I dont think that bear with crazed eyes and spork in hand could sum up how i'm feeling today better... unless maybe he was sipping some Balvenie 21yr Portwood as well... yes, let me level with you, it is most certainly that kind of a tuesday after a long weekend. BUT, on the flipside, it makes for an awesome excuse to share pics of this adorably crazed Rocket World T.A.D. Griz Lee Bear with you. T.A.D. Gear stands for Triple Aught Design ~ and is truly some of the best designed tactical you'll find... not to mention it's the brain child of Patrick Ma alongside with my favorite Rocket World creatures. While i have much more to show you from my latest stop up at their store/studios in SF, lets start with the spork wielding Griz. Check out the fun packaging and details on the next page...
Entries tagged with: kids
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On NOTCOT favorites, SDCC highlights always including visiting the Rocketworld booth to see what Patrick/Otter X and his crew have been up to. Just as it was really fun to see how many unexpected product offerings were popping up at Dumbrella's booth ~ Rocketworld is also expanding and evolving through collaboration in some great new directions... incredibly cozy floppy plush toys (with velcro hands and skull - and a little belly button!)... super limited edition silver jewelry pieces (only 5 of some of them! i couldn't help myself)... stickers!... 2 series of new toys... mini exact replica T.A.D. Gear backpacks for the IWG... letterpressed cards... and even a peek at a *possible* animated IWG to be! In a time where many companies (esp some of the toy guys it seems) are hurting a bit, and it certainly felt like less new launches this year... the Rocketworld booth was almost all brand new products, and really expanding the line by bringing in friends who are masters at plushes and jewelry. See lots of pics on the next page!
On toys i was excited to peek at in person ~ three blind box sets from KidRobot jumped out at me at their booth. The Futurama ones of course ~ and Junko Mizuno's Pure Trance ~ and DJ Kid Acne's Rolling Stock... take a look at closeups on the next page!
While the sdcc preview night doors open in just a few minutes ~ i couldn't resist taking in the view and doing a little photoshoot on the hotel coffee table to show you Andrew Bell's amazing O-No Food Company Sushi toys that just launched with limited edition Blue 150 colorway (only 150 pieces) for sdcc... Luckily the Dumbrella crew snuck me in early, and gave me a chance to see what pre-comicon is really like (constant forklift dodging!)... BUT back to the matter at hand, while i got excited about these Sushi guys when they were NOTCOT.org #22670 ~ they are even better in person! And their stumpy little arms rotate... their eyes swap... and he's strategically placed his name on them too. Anyhow, see the pics of them on the next page... i even tried to put SOME of their tentacles back on...
Found these adorable wooden kids pull toys the other day, and the simplicity of the design, and the appeal of the adorable glossy turtles. From Maya Organic Toys in India ~ made from a sustainable wood source and hand crafted with natural dyes, it even has nice simple eco-friendly recyclable packaging! My favorite part are the details like... it looks as if they lacquered the whole sphere, THEN cut the stripes into them... and they spin simply from the friction of the little sphere "legs" rolling along! Check out the video and more close ups on the next page!
On fun eco-friendly toys i stumbled upon while toy shopping recently (and then had to buy to share!) ~ Check out this E-Racer (the name is also hilarious) ~ made from cut bamboo tubes, it's cute to see how closely it keeps its form! It claims that it is "Naturally fun" and made with bamboo, water based colors, and renewable materials (i assume they mean the metal screws and the plasticy exhaust, and rubbery wheels)... the packaging was horrible, so if i ever end up gifting one of these to a kid, will definitely unwrap it first! See an unboxing and more close up pics of these adorable eco-race cars on the next page!
I couldn't help myself. Ami and the Cool Hunting kids clearly had tons of fun with Kidlandia ~ and i had to try it too! Sure it's for little kids ~ but its like mad libs for a playful crazy MAP! Anyhow, check out NOTland ~ and close ups on the next page! According to CH - "Kidlandia, a website that lets you create personalized fantasy maps for kids, evolved from illustrator, entrepreneur and former Disney producer Brian Backus' intricate, personalized maps that he started making a few years ago."
Coming in June from IWG Sleepy Bear Series. WITH SPORK!!! "They love eating with a spork; its a very handy eating utensil. This new IWG Series includes a sleeping bear, spork, combat knife, and a human skull trophy. Price to TBA." See more pics of these new guys on the next page...
