NEW PRODUCTS: Ben, Joe & the Kiddies

To the hundreds of companies that make a living out of novelty hats, the fashion whims of the U.S. moppet mean the difference between feast & famine. Success in this fast-moving, heads-up business is often a fluke. But last week Ben Molin and Joe Rosenbaum, owners of Brooklyn's Benay-Albee Novelty Co., thought they had it down to a pseudoscience, something like phrenology.

In Manhattan, Macy's put on sale the latest samples of Ben & Joe's scientific endeavor, a combination felt hat and ballpoint pen. There was a beanie for girls (the Pen 'n...