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!
Entries tagged with: kids
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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!
Porsche Design just launched quite a few new products for kids and the holidays, and they are adorable (and gorgeous)! Part of me is so glad i don't have kids to buy these for, and the other part of me wishes i were a kid, so i could properly enjoy some of these! This is a selection of my favorites ~ from the baby boxster (SO cute) to the 911 Pedal Car to the Bobsleigh and Sledge to the 911 GT3 RSR racetrack set... it all looks so fun. See close ups and more details on the next page!
Rotofugi, the awesome toy store, has made an incredibly gorgeous little animation, The Collectors, which showcases some of our favorite toys animated and collecting... HUMANS! So awesome, totally made me smile. See it on the next page!
Skip Hop's new Baby Log comes with an "Illminated Time Capsule" ~ and with a name like that, what tech loving new dad wouldn't want one to play with? With 4 leds, the time capsule creates a gentle glow, helps parents keep track of the time for every entry no matter how little sleep they are on, and even has a timer for monitoring nap/feeding times... and its tucked away in a canvas covered binder... so as techy as it seems on the inside, it still fits in and looks traditional on the outside. It is a 6-month book to track everything from feedings, changings, doctors visits, gifts and more... and at $39, this one is definitely going on my gifts for new parents lists! And as your child gets older, i'm sure the time capsule will prove useful in new situations as well! See more close up pics on the next page!
[Above is my latest new toy - a mis-colored helmeted Astro-Krieg Rhino and my random capsule machine egg/rabbit at the fireplace in Park Chow] Next time you're in the SF area, you MUST stop by T.A.D. Gear at 660 22nd Street in SF - what they don't show you in their pics of the store is the Rocket World section, which is like the holy grail of Rocket World I.W.G toys and prints, and not only do they do all online fulfillment for both brands in this space but also have their design studio upstairs! So on the next page, i have a peek at the store, the gallery space, and the design studios... if you thought Shepard Fairey's studios were cool, you'll drool at how inspiring this space is!
So before the onslaught of images to walk you through our experience at the incredible converted warehouse space, here are a few quick points to note.
1) For anyone that like the great outdoors (or is a special op, or just likes being well shielded from the extremities), but has a NOTCOT type of aesthetic (love matte black? lack of logos? incredible attention to every detail?) - you have to check out T.A.D. Gear's jackets, pants, and backpacks before you reach for the next Patagonia catalog. Dan just ran off with his to Burning Man, so i'll try to get you some detail pics later.
2) If you don't need the hardcore gear, they have an amazingly well curated selection of quality outdoor accessories that had me giddy to shop even though i didn't really need more mini flashlights, otter boxes, knives, dental floss, and more...
3) Sure stores like A16 are all rugged and designy in their own right, but T.A.D. Gear feels museum-esque as you browse through the space - which leads to
4) Rocket World I.W.G creatures have their own dedicated section, and while at first it may sound odd to have some of the coolest vinyl toys showcased and designed by the same crew that makes some of the most impressive tactical gear i've seen... if you go, it will all make sense. Especially once you find out that Patrick Ma (aka "Otter X") has a background ranging from the army to a masters in art, a love of the animal kingdom to a calling towards fashion design... is it any wonder that all of his passions have perfectly fused into an incredibly well kept secret lair of custom designed tactical gear as well as some of the cutest most detailed badass animal toys out there?
Ok, sorry i'm rambling, but as you can tell, i was totally giddy there - blown away by the products and toys initially, and from a business/inspirational perspective, hearing Patrick's background and philosophies on business and how he's managed to keep focus on doing what he loves (as many varying things as that may be) for over 10 years now, without giving in to the many temptations to sell out along the way and still be extremely successful - especially when you're pursuing new and uncharted concepts/ideas!
Go see the pics on the next page!
Super Soaker "the original high performance blaster" Bottle Shot!!! Finally a fabulous upcycling use for all those empty water bottles you have, but are not supposed to have anymore. I am now up in SF (just drove up yesterday, hence the digital silence), and on the way up stopped by a target in the middle of nearly no where when i got tired... and couldn't resist this 5$ Super Soaker Bottle Shot! You can attach any bottle to it up to 2 liters (i'm dying to go find a gorgeous 2 liter bottle to try). Awesome thing, great water pressure (just used it to wash linhchi's windows while hanging out of them, and some hipsters totally stopped and watched which was awkward once i noticed) - shoots up to 20 ft, but we have yet to measure that... and unfortunately it doesn't pressure up like the old super soakers, so when you pump, it shoots! The only downfall is it is a little leaky around the pump - i tried to take it apart, but its 5$, plastic, and seems to be glued together... so we might hack it up.
On random ideas... why are there no designer water guns? We should have a competition, or just a friendly water gun design themed week/month/etc ~ i bet even modding some super soakers, we could make some incredible things... that lead to a designer water fight? Anyhow, i digress, see the pics of the awesome little water gun that can be expanded to have so much ammo on the next page!