Children's books inspiring art? "Beyond the Pages" at Gallery 1988 SF that opens tonight is STUNNING ~ this post would be up sooner if i wasn't so busy deciding and buying a few of the pieces first ~ then looking up book covers and reliving my love of Roald Dahl, Dr. Seuss, Shel Silverstein, and more to help pull some of your nostalgic heart strings too. I'm sure so much of my art tastes were influenced by those book covers of my childhood. And yes, even today, i'm still prone to impulse buying books for great covers (there are some i've purchased in other countries and read possibly because the cover made them that much more enticing to me)...
ALSO noteworthy? While they never charge admission ~ "we are asking each gallery visitor to bring one new children's book, which will be donated to the San Francisco Unified School District. The gallery will also make an additional donation on behalf of the show." What a nice gesture! So ~ take a look at some of my favorites of the MANY pieces, and some of the sources of their inspiration alongside on the next page!
It's hard to squish a robot and write a post all at once. On awesome packages, Diesel Sweeties sent over this big box and out popped a SQUISHABLE Crocheted Robot (yes its a little obese an a little disproportionate, perhaps more like a baby-bot? not quite full grown to CRUSH HUMANS! yet?) ~ and his Crush All Humans! Book.... complete with a signed/illustrated CRUSH JEAN! page with tiny red markerbots flying around!
Check out the pics of these goodies up close on the next page!!!
You TOO can get the Crush All Humans! Book in signed/personalized form too!!!
I have an impulsive need to indulge my inner child... especially when shopping... like when wandering through IKEA, i got terribly distracted by the kids toys, particularly how fun these new Sandig beach toy sets are! And the 99 cent shovel/super scooper claw thing... great quality, and adorable ideas ~ i picked up three of the four 2.99$ sets with the justification that i needed to take pics of them to show you. Granted, i don't think kids should be encouraged to eat sand/dirt, i think these are quite fun for those who know better. First kit ~ Ice Cream! A little bucket with an ice cream scoop, 4 cones, and 4 cups... Second kit ~ Baking! Three pans that would be so fun to incorporate into sand castles... like a bundt cake castle? Compete with cake knife, etc... Third set ~ Bricklayer! The mold to make bricks, smooth out the cementy wet sand, etc... can you imaging the possibilities? And the Fourth set i passed on was the gardening one... usual bucket, rake, shovel... not too exciting, but still cute. Anyhow, take a peek at the pics of these sets close up on the next page ~ i was impressed with the quality and design details ~ and for the price was tempted to buy up a bunch and run around the beach giving them away to kids...
Augmented Reality ~ its a quickly growing trend currently ~ and honestly, i'm thrilled! It was such an art/research buzzword about 5 years ago when i was in college studying technology in the arts, and sure it's taken some time, but i've been absolutely fascinated how its been translating into commercial and more aesthetically interesting uses ~ particularly in the case where you have prints/objects you can hold up to webcams and cellphone cameras to see magicaly digital beings and objects appear which you can manipulate.
Metaio, out of Germany, seems to be leading some of the innovative commercial uses of this technology, and their latest project is a very fun one for LEGO! From the press release: "Munich, December 2008 - From November, the Danish toy manufacturer will test launch its "DIGITAL BOX" in selected toyshops and LEGO® stores worldwide. This interactive terminal will utilize innovative technology supplied by metaio in the form of a software program specially-developed for the LEGO Group by the Munich-based experts in
augmented reality solutions. Together with a camera and display screen, the software lets LEGO packaging reveal its contents fully-assembled within live 3D animated scenes." How much more fun does that make going to the toy store? Of course even cooler would be watching it build up in your hands piece by piece in full rotatable 3D when you hold it up ~ but i know, baby steps... See more preview pics of these new Digital Boxes on the next page!
Wishbone Bike from Skip Hop ~ with thoughtful, beautiful design for such playful, fun kids products, Skip Hop has yet to disappoint! Their latest addition is gaining distribution rights to New Zealand designed: Wishbone Bike, a 3 in 1 starter bike that grows with kids... from the stable lightweight tricycle, to pedal-less running bike, to normal bike for kids up to 5! It is also environmentally sustainable design and a Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association 2008 Innovation Award Winner! See more pics on the next page!
TO WIN: Leave a comment ~ with something space related! ENTER BY 12/21. WINNER: Kathryn in Indianapolis, IN!
This is quite possibly the coolest baby playmat EVER ~ well, if i for some strange reason popped out a kid today, this is the one i'd buy. Doesn't matter if its for a boy or a girl, it is gorgeously colorful, intriguing, and has ufos and rocketships! Part of an exclusive collection by Skip Hop for Babies'r'us ~ this is the Skip Hop Outer Space Activity Playmat. So this 33rd giveaway goes out to the babies (do we have any playmat sized readers out there?) and their parents or expecting parents or expecting aunts/uncles/etc! You can read more at Skip Hop as well ~ and more pics of these goodies, as well as my other favorites from the collection (i swear alien rattle looks like a flying spaghetti monster) on the next page!!!
