The 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).
You 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!)
The 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!)
The 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!
Mobius 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!
Every 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?
Brio. 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.
NOTCOT 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!
Ready 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 â€œSpin the Bottleâ€? Well, we thought weâ€™d raise the stakes a bit. The game of our youth lacked a bit of variety, so weâ€™ve added a few plot twists. Some of those twists are G-Rated; others are closer to R or even, well, letâ€™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.”
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.”
The 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.
I’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.
Q-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!
The 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!
Twilight 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 â€“ blue, green, and white â€“ 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!