New and noteworthy products

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Cruise Control

You probably wouldn’t go searching for America on one, but the new eGO Cycle from eGO Vehicles is sure to turn heads. The electric bike offers a quiet, pollution-free ride for busy streets and can be recharged by plugging into any AC or electrical outlet. eGO maxes out at 23 mph and has a 25-mile range, although carrying a spare battery increases the range to 50 miles. The eGO can be customized with brand imprints and logos. Pricing starts at $1,399 for one and drops to $875 for orders of 10 or more. eGO Vehicles ships within days of placing an order. For more information, call (401) 461-2108 or check out www.egovehicles.com.

Mood Lighting

Prime Resource Corp. hopes to brighten things a bit with the Mood Dude Stress Relievers. The cubes feature various expressions, ranging from Happy Mood Dude to Disgusted Mood Dude. Bulk packaging starts at 150 units for $2.88, with one-day rush orders available for $3.60. Orders with a black and red gift box start at 75 units for $5.75. For more information, call (203) 331-9100 or check out www.primeworld.com.

Shop Till You Drop

For those people who like to choose their own gifts, the Bank of America Visa Gift Card is a step in the right direction. Unlike gift certificates, the cards can be used for multiple purchases at a variety of retailers. Cards feature the recipient’s name and a personal message from the gift-giver. Eleven different card designs are available, such as “Achievement,” “Thank You” and “Christmas.” Cards can be purchased in any whole dollar amount from $25 to $600, with cards from $25 to $300 costing $5.95 per unit and $301 to $600 going for $7.95 per unit. For more information, call (866) 261-3594 or check out www.bankofamerica.com/giftcard.

Room for Work and Play?

High tech is in, and this is about as high tech as it gets when it comes to personal electronics. The Thomson Inc. RCA Lyra audio/video jukebox mixes business with pleasure by offering a portable disc drive that can support MP3s, word-processing files, spreadsheets, presentations and a host of other computer applications. Suggested retail price is $299.99. For more information, call (800) 217-3935 or check out www.ge-electronics.com.

Pit Party

RaceAway Hospitality, Inc. is offering weekend NASCAR travel packages as executive and client perks. The pre-packaged trips include hospitality at the track, catered meals, pit passes that allow guests to see the action up close and occasionally the opportunity to meet NASCAR drivers. Attendees must have at least 10 to a party to get exclusive accomodations (less than 10 will sit with another group). Pricing starts around $500 per person, although RaceAway will try a no-frills package for less later this year. For more information, call (877) 210-5629 or check out www.raceawayhospitality.com.

New and Noteworthy Products

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Office Fun

Chicago-based Microthin.com is offering a new mouse pad that companies can use as a promotional item to inform IT departments about their services. The pads are designed specifically for the optical mouse that has become the choice for gaming enthusiasts. As advanced as it is, the optical mouse is still only as good as its mouse pad, and the Microthin offers the responsiveness serious gamers demand. The logoed mouse pads start at $1.19 to $1.69 per unit with minimum order size at 1,000 units. Turn around time is three-to-four weeks. For more information, call 847-753-9990 or check out www.mictothin.com.

Rolling the Dice

Cincinnati-based Late for the Sky puts some fun back into branding by offering custom board games based on a variety of items, from licensed properties to cities to colleges. Current offerings include Little Debbie Snackopoly (“The sweetest game you’ll ever play!”), Law & Orderopoly and In-N-Out-opoly. Minimum order size is 3,500 games. Basic game price starts at $12.50 with a $1,500 design and development fee. For more information, call 513-531-4400 or check out www.lateforthesky.com.

Edible Ink

What could be better than chocolate with a personal touch? Gadoua Chocolate Designs, Alpharetta, GA, offers premium Belgian chocolate treats that feature messages printed directly onto the chocolate (completely edible, of course). Custom-designed themes and logos are available. Pricing ranges from 75 cents for smaller products to $25 for larger items, like chocolate “plaques.” Order size starts at 100 units for smaller pieces and 25 units for larger sizes. Turnaround time is one-to-two weeks. For more information, call 770-619-0880 or check out www.gadouachocolatedesigns.com.

Wash ‘n Wear

Looking good was never this easy. Vantage Apparel, Avenel, NJ, has introduced its easy care, washable microsuede jacket. Made of 100% polyester sueded microfiber, the jacket features a stand-up collar, on-seam pockets with snap closure and inside cell phone pocket. Minimum order is 12 pieces and pricing starts at $58.35 (including embroidered logo). For a distributor referral, call 732-340-3173 or visit www.vantageapparel.com.

new and noteworthy products

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Real Grassroots

The GreenWorld Project, Cohasset, MN, offers a menu of starter plants for use in premium campaigns or as event giveaways. The choices includes evergreen seedlings housed in clear, logo-stamped tubes, birdfeeder plants sporting customized messages, and 10-inch baby trees (pictured) shipped in burlap bags with announcement cards. Turnaround time is 21 days. Prices range from $2 per (for the tubed seedling) to $4 per (for the birdfeeder tree), depending on selection and volume. For more information, call 800-825-5122 or head to greenworldproject.com.

