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Mismatched Sneakers, ages toddler and up Who says (Credit: Handout)

Mismatched Sneakers, ages toddler and up

Who says shoes have to match? The left and right shoes in a pair of Xolo Shoes are not exactly the same, even though they complement each other with coordinating designs and colors. The company also sells mismatched rainboots for $49.99. Some styles offer coordinated backpacks as well, also $29.99. ($34.99 and up for lace-up or slip-on; Xoloshoes.com)

What's cool for back-to-school

Jewelry for pencils? Sneakers that purposely don't match? Magic Markers disguised as action figures? These could be some of the items kids embrace when heading back to school this September. Here's a peak at some of the cool gear available. --Compiled by Beth Whitehouse

Slap Bracelet Ruler, ages elementary and middle school
(Credit: Handout)

Slap Bracelet Ruler, ages elementary and middle school

Kids can wear these 12-inch rulers around their wrists. Made by an Amityville-based company and modeled after the popular "slap" bracelets, one side has inch and centimeter measures and the other side is decorative. Designs include a neon-orange bracelet that says, "I Love Bacon"; another is neon-green and says "i 'mustache' u a question" with a picture of the currently trendy mustache. ($2.99; target.com)

Mismatched Sneakers, ages toddler and up Who says
(Credit: Handout)

Mismatched Sneakers, ages toddler and up

Who says shoes have to match? The left and right shoes in a pair of Xolo Shoes are not exactly the same, even though they complement each other with coordinating designs and colors. The company also sells mismatched rainboots for $49.99. Some styles offer coordinated backpacks as well, also $29.99. ($34.99 and up for lace-up or slip-on; Xoloshoes.com)

Chameleon Tape Dispenser, ages middle school and up
(Credit: Handout)

Chameleon Tape Dispenser, ages middle school and up

The Scotch tape becomes the tongue in this chameleon tape dispenser. ($9.99; staples.com)

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Crayola PipSqueaks Markers in Disguise, ages 3 and
(Credit: Handout)

Crayola PipSqueaks Markers in Disguise, ages 3 and up

These action figures conceal magic markers. Snap-on tops are removable so kids can write with them. Characters (and colors) include Atomic Tangerine, Captain Blueberry Patch, Ruby Redtooth and five more. ($2.49; target.com)

Messenger Bags, ages middle school and up Some
(Credit: Handout)

Messenger Bags, ages middle school and up

Some kids are opting for messenger bags instead of the quintessential school backpack. This is the AKA Girl Messenger Bag ($19.99; kmart.com)

Nickelodeon Big Time Rush Girl's Fedora Hat, ages
(Credit: Handout)

Nickelodeon Big Time Rush Girl's Fedora Hat, ages 10 and up

Girls are embracing fedoras as a fashion statement; this one has embroidered letters that proclaim love for Big Time Rush along with a picture of the members of that boy band. ($12.99; kmart.com)

Karate Pop-Up Note Dispenser, ages elementary school and
(Credit: Handout)

Karate Pop-Up Note Dispenser, ages elementary school and up

Is your child working toward her black belt? This weighted, inspirational, themed dispenser lets kids pull out one sheet at a time in an easy, one-handed motion. Includes one 90-sheet pad of Post-it Pop-Up Notes and a pen holder (pen not included). Available with three different note colors. ($9.99; staples.com)

My Little Pony and Marceline Flash Drives, ages
(Credit: Handout)

My Little Pony and Marceline Flash Drives, ages middle school and up

The newest Mimobot character flash drives from Mimoco include Pinkie Pie from "My Little Pony" and Marceline the Vampire Queen from Cartoon Network's "Adventure Time." In addition to storage for school assignments, the drives include such bonus items as wallpaper for computer screen savers and digital clips from the TV shows. ($24.95 for 8 gigabytes of storage, prices increase with more storage; mimoco.com)

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Scribble Stuff: Hockey, ages 5 and up Three
(Credit: Handout)

Scribble Stuff: Hockey, ages 5 and up

Three pencils come with three erasers -- two of them in the shape of hockey sticks and the third in the shape of a puck. During a break from schoolwork, kids are all set to take each other on in an impromptu pencil hockey game. Also comes in football and golf sets. ($2.49; target.com)

Happy Charmz, ages 6 and up Decorate any
(Credit: Handout)

Happy Charmz, ages 6 and up

Decorate any pencil by hanging charms from it. Items such as cupcakes, rainbows or cellphones can be attached by rolling the attached, colorful silicon ring down the writing tools. Collectible and tradable. (Starter kit includes two pencils and two charms for $6.99; trio charm set has three charms for $6.99; storage pouch is $5.99, comes with backpack clip to attach pouch to school backpack; happycharmz.com)

Coming soon: Newsday's Family newsletter, for things to do with kids, events, more.

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