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Listening in

BY Barbara White-Sax

AVENEL, N.J. — Mizco International has introduced iEssentials’ RoboBuds T earbud headphones for children, featuring a built-in volume control to protect children’s hearing. The new line of earbuds includes five colorful “robot’’ character designs — Phantom, Streke, Electrika, PowerBot and CrimsonRobo. The earbuds are designed with a volume limiting output of 85 decibels. The line was created to provide kids of all ages with a high-performance audio accessory that is safe to use and fun to collect. The earbuds retail for $9.99. Mizco plans to add over-the-ear headphones to the RoboBuds lineup later this year.

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Paper cards’ future strong

BY Barbara White-Sax

Experts said that despite competition from electronic cards and rising postal fees, there still is a future for the paper greeting card category. Sean O’Malley, an analyst for Wedge Capital, estimated the industry saw 1% unit volume growth last year. He estimated 2011 greeting card sales were $2.5 billion to $3 billion. Nearly 80% of category sales are driven by women ages 30 to 50 years whose “habits die hard,” according to O’Malley. Premium cards and value cards are performing best.

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ReportersNotebook — General Merchandise, 2/27/12

BY Barbara White-Sax

SUPPLIER NEWS — Glade has introduced its Expressions collection, which features two new designs: the fragrance mist, a refillable home fragrance spray; and an oil diffuser, a nonelectric diffuser that can disperse fragrances for up to 30 days. The four available fragrances include cotton and Italian mandarin; pineapple and mangosteen; fuji apple and cardamom spice; and lavendar and juniper berry. Glade Expressions fragrance mist is available for $4.49; refills are available for $3.49 each. Available in two fragrances, the Glade Expressions oil diffuser starter kit is $8.49; refills are available in three fragrance varieties for $5.49 each.


Zak Designs has created drinkware items for on-the-go toddlers. Zak’s Toddler Go cups feature the patent-pending FloControl valve, designed to cater to children as they age and require a more flowing drinking spout. The cups are spill proof, dishwasher safe and BPA free, and will be available in Disney designs, including “Cars” and “Disney Princesses.”


The joint venture of Duracell and Powermat Technologies has announced its new product lineup. Duracell Powermat said the new line of Duracell Powermat products provides a two-part system that pairs newly designed charging mats — in either black or white — with receivers and a portable wirelessly charged backup battery that lets consumers take power with them. The new Duracell Powermat complete charging kit also will be available in first quarter 2012 to provide consumers with a one-stop option for wireless power.

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