Baggage Claim

Plainfield, NJ -based Tumi recently introduced a full line of bags, suitcases, and carry-ons for use in both business-to-business and consumer promotions. Although the luggage itself can’t be embroidered or logoed, Tumi will create customized luggage tags bearing corporate messaging. Minimum custom order quantity is five pieces. Prices generally range from $100 to $600 per item, depending on selection. Turnaround time is three weeks. For more information, call 800-669-3181 or e-mail pmitchell@tumi.com.

Sales Lift

A compressed air chamber gives users of the Oh!Go! pogo stick a bounce guaranteed to be two-feet higher than traditional pogos offer. The aluminum item, available through Lancaster, PA-based InSight, can be customized with logos on the shaft. It folds up to measure just 23 inches in length, and comes complete with a shoulder strap and the all-important air pump. Minimum order quantity is 1,000 pieces. Turnaround time is six weeks. Prices run around $35 per. For more information, call 717-892-2037.

Motor Mouths

Customized radio-controlled vehicles from Plano, TX-based Nikko America are more sophisticated than what you played with as a kid — options include digital proportional steering, actual front and rear suspensions, and rear differentials — and maybe more fun. Design your own from hundreds of stock molds (including the Hummer and boat pictured here), and add colors and decals. Prices range from $7 to $120 per. (You think digital proportional steering comes cheap?). Minimum quantity is 250 units on custom orders and turnaround is a month. For more information, call 972-422-0838 ext. 323, or log onto nikkousa.com.

Cake Walk

Altoona, PA-based Celebration in a Box delivers its eponymous product via overnight mail. Inside is a nine-inch-wide, pre-sliced cake (there are several varieties to choose from), a light-activated greeting card that plays a musical tune, paper plates and plastic utensils, party horns, and ribbons. A Styrofoam container keeps things fresh during shipment. Turnaround time is two days, and prices start at $48 per box (shipping included). For more information, call 800-884-CAKE or crash celebrationinabox.com.

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Topics Under Glass

Wayne, NJ-based Just Jars Me puts together product ensembles centered on a theme: this Build A Snowman jar, for instance, comes with all requisite Frosty-building materials (eye buttons, carrot nose), along with a camera to record the results and cookie and hot cocoa mixes for the post-construction party. A variety of themed jars are available, as are customized packages. Minimum order quantity is 100 jars at prices beginning around $24 per. Turnaround time is two weeks. For more information, call 877-587-8527 or head to justjarsme.com.

Wrist Watching

Dover, NJ-based Casio’s new WQV3 Wrist Camera watch is a solid high-end premium for on-the-go consumer demographics. Photos snapped with the watch, which can store as many as 100 shots, are transferred to a PC through an infrared module. The bands can be customized with logos or corporate messages. Prices run around $200 per. For more information on quantity and customization, call 973-361-5400 ext. 1191, or e-mail jjagelka@casio.com.

Coin Toss

New hologram coins from Cincinnati-based Osborne Coinage can be used as in-pack premiums, continuity builders, or employee incentives. Available in various metal casings including brass, nickel, silver, and aluminum, the coins can be die-stamped with holograms on one side or both. Prices begin at $4.50 per coin. Minimum order is 1,000. Turnaround time is 10 to 13 weeks. For more information, call 800-488-2646 or visit osbornecoin.com.

Strike Force

Customized bowling balls from Muskegon, MI-based industry giant Brunswick’s Viz-A-Ball division will make you a marketing kingpin. (Hey, we’re trying, OK?) The polyester-based balls are approved for professional play, available in weights ranging from eight pounds to 15 pounds, and can be customized with images and messages. Minimum quantity is 500, and orders can be completed within six weeks of creative approval. Prices run $65 per on the minimum order. For more info, call 231-725-3365 or roll over to viz-a-ball.com.

Reel ‘Em In

Customized Shimano fishing kits from Louisville, KY-based Modern Marketing Concepts should score a direct hit with anglers. The company has several types available, all suited for freshwater excursions. The kits include graphite rods that disassemble into pack-able pieces in a padded logo-friendly nylon case that also has areas for lures and other gear. Prices start at $50. Turnaround time is one month. For more information, call 502-583-4246 or visit modernmktg.com.

