Candy and Nicho, are the Aussie duo that make up Noferin. Exciting news i recently received from them - they are coming out to Santa Monica (from Carrara Island, Australia!) for their solo exhibition at Copro Nason on April 5th! I've been begging them for a sneak peek at what is to come... and studio pics and perhaps some paintings in progress coming soon... so far i've got a sneak peek at the Pecanpals (which you may remember from .org #7556) - made up of Fanelli, Pecan, Pandacake, Claudius and Jac Jac (read their bios on the Noferin site). These little guys are entirely made from wood, hand crafted, hand painted, and limited to 200 per character! The final versions may vary slightly from these prototypes, but i hope not by much, since they are pretty perfect looking as they are! See closeups of the whole set after the jump! I love all the little sidekicks... the grass cuttings, elephant, and dumbells are definitely my favorites.
Entries tagged with: kids
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A+R is the closest thing out there to a NOTCOT store... and the novelty has yet to wear off, since Andy keeps the place stocked with far too much that makes me feel like a kid in a designer candy store. Aside from the Theosauruses that i showed you earlier... i fell for this Puzzle Dinner Tray from Royal VKB designed by Wendy Boudewijns. In a nice unbreakable melamine, this tray helps kids get used to what goes where... and having loved puzzles of all sorts growing up, i just know my mom would have gotten me one of these had it been around when i was a wee one. Although i'm sure i've seen this around the web, playing with it in person won me over to post about it... see some hands on pics below!
You can't go wrong with Magis, the products both large and small have had me lusting since i was a kid... and tonight in particular i've been rediscovering their Me Too children's collection (many of which have been on NOTCOT over the years)... one that i hadn't noticed before is this Alma and Linus stacking chair and table set from Spanish designer, Javier Mariscal. The most incredible part is seeing the patterns on the back up close, i love the trees filled with the birds in their leaves! Made of injection molded Polypropylene with glass fibre, this set is suitable for both indoor and outdoor use. Below, see not only a close up of the detail of the back of these seats, but also a few other Mariscal pieces for the Magis Me Too Collection (like the crazy angler fish looking play thing!)
The Puppy now comes in a sky blue! This was the first thing to grab me at CA Boom V at Santa Monica Airport's Barker Hangar today... the Magis Me Too Collection's booth is filled with all four sizes of the puppy in the four colors - green, white, orange, and now blue! This piece by Eero Aarnio is quite the iconic and irresistible kids piece that i would love to have around... see more pics below!
p.s. can you believe i first wrote about this puppy 3 years ago? (and for those who need a refresher, Aarnio is the man behind design icons like the ball chair and the bubble chair!)
Happy Pi Day ~ and for all of you who wonder where all these crazy posts and ideas and inspiration come from... well for the sake of my amusement, here's something silly i ended up with tonight (blame the lack of sleep and insanity that is LA this week... also Linhchi brought me a sun jar and combine that with my vinyl cutter.... ) Naturally all the craziness that you see propagating across the network comes from somewhere! But where? My glowing jar full of NOTCOTs! (Whatever a NOTCOT may be, that, as surprising as it is to most, is still quite unknown). So for today's random project, NOTCOTs are like fireflies, visual manifestations of all the crazy inspiration lighting us up?
Ok, so basically, Sun Jar+ Vinyl Cutter = Jar of NOTCOTs (and this will probably continue to evolve into other ideas...) Also, on Sun Jars, although i've gifted and recommended these solar powered glowing jars often, this is the first time i've been gifted one! And i must say for the next one i gift, i will ditch the packaging, personalize it in some subtle way for the recipient, and present it as simply the jar, with a beautiful ribbon to tie a notecard on. See more pics below! (also the dissection of my sun jar...)
Mobius Climbers from Landscape Structures! Is there simpler more intriguing surface? My future backyard will definitely need one of these... essentially it is a giant sheet of annodized aluminum with rock climbing styled hand holds so kids (or you) can climb up, down, and all around any side (well, i guess its only really ONE side) of it... It is available in 4 configurations to accommodate various budgets ~ 3, 6, 7, and 12 panel options. My only disappointment with this is that you can't climb a full loop and go around and around since the two ends go into the ground (so really this isn't a mobius strip so much as a crazily bent sheet), but with a little imagination i supposed you can assume that where these go into the ground they pop out into another yard and continue the loop. Also cool could have been if it was in a loop AND you could unzip it down the middle for an even larger mobius strip! More images after the jump!
