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!
IAA is one of the biggest auto shows in the world ~ quite fascinating besides the car are the luxury automakers “style” stores ~ filled with goods they are selling outside to complement their cars. Increasing trend? Toddler Cars! A great way for junior to be just like mommy and daddy? Nice way to start the brand loyalty young? And some really are SO cute. So take a peek at ones i found wandering the show floor over at Porsche, BMW, Audi, and Hyundai on the next page.
p.s. While many others have variations of these push/walk cars as well, these are the ones i actually saw today on the show floor!
Adorable little package came ~ in that perfectly cute “brown paper packages tied up with string” way ~ from Pocket Dept! They are quite simply, as their tagline states, “A notebook for every pocket” ~ from back pocket to shirt pocket to messenger bag pocket, they have you covered. “Pocket Dept is a line of handy notebooks inspired by vintage stationery and designed to suit every pocket. Each Pocket Dept book is made from the finest writing papers and perfect bound for strength and durability. Designed and manufactured with recycled materials by Art House Co-op in Brooklyn, NY - from our workshop to your pocket.” And they are quite lovely! Take a peek at their simple functional goodness on the next page.
p.s. I love that they have blank pages.
After quite the day running around lusting after a time when cars were so so so much more than just cars… and before getting to the most incredible dinner at Cassanova in Carmel ~ when parking on Ocean Ave, we ended up right next to these windows! And as hungry as i was, simply had to stop and take pics! Adorable window display celebrating “Concours on the Avenue” in Carmel with kids’ outfits made of maps! Very well done, and quite the contrast to what you’d find actually IN the store… and of the all the windows we wandered past, it was certainly the most interesting. Others simply added ferrari posters to their jewelry displays and such, whereas these guys went all out! Take a look at the details on the next page ~ the pockets, the shoes, so cute ~ and so much attention to the details!
STENCILS! So NOTlabs is the newest division of NOTCOT that is handling all things MAKING/Fabricating/Experimenting related… as it grows and evolves over the next few months, i can’t help but to share some of the silliness we will be exploring here! First up ~ i was curious about the world of laser cutters ~ and in need of an updated stencil (my old one from years ago was hand cut and has soaked up so many layers of spray paint by now!)… so Shawn pulled me into the lab, grabbed the NOTCOT logo eps, and before i knew it i was staring at the laser cutting through acrylic sheets that were lying around. Take a peek at it all on the next page!
p.s. i SO need a laser cutter. If you (or anyone you know) happen to be selling/upgrading any of your machinery you think NOTlabs may need ~ drop me a line!!!
On delayed San Diego Comic Con adventures ~ one of the last things i imaged writing about was Disney’s Phineas and Ferb booth. But it was massive. Had impressive branding… and a converted trailer that was turned into a HUGE Platy-BUS. Seriously, how impressive and eye catching is that thing? Making of video of it on the next page is surreal. While i must admit i’ve caught a few of the cartoon episodes, enough to at least make sense of what was going on… visually, the booth was like entering a crazy cartoon world, and they definitely took it above and beyond. Inflatable tree… with karaoke, guitar, and little platypus stools beneath it… large purple “evil incorporated” blimp flying above… and food truck like trailer serving up limited edition blind box toys of Perry the platypus pet that turns super spy… Then there’s the bizarre branding overload, with nice display cases showing off everything from the Kraft Mac & Cheese version of the characters and fruit snacks to band aids and toothbrushes… as well as other toys. It looked less like they were pitching those to kids and parents, but like a brand display to show off how far they can reach. Anyhow, it was quite a world they created… So things design worthy to note? The Platy-BUS and making of, the platypus stools, and the packaging details… check it all out on the next page!
My first reaction was “omg. super hipster plush toys?” ~ then when i couldn’t seem to close the tab and kept flipping through the pics, the adorably illustrated and reversible Patrice and Beatrice grew on me. And i secretly want them both… with their hipster glasses wearing serious fronts, and their beach ready, summer loving backs (or vice versa, on which is front and which is the back) This pair of plush toys over at Smallable are an exclusive collaboration with My Name Is Simone, aka French designer, Caroline Castagna-Suarez. “Caroline Castagna-Suarez, aka Simone, finds that Sometimes, growing up stinks. Therefore, she spends her free time battling against Seriousness, in every way she can.” See close ups of these two… as well as Super zÃ©ro, Suzanne, Simon, Daisy, and Jean-Louis on the next page!
Having just shown you the awesome Toy King Trophy won by Andrew Bell and his Androids ~ seems like a good time to share some of the Android fun at SDCC too! Launching at SDCC are Android Mini Collectible Summer special editions! 2 Heroes and 2 Villains ~ one available each day… we even took one to lunch with us (see? Tortilla chip in hand and all up there!) New Sashimi color ways ~ Worrible plushes ~ Android blind box series 2 ~ and so many more goodies available at the Dumbrella booth where i was hanging out most days (booth #1337 if you want to go visit!) Also awesome, Andrew is drawing on the blanks for people if you’re not creative enough to do your own thing… and super special, you can get a peek at the wedding cake toppers he decorated on the next page… as well as a peek at the awesome packaging details of the new Summer collectibles!
So, thanks to a few awesome toy/webcomic friends, i found myself hiding out in San Diego the last few days at Comic Con ~ while there… the first annual International Designer Toy Awards (DTA) were hosted at SDCC 2011 this year! And close friend and maker of creatures and androids, Andrew Bell, won FAN FAVORITE!!! (Congrats, Andy!)
What did winners receive? These awesome golden TOY KING trophies designed by Pete Fowler ~ so after a fun night out, we couldn’t resist a litte hotel room photoshoot to share just how awesome Fowler’s trophy is! (From all angles, and posed with one of the new limited edition Androids of course!) Check out all the pics on the next page!
Somedays you just wander into things you’ve always thought about buying… and can’t resist. I’ve always been curious about these Marshalls ~ marshmallow characters from 64 Colors ~ since posting them on NOTCOT.org ages ago ~ and the toasted ones are all different! Hand “toasting” creates unique colorations for each one ~ and i couldn’t help but go through a few before picking this guy. And while at the Rotofugi booth, the new limited edition glow in the adorable sidekick of a puppy, Gumdrop, was too cute to resist as well. Take a peek at their booth and close ups of the two on the next page!
Toys! Toys! Toys! I forgot what chaos the world of comicon is ~ but there are so many fun art toys to be stared at in one place. While i desperately need to crash before more madness tomorrow (and i’ll be helping out at the Dumbrella booth #1337 around 1-3ish if you want to come visit) ~ had to show you some of the random toy goodness that ended up in my camera… explore it all on the next page! And more posts to come on goodies i couldn’t resist, etc… soon? Perhaps.
p.s. HUGE thank you to The Vinyl Frontier for helping get me a last minute pass to SDCC to check out all the toys ~ i was a bit slow on the press reg and missed it… but he saved the day! Check out The Vinyl Frontier on DVD ~ good stuff if you’re into the world of vinyl toys!