From the April 1998 issue of Startups

The scarecrow finally got his brain. Instead of just hanging around in your customers' gardens like his passive predecessors, the Scarecrow Motion Activated Sprinkler uses the brain the wizards at Comtech Electronics Inc. gave him--a motion sensor that detects pesky animal intruders and shoots a stream of water to frighten them away.

The Scarecrow runs on two 9-volt batteries and attaches to a garden hose. When it detects a bird or any other garden intruder, it sprays a stream of water for three seconds. The sprinkler head can be adjusted to different spray distances and switched from "spray" to "jet" settings.

Wholesale price: $75. Suggested retail price: $129. No minimum order s required, but shipping is free with the purchase of two or more units.

From Comtech Electronics Inc., Saanichton, British Columbia. To order, call (800) 767-8658

Please Be Seated

You may not think of the average grocery store as a battlefield. But listen closely and you'll hear the battle cry of a child being scolded for standing in a shopping cart or pulling shiny products off the shelves. Help parents call a truce and keep their children comfortable and secure with the Baby-Hold-Me-Safe, a portable child safety seat that can be adjusted to fit shopping carts as well as mall strollers and high chairs.

The Baby-Hold-Me-Safe seat has oversized, padded straps that attach in the back to help prevent children from unbuckling the safety restraint. Large front and back pads deter youngsters from standing up, while the padded front also keeps children from touching germ-infected shopping cart handles. The versatile seat can even double as a changing pad and has a convenient diaper pocket and toy attachments.

The Baby-Hold-Me-Safe is machine washable and folds and stores easily in its own drawstring duffel bag. Recommended for ages 5 months to 4 years, the safety seat comes in yellow with black trim.

Wholesale price: $11. Suggested retail price: $21.95. Minimum order: 12 units.

From Carousel Concepts Inc. in Shelby Township, Michigan. To order, call (888) 422-4448.

In Living Color

By Jessica Hale

What comes in a rainbow of colors, glows in the dark, allows kids to make as big a mess as they want and still washes away without leaving a trace? Colorations Inc.'s brightly colored 3-in-1 Activity Paints--sure to make your customers smile while inspiring creativity in their children. Colorations all-purpose activity paints can be applied with brushes, sponges or fingers. Unlike traditional finger paints, they're not runny and don't require special paper.

The paints are available in sparkle, metallic, fluorescent and even glow-in-the-dark varieties, as well as traditional "Basic Brights" colors so vivid, kids will love them. Parents will love the fact that they're nontoxic and wash off easily with a little soap and water--a far cry from the murky, gooey paints that can stain kids' clothes so easily.

Wholesale price for a 16-ounce container of paint: $2 to $3.25. Suggested retail price: $5 to $6.50. Minimum order: $100.

From Colorations Inc., Duluth, Georgia. To order, call (800) 831-6929.