Every feel like your brain is just hopping all over the place with ideas? Combining my love of brains, frogs, and toys... check out Emilio Garcia's Jumping Brain RGB set by Lapolab! And as you can see from the sneak peeks below from the thread on Solson Toys, the hemispheres even separate! I think i'd have to get the set and mix and match them all. What would i ever do without Vinyl Pulse?
Brio. Their logo always flashes me back to childhood and makes me imagine those woody tracks that interlock, and the adorable, simple, primary colored, magnetic train cars that you could link up... But it seems like they have headed more towards Playsam with these adorably bright, glossy, lacquered toys. Remember the shape sorting box was on NOTCOT.org a while back? Well, in addition to that, you can also find matching glossy building sets, rattles, and the coolest little race cars! Can you imagine a prettier kids gift for designer moms and dads? Even if you outgrow playing with them (is that even possible?), they'd look beautiful as part of the decor. Also see the pull toys and push cars after the jump.
NOTCOT Note: I'm excited to introduce you to Jenny Lemieux and Leo Corrales, of HERO Design Lab! Old friends from my Milan grad school days, they were nice enough to show me Toronto, and we had so much fun all weekend, that they've even written some posts for you! Starting off check out this awesome behind the scenes look at Monster Factory (who has had much love across NOTCOT over the years)!
We dropped by the Monster Factory factory today, as I'm dying to get my hands on one of their super cute little kid-friendly guys, and of course, we wanted a sneak peak at how the monsters come into being.... We chatted with partners Bliss Man and Rhya Tamasauskas (Adam Dunn wasn't in) and some of their team. The coolest, gentlest people, I have to say, which only makes sense. We got a behind the scenes glimpse of how they turn their concepts into patterns, then various prototypes, before stitching together the 65 kinds of monsters. We love that they do the whole thing in Toronto, and hire local fashion grads to lend a hand. See the many pictures after the jump!
A new entry in the bottled water market, Y Water, comes fresh out of Venice Beach ~ has a playful bottle designed by Yves Behar ~ and can be built into crazy structures... oh, and they are also targeted at kids, and are organic, low calorie drinks chock full of vitamins and minerals! "Y Water's attention-getting names—Muscle Water, Bone Water, Immune Water, and Brain Water—communicate the idea that the ingredients are the building blocks of healthier bodies." And there's the green angle too: bottles are 100% recyclable and 100% reusable as a creative developmental aid... And perhaps just as fun, are the crazy illustrations all over the Y Water site. See images of all after the jump!
On simple toys often being the best ~ To Be Us' A Matter Of Toys (what a company/product line name) cars are adorable. AND handmade... (pictures of the making of after the jump!)
From the To Be Us site:
"Handmade in Italy - To be Us is craftsmanlike product, entirely handmade. A one size block of wood, a single cut that shapes the sports car, the romantic one, the pick-up, the saloon , the security van. To be Us products are made of cedar of Lebanon: a dense, spicy and long-lasting wood. Its peculiar scent has a natural anti-moths effect. Wheels are made of mahogany: a hard, dense and yet easy to work wood showing also a very fine and precious grain. No paints are used on To be Us toys. To be Us products are designed by Matteo Ragni, Giulio Iacchetti and Odoardo Fioravanti. and handmade by Master Giovanni."
Twilight Turtle is another baby/toddler toy i came across the other day. Made by Sleep Sheep and Friends or Cloud B ~ this turtle is cuddly under its shell, lights up in various colors, and projects the night sky on to the ceiling (or your tent, fort, etc). "Choose from three soothing color options – blue, green, and white – to create magical, tranquil environments that are ideal for helping children of all ages ease into a restful sleep." And it projects 8 constellations for kids to learn. Also interesting is their Sheep Sleep, which plays 4 sounds that comfort babies ~ Mother's Heartbeat, Spring Showers, Ocean Surf, and Whale Songs. You can actually control the volume and it auto times out after 23 minutes. This one even now has a stroller/to-go version. More images of all below!
Honestly, with both of these being priced in the 25-40$ range, they've totally made my list for new parent gifts!
