Shin Tanaka is indisputably one of the paper toy design masters of our generation… and his Baggies are adorable! And just in times for mother’s day for those kids out there looking for a fun way to customize a cute little something to spruce up your gift, how about making one of these your 3D gift card dancing upon the gift box? See some examples on the next page… and print one of his 3 patterns or the blank to customize yourself here!
When i visited the Oakley HQ a few months back, one of the things i quickly became obsessed with was this artist edition Antix Oakley collaboration with Mambo. Yes, its from fall 2009 ~ but how did i never notice? And how did no one tell me about 1) how amazing the concept is and 2) how cool the packaging is~ particularly in how it opens! It’s fun enough i even had to make a little video for you on the next page so you can understand what i’m talking about! But first, back to 1 ~ the concept! Why do i not have more toys that serve a higher purpose… like holding my sunglasses on my desk and looking pretty cool while doing it? With details down to certain toes being lifted up, thumbs to hold it in place, a little red tongue… It’s a stunning toy. And a mind blowing glasses holder. And we haven’t even gotten to the beautiful art work adorning all sides of the box, the sunglass’ sleeve, and the sides of the glasses themselves. See more of Flavien Demarigny, franco-hungarian artist, born in Santiago, aka Mambo’s work here. As for the details i can’t stop gushing about on this stunning Oakley artist collaboration… see the pics and video on the next page!
While in Stuttgart, i had a field day going to toy stores! Germans seem to have far more fun toys ~ particularly wooden ones and i adore their amazing puzzles and stunning miniatures! After falling for the bowl of Japanese Wooden Tops (which i can’t seem to give any away so far, they live on my table and are far too fun!) ~ i think a fascination with unique tops is growing! Quickly! So when i encountered 1000 Schoen in Stuttgart, it was hard to resist buying up the pile you see above! The incredible wooden ones are made by Mader Kreiselmanufaktur, and their site even shows them being made by hand! Absolutely fascinating! The other type i fell in love with are these metal and metal/wooden tops that initially look like gears! For the wooden ones with metal tips and a bent metal rod included, you basically insert the rod into two holes in the top, twist to wind it up, and when you let go, the tension gives you incredible spin! The flowery gear you hold between two fingers and blow to get it spinning super fast, and drop it and watch it go! The man at the store mentioned it’s great to use a straw to keep blowing on it to keep it spinning. Take a peek to see them all close up on the next page, as well as a video of some in action!
Sandy Vohr has been making the most adorable luscious little leather bean bag creatures for the last 30 years. In fact i think i even received one of her beautiful little leather frogs as a paperweight as a kid! The site even says, “The animals are made from cowhide and deerskin, and filled with various combinations of fiberfil and beadlike materials.” When i spotted the Bunny Bookends at Barneys, i got nostalgic and ended up looking up Sandy’s site… where i discovered so many new adorable leather creatures ~ from moose to dragons, robots to octopi! See some of my favorites on the next page! Looks like she’ll even do customs!
Andrew Bell’s DYZPLASTIC Android toys are finally here, and i’m a little obsessed. They are ADORABLE. And oh so detailed in all the right ways… and that glow in the dark radioactive one… just stunning. And how some have arm tattoos… or cufflinks… or tramp stamps… or awesome logos… and swirls in the eyes… you really must see them all! Also as much as i can’t stand blind box toys conceptually, i do adore that 5 year old feeling of joy when you sit and tear through a case of little boxes and their foil wrapped innards. Take a peek at all their close ups on the next page! Including two of the secret chase characters!
p.s. as i play with these, i can’t help but wonder, why don’t more OS’ have awesome little mascots?
p.p.s. Soooo, it sounds like demand has FAR exceeded expectations ~ which is awesome! Unfortunately that means these little guys are hard to get your hands on. However, Andy wanted me to assure you that there will be more Series 1 available this summer ~ which really is just a blink away… so sit tight, and/or grab some when you see them!
On random saturday night inspiration ~ while hanging out at a friend’s i got mesmerized by the way the wicks were burning… and the crystal clear reflections of them in the melted wax… and then i couldn’t help taking a bunch of pics!
