*notcot - 04.26.08 , 14:28 - 1 Notes

Recycled Map Envelopes

recycledenvelopesmain.jpgD!REKTRECYCLING makes the coolest envelopes ever. They have become one of my favorite things about receiving packages from Working Class Heroes - other than the incredible felt/leather sleeves for my gadgetry, of course.

The image above is what happens when i stick my camera inside the envelope… for more context move on to the next page… it’s brilliant because its such a clean professional looking envelope on the outside, yet you can’t help ripping it apart to learn about new places on the inside…

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*notcot - 03.23.08 , 20:37 - 9 Notes

Orbit Baby Modular Stroller System

orbitbaby1.jpgOrbit Baby ~ if i were to have a kid (unlikely, anytime soon), i can’t imagine having one without this system. In fact, my back, sanity, and kid’s safety would demand it. This company is based right in east bay up in norcal and it’s nice to see such a sweet group of Stanford product designers leave IDEO to pursue their dreams and apply their skills to something that really needed some updating (full story here)…

I encountered Orbit Baby while at CA Boom V… this and the Nomad Yurt were the two things i walked away raving about. The Orbit Baby system is so modular that you have one main soft handled baby carrier (good for the day you leave the hospital), which docks into the easy car seat base as well as the quick collapsing stroller… and also with the simple eames rocker matching rocker base. And as your child grows, you can upgrade to the toddler stroller seat (still works with your stroller and car seat). And for those who like basinets, you can also go for the basinet option which also docks into all the bases, and even comes in a new organic super soft ‘green’ edition.

I know it seems silly, that i’m raving about a kid system that i couldn’t possibly have any use for, but the thought that went into every design detail and the incredible quality of the whole system were irresistible in person. I also even attempted my first vimeo video below from the show (vimeo, wow, sidetrack, but i’m loving their incredible user experience). As for design details worth noting… this system even comes with an easy adorable bag that stores nicely under the stroller! It has two cup holders (aka perfect cellphone holder?)… and the handles even adjust/rotate to your comfort position. Coolest thing of all… (other than making life easier on the parents) - “zoo viewing mode” since you can rotate any of these seats on the base… you can have a sideways facing stroller, which seems perfect for walking around a zoo/aquarium, and perfect for not taking up the whole aisle in a crowded restaurant like many new parents seem to.

Tons of pictures and a video after the jump!

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*notcot - 03.17.08 , 22:25 - 4 Notes

Noferin Pecanpals

noferin0.jpgCandy and Nicho, are the Aussie duo that make up Noferin. Exciting news i recently received from them - they are coming out to Santa Monica (from Carrara Island, Australia!) for their solo exhibition at Copro Nason on April 5th! I’ve been begging them for a sneak peek at what is to come… and studio pics and perhaps some paintings in progress coming soon… so far i’ve got a sneak peek at the Pecanpals (which you may remember from .org #7556) - made up of Fanelli, Pecan, Pandacake, Claudius and Jac Jac (read their bios on the Noferin site). These little guys are entirely made from wood, hand crafted, hand painted, and limited to 200 per character! The final versions may vary slightly from these prototypes, but i hope not by much, since they are pretty perfect looking as they are! See closeups of the whole set after the jump! I love all the little sidekicks… the grass cuttings, elephant, and dumbells are definitely my favorites.

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*notcot - 03.14.08 , 23:26 - 0 Notes

Theosaurus - Piggy Bank

theosaurus.jpgThe German Theosaurus - the porcelain piggy bank with nostrils so large you’re sure it ought to be able to sniff out some truffles for you… or, at least, help you save up some coin to buy some! After CA Boom V (which took merely an hour to cover) ~ i headed over to Abbot Kinney and stopped in on Andy over at A+R, where he had just gotten the Theosauruses in, and he even has an exclusive on them this month! These adorable piggy banks showed up on .org as #7013, but seeing them in person, you can’t help but want to pick it up and bring it home… really, it’s one worth checking out in person, and would make a darling gift for nearly anyone, once you figure out which one to buy. We debated whether the sitting or standing was more cute… and personally, i think the sitting one is most adorable when next to the standing one, however if i only got to go home with one, definitely the standing one… in porcelain with the blue pattern! Although, the sitting one does have a locking bottom, versus the two cork feet of the standing one… and the family of the 4 did look most adorable together. Anyhow, take a look below to see how they look in context of the real world (versus the uber-clean product photography world).

