HOT TIPS : THESE TWISTED TOYS ARE FOR TWISTED MINDS.
The 6-inch toy parodies, set to be introduced Nov. 15 in smaller toy and gift stores nationwide, take a jaundiced look at both society and other toys. There's the No Fur-Be, which is completely fur-less except for a tuft of hair on its head, and is thankfully speechless; the Teletushy, a purple, pocketbook-toting critter (a limited-edition orange version is also available); and Dopeman, a yellow creature google-eyed after searching through one too many card packets and challenging one too many mini monsters.
The toys - which you can also find on the Web at www.meanies.com - are recommended for kids 3 and older. Suggested retail price is $7.
- Carol Bidwell
Fun with figures
In these days of Sega Dreamcast and programmable robot dogs, there's something refreshing about the simple geometry of tangrams.
The Chinese puzzle game that dates back 1,000 years proposes creative challenges with pieces, called ``tans,'' cut from a square: two small, one medium and two large triangles; one rhomboid and one square.
Trying to create the more than 500 shapes to be formed with these seven tangram pieces makes this a brain-teasing game that can be played solo or with a companion. A timer can up the challenge in a head-to-head competition.
It's harder than it looks, even with the help of the 78-page book included in the Tangram Pack (Tuttle Publishing; $29.95), which includes two complete tangrams.
It's art. It's fun. And no batteries are required. Imagine that.
- Phil Davis
Is there a doctor for the house?
In the rapid-fire pace of near-Y2K, there's no time for words, only time for acronyms. So you know it's big when people are noting the growing DIY movement.
Do-it-yourself, that is.
You'll find the evidence at any home improvement store, where aisles are littered with lost souls in search of someone wearing a work apron.
To guide the unsteady hands of the many homeowners who bought into sheltered bliss and awoke to find themselves idea-rich but money-poor, the latest home improvement master has come out with a how-to volume.
In ``Ron Hazelton's HouseCalls: America's Most Requested Home Improvement Projects'' (Time-Life Books; $29.95), the amiable house doctor often seen with hammer and nail on ``Good Morning America'' and his own show (``Ron Hazelton's HouseCalls,'' 4:30 a.m. Sundays on ABC) has put his advice in writing.
Hazelton gives do-it-yourselfers step-by-step instructions and photographs on everything from refacing kitchen cabinets to installing a bathroom exhaust fan.
Be warned: He makes it look easy, which can be both a blessing and a curse. Sometimes it's just better to pay someone to do it right. But when painted into a financial corner, this can be a useful tool for anyone with more motivation than know-how.
- Betty Kwong
PHOTO (1 -- 2) no caption (Meanies)
(3) no caption (Tangram pack)
(4) no caption (``Ron Hazelton's HouseCalls: America's Most Requested Home Improvement Projects'')
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|Title Annotation:||L.A. Life|
|Publication:||Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)|
|Date:||Oct 30, 1999|
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