Making Instant Pictures
|Only the Best Earn the
PET Seal of Approval from
The 15 Minutes Products
Evaluation Team (PET)
URING the 70s when I covered
the superstars of film and stage with my Nikon, I also
captured celebrities with my Polaroid, which they were happy
to sign (see Polaroid Photo Gallery). Polaroid may be
history, but not making instant pictures, thankfully.
Fujifilm has stepped into the breach with its
FUJIFILM INSTAX 210
instant film camera.
There definitely is a market for
instant picturesósummer camp, medical facilities, lawyers,
real estate, police activity, party planners as well as
consumer enjoyment like you and me.
This is not a digital camera; itís
a film camera, with an easy grip body. The picture pops up
from the top of the camera and starts processing right
before your eyes. For a new generation of shutterbugs, itís
The camera is neither sleek nor
stylish, but itís the only game in town for its size. It
takes four AA batteries, which are included in the package.
There is also a removable close-up lens adaptor which can be
used for self-portraits.
Functional buttons are on the left
side. Press a button and you can shoot portraits from 0.9-3
meters. Press again and you youíre focused from 3 meters to
infinity, for shooting crowds or landscapes.
Amazon lists the camera at $65.65
and a two-pack film (20 pictures) at $17.74.
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Awesome Phone System
OR cellphone users who suffer
from spotty reception or dropped calls at home, VTech
Communications has a remedy. Its new
PHONE AND ANSWERING SYSTEM allows you to make and
receive calls cellular calls with the more reliable range of
a landline system.
It comes with three handsets, but
needs only one jack for the base. Place the other two
handsets elsewhere in the home or office. An enhanced
feature is the "push-to-talk capability so you can make
announcements or have one-on-one conversations with others
in the house without shouting. Cool!
VTech phones also offer Voice
Announce Caller ID. That means the handset speakerphone
broadcasts the name or number of the caller so you can
screen the call without running to look at the phone
Senior vice president Matt Ramage
says, "Our goal is to provide products that answer the
lifestyle needs of the busy family of five or the
sophisticated on-the-go urban dwellers." Nice!
The VTech DS6421-3 phone system
MSRP is $99.95. See more at
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Essential Gear When You Leave Home
EFORE leaving on your trip,
whether in the country or abroad, do yourself a favor and
call Magellanís at 1-800-962-4943 for the latest gear
catalog to make your sojourn seamless and comfortable. Or
for immediate orders. Hereís a sampling of whatís available.
LOGIX iPAD PORTFOLIO Hereís a versatile carrying case with a carbon fiber
exterior finish for your iPad. With your device securely
encased, you have easy access to headphone jack and dock
connector port. You can power up without taking it out of
the case. Use the flap for a vertical or horizontal stand.
There are five slots and one large pocket to hold your cards
and other paperwork. Itís quite a stylish portfolio for
POLAR BROOK This Privo
brand of a comfortable walking shoe will keep your feet
fresh and comfy even at the end of a full day of touring. (I
assume youíll be riding as well as walking.) Its Soleassage
footbed will keep your feet in fine shape. With no laces or
buckles youíll swim right through airport security gates.
But a Velcro strap will give you a customized fit. Itís made
of leather and mesh, and comes in Black, Gray or Stone. $75.
CAF… COAT Magellanís
edition of a lightweight, water resistant coat was made for
travel. There are two button-flap front pockets. Carry your
valuables inside in two zippered pockets and phone
compartment. Fully lined with zip-off hood and drawcord
"clothing for the adventurous spirit includes womenís
underwear like this Camisole, made of lightweight
nylon/spandex trimmed with lace. Available in Light Grape,
Light Turquoise, Nude or Black. $38.
BRIEF Also an ExOfficio
special, this essential item comes in the same colors as the
Camisole, so no need to repeat. Be assured itís fast drying
and moisture wicking and anti-microbial. Only $20.
ON DECK SUN PROTECTION The versatile collar can give you full sun protection or
open stylishly. The back of the collar can roll up for full
neck protection, while the full sleeves shield your arms
from the rays. Feels soft and silky. Available in White,
Orchid or Black. $54.
FLAT FRONT PANTS A
Magellanís design, this flat front microfiber pant boasts
invisible a self-tailoring waistband. Comes with five
pockets, including a hidden zippered pocket to stash your
cash. Wrinkle-resistant microfiber (Poly/viscose/Lycra) at
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Give Your iPad A Rest
ARGUS LAP LOUNGE for iPad 2 Getting tired of holding up your iPad 2 in one hand?
How about working on it hands free. Targus offers a bean
bag-filled cushion that conforms to your lap, or any
surface, so you can work sitting up or lying down. Show the
boss a whole new meaning of lying down on the job.
