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The Goods | TECNOWATCH

Now, Even as Kids Grow, They Can Just Keep Rolling Along

December 17, 1996|LYNN SIMROSS | SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

Are your kids lusting for in-line skates this holiday? Better read on: Rollerblade just has introduced Xtenblade, a skate that can grow as the child's feet do. The clever new skate extends four full sizes, so it should last for years.

With a wrench (included), a parent can slide the toe part of the skate shell forward to adjust to a child's exact size. Because the skates extend only at the front, there are no rear balance problems, Rollerblade reps say. The liner of the skate is made of a four-way stretch material to accommodate growing feet.

Xtenblade, which comes in kids' sizes 12 to 6, has a two-buckle closure system for quick on and off, and, like other children's models, brakes on both skates.

Xtenblade ($99) is available at sporting goods stores. Call Rollerblade at (800) 232-ROLL for a nearby outlet.

Clean Beans: For coffee lovers, there are two Krups 10-cup electronic coffee makers that have built-in water filtration systems, complete with indicators that tell you when the water filter should be changed.

Krups representatives say the company's unusual Crystal Clear filtration system removes 82% of the chlorine taste that detracts from great-tasting coffee, eliminates germs and prohibits bacteria growth. The carafe has a special lid that reduces heat and aroma loss by 20% over traditional ones, they say.

Both Crystal Arome ($69.99) and Crystal Arome Time ($115), which includes a 24-hour programmable timer and clock, have dual electronically controlled brewing cycles--one to three cups or four to 10 cups. They come in black or white. For more information, call Krups at (800) 526-5377.

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Smart Choice: If you're still searching for an unusual electronic game to put under the tree, check out Tiger Electronics' Brain Warp, a verbal command game for one to six players.

Winner of the Duracell Kids' Choice National Toy Survey, Brain Warp, for ages 5 and older, is fast-paced and quite challenging.

A ball-shaped design with six colored and numbered appendages, Brain Warp has a computerized voice that booms out commands and gets faster and faster as the games--a total of six different ones--progress. A player who doesn't react quickly enough is told "You're finished."

Call (800) TIGER-ED for more information about Brain Warp ($24.99).

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