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FISHER-PRICE WILL UNVEIL SEVERAL NEW PRODUCTS SUNDAY

Fun and convenience are the themes of several new products Fisher-Price will unveil Sunday at the 30th annual Juvenile Products Manufacturers Show in Dallas.

The East Aurora-based toy and childrens product company has injected a dose of fun and entertainment into many of its new introductions of basic little kid equipment, according to Neil Friedman, president of Fisher-Price brands.

"Everybody in this category makes similar products, the swings, the activity centers, and all the rest," Friedman said. "We take it a step further to give it the level of play and entertainment that makes it a little better, that makes it Fisher-Price."

Leading the pack of new products is the Sounds 'N Lights Entertainer, a sit-in activity center with a bug-like appearance and loads of sights and sounds.

The multi-colored activity center bounces and swivels at three height levels to accommodate the exercise needs of growing infants. A selection of 13 songs, dancing lights, rattles and teethers add to the entertainment mix.

The center, suitable for kids up to 26 pounds, will carry a price of $69.99, and will be available in February 2001. The Sounds 'N Lights center folds and locks for easy portability.

For small fry looking for a little less excitement, the Mattel subsidiary is out with the Swing 'N Comfort Cradlette, a motorized baby swing with a subtle rocking motion. The swing offers a reclining seat back, support pad, security restraint and canopy.

The swing is designed for babies up to 17 pounds, and will be priced at $59.99 when it arrives in stores next February.

Fisher-Price, which exited the car seat business in 1993, only to return with an innovative line of seats in 1997, is adding to it offerings with the Grow With Me Car Seat. "We see car seats as a key part of our product line because it's often our first handshake with mom, and we take that relationship very seriously by offering what we believe are the safest, most innovative seats on the market," Friedman said.

The new Grow With Me seat is designed to accommodate a wide size and age range of children. It can be used with kids as small as 20 pounds, up to 40 pounds, as a forward-facing, top-tethered car seat.

As kids grow, so does the seat, switching gears, via an extension devise, to a booster seat for older children up to 80 pounds that makes use of vehicle seat belts and shoulder harnesses. The company's updated safety seat will be available in January with a price tag of $99.99.

Other Fisher-Price items getting their debut at the juvenile products show include:

Dual Receiver Sounds 'N Lights Nursery Monitor, comes with two receivers instead of one, $34.99.

Listen 'N Locate Walkie-Talkie, allows parents to monitor and locate children up to two miles away, $59.99.

Nurse 'N Play Nursing Pillows, three new versions of nursing pillows, including a deluxe version with a toy bar and soft, detachable toys, up to $29.99.

Portable Changer, a purse-size changing kit that includes a pad, wipe box and diaper pocket, $9.99.

The juvenile products association's annual show includes new products from more than 300 companies that manufacture or import juvenile products such as cribs, strollers, car seats and nursery accessories. The yearly gathering attracts some 3,000 retail buyers from around the world.

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