There is built-in amplification,
redirecting the sound toward you for enhanced listening. A
zippered storage pouch in the stand allows for putting away
essential accessories such as headphones, cleaning cloths,
power adaptors or a stylus. The pouch also stores away a
This is especially convenient on
the go, whether in a car, train or plane. Makes working on
your iPad extremely comfortable. Available for $49.99 at
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Hang Up Your iPad
OGELíS ALL-IN-ONE PACK
for iPad 2
allows you to mount your tablet almost anywhere you want.
Named RingO, this is a wonderful universal tablet mounting
system designed and engineered with precision in the
Netherlands. Itís already a winner in Europe.
Use Ringo in the kitchen while
youíre cooking. How about in the back of the car to enjoy
movies, on the wall to show presentations, or on the coffee
table to show off your photos.
The aluminum Ringo fits snugly
onto the tablet mount. The device frees you to do other
things with your hands while watching the screen.
Priced at $119.99, or $81.92 at
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Want To Hear Better?
say youíre not deaf, but youíre at a lecture, business
meeting, theater or watching TV and you still have
difficulty hearing. Help is here. Songbird Clear is a
personal sound amplifier based on Texas Instruments
technology. It takes one battery (two are included) to make
soft sounds better and clearer, and also keep loud sounds
from getting distorted. If youíre joining the ranks of the
Baby Boomers, youíre probably a candidate for this
high-quality enhancement device. In differentiating the new
Songbird from conventional hearing aids, Songbird Hearing
Inc. notes that the Food and Drug Administration defines a
PSAD (personal sound enhancement device) differently than a
hearing aid. PSADs differ from hearing aids in that hearing
aids are specifically designed to compensate for hearing
loss where PSADs are designed to enhance the audio
for $119.99 at select CVS and Walgreens or CVS website at
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Brain Storming Puzzles
company based in Amsterdam where owner Guido Lap continues
to invent mentally stimulating toys for children of all
ages. Among his cutting-edge brainteasers are the following
three thought provoking puzzles.
this brainteaser and challenge your brain cells. The object
of this plastic sphere is to rearrange the rubber tips to
form a solid color on each side. Comes in two versions,
Advanced, with more sides and colored tips, for those of you
with brains, and Original, for the rest of us. Sounds easy?
Knot! See it in action at
MIRRORKAL ESCHER This
item combines five celebrated prints by Dutch artist M.C.
Escher. First you remove all blocks from the picture frame.
Use your strategic skills to put them back in the frame to
create one of his drawings. You can continue playing to
create all five Escher drawings. Itís not easy but itís a
lot of fun to recreate a piece of art. Itís not so simple as
the mirrors will try to fool you.
ICOSOKU Flex your math
muscles with this baby. The idea, if you accept the
challenge, is to position the 20 dotted tiles so all the
dots around each number button adds up to the number on the
yellow button. Itís quite maddening, but lots of funóyou can
count on it.
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Best Of Toy Fair
ILLIONZ SAVINGS GOAL ATM BANK
Have your child save real currency like the adults do, with
their personal ATM. First create your own digital access
code (so no one else can access your bank). Insert the ATM
card and the screen lights up. You press a button and the
backlit digital display screen prompts you to deposit a bill
or coins. Press another button and it shows how much money
is inside. You can press another button and the cash drawer
opens so you can make a withdrawal. Just donít lose your ATM
card or youíll never be able to open the vaultóexcept with a
hammer. Three AA batteries included. Great for children 5
and up to start saving for their college fund. Summit
This female professor is the smartest person in the
world, judging by the 38 card games sheís come up with,
testing your competence in history, geography, nature,
science and every other area of knowledge. Each trivia game
has 30 cards, with three easy questions and three hard
questions on each card. Roll the dice, pick a card, and if
you answer the question correctly you keep the card.
Otherwise return it to the bottom of the deck. The person
with the most cards wins. This is a game where the kids can
have much fun reviewing what they learned at school (or on
TV). Priced at $9.99 at
DABBLE For ages 10 and
up, one of the more interesting products we discovered at
the 2011 Toy Fair is a fast thinking word game called
Dabble. Made for 2 to 4 players, it comes with 142 lettered
and point tiles, a five-tier stadium style racks, sand timer
and rules. Itís a challenging game that motivates your
brain, improves your spelling and vocabulary skills, and
gives you hours of fun in the bargain. Each player selects 20
tiles and rush to spell 5 different wordsóa 2-letter word on
the top rack, a 3-letter word on the next rack, a 4-letter
word then a 5-letter on the next racks, and a 6-letter word
on the bottom rack. Timeís up after 5 minutes. You score
points for tiles unused by your opponents. First person to
score 100 wins. This game is a winner. It was created by
George Weiss of Brooklyn, a grandfather and former wallpaper
hanger who is 84. How cool is that! Dabble deserves this
yearís 15MinutesMagazine P.E.T. Game of the Year Award
from our Product Evaluation Team.