Inspiration in the randomest of places ~ ART IS MEDICINE! I remember vaguely seeing pictures of these little Zee pill toys by swiss toy makers, URFabulous (whose website is sadly no longer up!) years and years ago, but only just ran into a case of them yesterday and couldn’t resist the adorable little blind boxes. The packaging and pharmaceutical-esque copy heavy “instructions” that accompany it are even crazier than most you will get with real medication! See more pics and a full unboxing on the next page!
Magis’ Me Too collections always have such awesomely playful pieces… this year’s addition launched at Milan is Marc Newson’s Rocky. A rocking horse of course! The official info - “The second of Marc Newson’s designs for Children, Rocky is a modern take on a traditional object, a pop version taking its character loosely from medieval jousting horses. The parallelogram motion mimics the movement of a traditional rocking horse. It is made from rotationally moulded polyethylene chosen for both its durability and recyclability.” Adorable isn’t it? See another pic on the next page…
Toys (specifically Lego, Lincoln Logs, Duplo, Fischertechnik, K’nex, Krinkles, Tinkerytoy, Zome, Zoob, Gears Gears Gears, etc) + 3D printer + Free Universal Construction Kit = MORE ways to play with your toys! Picture the crazy structures you (or your kid’s) wildest imagination can flourish in as every piece can connect to every other piece… or how many more toys you will need to buy to fully utilize the Free Universal Construction Kit’s capabilities…
While the monster of a Universal Adapter Brick was quietly launched at Golan Levin’s Eyecode solo show at UCI’s Beall Center for Art + Technology a few months ago, it’s exciting to see the rest of the kit finally available! So, freshly launched this morning from Golan Levin at F.A.T. Lab and our own head of NOTlabs, Shawn Sims comes the Free Universal Construction Kit. It is “a collection of nearly 80 adapter bricks that enable complete interoperability between ten popular children’s construction toys. By allowing any piece to mate with any other, the Kit encourages totally new forms of intercourse between otherwise closed systems — enabling radically hybrid Constructivist play and the creation of heretofore impossible designs.”
You can see the full chart of all pieces, download the full .stl pack, find just the piece you need on Thingiverse, and even watch the 80’s style advert for Free Universal Construction Kit on the next page!
Next… if you have a 3D printer, and have fun toys, AND print out some pieces… i’d love to see what you (and/or your kids) create with them!!! Please share pics!!!
On 5$ impulse buys… i couldn’t resist. Toy Boarders!!! You get 24 little skateboarders! (No girls though, perhaps in their future packs… or snow or surf packs to come?) A fun twist on classic toy soldiers these little plastic guys are made in china but come from super local San Clemente, CA! Adorable… they are skating around our whole office and house now… take a peek at the silliness in a bag on the next page! (The video is pretty fun too!)
While i’ve seldom had the traditional “family vacation” as a kid ~ talking to NOTlabs director, Shawn, i found out that he knows HomeAway well! Apparently his mom’s been booking everything from houses in the Rockies, French Quarter in New Orleans, and Utah Ski trips on the site ~ and they often associate family vacations with insane jigsaw puzzles and toys… so when HomeAway asked us to share some awesomeness around family travel… adventures at the NY International Toy Fair seemed like a perfect fit! There were SO many random toys in every genre you can imagine, so to narrow it down, here’s a selection of our favorites that are perfect to keep kids (both actually young and young at heart) occupied in the car/plane en route or curled up by the fireplace/dining table when just hanging out! Ready to see some crazy puzzles, fun magnetic building toys, turtles, mazes, paper animals, electronic experiments and more? To the next page!
This season Areaware is launching this series of adorable new beech wood animals by Karl Zahn (who was also behind Areaware’s animal boxes. The new selections include a set of dovetail animals as well as stackable crocodiles! Each of the dovetail animals is composed of three segments, so you can mix and match parts from the five styles: dog, llama, elephant, horse and crocodile. More photos and a video of the new wooden animals on the next page.
Super cute concept ~ Busy Beaver Buttons (maker of NOTCOT buttons!) sent over their playful new year’s card ~ love that they give you a fill-in-the-blank button and mini sharpie! Take a peek at the details and fun beaver graphic inside the card on the next page… as well as my resolution for 2012!
Theses beautiful Fulton’s Clip Joint Playing Cards designed by Brad Fulton arrived from Dan and Dave’s. Take a peek at this video to get into the mood and world they evoke… The details on the box are stunning ~ and the joker cats will mesmerize you.
“Fulton’s Clip Joint Playing Cards celebrate our fascination with cinema, history, and the art of the grift. Taking inspiration from vintage Los Angeles and Film Noir, Fulton’s captures a time and place where men were men, women were dames, and the next deal could be your last. These limited edition playing cards feature original artwork by Dan Phillips and are beautifully encased in a linen box with embossed ornaments and foil stamping.”
See close-ups on the next page! (As well as a peek at the uncut sheet!)
