*notcot - 05.10.16 , 16:44 - 1 Notes

Rapha Citroen H Van Toy

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Far too excited about my new toy… Citroen HY Van! These amazingly iconic (and super utilitarian) vans have been a fixation of ours for years now… and when Shawn and i were grabbing lunch and wandering Abbot Kinney, we checked out the Rapha Pop Up, and while their full sized H Van wasn’t there, this amazing little 1:24 scale toy one was! So I had to get it. In a fantastic matte grey - complete with sliding panel door and a back that pops open - it’s going to be tough to stare at the scale model without wanting a full sized one even more! Take a peek at the awesome details on the next page.

p.s. We’ve also done lots of research and have SO many ideas on importing one to the states, doing an engine conversion, and making it into a really fun shop, adventure mobile, experience on wheels and more… Interested? Want to make our dream come true? Let’s chat!

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*notcot - 04.06.16 , 23:20 - 1 Notes

Petco Dog Toys with (Squeaker) Heart

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There’s nothing more delightful than a thoughtfully designed surprise. Especially when you don’t even remotely expect it! Any dog owner (or friend of a dog) knows that squeakers don’t get to stay in toys long, and have likely experienced collecting up MANY clear plastic circular squeakers. Well Bucky just received an adorable camping themed duck and moose, and when it came time to get the squeaker from him (aka 5 minutes after he got the toys)… it was a red heart! These Petco Leaps & Bounds Camper Collection literally have heart! And they don’t even seem to advertise it on the product descriptions or labels. I love that they tucked a secret surprise into the toys where you least expect it.

Yay for delightful design! Designing physical objects that transcend their basic purpose and change the experience for the happier! They remind me of the red construction paper heart inside the Whole Foods Talking Pineapple Armadillo!

See more details on the next page!

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Sponsors

*notcot - 01.22.16 , 13:10 - 0 Notes

Color With IKEA

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On this whole “Adult Coloring Books” trend - it’s flying around the internet that IKEA now has coloring pages too! And the designs even look like they are set up for two people sitting across from each other to work on in simultaneously! Kids can share! Not fight? Or adults can do it over coffee on a little cafe table? The pages are cute, fun, filled with their usual line drawings - but i’m bummed they don’t have any with their usual instruction manual assembly characters! Though… all their manuals are black and white… and ready for coloring. So aren’t those all just coloring books too?

Side note - anyone else tired of the “Adult Coloring Book” phrase? They are all just coloring books! And coloring is for all ages! Unless there’s a XXX theme… it’s probably ok for kids of all ages!

Check out the IKEA coloring pages on the next page - and download your own here.

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*notcot - 01.06.16 , 15:50 - 0 Notes

Unboxing: Nextbit Black Sheep Toy

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Surprise from Nextbit just arrived! An adorable BLACK SHEEP! When you hear Nextbit, you probably think of the Nextbit Robin - that rockstar kickstarter of a phone that’s all about smart, magically efficient use of the cloud - and it’s coming really really soon to all the backers and buyers! While i could easily delve into all the fun details of the phone… that’s not what we’re here about. In addition to the Robin, Nextbit also turned its cloud logo into an ADORABLE SHEEP MASCOT… then had our friend, Andrew Bell turn him into a vinyl toy! In fact, if you couldn’t afford or didn’t want the phone, but wanted a sheep toy - that was even an option on their kickstarter. Take a peek at some of the fun, playful branding and an unboxing of this adorable sheep on the next page.

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*notcot - 12.31.15 , 15:45 - 0 Notes

Bass Pro Toy Sets and Ride-on ATVs

bpstore0.jpg Driving across country from LA to Nashville, we had to stop at the epic Bass Pro Pyramid (Bass Pro moved into the Memphis Pyramid downtown) - and it is truly a disney style adventure inside… giant outdoor store with hotel (where rooms have screened in porches with rocking chairs), aquarium, ponds, nature dioramas, waterfowling heritage center, a fish themed bowling alley, restaurant, shooting ranges, an elevator to the top of the pyramid and more. And during holiday time, it was even more over the top. But what was most surprising (beyond seeing it all in person) - was the TOYS. I had no idea that they had so many toys… from their own brand… representing all types of outdoor activities (for adventure boys and “girlz”) from camping and kayaking, to fishing and hunting, 4x4 and rafting, motocross and more! They even have a “Sporting Dog Vet Set”! Also adorable ride-on ATVs for toddlers… which as far as how you ride them goes, it looks a lot more realistic than the mini Mercedes and Porsche ones! Take a peek at what grabbed my attention on the next page.

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Sponsors

*notcot - 11.22.15 , 14:30 - 1 Notes

Marc by Marc Jacobs Googley Eyes

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Wow. What’s black, white, luxurious, and ridiculous? Luxury Googley (Googly?) Eyes for the holidays! Marc by Marc Jacobs has a LOT of googly eyes going on for their Disney Collection - still not quite sure how it relates to Disney (they say it’s Alice In Wonderland inspired)… is it the scene with the flowers? From hoodies to wallets to iphone cases… and of course larger ones for bag charms. So absurd it’s amusing… though you could probably buy MANY plastic/crafty googly eyes and some super glue for the same price as most of these items, it’s interesting to see them glammed up. See the collection on the next page!

