We have a fascination with the DIY - print + cut + paste/tape - toy revolution going on these days… and i’m surprised i haven’t seen more like this! Marmalade’s promotional materials are DIY cutout corrugated cardboard cat toys! And even print and cut your own designs as well… BRILLIANT! not to mention, recyclable, cost effective, and STILL endless amusement for your kittens. Also, pretty site design, more images below. (via Core77)
Poor RUGenius has been quite ill as of late ~ so this one’s for her. Even when you are puking your guts out in cars, planes, and trains ~ you can apparently do it in style with these designer air sickness bags. By the Redstr Collective, “These limited edition, hand-screened barf bags were designed through the AAA. The bags have been released in limited editions for The Future Perfect, Terminal 5, and Le Bon Marche. They are meant to serve as a vehicle for the everyday consumer to display their distaste for BAD DESIGN.” Noticed this in the Core77 Newsletter.
Manuella’s elephants and bunnies (also ducks and dogs exist)…. brain child of Merav Flam, graduate of Bezalel Academy for Art and Design Jerusalem… and i’m smitten not only by these creatures, but also by the motivation behind the line… “With children in mind, her unique designs reflect her own longing for childhood without digital and electronic toys… ‘Manuella’ - is reminiscent of the mechanical system that was used a long time ago to operate dolls, musical boxes, and toys.” Now if that doesn’t hit you somewhere in your laptop toting, cell phone attached, wii loving being… i give up, go buy your kid an Ugly Doll.
But i have this habit of always shopping for kids toys (some of which admittedly i end up buying myself) ~ and having a few products in mind for all of those last minute baby showers that keep popping up, and to find the perfect gift is hard, but it will be hard to go wrong showing up with one of these Manuella Elephants.
Always on the look out for new sketch/notebooks as gifts and as the next volume in the never ending pile of scribbles… came across Alife Design. Fun packaging, cute display, and there is something fun about the pliable plasticy cover marked PLAIN and NOTES in such vibrant colors… Also while browsing their site noticed they have a really fun line of passport covers, checkbook covers, and travel bag tags worth taking a peek at.
95$ for a bat never seemed quite so worth it… VISUALIZE bat from Orange 32 (who brought you the “you’re a douche” cards). Shade Elaine exclaimed “Wow. So. Awesome.” as soon as we saw it ~ because, well, as the site says “For “those” clients. Also comes with wall-mounting hardware so you can camouflage it as a piece of art until “that” client comes by.”
Stumbled upon this Vlieger & Vandam GMT (glasses - music - tickets) “basic travel equipment for all time zones” bag and it appealed to my inner jetsetter. Something fun about that envelope like pocket… not exactly the most subtle of pockets… and what about the most critical - mobile phone!!! But i suppose music and phone are really one in the same these days. The details were cute, the quality looks nice, and it would be a good fit for my quick/short in and out of planes, trains, and automobile trips…
If there’s one thing i learned this christmas, it’s that you cannot leave RUGenius alone with a printer and internet access all alone in oxford tending to her lab. After the amazing cardboy calendar, she proceeded to find lots of other “print, cut, + build” toys on the internet and filled the lab with them (and my inbox with fun pics of them). So this one is for her.
Meet The Marks, a playful little e-book to get your kids into both punctuation AND typography at an early age… nothing like watching some sassy question mark and exclamation mark trying to break out of their book… only to learn a very important lesson. And what does it mean when the period and the comma get together and beget a ‘?’ and a ‘!’ ?