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*notcot - , 22:38 - 2 Notes

Magis and Javier Mariscal

alma_e_linus.jpgYou can’t go wrong with Magis, the products both large and small have had me lusting since i was a kid… and tonight in particular i’ve been rediscovering their Me Too children’s collection (many of which have been on NOTCOT over the years)… one that i hadn’t noticed before is this Alma and Linus stacking chair and table set from Spanish designer, Javier Mariscal. The most incredible part is seeing the patterns on the back up close, i love the trees filled with the birds in their leaves! Made of injection molded Polypropylene with glass fibre, this set is suitable for both indoor and outdoor use. Below, see not only a close up of the detail of the back of these seats, but also a few other Mariscal pieces for the Magis Me Too Collection (like the crazy angler fish looking play thing!)

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*notcot - , 22:17 - 0 Notes

Magis’ Puppy by Eero Aarnio

magispup1.jpgThe Puppy now comes in a sky blue! This was the first thing to grab me at CA Boom V at Santa Monica Airport’s Barker Hangar today… the Magis Me Too Collection’s booth is filled with all four sizes of the puppy in the four colors - green, white, orange, and now blue! This piece by Eero Aarnio is quite the iconic and irresistible kids piece that i would love to have around… see more pics below!

p.s. can you believe i first wrote about this puppy 3 years ago? (and for those who need a refresher, Aarnio is the man behind design icons like the ball chair and the bubble chair!)

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*notcot - 03.13.08 , 18:20 - 1 Notes

ME-ROR by AMT Unboxing

meror0.jpgThe latest from one of our favorite designers, Alissia MT, are these beautiful glass Me-Rors which were produced by Charles & Marie. Coming in two versions, you can view yourself in a floating silhouette, or in a classic oval… either way, it is quite a trip to use a handheld mirror that has your reflection essentially floating as you hold it up to inspect yourself closely… An exciting surprise that showed up at my door last week were one of each of model! I was thrilled to see the packaging on these (and even more excited to share them with you in many pics below)… they come in a pretty simple Charles & Marie branded box, with a magnetic flap you lift and open it, exposing the me-rors embedded in flocked blackness and a playful intro message… take a look below!

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*notcot - 02.29.08 , 09:28 - 6 Notes

Mobius Climber

mobiusclimb1.jpgMobius Climbers from Landscape Structures! Is there simpler more intriguing surface? My future backyard will definitely need one of these… essentially it is a giant sheet of annodized aluminum with rock climbing styled hand holds so kids (or you) can climb up, down, and all around any side (well, i guess its only really ONE side) of it… It is available in 4 configurations to accommodate various budgets ~ 3, 6, 7, and 12 panel options. My only disappointment with this is that you can’t climb a full loop and go around and around since the two ends go into the ground (so really this isn’t a mobius strip so much as a crazily bent sheet), but with a little imagination i supposed you can assume that where these go into the ground they pop out into another yard and continue the loop. Also cool could have been if it was in a loop AND you could unzip it down the middle for an even larger mobius strip! More images after the jump!

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*notcot - 02.28.08 , 15:52 - 0 Notes

Jumping Brain

jumpingbrain1.jpgEvery feel like your brain is just hopping all over the place with ideas? Combining my love of brains, frogs, and toys… check out Emilio Garcia’s Jumping Brain RGB set by Lapolab! And as you can see from the sneak peeks below from the thread on Solson Toys, the hemispheres even separate! I think i’d have to get the set and mix and match them all. What would i ever do without Vinyl Pulse?

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*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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