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Jumping Beans to KISS in a box

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This week the Ministry of Silly Gifts features a jumping or bouncing theme -- we thought it would be appropriate since many of you spent last week jumping up and down to keep warm or to express frustration with Uncle Duke.

First, we found a Musical Bouncing Snowman in The Lighter Side catalog -- for only $27.98 (plus shipping). He bounces to an original tune, according to the catalog. Styles of dress for the snowman vary -- apparently they choose for you. He runs on four AA batteries -- surely you have a few left. Call 800-232-0963 or go to www.lighterside.com.

Check out www.beansthat jump.com for the always appreciated gift of live Mexican Jumping Beans. Yeah, we thought it was kinda like sea monkeys, too, but these seem to be the real thing. You get four beans in one box for two bucks. As it says on the website: "Beans so fresh they jumped in Mexico last night!!"

The website offers a ton of info on Jumping Beans, too, like how to care for them and other details.

Just when you think jack-in-the-boxes couldn't get any creepier -- bam -- here comes Art Asylum with the "Rock "N' The Box" series. The series features "Eddie," the corpse made famous by Iron Maiden, Alice Cooper back in the make-up days, and all four members of KISS. The traditional crank has been replaced with a button -- and no more of the sappy Pop Goes The Weasel -- that lame kiddie music has been replaced by "slammin' remixes of original songs by the original artist!" Woo-hoo! Are we hip yet? The intricately detailed figures each sing a different song; Paul Stanley plays Detroit Rock City, Peter Criss plays Beth, Ace Frehley plays Shout It Out Loud and Gene Simmons, of course, belts out God of Thunder. The figures seem to have a range of prices individually (anything from $19.99-$30.99) and there are a few places that feature the complete set for somewhere around $100, give or take a penny or two. It's often better to shop around for the best price on anything collectible, but you can find the whole Art Asylum line -- along with anything else KISS-related -- at www.kissasylum.com.

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