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Toys for kids and grown-ups: Part 1

Terrific Turn-of-the Century Toys


[image-1]Photo courtesy ChryslerYear before last, we touted VW's New Beetle as the ultimate driving machine for those who like a little personality, and this year we're casting our eyes upon the fabulous Chrysler PT Cruiser, coming to a showroom near you in early 2000. Smaller than an SUV (it's about the size of a Cherokee Sport) and neither minivan nor station wagon, this vehicle defies conventional description with its futuristic - or retro? - lines and funky details. FYI, PT stands for "personal transportation." They'll range from $18,000 to $22,000 and Whitten Jeep Chrysler Plymouth is taking deposits now. 378-0707.
[image-2]Beanie Babies haven't entirely faded away, but Groovy Girls have got to be taking a bit of the market share on collectible stuffed stuff. These floppy sweethearts are a reasonable $10, come in bright colors and have quite a wardrobe ($6.95 per outfit). Shenanigans, River Road Shopping Center, 673-4528.
[image-3]To celebrate the Space Age, give the gift of fantasy with this astronaut suit (for ages 5 and up), complete with bubble helmet. $90 at Toymaker of Williamsburg, 1215 E. Cary St., 783-1744.
[image-4]Photo courtesy AppleThe to-die-for computer of the year is Apple's oh so very chic iBook, the No. 1 selling consumer portable out there — with the highly desirable wireless Internet connectivity. Durable body, built-in handles, G3 processor, 56K modem, Ethernet 10/100, USB, CD-ROM, six-hour battery life, much more and your choice of tangerine or blueberry. $1,599 at Capitol Mac, 720 N. Cleveland St., 358-3100.
The X-Game trials stopped by town last year and sent everyone into a feeding frenzy for freestyle bicycles. They're specially designed to do stunt riding like vert tricks (yes, Mom, that's the scary up and down stuff). Here, the Haro Dave Mirra 540 Air for $349.99. Also available, cool repros of '60s Sting Rays like this Schwinn Apple Krate for $389.99. All at Agee's Bicycles, 3116 W. Cary St., 353-4888; 11020 Midlothian Turnpike, 794-6754; and 7429 W. Broad St., 672-3441.
Know a train fiend who'd understand the significance of owning the last Lionel (Oh, that packaging! So retro! So cool!) train made in this century? Snap up one of the 1,000 commemorative Spirit of the Century engine combos made especially for the discerning Lionel lover. $699.95 ordered through The Toy Center, 5811 Patterson Ave., 288-4475.
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