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  • Lisa Jevens

TV Products Star

Remember the Ginsu Knife? The Veg-O-Matic? How about the Pocket Fisherman?

These trendy, innovative and problem-solving products were the early stars of what later became the As Seen On TV product empire. Today, you don't even have to turn on the television to peruse its vast catalog of clever products. There are more than 1,500 items online and in stores. Here are some highlights from today's cornucopia of As Seen On TV gadgets.

Wow Cup

Tired of your grandchildren spilling drinks in the house and the car? Even if they are too old for sippy cups, the Wow Cup is made to be spill-proof. It has a sealing technology that seems to work like magic, allowing liquid to flow only when being sipped from the cup. It does not require a straw or spout. But if it tips over, nothing comes out. The colorful cup works for older folks, too, who have trouble holding a glass. It comes in blue, pink, green and purple. Available in stores, at and at for about $10.

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Hurricane Spin Mop

Mopping the floor is made easier and safer with this microfiber mop and bucket set. Swirl the mop into the water, and then spin it in the spinner side of the bucket operated with a foot pedal. This makes the mop less drippy, easier to use, and spins out the dirt as you go along. The mop head rotates while you're mopping for flexibility in corners. The Hurricane Spin Mop is more environmentally friendly than disposable sheet mops because the mop heads are machine washable and reusable. Available at major home retailers, at and for $39.99.

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Trusty Cane

This souped-up walking cane is loaded with features designed to make walking with a cane more safe, stable and natural. The extra-wide base makes the difference. It not only allows the cane to stand up by itself, but also has built-in pivot movement for flexibility when walking. The cane has three times more surface contact than ordinary canes, making it easier to get off the beaten path and navigate grass, gravel, sand and snow, the company says. It also comes with safety LED lights for illuminating walkways. When you're not using the cane, it folds up for easy storage. Available in stores, at and at for $19.99.

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BullsEye Pee Pads

If you had trouble getting your dog to do his business outside this winter -- or if you are having trouble with an older dog or puppy peeing anywhere in the house, this product might be worth a try. The BullsEye Pee Pads are designed to attract dogs to the center of the pad by emitting concentrated pheromones there. This is intended to keep the dog on target in the center instead of partially missing the pad. Each pad features leak-proof absorbent micro lock beads that help eliminate odor. The pads measure 22-by-22-inches. A 30-count package retails for $12.99 and is available at and at

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Pocket Hose Ultra

The Pocket Hose brought the unwieldy garden hose into the 21st century. This lightweight, expandable garden hose fits in one hand when not in use, but expands to the size of a regular garden hose when filled. Now there is the Pocket Hose Ultra, a new and improved version. It is more heavy duty, has an upgraded amber tip, and an outer shield that protects the hose from damaging UV rays. The Pocket Hose Ultra comes in 25-, 50- and 75-foot lengths, priced at $12.99, $19.99 and $32.99 respectively. Available at home and garden stores, and

Originally published in the Chicago Tribune, Prime Time senior living section on June 10, 2014.

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