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Game Faces

Sports fanatics will appreciate this Game Time Sports Watch, which is pre-programmed with the entire schedule of their professional team of choice. The watch not only lets wearers know who their fave’s opponent is, but also alerts them to the tip-off by playing “The Star Spangled Banner.” New seasons can be programmed each year by purchasing a $15 module. Team logos are placed on the watch face, and marketers can add their own messages to the band. Prices start around $34.95 per. Minimum order is 100 pieces. Call New York City-based Good Time for specifics at 800-289-8963, or e-mail lindar@websterwatch.com.

Soapy Sales

Customized car wash kits from Bronx, NY-based Garyline can be stocked with everything consumers need to give their rides a shine — from soap and sponges to squeegees and wax. The buckets come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and colors, and can be emblazoned with corporate logos or monikers. Minimum quantity is 96 pieces. Prices start at $5 per and drop to $3.83 each on a 1,000-bucket order. For more information, call 800-227-4279, ext. 404, or surf over to garyline.com.

Locking Up Customers

Customized padlocks from New Britain, CT-based CCL Security Products can hook branded elements to school or healthclub lockers. The locks are made of high-weight materials and are available in several sizes and models, including versions with combinations and others with keys. Prices start around $4. Minimum quantity is 100. Turnaround time is three weeks. For more information, call 860-229-6199 or log onto cclsecurity.com.

Sticktoitiveness

The slip-free Magic Mat from Stamford, CT-based Jornik will keep any object from sliding around the dashboard — or any other potentially slippery surface. The Mat fits neatly into a No. 10 envelope, and can be stamped with logos and messages. (Orders can also include a logoed, protective paper sleeve.) Prices start at around $2 per item on the minimum 250-piece order, and drop to $1.60 each for 2,500. Turnaround is about a month. For more information, call 203-969-0500 or head to jornik.com.

Video Heads

This tongue-in-cheek Webhead picture doll lets users slip any picture onto the screen to create a personalized tchotchke for work or home. The eight-inch doll was made to perch comfortably on top of a computer monitor, and comes in a number of techno-themed motifs. (This one’s called Dot. E. Com. Yep, we’re laughing, too.) Custom manufacturing and printing are available. Turnaround time is six weeks. Prices begin at $9 per. For more information, call 800-886-3364 or head over (Get it? “Head” over?) to iwebhead.com.

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Clip Strip

The new Cobra Strip all-purpose desktop holder, manufactured by Stamford, CT-based Jornik, keeps messages and memos (and pens) right where users can see them. The translucent base has a 1.75-inch circular imprint area for brands to stamp with monikers or messages. A variety of colors are available. Turnaround time is about a month. Prices start at $2.60 each on a 100-piece order and fall to $2.37 a pop on 1,000-piece orders. For more information, call 203-969-0500 or check out jornik.com.

Painting the Town

Linden, NJ-based Travelog Corp., which distributes audio driving tour guides, recently enhanced its offerings to include customized materials for marketers. Companies can now stamp their logos on the packaging and add actual branded audio tracks — welcomes, messages, you name it — to the tours. It’s like brands are along for the ride. Turnaround time is four weeks. Customized tour packages run between $12 and $15 each, but get in touch with the company to talk specifics. For more information, call 866-LETS-TOUR or head to travelog.com.

Rug Burn

Woven carpet mousepads from Winters, CA-based TJ International are unique at the least. There are seven designs to choose from, and minimum order quantity is 72 pieces. Prices start at $7.50 per, then drop as volume increases (the pads run $4.75 each on a 20,000-item order). The company also manufactures woven carpet bookmarks. A corporate logo or message can be stitched onto the rug. For more information, dial up 530-795-5137 or email tjintl@aol.com.

True Colors

Highland Park, IL-based Corporate Textiles’ patriotic ties and scarves are relevant premiums marketers can dole out to consumers. A variety of designs are available. Prices run $8 to $10 each, depending on volume. Minimum order quantity is 150 units. Turnaround time is six weeks. A portion of proceeds will be donated to victims and families impacted by recent tragic events. For more information, call 800-998-8437 or surf over to shop4ties.com.

PowerPoint, from Anywhere

Make things easier for road warriors with the new PowerDesk from Neptune, NJ-based Prime Time Plus. The item allows customers to work comfortably in any vehicle. It slips over the steering wheel and becomes a desk capable of securely holding laptops, planners, and memos. A tilt feature lets the user angle the PowerDesk for comfort. Custom messaging is available on the item’s imprint area. Price runs around $39 each. For more information, call 732-643-0777 or email ptp1955@aol.com.

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Day by Day

These 14-inch-by-27-inch linen towels come with a dowel and cord for easy mounting on walls. Dudley, MA-based Stevens Linen has a variety of stock images and graphics, but you can talk to them about custom jobs, too. Turnaround time is five weeks. Pricing starts at $3.72 per calendar on the 100-piece minimum, and drops to $2.97 per on a 4,500-piece order. For more information, call 508-943-0813 or log onto stevenslinen.com

Let the Chips Fall

Custom gaming chips can liven up events, serve as premium giveaways — even double as coupons for on-premise activities. Las Vegas-based Paulson Gaming Supplies can put together a multi-color stack emblazoned with any corporate message, graphic, or design. Costs run between $50 and $85 per 100 chips, depending on details. Turnaround time is two weeks to one month. Clients that have used the chips include Harley-Davidson, the San Francisco 49ers, and MGM Studios. For more information, call 702-384-2425 or e-mail authprod@paulsongaming.com.