With the holidays behind us now, venturing into 2007 we’re already faced with Valentine’s Day?!? So if you remember Swedish Lelo’s pleasure objects, and also their infamous design house, jeans, etc company Acne that is making its way to the states lately… you’ll be excited to see their latest special edition NEA Black Pearl Valentine. “In collaboration with multi-talented designer Jesper Kouthoofd – one of the founders of Sweden’s creative powerhouse ACNE - LELO is proud to introduce the NEA Black Pearl Valentine. With LELO’s basic NEA acting as the canvas, Jesper Kouthoofd has chosen to graphically interpret the romanticized aesthetics of an archetypal sweet heart tattoo. The resulting artwork hints at an age of innocence - vintage 1950 – with undertones of a tender naivety reserved for the realm of pristine love. Bound to be the source of many a giggle and plenty of joy is the word ‘love’, naughtily located on the tip of the pleasure point and handwritten in pure lipstick on a mirror-style.”
Full Vinyl: The Subversive Art of Designer Toys by Ivan Vartanian - makes a good first impression. I love that the covers are made of corrugated cardboard! Not to mention it has a crazy rubbery hot pink squid keychain embedded in the front of it (for kids and inner childs alike). AND its quite the comprehensive round up of some of this generations best toy/character designers i’ve seen yet. Very fun page layouts, definitely worth checking out or surprising your toy lovers with… snapped a few quick photos of some of my favorite pages for you to take a peek at below… (like peter fowler and junko mizuno who both got 6 page spreads!) This book will be released January 2nd just in time to remind you of all those collectibles you JUST missed out on in 2006.
Were you into secret notes as a kid? Did you always want to eat your notes so no one could read them later, but are bad with the paper munching? Do you need gelcaps to help it go down? Well apparently Poketo was a few steps ahead of you (and unfortunately a few days late for me, since these would have been some pretty awesome xmas cards that could come with *other* pills mixed in)… check out their Capsule Letters. For the sneaky inner spy kid in all of us… and the perfect gift for your pill poppin’ buddies. [p.s. they are plastic and paper! So not necessarily edible, but they certainly look little enough to be swallowed!]
Check out the latest 2007 series of the Insurgents Wilderness Gruppo set - Makutu the Yellow Eyed Penguin with torpedo belt - Oishi the Japanese Snow Monkey with Samuari sword and rock filled snowball - Candace the African Elephant with R.P.G. - Burnum the Platypus with titanium boomerang (LOVE the platypus). They also just launched a new set of pins. Pics of their furry hoodie and various badges below…
Shade Elaine and I are extremely curious and easily amused at times… so when at Target, we could not resist getting a Wii Gift Card (if you’re feeling stocking stingy, get one of these for 5$ then use it to buy the stocking to put it in?) ~ the crazy target giftcard that lights up - and it is impressively well designed for something that is practically free. Nice glossy white plastic, and possibly the best purse light we’ve found - with 6 blue leds this card is insanely bright in every direction!
Inspired by BLTD tonight ~ and while every site, magazine, etc is busy doing a roundup of either gift ideas or what happened this year… RUGenius and i took our reflection and went even further back than the end of 2005. Where did our design/aesthetic tastes come from…
Well one of our sources of inspiration - or what molded us at an early age, was Montessori schooling ~ especially the really fun woody “educational” toys we grew up with… from the sandpaper letters to learn to write, those heinous beads i loved/hated to learn about decimals, the multiplication board had those great little red beads, the satisfaction from tasks like pouring sand and pellets from one container to the other, the trinomial cube, the blue geometric solids (perspective drawing 101?), and that infamous pink tower… [to kris of BLTD - our tiniest pink cube was the most coveted too! we should make necklaces with that for other Montessori kids who grew up!] So now you know - we were Montessori kids, and i think the impact of Maria Montessori’s genius helped make us the obsessive design lovers we are today.
Stopped by the Vinyl Toy Network Holiday Show in Pasadena this weekend, and got a chance to meet up with all the folks of Pop Cling ~ and it was really fun to get to check out all their new decks and stickers in person (you may remember my flower girl review?)… the quality of these decks are amazing and really the perfect gift for art lovers that need a little extra something to hang on their walls, since i can’t imagine using such beautiful pieces for much else! They just launched the new Jeremyville decks, and have a LOT of new stickers since they showed off their first collection in our gallery. More images to feel like you were there - below.