PeekABoo Stuff makes these seemingly simple PeekABoo Bags which are pretty brilliant, especially when it comes to keeping kids quiet... assuming of course that the kids don't have sharp objects (or teeth... or razor sharp claws) such that they can tear it open and ingest the bits... But basically, its a clear bean bag pouch with plastic pellets and random objects that the kids can try and find, and each bag comes with a list of all the objects inside so you can challenge them to find them all. For the creative ones, there is certainly a DIY project here waiting to happen, just make sure you double/triple those seams to keep those beads in! Close up images below, and video with a super perky demonstrator.
I wish i knew a new grandmother to give this to... Good Granny, Bad Granny by Mary McHugh, illustrated by Patricia Storms. I couldn't stop laughing when reading through the few sample pages (see them below!). Shade Elaine and i decided bad granny was definitely our kinda lady... taking those grandkids to Neiman Marcus to buy fingerless gloves and motorcycle boots! (Instead of knitting them mittens)... teaching them how to download rap music to their ipods... only $10 at Amazon.
PLEO! Just got dropped off by the FedEx girl ~ and i remember wondering when i first met Bob Christopher and Pleo for drinks at the Peninsula Hotel what the packaging/unboxing/hatching experience was going to be like. Well, here's the answer... lots of packaging and unboxing images below, and a few shots of him waking up to the world (much whining and moaning and slow eye opening as he went into exploration stages...) I even introduced him to my Roboraptor. First impression? Strangely adorable, definitely far more emotional than my now seemingly mentally handicapped roboraptor (who is currently running into the pleo box and pushing it around while pleo begs and purrs from petting)... and it is rather bizarre having this Littlefoot (come on, don't you remember Land Before Time... movies 1-infinity?) looking dino wandering the halls. Loving the DNA details in the box graphics... and the shot on the bottom of the box is brilliant... more to come on my adventures with pleo over the next 2 weeks probably...
Oh, and looking back compared to the prototype pics ~ he sure has gotten more color in his skin! And its so bizarrely skin/rubbery like to the touch...
It's always nice to find a story that incorporates great design and great business. Emily over at Baggu sent me this NYTimes article "From Boutique to Big Time" By Laurie J. Flynn... it's the story of these beautiful Adiri Natural Nursers, the "Ultimate Baby Bottle", basically “Your breast doesn’t feel like plastic. Why should your baby’s bottle?” They've designed a polycarbonate-free plastic nursing bottle that has a soft rubbery grip. From the business side, the interesting story of a yahoo lawyer who's father passes away and leaves her the company.. and how she's gone from a mom with a boutique business to learning to scale up to fulfill large orders from places like Babies R Us... Anyhow, its a good read, and it looks like they've really cleaned up the design with this new model. Check out the new Adiri Natural Nurser and the article.
Nabzatag ~ the crazy wifi bunnies we've been seeing for a while... apparently in the goodies section of their site they are anti-naked bunnies! Anyhow, a little random, but cute that they have pdfs for everything from paper clothes (i guess you could make them with cloth too) to stickers to decorate them (from eyebrows to mustaches to logo shirts ~ give them some character!).
Somewhere City collection is a new set of mix and matchable fantasy characters of Goran Lelas for StrangeCo. It is said that "Somewhere City is everywhere and nowhere, floating from one part of the planet to another. Its motion is fueled by the "Secret Thought" of its wonderful, positive inhabitants." Cryptic? Yes. Playfully adorable, and even more so when mixed up? Also, yes. While this first series launches in plastic ~ we've also got a sneak peak at the upcoming plush incarnations (probably available around Q1 2008)... which i think are perfect for baby gifts! I wonder if they rattle or honk ~ doesn't the yellow bill/mouth/nose thing look like you should squeeze the body and some initially adorable but quickly annoying noise should come out? See more pictures of the whole collection and more mixups below!
Also noteworthy ~ it seems that MoMA is getting into the toy business, this collection was developed in collaboration with them, and will also be in their stores for the holiday season! And Goran Lelas is apparently an "accomplished designer whose magical style spans fashion, illustration, children’s literature and costume design" and this is his first foray into toy design.
