As Seen on TV: The classic Clapper withstands the test of time

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The product: The Clapper
The price: $24.95 plus $6.95 shipping and handling for a total of $31.98.
The claims: It turns up to two plug-in lights or equipment on and off with claps.
The Buy-o-meter rating: 3 on a scale of 5

It's great fun to watch the old Clapper commercial. Perhaps nostalgia is overpowering with this classic TV-marketed product. It was inspirational enough to want to give one of these the once-over.

It took a little practice to understand the cadence spelled out in the instructions. When I finally got it, The Clapper delivered on its promise. The light went on and off after two rhythmic claps. You can also set it for three claps if you have a second item plugged in.

Two 5-year-olds were then challenged with clapping on and clapping off a light. One got it on the first try and was able to maintain the cadence consistently and operate The Clapper. It took the other a lot longer, but it is safe to say: Even a 5-year-old can do it.



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As Seen on TV Product Reviews
AOL has reviewed many 'As Seen on TV' products like Windshield Wonder, Mighty Mendit, Robo-Maid and the classic, The Clapper. To see the ratings for these and 30 other products click through this gallery.
Cassandra Shie, AOL
AP
WalletPop is not responsible for caption content.
Like many direct-order TV products, by the time you add in shipping the price becomes prohibitive. No way this is worth $32 unless you really can't reach some lamp's light switch and this makes the process of turning something on and off possible. It is a kick to use it, although your hands start to hurt after a dozen or so claps.

But wait, there's more. The Clapper has an away switch that turns on the power if it hears a noise. Dropping something on the floor will do it. That same sensitivity -- you can use the flashing lights on its front to gauge what it hears -- can work against The Clapper.

Coincidental loud noises can periodically confuse The Clapper into thinking its time to turn off. It gets a little creepy when a light turns without warning.

The Clapper is a cool novelty product that you can hunt around for and find for a lot less than the direct marketing price. Walmart, for instance, will ship it free to any of its stores for you to pick up for $18.87.

Ironically, older people -- who would be the most likely beneficiaries of this product -- will probably have the hardest time with it. If you have a switch panel in your house that controls an outlet, it's a much simpler way to turn a light on and off -- just not as campy.

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