Small-Wheel Drive

These die-cast miniature cars from Bonita Springs, FL-based Crown Premiums can add brand character to consumer workplaces or homes. Models can be supplied with details — engines under the hood, workable headlights, wheels that turn — or ordered simply as car replicas. Prices range from $5 to $21 per unit, depending on specs. Minimum order is 250 pieces for a detailed model, 1,250 pieces for a simple replica. For more information, call 941-495-6964 or surf over to crownpremiums.com.

For Twisted Writers

San Francisco-based Tangle, Inc.’s message pens offer a new twist (pun intended) on the old pen giveaway. The items are composed of four interchangeable parts each outfitted with a different colored point. Users can mix and match the parts to create a variety of shapes. The top of the pen sports a “secret message center,” a small roll of paper that spits out of the head to provide on-the-go note taking. Custom messaging is available. Minimum quantity is 250 units. Pricing begins at $3 per. Turnaround time is two weeks. For more information, call 415-777-3808 or head to tangletoys.com.

Drinking to Extremes

A relevant product for campaigns pitched to “extreme” athletes, “hydration tanks” keep consumers from getting parched while in motion. The plastic sacks store any beverage and fit into backpacks; a plastic tube slips over shoulders and into mouths for controlled sipping. (A separate anchor attaches the sack to kayaks or other equipment). Custom logos and messages can be imprinted on the sacks, which are made of tough polyurethane and available in 32-ounce, 48-ounce, and 90-ounce sizes. Price starts at $16.60 per unit. For more information, call Seattle-based Seattle Sports at 206-782-0773 or head to seattlesportsco.com.

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The Softer Side

Los Angeles-based Robe Works has a full menu of luxurious robes consumers won’t want to take off. Available in several styles, sizes, and colors, the two-layer robes feature separate shell and lining fabrics woven together. Now available to the promotion industry, the robes may fit nicely into premium initiatives and sweeps efforts. The items can be embroidered with brand messages and ship within six weeks of the initial order. Minimum quantity is 12 pieces. Prices start around $60 per unit. For more information, call 213-687-1177 or surf to robeworks.com.

Made in the Shade

Jersey City, NY-based TyBreakers offers a variety of car shades in every shape and size — for use on side windows, windshields, even rear windows. The items range from shades that adhere via suction cups to roller shades that snap up and down. Shades come in mesh and aluminum, and can be plastered with artwork, logos, and messages. Turnaround runs about a month. Call for exact pricing. For more information, dial 201-332-2200 or head to tybreakers.com.

Pop the Top

Early Branch, SC-based Screwpull’s high-end Leverpull wine opener is a solid premium for chic wine enthusiasts. Attach the item to the top of the bottle, pull the handle, and a high-pressure lever sinks into the cork — ejecting the bottle’s top effortlessly. Corporate logos can be stamped or etched onto the Leverpull (call for specifics). There is no minimum quantity requirement. The item comes in a sexy case and is priced around $130 per unit. For more information, call 877-273-8738 or head to screwpull.com.

Book Mark

Hartford, CT-based Lewtan Industries stamps brands on the covers of many relevant guides consumers will keep handy. From road atlases to dictionaries to address books, the books can be ordered in paperback or hardcover form (leather wrap is also available). Prices begin around $2 per book, depending on title and volume. For more information, call 860-278-9800 or log onto lewtan8.com.

Shirt Saver

Protect innocent shirts and blouses with the ExecuBib from Bethlehem, PA-based KMH Enterprises. Consumers wear the stain-resistant bib while munching on the run. The reusable, washable item can be logoed or imprinted with branded messaging and comes with a traveling case (which carries its own moist towelette wipes). There is no minimum quantity, and turnaround time is around three weeks. Price starts at $8.50 per on a 100-piece order and drop as volume rises. For more information, call 877-307-2937 or check execubib.com.

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Suck It Up

Shop-Vac, Williamsport, PA, jumped into the premium business this summer by offering its fleet of vacuums as sweepstakes prizes, incentives, and corporate gifts. Useful in marketing programs pitched to the home-improvement sector, products range in size from small to large, floor models to wall units, petite to powerful. Logos and corporate monikers can be stamped on product exteriors (on orders of 1,000 or more), and turnaround time is about a month. Prices start at $29.99 per unit. For more information, call 516-486-6014 or e-mail senglander@shopvac.com.