So continuing from where the last post lead us (from Triops and Sea Monkeys to venus fly traps and praying mantis to ant farms to gel antfarms and gel plant kits)... the gels. So as we began to read into the variations of these gel ant farms and also being able to watch seeds grow roots in this magical mystery gel, we got really curious and wanted to find just the gel (imagine what you could design with it). And along the way we remembered the plant water gel crystals that soak up tons of water that you can grow plants in. The only problem with those was can you crush them up, mix with warm water, and mold it to be smooth like jello? (we don't know, do you?) Then we also discovered jello pudding cup like 6 packs of root gel... and than i finally tracked down some manufacturers in china that actually sell the magical ant farm gel (and ant farms in hills and boots ~ see pictures below to make sense of that). Also did you know some people are using this same gel for dieting?!?!?! You eat it, then drink a ton of water which it will soak up, and it will make you feel full?
Plan Toys ~ more woody toys to play with! Noticed the water and sand blocks at Swiss Miss and went exploring Plan Toys further... turns out they have quite the variety of wooden toys, from doll houses with various decor accessories, life size play houses (with microwaves and dish washers), building toys, push/pull toys, pirate sets, build your own 2D to 3D dinos, and even mini woody foosball! The one that stood out most to me at first ~ how cute are those living room, bathroom, patio sets above? Love that they even have a flat panel TV. See more of my favorites below.
Wow. I'm glad i don't have kids of my own this holiday season... because between these new Muji Woody nature inspired toys and the ikea ones i recently posted... they are so adorably well designs and well priced, my whole floor would be covered in these things! (Although, how fun would it be to run a preschool with only designer goods? It would be a fun way to set the standard extra high for all these kids from day one!). So here we have everything from wood DIY Dodos (my fav), blue whale, turtle, mammoth... a chalkboard globe! Woody hedgehogs... a zoo in a bag! (every executives desk clearly needs this)... and even an evolutionary puzzle to learn from. More images and more toys below.
There are some great toys over at IKEA that make me wish i was 2-3 again ~ their wooden toys are a great price (only 7.99!) and really fun minimal designs that would look great in any studio (and playroom?). Today Shade Elaine and i were wandering through the zoo of an IKEA in Palo Alto and ended up taking far too many pictures of brilliant and hilarious things we found (many of which we hadn't seen in the catalog). So starting with our absolute favorites... here are the three "KLAPPARs" pull toys (FISK - fish, GRODA - frog, IGELKOTT - hedgehog) and the MULA pull toy where these little heads pop up with various faces as you roll along.
Please excuse the mediocre images, but i was feeling silly and didn't really expect to post about the trip, so all pictures were taken with my pearl... but below there are pictures of these toys in the wild, crazy halloween masks (and the masks on giant suspended stuffed dragons), what appears to be a drunken beer bellied fox and its crazed baby/mini, some angry pill bug bags(?), nice new metal dog bowls, cute graduated cylindars (apparently dishwasher safe although so so thin), and fun acrylic sheet cut in the shape of a lamp and lightbulb with an LED.
Ninja Town! The Wee Ninja's of Shawnimals have come a LONG WAY since we first started writing about them. [You can see all the posts here]... apparently they are now well on their way to becoming a Wii Ninja (ok ok, i couldn't resist)... but they have a Ninja Town game coming out for Nintendo DS soon! (Trailer below!) And even more incredible... look at this cast! I can't stop laughing from the description of the Ninja Consultant... yes, he has one arm. And "For a fee, with powerpoint presentations and flow charts in tow he’ll show you ways to make your business process more efficient by using side steps, smoke bombs and stealth hugs." The new Ninja Town site is now up, with bios, icons, wallpapers, etc. And more images below as well for you.
OH! So, i LOVE StrangeCo, and the other day Jim sent me over a pdf of the upcoming Pete Fowler Monsterism 4: Pets & Owners collection, and i'd been meaning to post it, but... well anyhow, the HP Toyrama reminded me, so here it is! These little guys will be coming in special cylindrical pet food cans - and both pet and owner will be in there! (I can't wait to see the finalized packaging!) But for now, take a peek at the adorable pairs and their stories below. My fav pair? Hattie & Mr. Pasty: "Being a natural born beach kid Hatti likes nothing better than doing nothing."
Just when i thought the Insurgent Wilderness Gruppo couldn't get any more enticing... they add Series 6, the IWG Baby CUBS! Each one will come with a sharp stick, marshmallow, and eyeball. Hehe. Also there will be FOUR additional Special 100 pc Editions of each character, including baby Nanook, son of Peary! Can't wait, and they were too cute not to share.