Only the Best Earn
PET Seal of Approval
Product Evaluation Team

Tim Boxer, Senior PET (Product Evaluation Team), Recommends The Most Wonderful Toys, Games And Products For The Holiday Gift-Giving Season!

The Cat in the Hat Micro Research 3D-Album
Xbox Games Peg Perego Santa Fe Train
Rumba Board Games Cocoons Sunwear for the Eyes
Old Country Classics Tire Minder
Gizmo Cordless Grater Fold N’ Go Suitcase
Black & Decker Oven/Broiler

Talk With The Cat

UNIOR PETs Noah and Dvorah are thrilled with Play Along's Cat in the Hat Interactive Reading Plush (SRP $24.99). The cuddly cat reads the Dr. Seuss Movie Storybook right along with your child!  Follow his wacky verbal commands and he will read the entire storybook with you! The cat gets downright silly when you tug on his tail or squeeze his hands and feet.


[ Back to Top ]

More Great Xbox Issues

ICROSOFT keeps churning out great DVDs for its highly popular Xbox video game system. Estimated price: $49.99 each.

Crimson Skies: High Road to Revenge. Grab your console and become an air pirate in a 1930s alternate universe. You have an arsenal of weapons at your disposal and a variety of hot rod airplanes enjoy a single player experience or play against 16 challengers from around the world with Xbox Live.

If you didn’t see enough ghosts on Halloween then pop Grabbed by the Ghoulies in your Xbox and prepare to confront zombies and skeletons. You’re certain to get more than a simple spook from these ghoulies. You’ll be electrocuted, bitten, burnt, cursed, bandaged and thrown as each monster uses its unique attack style and plenty of dirty tricks.

The Elder Scrolls III Morrowind Game of the Year Edition ($29.99) allows you to continue your existing games of Morrowind and experience the new quests offered by the Tribunal and Bloodmoon expansions. The Morrowind Prophecies is the official guide book of 414 pages, which include maps, creature information and walkthroughs for every quest. Be sure to visit

Project Gotham Racing dominates the scene with speed and style. You earn Kudos as you floss the streets of famous places such as Barcelona, Edinburgh, Moscow, Hong Kong and other cities, while listening to some of the hottest tracks around the dlobe.

Links 2004 gets you to compete in a virtual sports league. Play a round with friends anywhere, challenge the world in online tournaments, or play as or against top pros such as Sergio Garcia, Mike Weir and Annika Sorenstam. Tournaments are organized through

NHL Rivals 2004 allows you to customize your own leagues and tournaments, create your own rivalries and settle scores online with Xbox Live. Advanced sound and graphics deliver the full intensity of hockey.


[ Back to Top ]

Games For The Rest Of Us

UMBA Games, based in Toronto, offers a line of board and party games for kids of all ages – but especially for grownups. The PET recommends these games, which are available at Barnes & Noble, Toys R Us, and other stores. Take Survivor: The Game ($24.95), billed as “reality for the living room.” I would say reality for the rest of us.  If you haven’t been a contestant on television, you’re not a survivor  (unless you’re married!). Here’s a chance to show whether you have what it takes and you don’t have to go to far-flung locales to do it. Players numbering 5 or more compete as tribes in randomly drawn immunity challenges. They win or get voted off the couch until one survivor remains to claim the crown of victory.

Urban Myth challenges you to distinguish between fact and modern folklore. In this box, you will be tested for truth or myth in six categories: celebrity (Marilyn Monroe wore size 16 dresses), classics (alligators roam New York sewers), nature (bats are blind), crime (Al Capone was the first American to make $100 million a year), health (an apple a day keeps the doctor away). Buy the game ($29.95) and learn to tell fact from fiction.

As they say on the box: If you think denial is a river in Egypt, you should be playing Oxford Dilemma ($39.95). This excellent board game combines spelling trivia in competition for 2-6 players. Included are a fine Victorian style game board, 400 cards in four categories, credit and demerit cards, three dice, six playing pieces and more. There are more than 1,000 words to test you spelling skills in geography, science, general and famous people and places.

How’s your rock ‘n roll know-how? Find out and have fun with Rockit to Number 1 ($39.95 at Music Land). This trivia board game is packed with 600 questions cards containing 3,000 questions from the ‘60s right up to now. Spin the category record to choose pop trivia from the ‘60s, ‘70s, ‘80s or ‘90s with questions about major events, artists, albums, singles and hit parade accomplishments. There are 8 Top 20 chart cards, and the first player to move their hit single into the No. 1 position on their chart is the winner.


[ Back to Top ]

Luxurious Line Of Games

LD Century Classics are wonderful board games that exult in charm, grace and grandeur. Our PET reviewed three archival quality pastimes from this luxurious line created by Front Porch Classics in Seattle.

These quality games, which truly connect family and friends over the coffee table, are available at leading retailers including Macy’s, Nordstrom, Barnes & Noble, Toys R us. More information at

Games of the World is a collection of captivating pastimes in an attractive tin can. There are seven games from various cultures: Pachisi and Chaturanga (probably the predecessor of chess) from India, Go from Japan, Wari from Africa, Quirkat (forerunner of checkers) from Egypt, Dudo from the Incas, and of course chess, from royal Europe.

Shut-The-Box was for centuries a favorite pastime in the ports of England. This classic coffee table game comes in a handsome wood case. Any number of contestants take turns to roll the dice and lay down the tiles, until the one with the lowest score wins. It’s a game for all ages as it is easy to learn and lots of fun.

