

He figures that once the vehicle is mass-produced it would cost $180,000. Owners also would have to get a pilot’s license to fly it.

The two-passenger vehicle has retractable wings for street driving, a 36-gallon fuel tank and a range of 600 miles.

He acquired the Volante from its designer and builder, retired Marine Col. K.P. Rice, who first flew the vehicle in 2003.

Cook is convinced that an automotive company would want to back him, or he could appear on the TV show “Shark Tank,” which brings entrepreneurs before a panel of potential investors. He figures that if nothing else, a “Shark Tank” appearance would provide him with additional public exposure.

“I love being in the spotlight,” he said. “Whenever I’m driving it, I always see people taking videos. That’s what I’m expecting on the Strip, more exposure.”

While Jayaraaj says flying cars, jewelry and high-horsepower all-terrain vehicles steal the show, the coolest thing he ever saw at a Big Boys Toys exhibit was a stress-reduction game. He said people would sit around a circle at a table, each wearing a headband that would calculate stress levels. A floating globe would travel within the group pushing away from those who have less stress and closer to those who are stressed. The idea is to stay as calm as possible when playing to keep the globe away.

Jayaraaj plans to have the show return annually in Las Vegas during the first couple of weeks in November, and he’s planning to develop a global competition for the most innovative products available to exhibit for free at future shows.

Contact Richard N. Velotta at rvelotta@reviewjournal.com or 702-477-3893. Follow @RickVelotta on Twitter.

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