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*notcot - 10.13.15 , 17:27 - 0 Notes

ANA Samsonite Amenity Kits

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Fun packaging still makes me happy and totally brings out the little kid in me. My dad just got back from one of his Singapore trips and just dropped off these adorable ANA Samsonite Amenity Kits. Apparently Samsonite is the new Rimowa when it comes to first class amenity kits that look like mini suitcases. (See more on Rimowa Amenity Kits here.) In fact ANA used to have Rimowa ones until they switched. The new ones are minis of the Samsonite Cosmolite luggage line (which i think i might actually have the carry on of stashed away somewhere…) Inside the kit are all the usuals - eye mask, toothbrush/paste, ear plugs, and a large set of Shiseido Ginza Skincare. Take a peek at all the details on the next page.

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*notcot - 09.20.15 , 14:20 - 0 Notes

RESEARCH: Swings!

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Currently for NOTlabs… i’m also researching SWINGS!!! I love swings - remember my skateboard swing from 2010? I suppose i shouldn’t be surprised how many i’ve accumulated and watched over the last 10 years on NOTCOT.org, but still - WOW! Swing inspiration overload? Nah… can’t get enough swings! From classic simple swings, to light up swings, to interactive (lights! music! and more…) swings… to crazy materials, locations, and shapes… my favorite 60 from NOTCOT.org are on the next page for us to refer to while brainstorming. I’m sure more will be found/added along the way as well… go check it out and feel free to jump in and share more ideas with us.

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Sponsors

*notcot - 09.14.15 , 23:08 - 0 Notes

Grids & Guides Notebook

grids1.jpg On fun things that recently arrived - the Grids & Guides Notebook in Red has been growing on me. While i’m still a blank, white paper kind of person… the variety of 8 grids are mesmerizingly fun, make for great backgrounds for pictures, and definitely make it hard not to doodle from point to point - even on the cloth cover! There are also dividing pages filled with information from conversion tables and knots, to time zones, perspectives, and beyond! See inside and more details on the next page.

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*notcot - 08.05.15 , 15:07 - 0 Notes

CAH: Design & Science Packs

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Cards Against Humanity “A Party Game For Horrible People” has become a fascinating cultural phenomena to watch spread and grow. And when you dive in beyond the simplicity of their black and white cards, the folks behind it definitely seem like a intelligent, cheeky bunch that i can’t help admiring. From their business model, to their holiday surprises, and events to their designs… and now Blackbox? I’m endlessly fascinated. [Hey, CAH team - if you’re reading this - let’s chat!]

Anyhow - Dan, co-founder and head of all tech here at NOTCOT has been filling up his CAH Bigger Blacker Box with every holiday pack, expansion, etc… so when the Design & Science Packs came out, I had to see what was inside… Shawn thought (hoped?) that the Design Pack would be filled with design words and phrases. Nope. Design Pack is “contains 30 fully-illustrated cards by some of the best graphic designers in the world, including Milton Glaser (I <3 NY), Susan Kare (the Apple Macintosh), Erik Spiekermann (MetaDesign), and legendary printmakers including Jay Ryan, Yann Legendre, Olly Moss, Mike Mitchell, and Sonnenzimmer.” Basically illustrating NSFW cards (You’ve been warned! Not that you didn’t already expect that!) Science is also a super fun one to mix into the normal deck. So head on to the next page to check out what is inside the packs!

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*notcot - 07.31.15 , 13:45 - 3 Notes

Unboxing Exploding Kittens

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It’s here! Exploding Kittens! The wildly (8.8 million dollar) popular Kickstarted card game by Elan Lee, The Oatmeal, and Shane Small. Filled with ridiculous illustrations and promises to take a mere 2 minutes to learn and 15 minutes to play a round + it even has a NSFW add on that is for “Ages 30 and up?” Take a peek inside on the next page - the packaging “surprise thingie” is too fun.

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*notcot - 05.26.15 , 16:45 - 0 Notes

Gateway Camping Gear + REI EVRGRN

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There’s GLAMPING (Glam-camping) and ATHLEISURE (Athletic looking leisure wear)… and there’s been a fascinating, growing space of what we’ve been referring to as GATEWAY CAMPING Gear… that bright, happy, playful, hipsterific, instagram-ready camping gear that transitions easily from apartment/patio to mountain top… it works just as well for a picnic/hike as it does for extra party seating… and it all folds right up to pop into your car or pack. Don’t get me wrong - i’m a fan. (In fact, my fascination with the space may be part of how Shawn convinced me into building the NOTFZJ Project!) It’s fun, colorful, and i love seeing more well designed, efficient, multipurpose products as well as more technical materials making their way into our everyday lives. It’s been mesmerizing to watch it all unfold! These are the products that are easier to justify to a “once in a while” camper - because you’ll probably end up using it at home and in the yard and it won’t look too out of place. It’s the perfect ‘off to college’ gift genre since it works for your dorm room and outdoor adventures.