Getting Campy

Usable as sweeps prizes or P-O-P displays, self-erecting tents from Fort Washington, PA-based SportSource, Inc. instantly pop open fully assembled when an elastic tie is released (although it took two PROMO editors a few minutes to fold it back up). An assortment of colors are available, and corporate messaging can be imprinted pretty much anywhere. Prices range from $83.66 per on a 500-tent order to $79.53 on a 2,500-piece order. Turnaround time runs 60 to 90 days. For more information, call 800-290-6120 or hit sport-source.com.

PC Jewelry

Add some class to the desktop environment with this high-end computer mouse line from (aptly named) New York City-based Precious Mouse. The item is available encased in solid silver, vermeil, or 14- and 18-carat gold. The click buttons can be emblazoned with semi-precious stones such as abalone and jade. Logos and corporate messages can be etched on. Prices begin around $50 per unit, and turnaround time runs six weeks. There is no minimum-order size. For more information, call 212-221-9730 or hit preciousmouse.com.

At Arm’s Length

Who needs a whole T-shirt? Logoed sleeves from Pompano Beach, FL-based Sleeves, Inc. let brands get instant play when events turn chilly. A nice item for tailgate parties or other fall and winter outdoor venues, the items slip over the wrist to turn any short-sleeve top into a long-sleeve shirt. Available in three sizes, the item costs around $3.95 per pair. Turnaround time runs a few weeks. For more information, call 954-979-9818 or e-mail incsleeves@aol.com.

Leaf Me Alone

Adding some life (literally) to incentive efforts is a phone call away. Plants With a Message, Plymouth, FL, offers an array of things green and leafy. Logos can be imprinted on the pot (many colors and patterns are available) and personalized cards can be staked in the soil. Prices range from $2.95 each (on a 250-plant order) for the smallest offerings up to $46.95 a pop for the “Magnum.” Turnaround time is about two weeks. For more information, call 407-886-6239 or visit plantswithamessage.com.

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Marketing Is a Breeze

Lancaster, PA-based InSight’s new Fan-Tastic can cool customers while giving brands a breath of fresh marketing. Perfect for either P-O-P displays or sweeps prizes, the two-speed oscillating fan uses 38 LED lights on the blades to display messages or flashing pictures in up to three colors. A chip inside the blade can be changed easily to update the graphics. Turnaround time is 16 weeks. Minimum order is 1,000 fans. Wall-mount and desk-sized items are available, too. For pricing and other information, dial up 717-892-2037 or head to insightideas.com.

Beach Blanket Bingo

Blending comfort and function, the Blanket Buddie is a round beach towel with a nylon cord sewn into its mesh edging. Pull the cord and the blanket folds up to become a carry-all. Manufactured by Leominster, MA-based Buddie Products, the blanket has a washable terry cloth top and mesh pockets to hold toys, sunscreen, books, and other small items. The Buddie comes in two diameter sizes (five feet and six feet) and can be imprinted with logos or brand messages. Prices run around $25 each. Minimum quantity on custom-logoed items is 1,000 units. Turnaround time is six weeks. For more information, call 978-466-6999.

Having a Ball

The Golf Caddy from Toronto-based Statusmark Corp. is a plastic sleeve in which golfers can store their tiny whities, saving them the effort of bending over to reach into their bag. Constructed of durable materials and outfitted with a calibrated spring to assist in dispensing (think PEZ), the 42-inch Caddy holds a dozen balls and sits alongside clubs in the bag. Tops and sides can be stamped with brand messages. The item has already been used by the likes of Microsoft and Cadillac. Pricing begins at $29.95 each on 24-piece orders and drops to $17.95 per for 500. For more information, call 416-663-2157 or head to thegolfballcaddy.com.

Catch of the Day

Nova Scotia, Canada-based Clearwater’s new Ocean Treasures package brings fresh seafood right to the dinner table. Lobsters, salmon steaks, mussels, and scallops are packaged with an enamel pot and shipped with sea salt, a chrome lobster cracker, seafood forks, and disposable bibs. A cookbook and cheesecake can also be included. The pots can be outfitted with corporate logos or messages. Packages start around $100 per. Turnaround time is as short as several days, although Clearwater prefers a few weeks for large orders. For more information, call 877-722-5567 or check out www.clearwater.ca.

Staying Fresh

CompliMints, from the Philadelphia-based company of the same name, are matchbox-sized mint packs boasting custom-printed covers. The lid of the package can be resealed and outfitted with any four-color graphic. The items feature tamper tabs, and the mints boast a two-year shelf life. Ballpark pricing runs around 10 cents each. Turnaround time is 40 days from approval. Minimum quantity is 25,000 pieces. For more information, call 215-732-2400 or e-mail ronslovitz@aol.com.

