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 â€“ one of the founders of Swedenâ€™s creative powerhouse ACNE - LELO is proud to introduce the NEA Black Pearl Valentine. With LELOâ€™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 â€“ 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 â€˜loveâ€™, 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.
Ever have one of those days where you feel like making something, but don’t quite feel up to the planning, scheming, home depot-ing? Well for those of you who fall into the “buy your DIY” category, or who need that “personal gift” for someone… PhotoJojo just sent me their latest Photo Blocks Kit (where you can create mix and match puzzle like images), instant postcard photo frames (love the plastic quality of these! and will survive all types of weather!), and their magnetic photo rope.
So, get crafty! I’m in love with their Photorope currently - but i’m a sucker for magnets (never quite did outgrow that phase)… and i’m thinking of coating those Photo Blocks with wrapping paper on one side, and a letter and pictures/collage on the other as a gift. (hm, if i give this to you, act surprised!)
Remember my obsession with O Plus D (if not, you simply MUST go see here)~ Well their designer, Olga Krigman, threw a little holiday sale/gathering at La Dita in Echo Park last night, and it was more like a mini gallery showing of all the cards up on the walls. Each and every one even more fun to see and read in person (gorgeous rounded edges and printed on great card stock!) Pics below ~ And if you haven’t stocked up on holiday cards yet, this is the ONLY way to go. Well, they are the best i’ve seen around anyhow!
RUGenius created this recycle your decks! as “just a continually growing collection of sweet products made from recycled decks…surf, skate or snow.” We got a bit stumped and were a little sad we didn’t find better designer goodness to add to it… anyone have suggestions? One more find i came across for her to add is shown below - its like the ultimate lazy susan. [Also, click the specific items in the image above to check out what she has to say about each and every one, post made with Blog-It]
Lamy’s were always my first love when it came to nice pens, i had a few 2 and 3 in ones in those nice black metal barrels, always LOVED the weight of them. Take a look at the new Lamy Pickup Pro, designed by Wolfgang Fabian. It’s literally a pen in a pen, but not in the twist to switch style, more like there’s a mini highlighter you can unlock by pressing the yellow button, and then it pops out the top. (Nice for two handed, write+highlight). It is described as naturally anodized aluminum barrel with massive, spring-mounted metal clip, turning mechanism and movable telescopic point.