While exploring the Toy Fair, we ran into our old friends from Mimoco! They’ve come a long way since we first started posting about them in 2005! From a variety of artist Mimobots series, licensed characters, hoodies, and more… they have now veered into Mimomicros! These are new characters that have a flip out USB plug and you can put in any sized microSD card to use them as usb keys… or just use them to transfer info from phones/cameras/etc that use microSDs. Take a peek at the fun Mimoco toy fair booth (How fun are the turntable/record like displays you can really spin? Sadly no music plays though!) as well as close ups of the new Mimomicros on the next page!
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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!
Just visited with CW&T (Che-Wei Wang and Taylor Levy) who amongst many awesome projects are responsible for one of the most funded Kickstarter design projects… Pen Type-A. Looking to raise $2,500, they ended up with over $280,000… and 4000+ backers (including us!)… and from making a smaller batch of pens, they were suddenly faced with the daunting task of making a few thousand! Beyond the beautiful design and craftsmanship of this solid steel housing for the plastic Hi-Tec-C pen cartridges… it has been incredible to follow the hardships and exciting moments over the last 6 months since they got funded, and even more exciting to finally get our hands on the actual pen! (Spoiler: it feels incredible!) So take a peek at the details and unboxing of one from the first batches of CW&T Pen Type-A on the next page!
p.s. If you find yourself with one in person, you must pull the pen from casing quickly. It’s a great sound.
Breathtaking. Year after year, Stockholm Design Week seems to get better and better ~ and there’s just something calmingly minimalist, playful, and beautiful about the new designs that emerge… the mix of black, whites, and woods with refreshing colors and clean lines makes me want to update my house and NOTlabs! So, while we weren’t able to make it there in person this year, we’ve rounded up some of our favorite designs from the event on the next page… take a peek at the lamps, chairs, tables and more on the next page!
The iconic Moo “business” cards which can easily feature your whole Flickr/photo library have taken it to the next level… now you can get Moo Luxe Business Cards! What makes them so luxe? Besides the awesome new packaging with the magnetic box? Mohawk Superfine paper with Moo Quadplex technology to make a card of triple thickness and weight (vs most ordinary cards) with a rich seam of color within the layers of paper… Take a look at the unboxing of the set they sent over (which i quickly made a variation of my old shorter cards…) on the next page!
IKEA has expanded their Solvinden spring/summer collection of solar lights (can you believe we’ve been writing about these since 2009?!?!) to now include not only solar but WIND powered lighting!!! It’s a fun idea ~ and designer, David Wahl, tells us more about them (and shows them in action) in the video on the next page! These were apparently “Inspired by the playfulness and movement of amusement park lamps” and “The designers and product developers worked closely with the supplier - even driving around holding a prototype out the window - to test the wind-power until everything worked.” Fun! Can’t wait to try these out in person… take a peek at the video and more pics on the next page!
Fun new Genevieve Gauckler Mugs for Publik ~ Live Joyfully, You are the master!, Throwing The Balls, and Path To Success. Fun new designs added to the collection by Genevieve Gauckler… see more pics on the next page.
Ok, for context, it’s 75 degrees and super sunny here in LA as we get ready for the superbowl to start… but i’m checking the weather for NY later this week ~ and it looks like it’s COLD. and also possibly WET! It definitely feels a bit silly to be daydreaming about rain coats in this weather, but these by Terra New York seem intriguing ~ they use heavy TPU/ Urethane to provide structure to the 100% waterproof outerwear pieces using heat sealed technic for the seams… I’d love to see what these feel/smell like in person, but so far the designs look clean and fashion forward, which is no surprise considering “The founders Yurika Nakazono and Marie Saeki began with one simple question: What can a fashion-conscious woman wear when it’s raining?” ~ the look makes me think of paper wrapped chicken and manila envelopes ~ the simplicity pulls me in. So far there are three designs of raincoats, each available in nude and smokey grey, and three pouches to keep you and your goods dry! Take a peek at the current designs and details on the next page, and soon there may even be hats, bags, and shoes!