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Another Sucker Born

Help customers get a hold of things with the new L’il Sucker from Minnetonka, MN-based Innovative Marketing Consultants. The suction cup keeps drinks, paints, nail polish, and other containers from spilling, on virtually every surface. The item comes in a variety of sizes and colors. Custom logos and messaging are available. Prices start at $1.18 per on a 500-piece order. Turnaround time is 14 days. For more information, call 877-461-1425 or hit imcsuccess.com.

Paint Your Cake and Eat It, Too

Foodoodlers from Fair-Lawn, NJ-based Private Label Products let kids create works of art they can later eat. Use them on cakes, cookies, or crackers for in-pack premiums, on-pack SLOs, or event giveaways. The food coloring-based ink markers, which come in three- and five-packs of assorted colors, work best on hard, glazed surfaces and need to be refrigerated after first use. Prices run between $3 and $6 per pack, depending on number of markers and customized packaging requirements. For more information, call 201-703-6525 or e-mail foodoodler@aol.com.

Call of the Wild

Combining plush and technology, animal covers for cell phones are now available from Sarasota, FL-based Fun Friends. Slip a pelican over that Motorola, a whale on top of that Nokia — all without blocking the keypad. The company also has covers for remote controls, palm pilots, and — get this — trailer hitches. Custom printing is available. Minimum order is 1,500 pieces on custom jobs. Prices start around $5 each. Turnaround time is four weeks. Call the company for more specifics at 941-346-7770 or visit funphonefriend.com.

Aroma Therapy

Cape Coral, FL-based PromoScents’ namesake air freshener can be customized on the exterior as well as the interior. Choose from a full menu of 42 scents, then design the graphic by choosing stock or custom images. Clients have used them as miniature billboards, event invitations, and gifts. A coupon or a sweeps gamepiece can be inserted into the item’s underbelly; recipients pull a tab to view the offer. Minimum order is 1,000 units. Price starts at $1 each and drops based on volume. Turnaround time is three weeks. For more information, call 941-549-7600 or head to promoscents.net.

Fun and Functional

Getting youngsters to buckle up just got a little easier. Perfect for kid campaigns and cause initiatives, the Fastening Friend motivates children to wear their seatbelts. Several 14-inch plush animals (dragon, worm, turtle) strap onto the belt, adding a play element to safety exercises. Custom printing is available on orders of 5,000 pieces or more from manufacturer Fasten Creation Co. Prices start around $5 per. For more information, call 314-862-7800 or e-mail claytondavis@aol.com.

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Card Sharps

The new I Card from Charlotte, NC-based Dimensional Products, Inc. is a creative way to distribute gift cards in-store or in the mail. The item’s exterior packaging can be emblazoned with art, logos, or messages. The gift card is housed inside the package, and slides out when users pull a center tab. Turnaround time begins at 10 days. Minimum order quantity is 2,500. Price is based on volume, but ranges between 20 cents and $1 a piece. For more information, call 704-987-9525 or check out dimensionalproductsinc.com.

Take a Load Off

Help customers take a quick break from on-the-go activities with the Flipstick, a British import from Flipstick International. The item unfolds from a small carrying case to become a seat. The non-slip rubber foot can cope with any surface. Minimum order size is 350 pieces. Prices run $44 per item. The carrying case can be imprinted with logos or messaging, and the Flipstick is available in four colors. Turnaround time varies. For more information, call 017-88-542109 or check out info@flipstick.co.uk.

Cleaning Up the Message

Exposing people to brands in uncluttered environments just got a little easier. Fanwood, NJ-based Mary Ellen’s Sweet Soaps puts corporate logos or messages inside bars of natural glycerin soap. Prices start at $2.50 each. Minimum order quantity is 50 pieces. Turnaround time is about two weeks. The items can be ordered with logoed burlap bags for an extra 50 cents per. For more information, call 908-BIG-SOAP or hit sweetsoaps.com.

Barking Back

Add interactivity to pet play with this new offering from Fairport Harbor, OH-based Our Pets. The plush toy houses a recording module pet owners can use to tape a greeting or phrase (up to 10 seconds long) that Rover or Kitty activate with the touch of a paw. Logos can be added to the exterior. Pricing is based on volume but begins at around $4 per, and there is no minimum-order requirement. Turnaround time runs roughly 15 business days. For more information, call 800-565-2695 or head to our-pets.com.

No Melting Allowed

Following a successful run in Europe, the KeepCool thermal freezer bag recently entered the U.S. Retail customers such as Kroger, Ukrop’s, and Big Y have already used the bags to help shoppers keep frozen items ice cold on the drive home. Graphics and messages can be printed on the exterior. Several colors and a variety of sizes are available. Minimum order quantity is 15,000 pieces. Prices begin at $2.61 per bag but depend on volume, size, and specifics. For more information, call 201-391-8775 or head to keepcoolusa.com.

