updated 06/17/2009 AT 01:00 AM EDT
•originally published 06/17/2009 AT 01:00 AM EDT
FROZEN CONCOCTION MAKER
WHAT'S GOOD: The separate ice shaver on the top gives frozen drinks that perfect slushy consistency.
BUT...Shaved ice melts more quickly, so it helps to chill ingredients before serving. Margaritaville Key West model DM 1000. Save $50 off the $299.50 price when you buy at margaritavillecargo.com/people
SOFT-SERVE ICE CREAM MAKER
WHAT'S GOOD: Soft-serve ice cream (with mix-ins!) in 20 minutes.
BUT...It makes only 1½ quarts at a time; canister must be refrozen for a second batch (extra canisters are $35.50). Cuisinart model ICE-45, $99.50; skymall.com
COTTON CANDY MAKER
WHAT'S GOOD: Makes fluffy cotton candy in under a minute; supplies are cheap ($8.49 buys enough sugar to make 60 cones).
BUT...It's big (4 ft. tall!) and assembly is required. Nostalgia Electrics CCM-600, $322.99; amazon.com
Bonus Gift Offer!
WHAT'S GOOD: A whirling wonder and a sneaky way to get the kids to eat more fruit.
BUT...Manufacturer recommends using their packaged chocolate (sold separately); cleanup is messy; doesn't include skewers; Chocoa, $80.00 (mention code 25025 and get two free bags of chocolate); chocoa.com
SNOW CONE MAKER
WHAT'S GOOD: Shaves ice into snow lickety-split.
BUT...Light weight makes it feel a bit like a toy. Nostalgia Electrics RSM-602, $59.99; skymall.com