I wish i had some of these now ~ just broke a nail swapping keys around on traditional key rings this weekend! These Free Key “Press-To-Open” flat keyrings by Eric von Schoultz made of sand blasted stainless steel are nail savers ~ just press/pinch and the leverage helps open the end! Nice and easy to slip the keys on and off when needed. Cute packaging as well ~ see lots of pics on the next page!
Black + Blum’s new Eau Good filter water bottle - the new water bottle was spotted at NYIGF by Core77 and at IDS by TreeHugger. The concept is interesting ~ the piece of Binchotan active charcoal snaps into place when the bottle is squeezed (and you do the same to release it)… made of BPA free tritan, the bottle is closed with a simple cork. See more pics on 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.
It started with a random idea of making use of the plastic milk crates in NOTlabs for shelving… to wondering about wooden ones… to searching craigslist… to THIS… which lead to a random little roadtrip out to Ontario… to meet with John Mihovetz, quite the collector of found objects, architectural salvage, and repurposed home furnishings… and see the remainder of the 4,000 vintage wooden soda crates he bought in the midwest 6 months ago and has been selling off since. It seems like it was quite the find/investment!
Anyhow ~ now we have 15 amazing vintage wooden soda crates ~ Pepsi, Squirt, Crush, Dr. Pepper, 7up and more ~ and after some clean up, perhaps some awesome shelving in NOTlabs… but for now, take a peek at some of the details on the next page!
These made my day. Corkers are a design collaboration between Oded Friedland and Reddish Studio for Monkey Business are push pins that you can prick into wine/champagne corks to turn them into little creatures! The options are Monkey, Deer, Buffalo, Bear, Bunny & Crow. The packaging turns it into a fun wine bottle hang tag/gift ~ perfect for the next bottle of wine… Take a peek at more details up close on the next page.
What is it about Japanese Kit Kats that are just THAT much more delicious ~ and beautifully packaged ~ and the dark chocolatiness is amazing too… Gave in to this at the Mitsuwa last night and it was too delicious and cute not to share. It looks like you can even add your own messages on the pack of the individually wrapped pairs that are nestled within the matte/gloss mixed outer box. One if particularly twitter looking… take a peek 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!
It’s no surprise that many of our favorite lighting designs are heavily inspired by nature and geometric patterns. With their modular structures, many of these designs are even compact flat packed lighting systems that can be assembled easily (without tools or glue even!) by the end consumer into gorgeous large chandelier/pendant lamps. On the next page take a look at a roundup of geometric lighting we love from design classics to modern designs to futuristic living concepts!
Over the summer, our friend’s at Chandelier Creative had an awesome Surf Shack in Montauk… and around the surf shack, they also have beehives filled with 20,000 honeybees! Well, come new years, a fun jar of honey arrived (part of their 75 limited edition bottles)~ “Our Chandelier bees will each have flown over 500 miles: feeding in gardens from the McMansions in the Hamptons to the surf-side gardens. Our queen bees kept a loving eye over all their devoted workers ensuring they made the best honey possible. So from our hive to yours, we wish you a sweet 2012.” What a fun way to ring in 2012… take a peek at last summer and an unboxing of this playfully delicious honey on the next page!
