Jacksonville invention keeps those scary monsters away

So you're afraid of the dark, huh?

You're sure that monsters lurk under your bed, in the closet, down the hall.

No need to despair. A Jacksonville couple have conjured-up a solution to fend off those nighttime pests.

Monster Basher Exterminite Night Lights are the brainchild of Scott and Sharon Overy, who figure every 3- to 7-year-old needs a way to fend off whatever prowls in the dark.

A home builder by trade, Scott Overy fashions a variety of rhombohedral (three-dimensional, slanted) calcite crystals that emit a green glow in his workshop. He calls it Exterminite Crystal. "We were looking for something different than normal crystals and the Crater Rock Museum in Central Point had four of them," he said. "We bought them and once we decided that's what we wanted to use we ordered 100 on eBay we use to make eight different shapes."

In this age of superheroes — from Ironman and Spider-Man to Batman and the Green Hornet — kids need more than a relaxing ambiance to keep the bad guys at bay.

So the Overys developed a story, "Discovery of the Monster Basher Exterminite Crystal," to go with their product, a poster warning monsters they are in an Exterminite Crystal zone and a lavender-scented spray to ward off those nighttime gremlins.

"It's around 3 years when kids start developing imagination," he said. "Along with good, however, is fear of the dark or monsters. Our story is kind of like telling them about Santa Claus. They believe the stories because nothing is impossible at that age. The story is about the green light and spray making the monsters sick — it's kryptonite for monsters. That's why we call it Exterminite."

The crystals are mounted on an LED light base, which plugs into walls or can sit on a desk. And if the power goes out, leaving the whole house in the dark, the Monster Basher will continue its duties, thanks to AAA batteries.

"We researched different colors and studies show green light relaxes the body and mind," Overy said.

The light, which stands 5 inches tall with its base, costs $19.95. The spray is $5.95 and the entire ensemble is available for $24.95.

Their website, www.monsterbasher.com, has no links to oversized trucks with big tires, cute movie characters or baseball sluggers, but it has thoughtful answers about kids being scared of the dark. "We've got the patents filed and trademarks filed," he said.

The couple test-marketed their product at local Christmas bazaars and launched the website in November.

The Overys assemble the light with American products, except for the light stand which comes from Yancheng Foreign Trade Corp. in China.

Scott Overy said he can make 40 crystals a day, but hopes to ramp up business and develop it into a cottage industry with employees.

"I would love to do this myself and employ people," he said. "Otherwise I might try to license it to somebody."

Reach reporter Greg Stiles at 541-776-4463 or e-mail business@mailtribune.com.

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