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Lock and Load

The new Gear Lock from Montgomery, AL-based Abstrac Products is perfect for school lockers, backpacks, key-chains, skis, and more. The item sports a combination lock, is available in six colors and two shapes (oval and D-ring), and is priced around $3.10 per. Minimum order is 12 units. Turnaround time is two days. For more information, call 334-262-6876.

Beach Bumming

Heat up summer sweepstakes prize pools, event giveaways, or premium offers with the Versatowel, a comfy item that sports a built-in head cushion. Manufactured by Irvine, CA-based R&B Gear, the towel can be imprinted with logos or corporate names and is available in several colors. Turnaround time is 15 days. Prices drop from $23.33 each on a 199-piece order to $19.23 for 1,000. Minimum order is 100 towels. For more information, call 949-851-1000 or check out rbgear.com.

Wash Before Playtime

Here’s an easy way to get tykes into the tub. Crazy Soap, a clear glycerin soap bar, comes with its own built-in premium toy. The only way to get to the toy is to use up the soap. Manufacturer Crazy Pet, Azusa, CA, offers a wide variety of toys to pack inside. For price and shipping information, call 800-GEE-PETS or check out crazypet.com.

Cool Tunes

The new Rock Cooler blends the best of two popular summer activities — music and thirst-quenching. Manufactured by Purchase, NY-based Sterling Promotional Corp., the product features a battery-powered AM/FM radio and an insulated cooler (with carrying strap). Minimum order size is 2,640. Prices run about $35 a pop. Custom logos can be imprinted on the item, which is available in a bevy of colors. For more information, call 914-694-6500 or head to sterlingpromo.com.

Money Talks

Custom MoneyLogo bookmarks from Fresno, CA-based Rasco Products are found cash. The company laminates currency from around the world and stamps the item’s exterior with a corporate logo or message. Minimum order is 250 pieces. Prices range from $1.15 to $1.45 each, depending on volume. Turnaround time is around two weeks. For more information, call 800-727-2631.

NEW AND NOTEWORTHY PRODUCTS

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FEBRUARY 2001 Slim Shady Summer’s coming, and Maui Jim, Inc. is ready with a full line of high-end sunglasses. The Peoria, IL-based company, which jumped into the promotional products game last year and has already serviced such brands as MasterCard and American Airlines, offers a variety of items in four pricing categories (shades start at $100 each). There are numerous styles to choose from featuring lightweight frames, impact-resistant polycarbonate lenses, non-glare elements, and scratch-resistant coatings. For exact pricing and custom-messaging opportunities, call 888-628-4546 or check out mauijim.com.

Go Fetch A dog’s wardrobe needn’t be limited to bandanas and silly pullover sweaters. Collar Bonz attach to any standard collar via Velcro cuffs; waterproof message tags cling tightly enough to survive the friskiest romp. Retail cost: $3.50 for one cuff and three messages, $12 for six cuffs and 33 messages. Bonz can be customized. Dry-erase sets with markers are available. Costs range from 70 cents apiece for 10,000 sets (one cuff and three messages) to $1 per for 1,000. No minimum order limits. Turnaround time is two to three weeks. For more information, call 651-998-0211 or hit collarbonz.com.

Attention! Stick-on miniature flag sets from Westbury, NY-based FlagPro USA can be customized with logos or messages and attached (via suction cups) to anything and everything – from windshields to walls to beverage glasses. Minimum order is 3,000 pieces. Prices start at $1.05 a pop and drop as low as 90 cents each, depending on volume. For more information, call 516-997-3100 or log onto flagprousa.co

Inflated Image Measurement Specialties, Fairfield, NJ, has put together a line of functional tire gauges marketers might want to consider for SLO and premium efforts. The gauges come in a variety of shapes and sizes, with many featuring digital displays, rubberized grip handles, and lifetime lithium batteries. Call the company at 973-808-1819 to discuss corporate imprinting and pricing, or head to msiusa.com.

Strap Hangers Getting your brand’s name in the hands of busy travelers is as easy as serving them customized Jet Belts from Concord, GA-based Global Group. The two-inch-wide item wraps around suitcases to make recognizing luggage in the baggage claim area that much easier. Logos are imprinted on the buckle. Some 40 colors are available. Minimum order is 250 pieces. Prices start at around $9, and vary by volume and customization. Turnaround time is about a month. For more information, call 925-680-8515 or email info@globalgroup.com.

NEW AND NOTEWORTHY PRODUCTS

Posted on by Chief Marketer Staff

Remote Patrol Customers spend more time on the couch than anywhere else. (This is not documented, just our opinion.) Capitalize on that sad fact by getting your brand right in front of them. A new universal remote control from Wakefield, MI-based Tomni puts marketers in the spotlight – literally. Company logos or messages are printed on the lower portion of the device. When a button is pushed, the remote and the logo light up. The item works with TVs, VCRs, DVDs, cable boxes, and stereo receivers. Tomni is wrapping up beta tests and the item is now available. Prices range from $7.50 to $9 each. Turnaround time is 45 days. For more information, call 906-224-4409 or head to remoteads.com.

