Here’s the latest from London-based editor and resident zoologist, Justine Aw ~ in addition to her other Top Drawer finds, we LOVE these semi DIY cards that use Bare Conductive’s Electric Paint.
On fun surprises that just came in the mail, this cute In Pursuit of Magic Stencil Set from ” two female street artists on a crusade to elevate consciousness and amplify meaning in the world.” as their Facebook says.
I haven’t been able to get these insanely awesome rock climbing holds out of my mind - So Ill Holds! First spotted them when we were exploring the very inspiring Outdoor Retailer Show… and every time i run into their tab that’s been open on my computer, i realize how fun and unusually designed (and still super functional) they are. Their choices in naming, geometries, and collections are noteworthy - whether you like/agree with them or not, they definitely make you think differently. Staring at the bumps(steroids) and curves (lockjaw) hanging from the walls of their booth was what first pulled us in. From afar they looked a lot like giant 3D prints… in fact they got my mind racing with all kinds of forms you could 3D print or mill that could be turned into awesome and unusual rock climbing holds, and how they can be quite the art form… Additionally, their branding is strong and playful (though the green cross does initially make me think of medical marijuana dispensaries), their medicinally themed packaging for other products is quite fun, there are LED enabled holds, and they even have recycled billboard bags! Take a peek at more details as well as a fun video with a parking attendant putting their holds to a whole other use on the next page!
p.s. See more of our Outdoor Retailer Show adventures here!
On new goodies that just arrived for Bucky, the super sweet folks at Petswag Inc. sent over one of their Lucky Dog Swag Bags. Every month means a new selection of surprises that make for perfect dog gifts packaged up a lovely silk screen canvas drawstring pouch. This month’s includes a Jax and Bones Good Karma Lobster Rope Toy (choice of small or large), Burt’s Bees Breath Drops, MetroPaws Poop Bags, Cloud Star Grain-Free Chicken Buddy Biscuits, and a Petswag coupon. And a nice bonus… this month (every month differs) Petswag is partnering with Best Friends Animal Society and donating all Lucky Dog Swag Bag profits to help them! Ready to take a peek into the unboxing and details? To the next page!
p.s. The Petswag instagram is one of our favorite dog (and black lab!) filled feeds.
I turned a corner at OR and got giddy when i saw the awesome Ruffwear booth! They make the indestructible, waterproof/stinkproof Headwater collar with reflective waves that we’ve had on bucky as soon as he grew out of a tiny puppy sized neck… and as Bucky gets more adventure ready we’ve been curious about things to help protect him in all kinds of environments… and the awesome folks at Ruffwear caught us up on everything from booties and jackets (shells and fleece) to packs and travel food cases and more! Their attention to detail, from materials to hardware to packaging to patterns makes me swoon, and as you’ll see in the pics on the next page, a lot of the upcoming products are adopting new clasps that have been trending in bag design the last few years.
Take a peek at some of the new Fall/Winter 2013 products that are available now, as well as upcoming products, and their playful, woody booth on the next page!
p.s. See more of our Outdoor Retailer Show adventures here!
First stop at SDCC this year ~ the Squibbles Ink + Rotofugi Booth ~ which as soon as preview night opened, had quite the line for coarse Omen Blink Hoot + Hush Owls (as well as Ferg’s Playge Misfortune Cat)… and the packaging and owls are ADORABLE! These 3.5” little owls (limited edition of 800 each) have the following story - “After the last rays of the sun dip behind the forest’s edge, two pairs of eyes burst open. Hoot and Hush warily stand together keeping watch over a nest of unhatched eggs. Gazing up into the night, they wait in silence until the voice of the Void breaks through the darkness and orders them where to go.” Take a peek at all the packaging and toy details on the next page!
Fun surprise of the day ~ package from RMJ Tactical arrived with a Loggerhead Tomahawk! Beyond being just a tomahawk, there’s a skull crusher on the base that unscrews to give you access to the sharpening stone (which you could also probably use to hide other things)… Also the warning it comes with is pretty epic and a funny read! Their cautionary tales are no joke. When shawn did his research, these guys are the best of the best when it comes to design, quality, and functionality. This present was ordered 7 months ago, but was worth the wait. Made in Chattanooga, Tennessee, this father and son team have been making tomahawks for over 24 years, and have a nice balance between incorporating the designs of historical reproductions and utility/camping axes with the modern needs of a tactical tomahawk user. (A good thorough read on their “Our Tomahawks” section.)
I especially appreciate their design philosophy. From their FAQ - “It takes more than an aggressive look or a gray and black finish to make a tomahawk a tactical tomahawk.” So true… also, “A tactical tomahawk should be easy to use and carry. A well-designed tomahawk feels like a natural extension of the arm. The use of it should be intuitive. It is interesting to note that people throughout history have been naturally inclined to “hack” with a bladed object. As for the tomahawk scabbard, it should securely hold the tomahawk in place while making it easy to draw the tomahawk out. Also, the modern scabbard should have multiple carrying options. Finally, the modern tactical tomahawk should be able to perform as an efficient tool and weapon for the many tasks soldiers and officers encounter. We are proud to make tomahawks that meet these requirements. It is not by chance; it comes from many hundreds of hours of design time, customer input, customer requests, and testing, testing, testing.” Take a look at all the details and unboxing on the next page (as well as making of and demo videos!)…
WOW. On technological/product design advances in the work out/training space… 110% Play Harder is doing interesting things combining both compression wear and portable/modular ice therapy. Essentially creating compression leggings, shorts, socks, sleeves and more with special pockets to target just about every muscle paired with special ice packs (which are impressively thin and flexible once filled/frozen)… Beyond the design and materials used (70% Polypropylene/30% Spandex, Antimicrobial Silvertech Fabric, Superior moisture wicking, and 360° 4 way stretch) ~ the branding is fun and striking, the copy is playful, and using the thermal bag as packaging is just smart! Not to mention the details, like having a branded carbiner on the thermal bag, and giving it a nice easy ziploc like top to keep your ice packs cool inside and your stuff dry outside. Whether you’re a hardcore athlete, or simply need a better solution to icing your soreness… this is definitely something to look into. It seems that some people work out in the compression wear, others wear it later to recover, some combine it with icing post workout instead of an ice bath and manage to run errands/pick up the kids in them… and while using it during workouts (without ice!) you can use any of the many pockets to hold your phone/etc as well. So many options… and the packaging is pretty fun. Take a peek at all the details and unboxing of the Juggler Knickers on the next page.
On amazing projects at ICFF this year, i’m smitten by metaproject 03 - between RIT School of Design and Areaware. As they describe, “Each student will be required to explore the properties of wood and its use as a primary material in object construction. They will be required to research examples of cuturally specific historical and contemporary toys and to define the meaning of Universal Toy. Ultimately each student will select and research a specific object typology in the domestic sphere and a specific cultural / situational context and respond with an inventive proposal that explores the meaning and notion of how toys integrate into contemporary cultures and lifestyles.” It was hard to ignore the pull of the MANY playful/modern wooden toys on pedestals in the center of the floor… the students did an incredible job bringing the “universal toy” motif to life, and i hope some of them have the chance to become real products! Take a peek at some of my favorites on the next page.