A Los Angeles company has developed a backpack that serves as a carry-all and a chair.
The Alpha-Seatpak has room for stuff such as books, lunches and extra clothing in a zippered pouch between its two fire-retardant foam cushions. Or it can carry materials in an outside zippered pouch.
It zips open to a cushioned seat with back and comes with a small extra bag ($5) to store items in while it's in use as a seat.
Inventor Rob Marchner said Alpha-Seatpak fits well over classroom and folding chairs. It can be used to make stadium or outdoor concert seats more comfortable. The seat-pack is lightweight (1.6 pounds) and is made of black or blue water-repellent nylon, which can be cleaned with soap and warm water.
The price is $30, including shipping but excluding $1.50 California sales tax. Write Alpha-Seatpak, 8721 Santa Monica Blvd., Suite 223, Los Angeles, Calif. 90069, or phone (213) 650-7290.
Ironing Fire Alarm
S'Iron is a small electronic box that clips onto any iron cord and sounds an alarm if it is left plugged in for longer than 2 1/2 minutes without use.
Manufactured by Israel-based Asco Technologies Inc. and just being introduced in the U.S., S'Iron does not connect to the electric current but runs on a 9-volt battery. It comes with a battery, which should last a year.
S'Iron costs $4.95, plus shipping and handling and is available by writing Asco Technologies, 2600 Netherland Ave., Suite 718, Riverdale, N.Y. 10463 or call (212) 601-0265.
Under pressure? Consider time out with the Stressball, introduced nationwide just last month in gift, toy and novelty stores.
When tossed or thrown, Stressball emits the sound of a plate glass window shattering. The concept? It's stressed on the box: "When you need an outlet for your frustrations, you don't need tapes of ocean sounds or some kind of wimpy meditation. You need to hear something breaking."
Marketed by Dakin Inc.--the Brisbane, Calif., manufacturer that produced the Garfield cat that attaches to a car window with suction cups--Stressball is made of sturdy foam rubber. It also can be activated by unscrewing the two halves of the sphere and turning over the battery inside.
Suggested retail price for Stressball: $24.95. Los Angeles area stores carrying it include Card Fever in Santa Monica; the Gift Barn, Montclair; Del Amo Stats, Torrance; Dick's Hallmark, San Pedro; Critters, Montrose; and Mr. G's, Redondo Beach and Santa Ana.
Those interested in monograms now can find new, easy-to-install designs for car doors.
Anderson's Monograms in Rancho Palos Verdes is producing a three-initial auto monogram that is pre-spaced and pre-lined by hand.
They take about a minute to put on and come in script- or block-lettering and in black, white, red, blue, gold or silver. The monograms are made from die-cut 3M cast vinyl, which product producer Elmer Anderson says, "will never crack, fade or peel. To get it off, you have to take a heat gun to loosen it and then a razor blade to pry up a corner. You really have to work to take off."
Anderson conceded that his monograms are not as fancy as hand-lettered ones. "But they're cheaper, and it takes a camera eye to tell the difference," he said. "An expert could tell the difference, but most people can't."
He sells two, three-letter monograms for $12, which includes shipping and handling. It takes 2-3 weeks for delivery and Anderson said customers who are not satisfied "for any reason at all," will receive refunds. To order, write Anderson's, 32700 Coastsite No. 102, Rancho Palos Verdes, Calif. 90274 or call (213) 377-1007.