For a chance to win ~ leave a comment with something space related!
TO WIN: Leave a comment ~ telling us what you geek out about! ENTER BY 12/21. WINNER: Mikayla in Toronto, Canada!
Well we're up to Giveaway 32! And this one's super fun! After all, who doesn't need more ninja in their life? Especially a bright red GEEKY NINJA? And some stickers and buttons and a comic book too... and that's not counting the special #1 Ninja Con comic and badge too!!! From the super awesome Shawnimals ~ for a chance to win this giveaway... tell us what YOU geek out about! We all have something...
See more pics on the next page ~ and a coupon too!
"A Young Mad Scientist's First Alphabet Blocks" laser etched wood blocks from Xylocopa ~ when first spotted as .org #16975 ~ there was that instant "OMG! Must see closer!" and then the frustration of not being able to see the illustrations for every alphabet, while teased with the list of what each letter stood for... so i bought two sets... and a "mystery item" (how can you resist?)... and it is SO AWESOME!
Granted the blocks are a little smaller than i'd pictured in my mind, the detail is incredible... best use of a laser engraver ever perhaps? And i magically ended up with an Angler necklace, as if they knew it's exactly what i wanted... SO, i've taken the time to photograph each and every letter of these blocks for you on the next page, in anal alphabetical order even... check them out, and long live the young mad scientists!
I think i've found the perfect stocking stuffer for kids!!! Or it's what i'll be resorting to when i need random little gifts, that are not only really fun and amusing but educational and awesomely packaged! Copernicus Toys is a wondrous playground of all the fun sciencey toys and gizmos and puzzles i loved as a kid, and they've recently launched this great line of Compact Curiosities! Adorable packaging ~ nice clean fonts/graphics/colored labels on the translucent 4x6" pouches... definite points for the shiny object factor...
And it gets better! Inside these packets are old favorites from Monster Balloons and Vortex devices (you know, the ones you put between two 1L soda bottles!) to dissectable Owl Pellets and Geodes to crack open! Also incredibly affordable ranging from 3$-12$ (most are 3$-6$)! See closeups of the whole line on the next page!
TO WIN: Leave a comment ~ have any viewmaster stories? ENTER BY 12/11. WINNER: Vanessa in London!
So, in my random need to rationalize, decided that for my birthday i'm doubling up on giveaways today! So second one for this monday ~ Reform School! The adorable shop in Silverlake is giving away one black viewmaster (so classic!!!) and the Vladmaster of your choice... personally, i'd pick Italo Calvino's Invisible Cities ~ it reminds me of a UCLA comparative lit class freshman year ~ quite possibly one of my favorite classes ever...
"Vladmasters are handmade View-Master™ reels designed, photographed, and hand-assembled by Vladimir. They make use of toys, neglected household objects, and odd ephemera to tell 28-picture tales of train chases, missing steam shovels, disastrous dinner parties, and overly adventurous cockroaches."
In essence, who doesn't need a a viewmaster and some handmade reels filled with artistic recreations of classics? See the options on the next page ~ and leave a comment with a viewmaster story for a chance to win!
TO WIN: Leave a comment ~ sharing your favorite childhood toy! ENTER BY 12/9. WINNER: Karen in NYC!
StrangeCo ~ the wondrous purveyors of the peculiar ~ and probably one of my favorite toy distributors of all time ~ so many awesome collectibles and amusements that live under my monitors, and i love that in the last year or so they even made the move to truly making toys for all ages with fun plush toys for young'ns that are of awesome quality and really fun designer characters (i.e. TokiDoki, FriendsWithYou, Somewhere City)... definitely been my go to for kids presents when i'm at a loss...
SO, today we're giving away a set of their latest, a nice mix for all ages! In the bundle are:
- Mr. TTT - Rainbow ~ the awesome plushy FriendsWithYou creature that comes apart to amuse and delight kids
- Julie West's Limited Edition Bumble & Tweet Tree Edition ~ so special, i don't even have somewhere to link you, but lots of close ups on the next page!
- TokiDoki's Captain Coco
Whether you split these up as stocking stuffers, hoard them for your own collection, or open them and go nuts... i leave that up to you! Afterall, toys are for enjoying!!! So check out some close up pics of these guys on the next page, and leave us a comment with your favorite childhood toy for a chance to win!
TO WIN: Leave a comment ~ Pick #1, 2, or 3 (one only!) and tell us your favorite cartoon character! ENTER BY 12/8. WINNERS: Justin in Texas, Thomas in Virginia, + Jackson in Massachusetts!
