Kiddie Lie Detector & Other Strange New Toys

The World of Runaway Technology: How bad are you at chess? Let "Ivan the Conqueror" tell you. Excalibur Electronics' new computer game spews insults as it beats you. It features a hundred levels of difficulty and a 500-word "Barbarian vocabulary." You will be crushed, you pathetic loser.

The World of Cynicism: Everybody loves a good scandal, and if you have the stomach to play reporter, there's Scandal Monger — a trivia game for people who never want to forget the O.J. Simpson trial, Mike Tyson's ear-biting or President Clinton's peccadilloes. Think of it as Trivial Pursuit for "Enquiring Minds."

But if you're looking for the perfect boy toy, Meet "Mr. Wonderful" a talking doll who tells single gals all the right things: "Lets just cuddle tonight." "Let's stop and ask for directions." You don't look fat in that dress." One that I'm committing to memory: "Let's visit your parents this weekend." And, of course, the old standby, "Yes, Dear."

Buck Wolf is entertainment producer at The Wolf Files is published Tuesdays. If you want to receive weekly notice when a new column is published, join the e-mail list.

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