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The 15 Minutes Products Evaluation Team (PET)

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Senior PET

Johnathan Boxer
Junior PET


[ Magellanís ] [ Vcam Now ] [ ChatNow ] [ Gamesake ]
[ Donít Quote Me ] [ Cogno ] [ Pet Detectives ] [ Youíre Pulling My Leg ]


Essential Travelware

AGELLANíS, the foremost purveyor of practical aids for the savvy sojourner, offers a load of must-have items in its latest catalog. Get a copy at www.magellans.com and order these critical survival tools. Phone 1-800-962-4943.

Menís Dual-Time Watch (and womenís version) keeps time in two zones. When youíre in Nepal, set one part to local time and the other part to your hometown. Other watches that let you do this are complicated. Magellanís own version is so simple, and stylish, you may not switch when you get home. Leather band in black or brown. $79.

Travel Vest is a Magellanís exclusive in that it is so light, you can fill the seven pockets with your travel necessities and not feel like youíre loaded down. Made from nylon thatís windproof, fast-drying, wrinkle resistant and machine washable. Khaki or black. $49.

 

 

Kivaís Signature Luggage has a new Signature line that spells elegance. Made of nylon with a patterned weave with leather accents. Main compartment, with outer extra pockets, expands with the pull of a zipper. Includes removanle garment bag, shoe bag and two zippered wet pockets. Available in black or merlot. 18 inches, $169; 22 inches, $179; 24 inches, $189; 27 inches, $199; Tote Bag, $59.  

Luggage Scale is a must-have so you donít overload your suitcase and have to pay overweight charges at check-in. This light-weight scale, with cushioned handle, weighs luggage up to 75 pounds so youíll know if youíre exceeding the international 70-pound limit. The built-in tape measure ensures that your carry-on is within dimension requirements. $9.85. A 50 pound model for domestic flights is $8.85.

EarPlanes with soft silicone rubber outside and fiulter inside will help relieve pain from cabin pressure. Use them takeoff and again at landing. Each pair good for a round trip (two flights). Adult and childrenís sizes. $11.85 for a pair.  

Waterproof Overshoes are lightweight and easily slip over your regular shoes for complete protection in rain, snow, salt and mud. Menís, $19.85; womenís, $16.85.  

Bostonian Loafer is a leather slip-on that is the only shoe you need to take. Use it for casual wear and with a suit. Inner sole has triple cushioning at the heel for all-day support. Black or brown, $99.

Travel Wrap is made in France of acrylic that feels like cashmere. Itís reversible which makes it great for cool evenings on the town or in place of a jacket for daytime touring. Itís wrinkle-free so you can roll it and pack it. $69.  

Fleece Jacket is another Magellanís exclusive for the ladies. So lightweight you get the warmth without the bulk. Great for those cool days and damp evenings, and air-conditioned airplane cabins. $49.  

The Travel Book (Lonely Planet, softcover, 444 pages, $30) is a must-read for every enthusiastic traveler. With 1,200 photos covering 230 countries, from Afghanistan to Zimbabwe, you embark on an armchair trip through every country in the world. It is an ambitious coffee table tome, beautifully produced.

Packet-It Cube lets you organize your small pieces of clothing and gear in Eagle Creekís zippered cubes. With see-through mesh lids you can spot your socks anytime. Available in midnight, cranberry, tree frog, stripe or black. Four sizes: Double Cube, $13.85; Cube, $11.85; Tube Cube, $11.85; Half Cube, $9.85.


Geared For Tweens

ASBRO has a quality video camera designed for tweens. Vcam Now is a pocket-size digital video camera allows kids to make movies or take stills. Equipped with 4X digital zoom, 1.3 mega pixel resolution, 1.5-inch flipout screen for shooting and playback, a 32MB internal flash memory to store seven minutes of video, and runs on AA batteries. Use SD/MMC cards for extended memory.

With AV ports and cables you can screen your movies and photos on TV. The USB port and cable enable you to send your video and images to the computer for editing and emailing.

Hasbro is marketing VCam Now through its Tiger Electronics, a brand specifically targeting tweens (actually 8 years and up). MSRP $79.99.

ChatNow is another offering from Tiger Electronics for the tween market. This two-way radio communicator allows kids to be in touch with friends and family up to a two-mile range Ė without paying for airtime or signing for a calling plan. You can talk, send text messages and even take digital pictures.

After you create a Buddy List you can assign a photo to each number, so when you chat their stored picture will appear on the screen. You could animate the pictures so it looks like your friend is really talking. MSRP $74.99.


Games To Keep

EREíS a game that turns into a keepsake. Callie Weiant, a lawyer, and her sister Pam, a marine scientist, of Boulder, Colo., invented a series of personalized board games called Gamesake that get family and friends to reminisce.

Wedding Gamesake is perfect for showers, rehearsal dinners, the reception and post-wedding brunch. More creative than the dated guestbook, Gamesake gets guests chatting about favorite memories of the bride and groom.

Birthday Gamesake, played year after year, becomes a family tradition as the kids grow and memories build. Eventually theyíll have a heartwarming diary of their childhood. MSRP $29.95 at www.gamesake.com.


PET Recommends

Donít Quote Me, TIME for Kids Edition was developed by Wiggles 3D of London, Ontario, with TIME for Kids magazine. The game contains 1,000 quotes and questions that test the knowledge of players ages 10 to 14. For instance: Name this animated TV character: "You can take away my dignity, but when you take away my spatula, I get MAD!" $19.99. www.dontquoteme.com.

Cogno: Deep Worlds will stimulate players from 7 to adult with thought provoking questions about science and outer space. Kids can get so into it that theyíll abandon their computer to play Cogno and learn about the universe by having fun. You win by outsmarting your opponents in a race across an ocean on another planet and answering such questions as "Searching near the bottom of a very deep alien ocean, what form of life wouldwe most expect to find: plants, animals, plants and animals, or robotic fish?" $29.95. www.cogno.com.

Pet Detectives features 40 different breeds of animals from dog and cat to pig and snake. You race against your opponent to find pets that are lost. Match a Lost Pet Card with a Found Pet Card and you get the reward. For ages 7 and up. MSRP $17.99 for the tin, $12.99 for the box. www.MorningStarGames.com.

Youíre Pulling My Leg is a bluffing game where the players test their skills at story telling about their life. This makeover supplants a previous version that was called Truth or Fib. The new improved version has more questions, larger tokens and a nostalgic design. For ages 9 and up. MSRP $24.99 for the tin, $19.99 for the box. www.MorningStarGames.com.


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