More Mimobots!!! For Giveaway #19, i considered sending this adorable trio to one home, but they are so awesome, and your comments have been so incredible, i'm splitting these guys up to three commenters! Soooooo, you're going to have to choose which you love best and tell us what your favorite cartoon character is to win one of these guys ~ each is 2 GB! ...and come with a Protohoodie to keep them warm and safe from scratches... and part of the new VDC (Vimobot Design Contest) Series... #1 is Holybot by the fickilians, #2 is Yakuza by eetteekers, and #3 is Golden Panda by ShanDurRah! So see more pictures on the next page, as well as some sneak peeks at the other digital goodies stored within!
Gift Guide: all the goodies for kids! And really, i'd want the majority of stuff on here too ~ and there is also stuff for little teeny tiny kids (aka new parents) ~ as well as stuffed toys, toy toys, cardboard forts and airplanes, to toys to chew on and playful woody cars and blocks! Click on through to check out the massive collage of a gift guide!
TO WIN: Leave a comment ~ this time tell us something fun about kids toys! ENTER BY 11/24. WINNER: Michal in Florida!
On to giveaway #5 ~ our friends at Fawn & Forest always find the most amazing kids gear - from furniture to clothing to really really fun toys and they have found that perfect balance between modern and eco-friendly! So for this giveaway, they've generously offered a bundle of woody goodness for kids (ok, or some for you and some to share with the kids)...
See more closeups of the products below, as well as stories behind the designers, and a coupon to Fawn & Forest!
First Gift Guide of the season, and while i promised friends and family i wouldn't do 31 days in a row like last year (it got crazy!), you can see Alyssa and i made up for it with quite the NOTCOT Holiday Coupon Book and a really exciting lineup of giveaways launching nearly everyday through xmas! (Funny thing is, as we get more excited and start posting up all these goodies as a huge THANK YOU to you, our readers, more stores we love keep contacting us wanting to share the love as well! So the list might grow... as do the coupons!)
So first guide, the REALLY fun stuff. Since gifts should be about the unexpected... those fun surprises that you never saw coming, or would never buy yourself yet secretly lusted for... So lets kick this off with Desk Toys and Stocking Stuffers! Below is a massive collage of some of my favorites, like last year, just click the products to be whisked off to find out more. I've also attached the relevant coupons below to help you out with any temptations you may come across! Enjoy!
The new VDC Mimobot series is too cute. So cute and incredibly detailed, it's creating quite a dilemma for me... while i have a few in my purse, on my desk, etc ~ there's usually been a standout one that love and need to have, this time there are a few! Argh! Hehe...
Ok anyhow, i'm a little delirious from massive gift guide planning, inhaling the smokey smell from fires all over socal (our wishes go out to everyone who is dealing with the fires first hand - be safe!), and shopping like crazy online right now... I've been meaning to post these, and only after getting far too distracted by them a few times, here we go! As the press release says, "Boston-based design studio Mimoco releases Vimobot Design Contest MIMOBOT Series, the company's first community-designed collection of MIMOBOT designer USB flash drives, preloaded with all-new mimoZine Digital Magazine Issue 4." And the new goodies are so tempting, i love the new wallpapers and icons! You have to check out the close up images of the new designs on the next page ~ details like the mushrooms, hidden spiders and skulls in the tiki, squid in the tattoos, cherry blossoms down the backs, so much to see in these little guys! I'm currently tortured picking between the Mimoshroom by Bananafromcanada, Golden Panda by Shandurrah, and Yakuza by Eetteekers... check out the MANY pics on the next page!
StrangeCo really knows how to keep the action going under my monitors ~ i am currently typing this staring at a rather large and colorful band of gorillas that look like they are attacking the current residents (some rabbids, a crazed mimobot, an overly jolly wish come true, and the rocketworld rhino that looks like its trying to fight back!)...
These new King Ken creatures are the the latest upcoming toys from Amos Novelties, from the mind of James Jarvis, as you can see, they sent over every colorway including the secret yeti/albino guy! The Mini King Ken series debuts worldwide on November 22, 2008! Just in time for stuffing stockings... (Also, LA kids, you can get them early at the 24 Hour Paper Magazine Dept Store tomorrow!!!)
Also, the new Toki Doki Captain Coco, an adorable monkey with his pixelated camo and banana (with toki doki brand of course) in his coconut helmet... and his adorable sidekick pineapple grenade that i'm completely smitten by, showed up as well! I've already separated them, since the Captain is far too large for life under the monitors...
Check out pics of them all unboxed and in the wild on the next page! It's been a crazy day, so i took this welcome distraction to run around the house and take pics of the little guys all over!