If you’re still trying to picture the brands that embody this - think of Poler, Alite, Nomadix, and Rumpl - maybe even aspects of Snowpeak, Biolite, Treeline Outdoors, Best Made Co, and Camp Brand Goods. It is all about the lifestyle! The perfect lovely, tranquil, mosquito-free, lakeside, tree-surrounded campsite - curled up with your closest friends around the camp fire with no one else in sight… as the birds tweet around you and a gourmet meal is being prepared. You know - that ideal postcard/instagram moment! Where all is perfect with the world - and maybe you have cell signal/wifi and proper bathrooms nearby. Another example? That resurgence of enamelware mugs and more permeating our kitchens… as well as our camping kits.

I know, it may sound cynical, and i certainly don’t mean it that way - it has just been fascinating to watch the emergence of this Gateway Camping Gear that helps ease the transition from city kid to the outdoor adventurer - just like Glamping took camping to the luxurious extreme, and Athleisure made it ok to run around in workout clothes (without working out) - Gateway Camping Gear is helping made the slide from urban living into woods easier! And you’ll notice more and more traditional outdoor/adventure brands leaning towards less hardcore, more playful, lifestyle products to pull people in. The latest is definitely REI’s evrgrn collection (yes, fashionably named with arbitrary vowels dropped even). Take a peek on the next page at REI’s new evrgrn collection - it’s not hard to see where their inspiration comes from!

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*notcot - 02.04.15 , 19:20 - 2 Notes

Made by NOTCOT: In Plain Sight

mainNOTCOT1.gif We’re excited to launch our latest NOTlabs Experiment - the NOTCOT In Plain Sight Collection of blacked out leather retroflectors! These subtle black on black striped leather accessories turn into unmissable high visibility items when flashed (be it with a camera flash or the lights from a car). Whether you use them as a decorative accessory, safety add on, a prop to liven up flash photos… or all of the above, is up to you! The collection contains a small and large keychain and bag tag - all handmade (by us!) in Los Angeles at NOTlabs from vegetable tanned leather.

Ok launching a collection sounds far more serious than it is - what actually happened was I wanted to make something fun to celebrate 10 YEARS OF NOTCOT! … and we have been experimenting with lasers + leather (+ reflective materials)… and Shawn and I wanted new keychains and a bag tag, so we started there and ended up with designer leather retroflectors! We’ve been using them the last few weeks, meaning inevitable design tweaks leading to the final designs. I adore mine, as does Shawn, so we decided to make more to share with our friends and family! Which of course includes all of you!!!

So THANK YOU for all of your incredible support and inspiration over the last decade. You’re so awesome, we’ve discounted the price for Friends & Family (like you!) for a few days over in the STORE!. For the discount, select the Friends & Family price in the drop down before you add to cart. [UPDATE: Friends & Family deal ended 2/9/2015]

No joke these are handmade by us at NOTlabs (yes, i’m sewing them!) and will be a limited edition (of not very many, or until we move on to another exciting project!) Hope you like them! See lots of fun detail shots and animated gifs on the next page…

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*notcot - 10.13.14 , 13:06 - 0 Notes

The Original Grab Bag

ogb0.jpg For those who love fun surprises in the mail - you’ll love The Original Grab Bag. They just sent a fun box filled with goodies I both knew about (but hadn’t yet indulged myself with) and things i’ve never seen! Which is basically the perfect combo of surprise gifting… I believe the perfect gift to be things that the recipient wants (or will want) but wouldn’t buy themselves. Also fun, i totally forget what options i checked when they asked what i was interested in, although i have a suspicion that they know more about what i’m into than most having reached out as NOTCOT fans…

None the less - the box is filled with awesomeness… from Omnivore Salt that i’ve been dying to try, to Herb Lester awesomeness… a map of how to find old LA (where i was surprised how many of our usual favorites are listed) to Secret Audio Club Wax Packs and more! Take a peek inside this super curated grab bag on the next page.

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*notcot - 09.22.14 , 17:51 - 0 Notes

Defy Bags Otis Dog Collar

defy0.jpg Bucky is now 2! Here’s hoping that everyone’s right that 2 is the magic number where labs chill out a bit. Then again, the 2.5 week road trip all over the US and Canada seems to have helped him learn a lot and relax a bit too. Lucky dog just came home to some surprises, including the hardcore, super stealthy Otis Dog Collar from the nice folks at Defy Bags based and made in Chicago, IL. Throughout their bags and accessories, their signature is definitely the AustriAlpin Cobra Load Bearing Quick-Release Buckle, “which can support 2,000 lbs. These are the same solid steel & brass imported buckles used by U.S. Special Forces. There is no finer buckle on earth,” says the tag. Excessive for a dog collar? Most definitely. Awesome looking and feeling? Indeed. As they say, “Life’s too short for cheap buckles.” Ready to see the details? (I’m also a fan of their branding and tape!) To the next page…

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