These Days, Kids Everywhere Are Leading Charmed Lives
Six-year-old Vanessa Agard-Jones has 75 and likes them because "when it's very quiet they make a lot of noise." Debbie Feldheim, 7, lets her dolls play with them, while her sister, Rachel, 10, thinks they're "neat, and I like to have things my friends have." They're talking about charms, this season's hot-selling answer to Cabbage Patch Kids and Deely Bobbers.
The colorful plastic baubles first began dangling around the necks of young girls several months ago in New York and other big cities and are now finding their way to suburban shopping malls. Made mostly in Taiwan, the necklaces, with a dozen charms, retail at $3 to $8, and individual charms cost 50 cents and up. Of the more than 100 fanciful ornaments to choose from, favorites include baby bottles, whistles, toilet bowls with moveable rims, blow-dryers, ballet slippers and earphones.
"The great thing is that kids don't just buy one charm—but lots of them," says one distributor, who shipped nearly half a million charms in July and August. "They're like baseball cards. A child can't have too many. The more she has, the more she wants."
The life span of the fad may be fleeting. Few think they'll jingle past the Christmas season. But New York's Lueanne Wood, a charm distributor, may have hit upon an alternative to the children's market. Rufus, her Boston terrier, sports a necklace with 23 charms. "When I walk down Park Avenue, 15 people a day ask me where I got the necklace," she says. The dog days of charms may yet be upon us.
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