Tops! They are universally mesmerizing! Regardless of age, they will definitely amuse… so imagine how my eyes widened when i came upon a huge bowl of these small wooden japanese spinning tops at Tortoise in Venice Beach… i kept going through the whole bowl ~ one by one ~ and slowly ended up buying a dozen. They were all so different! So hard to resist! And many have these floating rings carved into them that float as they spin… and they make the most amazing sounds… when still, the curvatures in your hand are just so beautiful… and then get them spinning, and it’s hard not to just watch them for ages… see the videos and more pics on the next page!
On random design inspiration ~ Playmobil seems to have evolved quite a bit since i was a kid. We had the zoo, rock climbers, fancy dressed victorians with car, the teepee, and farm animals… but definitely no disheveled stubbly striped shirt, sport jacket, sunglass, and beanie wearing safe crackers… these guys even come with graspable money, a canister with hose to freeze the lock(?), silver suitcase, keys, flashlight, and even a weighty metal gold bar… best part of all, the safe is actually lockable! You can set the combination by picking two numbers… and it actually clicks as you rotate the dials.
So for random weekend experiments, had a bit too much fun taking pics of this set on the pool table…
While i’m a bit swamped in the UK ~ Linhchi has been playing with the penguins at my house in LA… and put together our second “Dear NOTCOT,” postcard! The first part of the evolution of this particular magenta penguin started here. See the details of her latest adventures with the penguin on the next page!
They are finally nearly here! Andrew Bell teased me with sneak peeks of toys in the making on his phone over lunch a few months back ~ so long as i promised to stay quiet. Well, it’s been hard! Because, we all know as fun as the Google Android phones and UI are… i’m pretty smitten with the adorable mascot. And here they finally are! A series of blind box toys bringing that adorable little Android to life!
The details? Illustrator and toy designer Andrew Bell has teamed up with a few friends at Google’s Android project to bring their green mascot to life. Presenting Android mini collectibles series 01! Each 3” vinyl figure sports one of 12 different possible designs and features a rotating head and arms. Packed in “blind boxes” so you don’t know which design you get until you open it up. Pick one up and take a chance or grab a case for a near-complete set. Available in an initial limited release later this month from dyzplastic and specialty retailers.
If you’re ready, see more details on the next page! (And notice he says “Series 01”… will there be more???)
On silly little kid stories, when i used to hang out at guitar stores with my dad, i’d be that little girl the store guys would let play with the pick drawers, and they’d always let me have a few… my favorites? Dunlop Tortex! In Green of course! Because i was in that rational “it HAS to be green, its a turtle” little kid mindset, and while knowing it made a difference, i refused to care about how thick it was, what the different colors meant, etc… i just wanted the green ones… flash forward about 20 years, and is it any wonder that my absolute favorite booth encountered at NAMM is Dunlop? The graphic design of the posters and the design of the booth itself were so much fun, the kind of inspiring that makes you want to go design gig posters… and i could have stayed and stared at the panels of custom guitar picks for hours. Also, how exciting is it that there will be a documentary film coming this spring on the Cry Baby? Seeing that awesomely designed poster just made me remember being a little girl balancing on the wah wah pedals amused no end with all the noises i could make… And really, how could i not post the Bad Mutha Fucka Shut Yo Mouth posters… all of the graphics at this booth were really far too fun to pass up. Take a little tour of it all on the next page!
On bizarre and fascinating design found at AVN this weekend… i found these Tenga Eggs in person, and i couldn’t help laughing when i saw them (yes, i tried to hold it in, but it was just so fascinating!). If they seem familiar, they were on NOTCOT.org as #18467 a while ago. And when they were first submitted, we couldn’t make sense of what they were for a bit… well now that they are being distributed by Liberator (they specialize in “bedroom adventure gear”)… so they were part of a big booth at AVN filled with beautifully designed toys. We even had a chance to meet the designer himself. Now as for how they work… these are bizarre eggs that are male pleasure toys, but they come in the most adorable plastic eggs (like kids easter eggs, or toys from machines you pop a quarter in to)… and inside you find an “egg shaped masturbation sleeve” ~ and they come in 6 different internal textures. “Although intended for a single session, the cup could be used a couple of times if handled and cleaned carefully.” Anyhow, take a peek at the pics of the packaging, products, and funny video on the next page!
