With an LCD display and a lithium battery to power the clock into the next century, the Millennium 2000 Countdown Clock can keep track of time in three ways: as a timer that tracks the time remaining until January 1, 2000; as a traditional clock; or as a timer to count down to any special date.
The clock face can also be customized in full color with a company logo or advertising campaign graphics and then set for a grand opening or product launch.
Wholesale price: $12.50. Suggested retail price: $24.95. Minimum order: 24. Minimum order for corporate custom clocks: 144; prices vary with volume discounts.
From Countdown Clocks International, Garden City, New York. To order, call (888) 313-2001.
Cereal-box prizes make parents breathe sighs of relief by keeping the breakfast table quiet, and now Soapsters are going to revolutionize bath time. Designed to entice kids into sudsing and scrubbing more often, each glycerin Soapster soap bar holds a toy in the center--accessible only when the soap is used up.
More than 100 different toys are featured in the 13 Soapster lines, which feature animals from around the globe, including sea life, jungle creatures and zoo animals. Kids can lather up with poison dart frogs from the Amazon, spiders, beetles, cats, teddy bears, dinosaurs, fish and horses. Soapsters also feature Halloween, Christmas and Hanukkah holiday toys. The soaps come in several kid-friendly scents, including grape, green apple, orange blast, bubble gum and jungle punch. Each 2.7-ounce bar is made of all-natural, vegetable-based glycerin soap.
Wholesale price: $2.50 to $3 each. Suggested retail price: $5 to $6 each. Minimum order: 36 soaps (assorted styles).
From Vibes Inc., Upland, California. To order, call (800) 997-3330.
By Shara Lessley
How many times have dinner fiestas been ruined by loose-meat landslides? Or carpets soiled at the sound of a corn shell's "crunch?" Provide hungry customers with Taco Time's new Taco Plate, and Mexican food lovers will never again complain of excessive lettuce and sour cream spillage.
Mealtime needn't be messy, and Taco Time makes serving Mexican food simple. Taco Time's Taco Plate is a combination taco-and-food platter that holds two tacos upright to prevent fiesta fiascoes. With Taco Time, tacos not only stand up straight in their raised-edge compartments, but they're separated from side dishes. Taco Time also works as a TV/lap tray and makes for easy taco preparation and transport from kitchen counter to tabletops.
Taco Time Taco Plates come in three festive colors: green, red and white. Lightweight, stackable, durable, dishwasher- and microwave-safe, Taco Time plates are ideal for everyday dining or special gatherings.
Wholesale price: $1.36. Suggested retail price: $2.49 to $2.99. Minimum order: 48 plates.
From Maverick Ventures Inc., St. Louis, Missouri. To order, call (800) 467-4656.
The Rosen Group, http://www.countdownclock.com
Vibes Inc., fax: (909) 920-6658.