On silly random impulse buys, these quarter/euro sized button steak thermometers were too cute. They worked just as expected, needle moving once they started to get hot… and had a perfect medium rare deliciousness for lunch. They are just adorable ~ so see a few more silly pics of them on the next page! Tempting to make new images for them with fun icons…
Perfect timing ~ the NEST thermostat just arrived today ~ a chilly LA day in need of heating… that i can control from my phones, laptop, etc. (aka from bed when i wake up and before i get to the shower?) It really is a beautiful object, with an incredibly easy and intuitive interface (spin and push to click!)… and it has gorgeous packaging as well… and the coolest little screwdriver you didn’t even know you needed! While you can see tons more about the ins and outs of NEST on their site ~ the unboxing and installation was too fun not to share… so many details to see! So head to the next page and see the rest…
p.s. should be no surprise that the UI is by Mike Matas (who we’ve been following since icons/delicious library/apple/etc) and ID by Bould Design (of roku and a lot of the logitech squeezebox goodness)…
So, you’ve seen the AMAZING video of the dutchman in the woods introducing Cubelets (if not, you must). Well, i finally had a date with Modular Robotics Cubelets ~ and got to explore and create with them over beers and bruschetta while at CES. Fun part? Building autonomous robots that can drive themselves, run away from me, run to me, spin lights around, and beep away… all while navigating around the place settings and deliciousness. There’s something undeniably satisfying about the way the magnetic blocks snap together and just start DOING things! And their natural ability to pique the curiosity of people of any age to just get lost exploring the possibilities… truth is, you definitely need a table full to properly explore the overwhelming amount of options… and i love that it feels like true object oriented programming ~ in that you literally connect blocks that have various functions… like the light sensor block to the inverse block to the flashlight block and add a battery block and things just start happening!
Anyhow, these fun robotic cubes have been getting written up everywhere ~ but are you ready to take a peek INSIDE? When popping by the booth the next day, the Modular Robotics team broke out the leatherman and let us take a peek inside an inverse block ~ granted it’s one of the less filled cubes ~ but I love the design of how it opens (and is held together with two little screws!)… also if you ever want to hide things in your robotic cubes……… see more pics on the next page!
The first new Urbanears headphone design launched at CES this year was the Turncable which i just showed you. Second ~ Humlan! Interesting part of this design… there is a metal headband (love the detail of the urban ears tag actually being cloth sewn through a slit in the metal!) with MAGNETIC ear-speakers? pads? poofs? what would you call them? The simplicity and the satisfaction of feeling them snap into place and slide to adjust feels great ~ and i supposed when not using the headphones, you could even use it as a headband in their rainbow of colors… or even mix and match the usually monochromatic Urbanears. These are launching in fall of 2012! See more pics of the details on the next page!
Urbanears always has beautiful color palettes for their monochrome headphones and the most stunning photography/layouts for their lookbooks/displays. This year at CES they showed off two innovative new designs… the first: ZINKEN w/Turncable. These premium over ear DJ headphones have a cable with a 6.3mm adapter (perfect for your turntables/guitars/etc) on one end and a standard headphone 3.5mm plug on the other… and depending which you need, you plug the other into the headphone! Interesting alternative to simply using an adapter to go from 3.5mm to 6.3mm? Take a peek at more pics on the next page…
As a little girl, i always figured someday i’d grow up and have one of those awesome red metal cabinets with lots of drawers for all my tools in the garage. Well wandering into the Craftsman booth at CES ~ OMG. Matte black. With glossy black logo. It’s so beautiful! Now i want that. Apparently they are taking cues from the automotive paint world ~ and starting to play with the matte trend ~ rumors were flying that they are also testing matte metallics. Supposedly they will be available limited edition ~ but will have to find out more from them about that soon. Additionally they launched a new cabinet series that is POWERED. As in charging stations and speakers (bluetooth of course ~ afterall, bluetooth/airplay speakers are everywhere and in everything this CES) and a work table all built in!
Unexpectedly fun and addictive ~ the Fling and Fling Mini suction joysticks from Ten One Design for touch screens are great. There’s something unbelievably satsifying about the way the action of the joystick movement feels ~ also the design is ingeniously simple. “Fling is constructed from silky-smooth anodized aluminum, and an incredibly tough, perfectly clear, and unusually flexible engineering-grade resin. It’s nearly indestructible, and will give you years of precision gaming.” Take a peek at more pictures on the next page…
RAM-Mounts are my favorite mounts ever ~ they have the most incredible ball joints and you can piece them together for just about ANYTHING (seriously, check out their line up of modular pieces to pick from). They have the best suction mounts i’ve found ~ and while i’ve dreamed of making crazy sculptures, etc out of them ~ it was awesome to turn a corner at CES and run into a life size johnny5-esque RAM-Mount BOT! Made of HUGE RAM-Mount units! See more pics of him on the next page!