Visionary Premium A creative premium for senior-targeted marketing campaigns, these miniature reading glasses fold up to fit in a metal carrying case. Manufactured by Chicago-based Specialty Specs, the glasses are durable and small enough to carry in a pocket or purse (the carrying case is also available with a lanyard consumers wear around their necks). Prices start at around $12 each depending on volume. Turnaround time is two to seven weeks. For more information, call 847-374-1740 or visit specialtyspecs.com.

Splash Down Warm weather still prevails in much of the nation. Affordable pool premiums from Stevensville, MD-based Sevylor may be just right for sweeps prize pools in warmer regions this winter, or elsewhere to keep frostbitten customers’s minds off shoveling snow. The company manufactures a bevy of aquatic products, from rafts and chairs to a variety of floating items. The 60-inch-diameter pool pictured here holds 72 gallons, weighs 12 pounds (sans water), and inflates in a jiffy. The item features inflatable “I-Beams” that line the bottom for extra support. Prices run about $40 per with a 500-piece minimum. Turnaround time is 90 days. Custom messaging is available. For more information, call 410-643-5566.

Corner Table Perfect for mobile marketing staffers or as premium giveaways, the all-in-one picnic table from Moorpark, CA-based Picnic Time unfolds from a mini-suitcase into a sturdy 34-inch-by-26-inch table (it sat four bulky PROMO editors comfortably). Priced at $40 a pop (before printing charges), the item is extremely affordable and can be logoed pretty much anywhere. Adding an 84-inch branded umbrella (which slides through a hole in the table’s center) costs another $9 per. For more information, call 888-742-6429 or head to picnictime.com.

Good Timing In this industry, anything different has a good chance to score direct hits with consumers. Funky clocks from Long Branch, NJ-based 4-D Design certainly qualify as different, featuring unique shapes, sizes, and how-the-hell-does-it-work operation. The company produces pyramid-shaped clocks, timepieces that move in all directions, and other items consumers will love showing off on coffee tables or desks. Custom printing is available. Prices range from about $7 to $10 depending on volume. A 50-percent deposit is required on orders. For more information, call 732-571-2885.

NEW AND NOTEWORTHY PRODUCTS

Posted on by Chief Marketer Staff

NOVEMBER 2000 Apple Not Included Metal lunch boxes are popular once again. But you don’t have to go hunting for your old Welcome Back, Kotter carry-all. Give consumers a new tote for their meals with custom metal lunch boxes from Northglenn, CO-based Derivative Works. The 7.75-inch by 6.75-inch by four-inch boxes can be silk-screened (spot-printed on two sides) with company logos and messages or printed in holographic form (four-color on all six sides). Minimum order is 250 pieces on screened items and 2,000 on the holographic ones.

Traveling Light Slim and fashionable, the Taxi Wallet from Danville, CA-based Vallavista Corp. gives consumers a lighter alternative to bulky billfolds for carrying cash and credit cards. The unisex leather wallet has two currency pockets. An interior security pocket holds driver’s license and credit cards, while the exterior slot is good for business cards and receipts. A variety of different leathers including cowhide and alligator are available, all of which can be imprinted with corporate logos or messages.

Ears to You Imported from the streets of Sweden, Ear Bags manufactured by New York City-based Swedaa Ear Bags give consumers a way to stay warm without messing up their hairdos. The patented ear warmers fit softly and securely without headbands. Easy to put on, they won’t slide off, even under extreme activities such as skiing or running for the subway.

Companies that have used logoed Ear Bags in promotions include Volvo, Trek, and Polo Jeans Co.

A Spoon Full Add some incentive for your pint-sized customers to stop eating with their hands. The seven-inch-long, plastic Talking Spoon from Schaumburg, IL-based RTC Creative Werks contains audio microchips that emit a preprogrammed sound when submerged. (Don’t worry, moms, the sound can be easily deactivated through an on-off switch.) It can be customized with your own licensed characters, and features replaceable batteries. Kraft Foods used the item in a Loony Tunes promotion for its Macaroni & Cheese line earlier this year.

Wind Breaker Cigar and cigarette lighters from Miami-based The Lighter Co. are cool, hip, and sleek. The company’s new Solo line is affordably priced for promotional product initiatives, and offers both metal and plastic items. Logos can be imprinted on metal lighters or silk-screened on plastic ones. The windproof devices – tested by PROMO editors last month at Chicago’s blustering Navy Pier – boast nifty features such as retractable flame extensions, butane-level indicators, sliding security locks, and water-resistant translucent bodies.

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