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CONSUMERS : Wearable Radios Glow With Sound of Music

January 24, 1990|LYNN SIMROSS

At the recent Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Switch It AM-FM Radio introduced a new twist to its Boom Ball radios--three models featuring four LED lights that flash to the beat of the music.

The round radios--built with clear Lexan, the heavy-duty plastic used in airplane windows--are shatterproof. They feature multicolored internal parts, an external speaker and a headphone adapter that can be plugged in for dual-channel sound, volume control and channel selector.

The antenna doubles as a necklace so you can wear the billiard-ball-size fashion accessory.

"People can own several Switch It radios and coordinate them with individual outfits," said Switch It Inc. President Peter Hamilton-McDonnell.

The six original models come in different designs but without flashing lights. They retail for about $29.95, compared to the new $34.95 flashing units in red, blue or yellow.

The radios are marketed worldwide by their manufacturer, Switch It Hi Fi International of London. In Southern California, they're available at the Broadway and Neiman Marcus. If you can't find them in your area, contact Switch It Inc., 2397 Shattuck Ave., Berkeley 94704; (415) 540-0334.

New Gluing Devices Stick to Their Guns

Just out in January from Stanley Bostitch, the Rhode Island firm that has made desktop staplers for 50 years, is a line of electric hot-melt glue guns and glue sticks.

They're handy for office or home, craft or hobby projects.

There are four models--two mini-guns and two standard size. Each carries hot-melt glue that forms a durable bond in less than a minute, the manufacturers say. The glue works on plastics, metals, wood and laminates.

Mini-guns use a two-inch stick that costs $1.99 for a package of 12 refills. The standard models use a four-inch stick, which, depending on the kind of glue (regular or super-strength), ranges in price from $2.49 to $3.25 for six refills. Mini-guns with a plunger-type mechanism retail for $12.99; with a trigger feed, $15.99. The standard model with a trigger feed is $24.99.

The deluxe model, which can be used cordless because it maintains its heat for 15 minutes, is $29.99. Guns are available nationwide in selected office supply stores. In Southern California they can be found at the Tam's Stationers chain. If you can't locate them, contact Stanley Bostitch, East Greenwich, R.I. 02818; (401) 884-2500.

Orvis Offers 'No-Lose' Handy Pocket Knife

Orvis--the country's oldest mail-order catalogue company that specializes in traditional country apparel, unusual gifts and field-and-stream gear--has introduced a No-Lose handy pocket knife that is said to be "40% slimmer than a Swiss army knife."

The stainless steel knife comes personalized with your name and phone number.

Measuring only 1/4 inch wide, the Italian-made No-Lose knife, with a lanyard ring at one end, includes large and small blades, bottle opener with a screwdriver tip, can opener, corkscrew and reamer. It is 3 1/4 inches long when shut, 7 1/2 inches open. It sells for $29.50, plus $4.90 shipping and handling.

To order, write Orvis, Manchester, Vt. 05254, or call (800) 541-3541. The knife is available in Orvis stores in Manchester, Houston, Minneapolis, New York City, Philadelphia, Roanoke, Va., and San Francisco.

New Personal Alarm Is Louder Than a Scream

The SOS Shrill Alarm is a new personal alarm that fits in a pocket or purse, and, when activated, issues a piercing noise much louder than most individuals can scream.

The four-inch device is powered by a nontoxic aerosol tube and weighs two ounces. Its charge should last for 25 to 30 uses, manufacturers say.

Made in Japan, the SOS Shrill Alarm is being marketed here for $9.95 plus $1 shipping and handling by Berk International, P.O. Box 5294, Garden Grove 92645; (714) 898-8648.

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