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New! Dumb old crazes with a higher price tag

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With a banana seat and long, shiny chrome handlebars, the Schwinn Krate bikes made children of the early '70s feel like they could outrun the wind. The company hopes they'll feel the same as adults.

Schwinn Cycling and Fitness Inc. is putting the popular Orange Krate and Apple Krate bikes back into limited production, targeting buyers from their 20s to their mid-40s . . . Introduced in 1968, the Orange Krate was the first true "off-road" bicycle, featuring full suspension and advanced technology, such as rear shocks. It retailed for $86.95 . . . Gregg Bagni, Schwinn marketing vice president, said the new Orange and Apple Krate bicycles will cost about $459. "The '70s retro thing is still on fire," he said.- Associated Press news item

With its simple design and ease of care, the Pet Rock made children of the '70s feel like they, too, could buy into a pointless craze. The Clueless Quarry Co. hopes they'll feel the same as adults.

The company is putting the popular Pet Rock back into limited production, targeting buyers with low intelligence. A Clueless spokesman said he hoped the reintroduction would help lift the company out of recent financial doldrums, "since we can just sell some of this extra rock we have lying around."

The original retailed for $3.95. The spokesman said the new Pet Rock will cost about $95, "which is still cheaper than a pure-bred puppy."

With a popularity so great it spawned hit songs, popular television shows and even feature films, citizens band radios made adults of the '70s feel like they were "putting the hammer down" in the demanding truck-driving industry. Self-Important hopes they still feel the same.

Self-Important is putting the radios, rendered obsolete as a popular trend by cellular phones, back into limited production, targeting buyers who still purchase Beta recorders. "The time is right for people to go back to `handles,' " a Self-Important spokesman said. "We believe the person willing to wear bell-bottoms to a restaurant is also willing to be called `Rump Shaker' over public airwaves.' "

The spokesman said the new CB radios will go for $750, with leasing plans available. "Unless we can get C.W. McCall to write a rap version of `Convoy.' That might drive the price up."

With its cloying, maudlin lyrics, "Seasons in the Sun" made music fans of the '70s feel like they were attending a funeral. Pointless Records hopes kids today will feel the same way.

The record company is reissuing a limited release of the single, which spent three weeks at No. 1 in 1974, targeting the same fans of limited taste who made Celine Dion's song "My Heart Will Go On," from the "Titanic" soundtrack, such a hit. "There is no underestimating the taste of the American public," a Pointless spokesman said. "Just listen to `classic rock' radio. Who can argue realistically that "Nights in White Satin" is any better than this?"

The original single, sung by Terry Jacks, retailed for less than $1. The enhanced CD, which includes a CD-ROM multimedia history of the recording of the song, will cost $48. "This includes an air-sick bag," the spokesman said.

With its pointless humor, bad acting and ridiculous story lines, "Welcome Back, Kotter" made '70s television fans feel like they were honorary "sweathogs." Unnecessary Pictures hopes they'll feel the same as adults.

The production company is making a big-screen version of the popular sitcom, targeting the same mental giants who tune in to "Suddenly Susan" and "Veronica's Closet." The show, which rocketed John Travolta to fame, "speaks to today's poor student," an Unnecessary spokesman said. "We hope we can reach the same kids who are inspired by Bart Simpson to do poorly in school, only on an even larger scale."

The television show, of course, was free. The movie tickets will cost $7.50 each, unless audiences can be convinced to pay more.