*notcot - 02.27.08 , 15:59 - 0 Notes

Glossy Brio Toys

pinkbrio1.jpgBrio. Their logo always flashes me back to childhood and makes me imagine those woody tracks that interlock, and the adorable, simple, primary colored, magnetic train cars that you could link up… But it seems like they have headed more towards Playsam with these adorably bright, glossy, lacquered toys. Remember the shape sorting box was on NOTCOT.org a while back? Well, in addition to that, you can also find matching glossy building sets, rattles, and the coolest little race cars! Can you imagine a prettier kids gift for designer moms and dads? Even if you outgrow playing with them (is that even possible?), they’d look beautiful as part of the decor. Also see the pull toys and push cars after the jump.

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*HERO Design Lab - 02.25.08 , 14:19 - 1 Notes

Inside Monster Factory

monstermain.jpgNOTCOT Note: I’m excited to introduce you to Jenny Lemieux and Leo Corrales, of HERO Design Lab! Old friends from my Milan grad school days, they were nice enough to show me Toronto, and we had so much fun all weekend, that they’ve even written some posts for you! Starting off check out this awesome behind the scenes look at Monster Factory (who has had much love across NOTCOT over the years)!

We dropped by the Monster Factory factory today, as I’m dying to get my hands on one of their super cute little kid-friendly guys, and of course, we wanted a sneak peak at how the monsters come into being…. We chatted with partners Bliss Man and Rhya Tamasauskas (Adam Dunn wasn’t in) and some of their team. The coolest, gentlest people, I have to say, which only makes sense. We got a behind the scenes glimpse of how they turn their concepts into patterns, then various prototypes, before stitching together the 65 kinds of monsters. We love that they do the whole thing in Toronto, and hire local fashion grads to lend a hand. See the many pictures after the jump!

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*notcot - 02.11.08 , 14:38 - 0 Notes

Jimmyjane Spin Me

Jimmyjanespin.jpgReady for a slightly more adult version of Spin The Bottle this Valentine’s Day? Well Jimmyjane has you covered. This Valentine’s Day from 6pm-8pm at the Gerber Group Bars and W Hotels Worldwide for the Spin Me Launch Parties. SPIN ME: Game of Mischief - “Remember “Spin the Bottle”? Well, we thought we’d raise the stakes a bit. The game of our youth lacked a bit of variety, so we’ve added a few plot twists. Some of those twists are G-Rated; others are closer to R or even, well, let’s just call it NC-17. To play: SPIN, READ, OBEY and REPEAT.” See closeups below ~ an example game is “Let’s Mingle: Take your SPIN ME game over to another table and ask them to play.”

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*notcot - 01.16.08 , 01:29 - 4 Notes

To Be Us A Matter Of Toys

woodycars0.jpg On simple toys often being the best ~ To Be Us’ A Matter Of Toys (what a company/product line name) cars are adorable. AND handmade… (pictures of the making of after the jump!)

From the To Be Us site:
“Handmade in Italy - To be Us is craftsmanlike product, entirely handmade. A one size block of wood, a single cut that shapes the sports car, the romantic one, the pick-up, the saloon , the security van. To be Us products are made of cedar of Lebanon: a dense, spicy and long-lasting wood. Its peculiar scent has a natural anti-moths effect. Wheels are made of mahogany: a hard, dense and yet easy to work wood showing also a very fine and precious grain. No paints are used on To be Us toys. To be Us products are designed by Matteo Ragni, Giulio Iacchetti and Odoardo Fioravanti. and handmade by Master Giovanni.”

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*notcot - 01.13.08 , 00:42 - 2 Notes

StrangeCo Vivisect Playset

vivisect.jpgThe King Of The Deadbeats - aka Rex beta vulgaris mortem by Joe Ledbetter is too awesome. That’s the blue walrus guy with a head on a stick. This is just one of the new 8 figure blind box series dropping from StrangeCo, and it’s their new multi-artist mini figure series, The Vivisect Playset, featuring Anthony Ausgang, Luke Chueh, Peter Gronquist, Thomas Han, Joe Ledbetter, Greg Simkins and Amanda Visell! Quite the lineup ~ Luke Chueh’s is perfection as well… that classic near tears look that lives beneath the glossy made up facade we parade around in - Mugs Bunny - aka Lepus polypersonas. For those in LA ~ the big Toy Release party (really its like a fun gallery opening where we can all afford to buy the goods) will be at Gallery 1988 on Jan 26th! See more pics of the full set packaging after the jump.

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*notcot - 01.04.08 , 18:48 - 0 Notes

Bubble Trouble Puzzle

bubbletrouble.jpgI’ve always found the most intriguing puzzles to be those that look beautiful as objects and cause people to over think the solution. And this Bubble Trouble glass puzzle fits that perfectly. The goal is to move the single air bubble into the center chamber of this glass vial. It’s elegant in design and solution, and i love the typography on the packaging as well. Tempted to purchase this one to leave on my desk and watch people tilt it up and down and all around in hopes of achieving their goal. Ok, and if you simply can’t stand not knowing, solution is below.

