Rat items all the rage in stores this season

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Rat items all the rage in stores this season

A whole New Year is ahead of us for shopping, and what can be more fashionable than adding a touch of tradition? In the lunar calendar used in many Asian countries, including China and Korea, 2008 is the Year of Rat, and there are a variety of special items available for those who want to celebrate the New Year by shopping.
Lunar New Year’s Day this year falls on Feb. 7 in the solar calendar, but hurry up because most of the special “rat” fashion products are limited items available only while supplies last.
Swatch, an international watch company, presents a limited selection, featuring the zodiac animal of 2008. “This watch is a Swatch Gent, generously decorated with red rats styled to resemble comic figures,” a press release said. The dominant colors are red and gold, the lucky colors of Asia. The watch also features Chinese characters meaning “rat” and “rice,” taking into account the Asian tradition of eating rice cake soup on New Year’s Day.
The watch comes with a cosmetics bag made of red silk. “The package including the watch and the mini handbag cost 80,000 won [$85],” said Kim Hae-ran, a public affairs official of the Swatch Group Korea.
“There are only 100 packages available in Korea,” she said.
Chachap, a design company specializing in stationery, presents the “2008 Hello Mouse” diary, calendar and planner. The diary set, priced at 6,000 won, includes a weekly planner and a notebook. The cover of the diary is bright yellow, suggesting cheese. For more, visit www.10x10.co.kr or www.1300k.com.
For those seeking a cute surprise to spice up their cosmetics pouch, Estee Lauder presents a golden Year of the Rat compact for 120,000 won. The company said the product is only available at selected stores.
Adorable rat-shaped mugs, priced at 8,000 won, are on sale at Starbucks Coffee shops. “We began selling them on Jan. 1 and 55 percent of the stock were sold in three days,” said Park Seong-hye of Starbucks Korea.
iRiver’s famous Mickey Mouse MP3 players have been around for a while, but are now available in 10 pastel-tone colors.
Licensed through Walt Disney, the players weigh 18 grams and add a fashionable touch when used as a necklace, a mobile phone accessory or a key holder.
The Mickey Mouse shape portable music player also works as a USB memory stick with a capacity of 1 GB. The 1 GB unit is priced at 54,800 won and a silicon case costs 9,900 won.

By Ser Myo-ja Staff Reporter [myoja@joongang.co.kr]
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