CONSUMERS : Crusher Lends Can Recyclers a Hand

For recyclers, a new hand-operated compactor for aluminum cans called the Crusher is now available nationwide in retail home centers, drug and discount stores.

According to a spokesman for Pacific Fabrication Inc. in Rancho Cucamonga, which makes the device, the wall-mounted Crusher "will easily and safely crush 12-and 16-ounce cans for efficient recycling, transporting and storage." It is constructed of heavy-gauge steel and has a white baked-enamel finish.

Suggested retail price for the Crusher is $19.95. Currently, you can find it at Ace Hardware, True Value Hardware stores and some Longs Drug Stores.

European Massager

There's a new non-electric massager from Europe that may interest athletes and exercise buffs. Available for several years in West Germany, it's now being sold nationwide through a distributor in Lomita. Endorsed by professional golfer Bernhard Langer and Jimmy Kim, gold medalist in martial arts at the Seoul Olympics, the Dermapoints massager is a roller--consisting of 20 wheels with 560 silver-plated points--mounted on a rod with a plastic handle. The idea is to roll it over the area where you're experiencing muscle pain to increase the blood circulation and stimulate the skin. For best results, company literature recommends using Dermapoints "regularly, eight to 15 minutes, up to twice a day," while also suggesting that consumers consult with a doctor for proper diagnosis of any injury.

According to a manufacturer's representative, the product is FDA-approved for sale in the United States and may be advertised as a device that "temporarily relieves pain due to fatigue or overexertion, relieves tired muscles and increases blood circulation in the area where it is applied."

Dermapoints comes in two sizes: Model 100 with the single roller at $110.45, and Model 200 with double rows of rollers at $148.72, including sales tax and shipping costs; C.O.D. is an additional $2. To order with MasterCard or Visa call (800)-325-8477 in California or (800) 343-9803 if you live out of state.

Game Serves as Alarm

There's something new for kids that children and parents may both like. It's a sound device--a weapons-noise simulator for games played on bicycles--that also serves as a bike alarm.

The eight-ounce unit can be easily attached to bicycle handlebars and produces four noisy sounds for make-believe bike battles--a rocket launcher, machine gun, laser blaster and a death ray. When you push the buttons, FIRE WHEN READY emits tones like the sound effects from "Star Wars."

But it also can be programed as a motion-detector alarm--activated by pressing the alarm button after locking the bike with a chain lock. It does scream if someone is tampering with the bike, and only the bike's owner--who programmed it with a code by pushing a combination of numbers--can deactivate the alarm.

At suggested retail of $14.99 to $19.99, it is available nationwide at K mart stores and some Longs Drug Stores. In the Los Angeles area you also can purchase it at Mr. G's Expressions stores, Lehr & Black gift shop in Beverly Hills, Cycle World in Northridge and Buddy Brown Toys in Studio City.

Signs for the Times

If you need a special sign for a birthday party or garage sale or want to make a big personalized greeting card, you might try a new sign-making kit that will create a sign in a few minutes by using a standard copy machine.

Bosses might not appreciate your using the office machine, but you can take the kit--composed of 8x5-inch letters, numbers, punctuation marks, a dollar sign and a heart--to your nearest copier shop and do it yourself, even in color letters. Two letters fit on one copy page.

"It costs pennies per letter," said the kit's designer, Bill Baltz, a sign painter for 20 years. "I got a lot of requests for paper signs, but my customers were usually shocked when they found out how much sign painters charge, and usually they wanted the sign immediately . . . I kept trying to figure out a way they could make their own signs quickly and cheaply."

The sign kit comes with a plastic carrying pouch, easy instructions and hints for better sign making. After copying the letters on individual sheets of paper, you simply tape the copies together on the back. To order, for $5.95, plus $1.05 for same-day, first-class shipping, write: Bannerman, 23 S. Fairview Ave., P.O. Box 1261, Goleta, Calif. 93117.

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