Remember when you could find all the really cool toys in the window of the local five-and-dime? Well, five-and-dimes have gone the way of penny candy, dime novels, and dollar movies. So where do you find today's big-boy toys? And isn't there anything out there related to boating that doesn't cost an arm and a peg leg? Actually, there is. In fact, we've put together a list of some truly neat stuff, each of which costs less than $30. And we promise they aren't too good to be true. Read on.
ONE FISH, TWO FISH
Begin your journey at Rumpus Toys with Big Fish Little Fish, squishy-soft velour fish that fit inside one another - from smallest to biggest. Price: $24. Contact Rumpus Toys at 888/786-7871, www.rumpustoys.com.
When thrown to the dogs, the soft construction of Ruffwear's Hover Craft won't injure your fingers or Spike's teeth. Made with tough poly-cloth underside, sturdy nylon webbing, and a Diamond Plate P.E.V. top, this disk can take a canine crushing and keep on flying. Price: $11.95. Contact Ruffwear at 888/783-3932, www.ruffwear.com.
Even if you've never caught a fish in your life, you can look as if you have. Choose either the Sundot Marlin T-Shirt or the Fishworks T-Shirt from Melton International Tackle. You'll be the only one who knows you don't know anything about fishing. Price: $15 and $17, respectively. Contact Melton at 800/372-3474, www.meltontackle.com.
PASS THE CHEESE
Feel like a wimp carrying that wicker picnic basket past the hardcore fishing folks at the marina? From now on, picnic in stealth style with a Connoisseur Gourmet Travel Set from Picnic Time. Included in the tough polyester foldover pack are two napkins, a corkscrew, cheese knife, and wooden cutting board. Price: $19.85. Contact Magellan's at 800/962-4943, www.magellans.com.
What's the wonder of it all? It lasts forever, which is why you won't need the Wonder Bar lifetime replacement guarantee. Under the guise of a bar of soap, it transfers odor-bearing acids and oils from the skin to the metal bar. And don't worry if it falls in the drink - it floats. Price: $11.95. Contact 5K Enterprises at 724/443-1377.
Do empties roll with reckless abandon around your boat's sole? If so, chuck your trash in a Trash Trapper, an adhesive strip that attaches the bag holder directly to the boat. When full, the removable five-gallon bag has a zipper at the bottom for convenient disposing of the disposables. Price: $12.95. Contact Orion Industries at 877/487-2773, www.trashtrapper.com.