Look out. Here come Giga Pets, America's version of the Tamagotch, that key chain video game that has Japan in a virtual uproar.
The $18 gadget, called "cute little egg," is so popular that retailers can't keep it in stock, and Tamagotches have sold on the black market for hundreds of dollars each. Now Tiger Electronics is introducing Giga Pets, six styles of a tiny creature computer game on a key chain that are similar to the Tamagotch but have more features, more game play and cost less than $10.
Each Giga Pet has a small LCD screen that displays the animated creature doing various lifelike activities. For example, Digital Doggie fetches a ball, Compu Kitty chases a butterfly.
The Giga Pets are raised as you would care for a real pet--you have to feed them, play with them, clean up after them, even take them to the vet if they display signs of illness.
The Giga Pet player earns points by keeping the pet healthy, happy, properly fed and disciplined. The game is over when the pet dies (of old age or bad health) in from two weeks to several months. The virtual pet turns into an angel and flies away. You can then begin a new game.
In addition to the traditional dog and cat pets, Giga Pets also are available in Baby T-Rex, Virtual Alien, Microchimp and Bit Critter. They'll hit retailers' shelves in mid-May.
Get the Message: Post-it Notes, those little slips of paper with stickum on the back that 3M created 17 years ago, have gone high-tech. You can now get an electronic version to use with your computer.
Post-it Software Notes (for Windows 3.1 or Windows 95) cost about $25 and are easy to install, according to 3M reps. A Post-it Note icon will appear on the screen so you can type in a reminder, then go back to what you were doing on the computer. The Post-it program also can create personalized messages and print them on Post-it Notes for printers.
Currently, Internet users can download a free 30-day sample of Post-it Software Notes from http://www.mmm.com/psnotes.
For more information, call 3M at (800) 330-3966.
Clear the Air: If you like to have a fresh-smelling car but dislike the look of those air fresheners that hang from the rearview mirror, check out Ventsations Scent Clips, small plastic clips that hook onto the car's air vents, remaining mostly out of sight.
Thanks to Mike Farmer, a Sioux Falls, S.D., inventor who learned how to impregnate polymers (plastics) with odors, the clips have an air-flow design so the fragrance is easily dispersed through its holes. The clips (suggested retail, $2.49 for a package of four) come in several fragrances: apple spice, citrus, vanilla, strawberry and rain forest.
For more information, call (888) 368-2166.