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*notcot - 12.31.07 , 01:02 - 2 Notes

Q-BA-MAZE

qbamaze.jpgQ-BA-MAZE - you may have noticed this new designer twist on the old school 3d wooden marble mazes on the gift guide. Well i played with it a bit before then, but only had enough free time on my hands tonight to build more silliness with it and take a few quick pics… I must say there is something calmingly mesmerizing about playing with all the ball bearings ~ and the quality of the pieces are far nicer than i expected just looking at images ~ my only complaint would be that sometimes they dont hold together as well as i’d hope, and in building my silly nearly 5ft tall twisty single helix/staircase tower some of the core center pieces weren’t clicking together and it came tumbling down once… Also, some of the best packaging ever, i love that they managed to put the packaging together so that you can actually flip the box over to reset the balls to roll down the maze in the box! It’s fully functional to play with before it even gets opened! Anyhow, take a look at the huge images below, and to find out more, go watch the videos at Q-BA-MAZE!

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*notcot - 12.23.07 , 18:46 - 2 Notes

Yujin Kaomoji

yujin.jpgThe Pingmag holiday delights post had these crazy little Kaomoji characters from Yojin on them, and i had no idea what to expect when i clicked through… one thing’s for sure though, i didn’t see the super crazy animation coming! These Kaomoji are part ascii art, part emoticon, and part crazy japanese toy character… more images of them below!

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*notcot - , 14:50 - 0 Notes

Twighlight Turtle

turtlestar.jpgTwilight Turtle is another baby/toddler toy i came across the other day. Made by Sleep Sheep and Friends or Cloud B ~ this turtle is cuddly under its shell, lights up in various colors, and projects the night sky on to the ceiling (or your tent, fort, etc). “Choose from three soothing color options – blue, green, and white – to create magical, tranquil environments that are ideal for helping children of all ages ease into a restful sleep.” And it projects 8 constellations for kids to learn. Also interesting is their Sheep Sleep, which plays 4 sounds that comfort babies ~ Mother’s Heartbeat, Spring Showers, Ocean Surf, and Whale Songs. You can actually control the volume and it auto times out after 23 minutes. This one even now has a stroller/to-go version. More images of all below!

Honestly, with both of these being priced in the 25-40$ range, they’ve totally made my list for new parent gifts!

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*notcot - , 14:19 - 0 Notes

PeekABoo Bags

peekaboo.jpgPeekABoo Stuff makes these seemingly simple PeekABoo Bags which are pretty brilliant, especially when it comes to keeping kids quiet… assuming of course that the kids don’t have sharp objects (or teeth… or razor sharp claws) such that they can tear it open and ingest the bits… But basically, its a clear bean bag pouch with plastic pellets and random objects that the kids can try and find, and each bag comes with a list of all the objects inside so you can challenge them to find them all. For the creative ones, there is certainly a DIY project here waiting to happen, just make sure you double/triple those seams to keep those beads in! Close up images below, and video with a super perky demonstrator.

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*notcot - 12.17.07 , 22:22 - 1 Notes

Gift Guide Day 4

day4com.jpgGift Guide Day 4! Playful stocking stuffers, desk toys, marshmallow weaponry, diy straw construction, vinyl goodies, 007, and far more… or view this and all that came before it.

*notcot - , 03:00 - 0 Notes

Gift Guide Day 5

day5com.jpgAnd we’re into the final 5 gift guides… Gift Guide Day 5 is another set of favorites from Charles & Marie (huge thanks for supporting NOTCOT and being our primary sponsor!)… their store really does end up being a collection of products that are so very NOTCOT in every sense… so continuing from my picks on Day 31, here are the rest of my C&M faves. And for those who want to see everything until now on one single super right scrolling page… here is the entirety of the NOTCOT Holiday Gift Guide 007 minus the 4 remaining guides to come…

*notcot - 12.14.07 , 13:31 - 0 Notes

Political Finger Puppets

policom.jpgI Golfini Della Nonna, USA has branched out from their Terrorism finger puppets and Gay Marriage finger puppets and just in time for the holiday season they have Political Candidate Finger Puppets! As it says on Moss: “Have your own debates. Pit your right hand against your left. Who needs Iowa or YouTube? The set consists of political candidates Barack Obama, Hillary Rodham Clinton, Fred Thompson, and Rudy Giuliani, surrounding current President George W. Bush in the dunce cap. Become part of the national discourse. And don’t forget to vote. “

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*notcot - 12.13.07 , 22:33 - 0 Notes

Gift Guide Day 8

day8com.jpgGift Guide Day 8 is all about indulging your vices ~ and whatever they may be, we pass no judgments… this ones focused on some products to go with your drinking, smoking, sexing, snorting, etc…

*notcot - , 01:00 - 0 Notes

Indigo Snow

indigo1.jpgIndigo Snow ~ snowboards, skis, helmets, goggles, glasses, and all accessories you need… The combinations of woods, leathers, and 3d snake skin designs are unlike any i’ve ever seen before… they speak for themselves, so see my many collages below for a feel for their collection. Isn’t that green incredible? And the black snake print is beautiful as well! The helmets are just as impressive with a fusion of wood and leather, perfectly topped off with their goggles!

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