A Little Computer for the Little Ones' Little Laps


My First Laptop is the latest in techie toyware for toddlers. It's a portable notebook-style computer educational toy with oversized numbers and symbols that should appeal to the 3- to 6-year-old crowd, but it also can be incorporated with a CD-ROM program tied to grown-ups' IBM compatible PCs.

From Illinois-based Tiger Electronics, My First Laptop in its stand-alone mode has 50 learning activities--alphabet, counting, colors, for example--on cards that slip into the laptop, which run on four AA batteries (not included). The kiddie laptop talks, too, guiding preschoolers easily through programs.

Its CD-ROM program, called ABC Mall, can be used with My First Laptop when it is attached to a regular computer with a cable that's included. There are many expanded educational levels there that the kids also can experience. My First Laptop ($59.95) is available through Tiger's toll-free number, (888) TIGER-ED.


In the Cards: There's a new sports trading card out, but it's not the old garden variety cardboard one. Topps NFL CybrCard is a collectible series of CD-ROM trading cards featuring 28 NFL stars from Green Bay quarterback Brett Favre to Oakland Raider runner Tim Brown.

Topps knows cards, too, considering the company has been marketing the cardboard kind since 1938.

With the NFL CybrCard, video clips of the featured player with sound and music, 1995 game highlights, statistics and unforgettable plays are only a point and click away from football fans. Each card also has a playbook with animated chalkboard diagrams and coaching analysis.

And if fans want to, they can make their own personal trading cards by freeze-framing a film clip, sending it to the special section called Photo Lab and creating a printed football card with stats on the back. NFL CybrCards ($19.95 each) are sold at CompUSA stores or can be purchased by calling (888) 292-7849.


Pruning Hook: The Lumberjack Electric Limb Trimmer, introduced by Wen Products in Naperville, Ill., is a new tree trimmer with an extensible design that telescopes up to 10 feet so the homeowner can trim higher branches.

Weighing only 6 pounds, the Lumberjack has a 1.6 amp motor that powers the pruning blade inside its yellow fiberglass housing. The cord is enclosed inside the sturdy fiberglass pole. It has a safety lock-off switch and a retractable safety blade guard.

Lumberjack ($69.95) is available by calling (800) 462-3630.

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