Originally created 07/04/99

In the know



TV FIREWORKS: If you can't get out to see fireworks Sunday, television offers some:

At 7:30, cable's A&E Network begins the Boston Symphony Orchestra's three-hour extravaganza-with-fireworks.

At 8 on PBS, the National Symphony Orchestra strikes up its A Capitol Fourth 1999 from the west lawn of the U.S. Capitol. Fireworks follow from the Mall (WEBA-TV, Channel 14, WCES-TV, Channel 20).

GOOD DOLLS GONE BAD: Last week a mini-hoopla erupted over the "horny"-spouting Austin Powers Doll. A simple mix-up, says a spokesman for McFarlane Toys of Tempe, Ariz. Seems that a batch of dolls sporting a racy computer chip with phrases from the new Austin Powers movie and destined for specialty stores ended up in an Atlanta Toys `R' Us. An irate mom in Morrow, Ga., started an uproar.

It is only the latest in a legacy of fusses over good dolls gone bad. Some weird tales from the world of plastics:

Last month, there was a brouhaha over the Butterfly Art Barbie, which took some heat for her permanent tattoos.

Also in June, the Rad Repeatin' Tarzan doll created a tempest on the Net, thanks to his spring-loaded right arm, which could be pumped rapidly up and down as the doll shouts its jungle call -- until the toymaker decided to repackage the doll and secure the arm.

In 1996, the Cabbage Patch Snackttime Kids Doll took to chomping on some kids' hair.

Barbie, who regularly irritates someone, did so in 1992 when Teen Talk Barbie blabbered "Math class is tough."

A few eyebrows were raised that same year when the Mommy-To-Be Doll arrived in stores, a plastic pregnant doll that had a removable protruding stomach and a baby boy or girl.

Anatomy was the controversy in 1976 when Gloria Stivic (Archie Bunker's daughter) had a baby on the TV show and anatomically correct Baby Joey Stivic appeared in stores.

As Austin Powers says, "Oh, behave!"