Retail Therapy

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Modern telephones can do practically anything, from dialling and faxing to boiling an egg, but they are light and plasticy and have no personality. If you pine for the days when a bell would ring, rather than an electronic bleep, visit the Museum Store. It stocks five types of working phone, mostly reconditioned Bakelite models from the Forties and Fifties. It is proudest of its Belgian Forties classic (made famous by the Tintin cartoon) with its brass collapsible handle. Prices from pounds 32.95. The Museum Store, 37 The Market, The Piazza, Covent Garden, London WC2E 8RF.

FOR oneupmanship, try the No 10- replica brass door-knockers offered by A Touch of Brass. 'Charles Dickens wrote about many different types of knockers and how he thought they in some way resembled their owners,' said a company spokesman. Hmm: this knocker is in the shape of a lion's head and wears a rather worried expression. Price pounds 49.95. A Touch of Brass, 071-352 5495.

GOLFERS no longer need to be jealous of other athletes in the sports shoe war. Reebok has adapted the Pump 'footbed cushioning system' used in its trainers to its latest golf shoes, called Attack 2000. They are guaranteed waterproof for two years, come in sizes 6-11 including half sizes - and cost pounds 124.99.

WHAT do you give the man who has everything? Since nearly 20 million ties are sold in the UK each year, how about the Tie Press? The manufacturer, Corby, says it is suitable for most fabrics used for ties, including silk. Price: pounds 35.99. Stockists include branches of John Lewis and House of Fraser.

VENTURING into a comic-book shop can seem as strange as some of the characters in the comics. We all know Superman and Batman, but only avid enthusiasts will recognise the value of issue 1 of Magnus the Robot Fighter or a 7 1/2 in tall porcelain figure of the Punisher. Collectors or fans may be interested to hear of Comic Book Postal Auctions Ltd, which has published its third catalogue. There are 321 lots for sale, all with estimated prices. All bids are made by post.

A copy of Amazing Spiderman 1, 1963, is expected to fetch pounds 1,300- pounds 1,500. Captain Scarlet, Star Trek, X-men and the Incredible Hulk all make appearances. For a free catalogue phone 071-586 3007 or write to: Comic Book Postal Auctions Ltd, 40-42 Osnaburgh St, London NW1. The current catalogue is 'live' until 23 June when all bids must be in.

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