Andy Bell is probably one of the awesomest people i’ve met in 2009 (yay, sdcc?) ~ and his red and blue sushi’s sit sadly in their boxes by my desk inspiring me daily. So you can only imagine how ridiculously giddy i’ve been photoshopping the behind the scenes pics for this feature where he gives us a look into not only how they came to be, but also a chance to giveaway one of the much coveted GREEN O-NO SUSHIs!!! Before they are even available (you can buy one in january, but you’d better be quick!)…
So if you’re ready ~ go see the making of feature as well as details on how to win one of these awesome little guys + some stickers too on the feature page!
p.s. we got a sneak peek at the green ones at SDCC
They’re heeeeeeere!!! Meet the Puma Penguin Army that arrived yesterday. Sorry i lost a few hours of my day yesterday to unpacking the fort of 20 massive boxes that showed up. And then carefully pulling out each of its foamy filled box… only a few casualties. 1 poor orange guy totally shattered (we’ll consider him a sacrifice in the name of science to see what’s inside a Puma Penguin)… one green guy lost a foot (don’t worry he’s being superglued as you read)… another orange guy has a special sunburst like color fade with a cracked neck (watching him carefully to make sure not to snap his head off!).
Need a little background story? Haven’t walked by a Puma store this season? Well Puma’s window and instore displays internationally have these incredible life size plastic penguins around. And they are simple beautifully designed glossy little statues. For those of you who , you know I’ve been obsessing over them since Stockholm. And then every time i walk past the Santa Monica store. They are truly one of the awesomest window displays i’ve ever seen. Awesome enough that i couldn’t help reaching out to Puma in hopes of telling their story and begging to buy one. And then 20 showed up.
PUMA - i just have to say, you guys are amazing. Like, best christmas present ever amazing. THANK YOU! Now that being said ~ go see the many photos of where i first spotted these guys, how they arrived, and just how fun they are en masse. Now the question is, what to do with them???
So you’ve seen the Day In The Life of the White Rabbit so far… well, here is more of the campaign that Fallon has put together for Syfy. This is one of those posts that took me a while to figure out how/what to show you because while i love each part individually, conceptually all together its fun to see how this one crosses in and out of online, tech, and real world! See if you can follow it all…
1. 50 Real human Rabbits run around NYC
2. Real human rabbits disappear and a huge building sized projection shows the rabbits climbing the wall…
3. Rabbit projections and real rabbits continue to run around NYC prompting people to “FOLLOW ME” which of course means twitter… and real life… (nice use of alice in wonderland meets twitter, fallon.)
4. On the twitter account you can find the link to The White Rabbit Inc, a detective agency of course. The man-rabbit is there again teasing you to follow.
5. Clicking him takes you to Wonderland Tea Shop, where he causes some havoc and teases you to follow once again.
6. Now you end up at the Happy Hearts Casino, faced with an eerie Kathy Bates Queen of Hearts backed by some show girls… and he escapes again, waiting for you to follow.
7. Where you finally land at Syfy’s Alice.
Oh, but wait, that’s not all… Also fascinating, Kay jewelers is sponsoring the miniseries, and they’ve done even MORE silliness to integrate with them… There is also Alice’s Jewelry Box, where you essentially click on each of the Kay jewelry pieces to get to the “fabled Stone of Wonderland” ring of Alice’s, which then lets you see concept art for the film…
I can’t help but wonder, what’s next? Where can i get a Rabbit mask? Will the miniseries live up to the campaign? There is so much talk these days of ways to integrate social media, ways to use twitter, how to innovate on really engaging people (in both real and online worlds) for campaigns… and i’m loving what Fallon and Syfy have pulled off with this one. With so many ideas floating around, they’ve definitely taken it further than most would expect, and it feels like everyone has had a blast doing it! So take a peek to see the different parts of this campaign (and a fun video too!) on the next page!