Seven-In-One is a magnificently crafted wooden game that you’d be proud to display on a coffee table. The handsome set includes such all-time favorites as backgammon, dominoes, chess, checkers, cribbage, poker dice and playing cards.


[ Back to Top ]

The Greater Grater

LACK & DECKER has a product that’s a must for anyone who contemplates spending time in the kitchen to make the traditional latkes (potato pancakes) on Hanukkah. To make life easy, rush to get Gizmo, the cordless grater.

You’ll find Gizmo mighty useful for all kinds of things, not only for grating potatoes. Use it to get the perfect amount of freshly grated Parmesan cheese on your pasta. Shave chocolate curls or coconut on cakes and pies. Shred cheddar cheese on tacos for topping.

The ergonomically designed cordless electric grater comes with three grades of blades—fine grating, coarse grating and shaving. Contains nickel-cadmium batteries, rechargeable with A/C adapter. Suggested price around $30. See it at


[ Back to Top ]

Take Digital Advantage

HE Black & Decker Digital Advantage Countertop Convection Oven/Broiler CTO9500 is of immense help for any cooking enthusiast. Imbedded with state-of-the-art digital touch pad controls, this oven is a handy backup during the holiday or whenever you entertain large gatherings and oven usage is at a premium. You can bake, broil, toast, brown, defrost and reheat. Touch the sides and top and your hand won’t burn. It has a non-stick interior, removable crumb tray for easy cleanup, digital clock-timer with auto-off 90-minute timer and signal bell. Suggested price around $115.


[ Back to Top ]

Photo Albums That Move

HE most exciting software to organize your photos has got to be the personal edition of 3D-Album from Micro Research of Lisle, Illinois. President Yuting Tu has produced an easy-to-use presentation software that helps you to make animated photo albums, going beyond the static slide show or flipping albums.

By using any of the dozens of 3D presentation styles, complete with music, text and voiceovers, you can create albums that will have your images spinning, dissolving, curling, flipping, floating and exploding in constant 3D motion. Now, how cool is that!

You can copy your albums onto CDs, upload to Web pages or send as email. You can also turn them into screensavers. You can use your company logo and product photos to entertain customers before a meeting.

Available for $39.95 at or

That’s not all. The 3d-Album Commercial Suite is a super package that’s geared for pro photographers, graphics designers, artists and sales reps. It includes a commercial license for fistribution and sale of personal CDs, DVDs, albums, catalogs and customized programs.

A wedding photographer could create a wedding album and copy it to multiple CDs or DVDs for sale.

You have all the tools you need for such presentations, including a photo editor, photo organizer, page layout, and printer feature.

Priced at $299 at Office Depot and other retailers or call toll free 877 233-2528.


[ Back to Top ]

All Aboard the Santa Fe

UNIOR PET Johnathan, all of 17 months, is already a train buff. The Santa Fe Express Train ($180) from Peg-Perego has him enthralled. He’s now the conductor of his own locomotive.

Our l’il engineer sits on a “coal tender car” and operates the three-piece train around a seven-foot oval track at a speed of two miles an hour. (Extra tracks can be purchased separately.)

The caboose has a lift top where you can store vital travel necessities Press a button on the handle bar and the “smoke stack” toots and whistles like real train sounds.

A rechargeable battery is installed and a recharger is included. The wiring, motor and gearbox are totally enclosed so our PET can ride in complete safety. More information at


[ Back to Top ]

Protect Your Eyes

HE best sunglasses—for people who wear prescription eyewear—are wrap-around Cocoons. The frame is lightweight, the temples are adjustable, and the lenses are Polar TX with advanced UV400 rating to protect your eyes from harsh glare and the harmful effects of UVA and UVB rays.

With five different sizes offered, you can determine the right fit for your eyeglasses. Cocoons come with a neoprene case with belt clip, lens cloth and lifetime warranty.

Available at $39.85 from Magellan’s is America’s premier source for ingenious products that make travel a real joy instead of a hassle.


[ Back to Top ]

Watch Your Tires

OW tire pressure can cause blowouts and accidents. Protect yourself with Tire Minder. You can tell at a glance if your tires are properly inflated.

Just screw a Tire Minder onto each tire valve, replacing the existing valve cap. If you see a green ring on top of the Tire Minder, you’re okay. But if your tire loses more than 4 pounds of pressure, a yellow ring is visible. Lose more than 8 pounds of pressure and you’ll see a red ring.

It’s the easy way to monitor your car’s tire pressure. Package of four costs $14.85 from


[ Back to Top ]

Double Your Capacity

WISH I had an extra suitcase to bring home all the promotional material and souvenirs I’d accumulated on my trip to China. I wish I had Magellan’s Fold N’ Go Suitcase.

On my next trip to Sweden I’m taking along this nifty necessity. I’ll tuck this thin lightweight suitcase in my bag. It’s 18x13x6 inches unfolded; weighs just 20 ounces.

When I’m ready to head home, I’ll take it out, snap it together, and voila—I’ll have  additional  luggage.

Priced at $19.85 at

[ Back to Top ]


Copyright©1999 -
15 Minutes Magazine, Inc.

Site Designed, Developed and Maintained by
Internet Web Systems Internet Consultants - Web Site Design -  Website Hosting
Any questions or comments regarding this website, or if you would like one of your own,
please contact us at