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June 2005 | Vol. IV - No. 6
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Back to the Backpacks and Notepads


Article Synopsis
  • Practical items with bold graphics are this year´s trend.
  • Study aids help kids play and learn.
  • Hot lunchboxes keep meals cool.
With back-to-school season looming, a wide variety of school supplies can lure children back to class without a hassle. Though colorful and inventive, many products remain practical.

Backpacks, lunch boxes, notepads, book covers and pencils seem to be the most popular items, but the ones that stand out have a theme, innovative design or feature that helps kids get organized. Other items for the coming school year also aid learning and studying.

?We want to make products that help children in the classroom,? says Ivan Reed, senior manager of campaigns at Office Depot. ?This season we?ve moved away from things that distract kids ? like troll pencils or scented erasers. Our unofficial slogan is ?tools, not toys.??

This season, Office Depot will carry a number of products that are both practical and educational, such as Grab-and-Go Study Aids, an Office Depot exclusive, and LeapPad learning aids from Leap Frog. ?Parents today have less and less time to spend at the kitchen table helping kids with their homework,? continues Reed. ?These study aids have an educational element, but at the same time it?s like playing a game.?

New lunch totes are ?cooler? than the old clunky metal boxes parents lugged around as kids. Not only do they look better, they?re actually mini-coolers that keep kids? lunches fresh.

?With younger kids, they like anything with bright colors,? says Michelle Stringer, assistant manager at a Staples store in Los Angeles. ?Lisa Frank items, like datebooks and backpacks, are popular with girls. And Mead, of course, is always in stock at our store every year at this time.?

What follows are just a few of the back-to-school items that kids will be grabbing off shelves in the fall.





Category: School Supplies



Featuring spunky characters created by then 13-year-old Juliet Brindak, these notebooks, date books and memo pads are aimed at the self-empowered tween girl and range in price from $1 to $3. Each hip character has a different hobby, including cooking, writing and playing sports.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 3662      (added 5/26/2005)
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Category: School Supplies



Unlike paper covers that fall off in two months, this durable cover is made of stretchy nylon fabric that lasts from one year to the next. Sold separately is a binder made of the same material and a one-subject notebook with ruled paper. Products range in price from $2 to $15.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 3664      (added 5/26/2005)
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Category: School Supplies



Designed for young girls and tweens, these hip backpacks have been updated to enhance practicality. They include both a CD holder and pencil pouch attachment, and range in price from $6.99 to $29.99.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 3667      (added 5/26/2005)
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Category: School Supplies



This organizational system allows students to file their papers, notebooks and textbooks in separate pouches, which then slip easily into a backpack. The Big Mouth Filer holds five removable color-coordinated folders and has a reinforced gusset that can expand to support more than 200 sheets of paper.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 3670      (added 5/26/2005)
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Category: School Supplies



These bags have a binder, pencil pouch, glue stick, pencils, erasers, notebook and crayons, all contained in a fun, but practical, tote featuring colorful illustrations. They are priced between $24.99 and $29.99.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 3673      (added 5/26/2005)
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MSRP: $9.99
Category: Science & Nature



These retain food?s freshness with TherMax® double wall vacuum insulation and a stainless steel interior and exterior to withstand the daily perils of lunch-toting kids. The Food Jars keep food hot for five hours and cold for seven hours. Each Food Jar holds 10 ounces of food.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 3678      (added 5/26/2005)
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MSRP: $9.99
Category: School Supplies



Designed with a hygienic push-button lid and pop-up straw, this bottle holds 12 ounces of liquid and will keep beverages cold for up to 11 hours. Hot beverages are not recommended for this product. Like the FUNtainer Food Jars, it?s made with TherMax® double wall vacuum insulation and a stainless steel interior and exterior.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 3680      (added 5/26/2005)
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Category: School Supplies



Made of durable plastic with an accompanying eight-ounce water bottle, this kit features a static cling wardrobe that lets kids change Barbie´s outfit. Prices range between $7.99 and $12.99.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 3683      (added 5/26/2005)
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Category: School Supplies



These soft kits feature licensed characters and include an interactive element to keep kids engaged during lunchtime. The Barbie My Special Things kit includes a hidden, non-breakable mirror and the Scooby-Doo Soft Lunch Kit offers interchangeable cover designs. Star Wars and Batman lunch kits will also be available. Snak ?n Spin kits have games built right into them. Hide ?n Snak kits have hidden pouches to keep a note or special treat from Mom.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 3684      (added 5/26/2005)
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Category: School Supplies



This lunch bag, lunch box and lunch kit with a side compartment for a water bottle range in price from $7.99 to $10.99. All three items are made of insulated vinyl, which aids in keeping lunch fresh. Designs include kitties and puppies, Surf Girl, Glam Girl, Candy Girl and Angel Girl.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 3686      (added 5/26/2005)
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Category: Arts & Crafts



Add style to ordinary paper and photos with the new Paper Shapers by Armada Art, Inc. New designs include bat wings, bubbles and dragon back! You can use these unique scissors for scrapbooks, greeting cards, ribbons, and more, to make creative borders and shapes. It also comes with a convenient oak stand to store all your scissors.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 1860      (added 12/10/2004)
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MSRP: $6.99
Age Range: 3 to 8
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Arts & Crafts
Stationery



Bring marine life into your drawing book with Sea Life Stencils, a creative way to enhance hand-eye coordination and make amazing artwork that can be colored in with crayons or paint. The set includes twelve different stencils in a sturdy, snap-closure portable storage bag.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 1858      (added 12/10/2004)
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MSRP: $40.00
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Fashion & Accessories



This little piggy goes to market, school and out on the town in a new backpack form. Her 3-D ears and spiral tail will charm animal lovers of all ages. The two-sided design will surprise and amuse with everyone?s favorite ?this little piggy? rhyme on the reverse. The 9? by 9? by 3? piggy backpack has adjustable straps, a top carry handle and a beaded zipper-pull for easy access to a roomy compartment to carry all essential items.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 3499      (added 5/4/2005)
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The new definition to wearing a brain bucket! Once attached this Human Brain´s synapses flash in sequence. It´s said to bring inspired contemplation to all who wear it.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 3509      (added 5/9/2005)
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