Remember those fun wooden magnetic blocks you can build “anything” with? Well, now Tegu has WHEELS! Their new mobility set includes wheel sets, silhouettes, and blocks with special car styling pieces. The wheels themselves are wooden (in varying shades) and magnetic… so they too are just as fun to use as fridge/cube/bulletin board magnets you can spin and play with at your desk/studio/etc as well as in a kid’s pile of toys! Take a peek at the packaging and a few sets from the new line on the next page!
p.s. There’s a Tegu Coupon in the Holiday Coupons!
Bronze Bones! I don’t think dominoes have ever made me swoon… until now. Leave it to The World’s Best Ever’s Dave to dream up something so spectacularly lust worthy! “The first collaboration between The Principals and The World’s Best Ever looks to redefine the domino as a unique geometry, crafted from a more substantial material: bronze. The weight, shape and numbering have been refined, resulting in an original design that retains the spirit of the domino while capitalizing on its serial potential as an artistic object.” From the naming (Bronze Bones!) to the packaging (who doesn’t love anything hidden away in a BOOK?) to the material choice (bronze!) to the thoughtful inclusion of a pencil, sharpener, and paper to keep score (white pencil + black paper of course)… it’s all incredible. Take a look at the details on the next page!
Animals. Cars. Amazing illustrations. Ok i’m pretty much swooning already. Just in the inbox, Zoom Zoo from Mike Yamada, a designer/illustrator, artist at Dreamworks Animation, and an Art Center Graduate. These flashcards are his take on the classic Richard Scarry’s animals piloting retro 60’s type vehicles. (Anyone else picturing that worm driving an apple?) While sure these could be for kids to learn the alphabet, what adult wouldn’t have fun dreaming up the stories and worlds behind these creatures in their fantastic automobiles while teaching kids the alphabet? As adorable little works of art ~ they are playfully inspiring! I can’t wait to see the full alphabet… You can buy the Zoom Zoo Flashcards here. Take a peek at more details on the next page!
There’s something fun about when art and function come together. Take a look at these DEMONBELLS i found on Uncrate! Will these sculptural alternatives to your standard (pretty ugly) kettlebells make your work out better? Probably not. Will it make me more likely to be amused while working out? Possibly. But it will definitely make it less of something that begs to be hidden, and instead will become an intriguing conversation piece… even as a doorstop. Created by former Navy SEAL, Ryan Williams, these DemonBells were commissioned art pieces brought to life by a local San Diego Master Sculptor. They are made in China from 100% recycled steel, not iron, and injection molded for a smooth finish which is then black powder coated. From their site, “Each piece in the DemonBell line started individually with an ornamental design inspired from various global and cultural influences. Through extensive testing and evaluation of working prototypes, we have finally produced the fully functional works of art you see here. Each directional weight carries its own unique modifications, from anatomically designed handle grips and specific weight distribution for balance, to specially angled backs to match forearm angles during snatch movements. We designed each DemonBell while paying as much attention to function as we did form.” Take a peek at the whole collection of 4 on the next page!
Tara McPherson’s Lilitu (2010) painting is going 3D ~ here’s a sneak peek at the new Kidrobot Black piece by Tara McPherson… rising up out of a pool of black with fiery red hair… This 8” vinyl will have a limited run of 200 pieces.
Who is she? “This painting is based on the Sumerian myth of the demon Lilitu. Representing chaos, seduction and ungodliness. She is a sexually charged yet infertile succubus who behaves aggressively toward men and children killing them at her every whim, her breasts are filled with poison not milk. In her every guise, Lilitu has cast an evil spell on humankind.” See a full spin around of the new vinyl on the next page… (perhaps slightly nsfw).
I couldn’t resist buying German toys at the Munich airport on the way home. Even if they are for toddlers and up… i was fascinated by the way the connectors work on the Mic-O-Mic building systems and when i couldn’t decide which to get to try it out, i bought four - a little boat, car, helicopter, and seaplane. And they are awesome! Solid plastic. Ok to toss in the water. They are connected by little plastic pegs that perfectly fit and rubbery eye mask like pieces that allow a nice flexibility to connections. They even come with a tweezer like tool made of the pieces themselves to pinch-remove or push-hammer in the pegs with. Nice simple graphical pictures to diagram how to assemble each as well, and for the more creative ones, they have extra pieces and are all modular enough to mix and match. Take a peek at the sets on the next page!
p.s. yes, i built these on the bed in my jetlaggedness…
Luxury (and some non) automotive brands make some strange an unexpected lifestyle products to complement their cars. While cars were everywhere today at IAA ~ i found myself drawn to the shopping side of the show, exploring the spaces and booth designs and constantly gravitating towards the style shops that most luxury booths had… the products found within were often to be expected ~ jackets, golf balls, model cars, USB keys, keychains, mugs/espresso sets… the less unusual i’ve rounded up for you on the next page! Everything from that Mercedes bobble head of a dog above ~ to SLK Red Nail polish, Lotus Backgammon, Citroen weights, Maserati Ethernet cords, Bugatti Deodorant, Smart Ice Cubes, Bentley jewelry boxes, and more…. including this strange trend of USB keys that look like car keys!