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February 2006 | Vol. V - No. 2
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Techno-Fashion Puts Sparkle Back in Plastic

LED Lights Turn Accessories Into Excitement


"Belt buckles outsell every other product by far. Males like the larger, metallic ones while women like anything pink and the mini-buckles, something with rhinestones on it."Tamir Elghanayan, Tbuckles
All that glitters is not gold; these days it’s more likely to be LED. Light-emitting diodes (LED) make it possible to have jewelry that twinkles, pulses, even spells out your name in a variety of colors. Most of the pieces work using replaceable 3-volt batteries.

Although many retailers associate LED fashions and accessories with young adults found in the “club scene,” Carolyn Forsman of Carolyn Forsman Conversational Jewelry Pieces believes they are overlooking an enthusiastic younger audience.

“Kids have always loved sparkle. The fascination has been there since things as low-tech as kaleidoscopes … it’s magic,” she explained. One of her best-selling items for younger customers is the Rainbow Necklace, which emits a variety of different colors. “Now technology lets you do things you couldn’t do five years ago. Years ago everything was red, green, yellow because that’s where the technology was. Then different wavelengths became available — blue, white, purple. Just keep waiting and everything under the sun will be available.”

Forsman’s inventory of glowing necklaces, rings, hair clips and earrings suggests that LED accessories are “girls only,” but she points to one of her earliest products, a red flashing arrow clip-on, as a favorite with boys. Tamir Elghanayan, owner of Tbuckles, has been selling LED products since March of 2005. "Belt buckles outsell every other product by far. Males like the larger, metallic ones while women like anything pink and the mini-buckles, something with rhinestones on it." Elghanayan also states that dog tags that can display an image such as the Playboy bunny or a jumping basketball player are primarily a product for Tbuckles’ male customers.

For those who don’t favor jewelry but still want to light up a room, Cybergems offers BodyElectrix, black t-shirts with a hidden pocket to hold a power pack and a Velcro section where a design can be attached. Customers can choose from 14 electroluminescent panels ranging from a butterfly to a skull to an alien. The designs both glow and appear to have motion; for example, the butterfly’s wings appear to flutter.

The LED jewelry market may be opening up to younger customers because, as advances in technology are made, it also becomes more affordable. “Brighter, smaller, more affordable” is how Forsman describes the advances being made with LED. Many pieces can be found for less than $10.00, inexpensive enough to qualify as the perfect stocking stuffer or birthday party favor.

The following is more information on products that reflect this trend.





MSRP: $10.00
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Fashion & Accessories



This LED necklace comes with a star- or heart-shaped pendant that pulses, featuring seven colors.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 6049      (added 12/19/2005)
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MSRP: $5.00
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Fashion & Accessories



This is a clip-on arrow that glows red. It comes with replaceable batteries.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 6050      (added 12/19/2005)
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AD




These LED belt buckles can be programmed to scroll a message up to 612 characters. Messages can scroll at different speeds, in different directions and flash. Messages come in different colors including pink, purple, green, red, yellow, blue and multi. Buckles come in different sizes and styles. Each includes four batteries and a black leather belt. Prices range between $24.99 and $64.99.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 6051      (added 12/19/2005)
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AD




These LED dog tags come with silver backs and chains. They can be programmed to scroll messages in different colors. Some also can be programmed to feature images such as a basketball player or a Playboy bunny. Prices range between $34.99 and $49.99.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 6052      (added 12/19/2005)
.
AD




These black T-shirts come with a hidden pocket to hold a power pack and a Velcro section where a design can be attached. Customers can choose from 14 electroluminescent panels ranging from a butterfly to a skull to an alien. The designs both glow and appear to have motion; for example, the butterfly’s wings appear to flutter.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 6053      (added 12/19/2005)
.
AD


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Jodi M. WebbWriter's Bio: The mother of three children ages 13, 10 and 2, Jodi Webb started out as a toy seller. She´s happy to find a job where her accountant will let her write off her toy purchases! Read more articles by this author

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