While at Comic-con i finally got to take a peek at the FULL set of Friends With You's Wish Come True blindbox toys by StrangeCo... and i've been secretly wishing for the adorable red mushroom looking guy that was one of the mystery colorways! Anyhow, i was at Royal T in culver city today, and noticed the red guy as one of the open samples and had to have him... there is something so mesmerizing about rocking it in your hand as it refuses to fall over and emits this subtle chime like sound... (see the video on the next page to know what i mean)... i also decided to take a new approach on the unboxing of these guys... ripped the box open and scanned in the details so you can see all the graphic design that's so fun both on the exterior and interior of it! So go see the pics and vid on the next page!
Adorably evil ~ with its perfectly balanced archnemesis... Love this new little -Minus from Lab81, with his devious eyes, tiny side slanted horns, and batwings... and his positive counterpart is +Plus, who has that innocent wide-eyed look, tiny halo, and angelic wings. See more images of these adorable toys, their gold versions, and the incredibly lit window display on the next page!
Babies everywhere! Or i'm apparently reaching that age where i have found myself constantly baby shopping for friends suddenly... So is it any surprise that Jill Fehrenbacher, of Inhabitat, in the midst of her pregnancy has launched Inhabitots, the latest addition to the Inhabitat family? Also, the new logo for the calm blue site is an adorable Owl with child! While many of the products there are right up our alley (and have shown up on NOTCOT previously) ~ they are eco-friendly, clean and modern... and my latest discovery on Inhabitots to add to the backup list for new-parent shopping is what is a bit scarily called "Teething Bling" by Smart Mom Jewelry. If you pick the subtler hues, its not a bad necklace/bangle, and the nice thing is, it's completely safe for your child to teeth on, and saves your usual jewelry from the nibble marks. My only worry is... will this help condition your baby to think its ok to chew on jewelry in the long run?
Cleaning through Comic-con pics ~ as far as purchases go ~ these little guys were truly irresistible! the Rocket World Insurgent Wilderness Gruppo (aka I.W.G) crew in shrunken zipper pulls and airborne paratroopers! So here are some quick pics of the booth, the toys (i couldn't help myself and had to open them up at lunch, so yes, that's a fork in the pic - and a few so so pics from the hotel), and the packaging... adorably tiny boxes for all of these!
So, for those of you who follow my twitter or facebook ~ you already know i ran away to San Diego. It's been far too long since i've been back in these parts, and i'd forgotten how much i missed it! So, spent yesterday popping by all my old houses/apartments/neighborhoods/etc, getting a burrito, and hiding out in little italy. Anyhow, we just popped by comic-con today for a few hours, and it's absolute insanity, massive crowds, yet everyone is so nice, and they keep things flowing so well. Also - SO giddy to see the toys i've been lusting after... in person! And super nice to meet up with a bunch of the comics and toy guys in person as well, of course. So here's a mad roundup to show you some of my favorites, click the pic to see the full gallery of my images running around the convention floor... and now i think i'm off to the zoo.
On the #1 thing i'm looking forward to at Comi-con (is it silly if i day trip to SD just for these?) ~ Rocket World's Insurgents Wilderness Gruppo ~ super armed yet oh so adorable creatures in the tiniest form yet! As blindbox zipper pulls and parachuters! The Zipper Pull Series will be about 1" tall, and including the original three I.W.G. members, there will also be human skulls, for a total of 17 colorways, two of which will be mystery chase figures! The Airborne Series of parachuters will be about 1.5" tall with high quality parachutes, and a total 15 colorways between the three characters, including TWO mystery chase figures! Anyhow, these are just a peek at what is to come at sdcc this year! More pictures on the next page, as well as pics of the making of...
My brain isn't quite sure how to handle it when two completely separate obsessions merge ~ today i was on Dezeen and it was Olivia Lee's "Limited Edition Designer Dolls" ~ bringing together my love of toys and designers - who are now like designer super heroes?
ZAHA! Empress of Architecture! KARIM! King of Plastic! JAIME! Chief of Ceramic!
I want them all. I also want the animated series to come out... Olivia's site says: Have you ever bought something only because it was 'designer' regardless of practicality or cost? Do you faithfully attend the various furniture fairs around the world from Milan to Shanghai? Do you have a favourite designer? Do words like Icon, Blueprint and Wallpaper mean more to you than a random string of nouns? If so, then welcome to The Cult of Design.
Limited Edition Designer Dolls pokes fun at the Design cognescenti. By carefully studying the visual languages and distinct personalities of some of the Design world's most formidable designers, this project is an observation of how designer personalities are literally becoming synonymous with the objects they design.
Not sure about you ~ but "pokes fun"? I think it's more like it embraces the obsession, and creates even MORE for design lovers to buy. See more pics of them in the making, packaging, sketches, etc on the next page!
Remember when "toy stores" used to be for kids, then there was that shift of "toy stores" like kidrobot and giant robot... toys for grownups and saved in boxes as collectibles and untouchable toys when that vinyl toy trend kicked in hard? Well, due to some combination that i'm getting old and more of my friends are having babies, or its that time of year, i'm suddenly finding myself shopping for baby gifts more and more lately... and what's been really fun, is watching these vinyl toys transform back into stuffed toys for our little ones!
We all know that gifts for kids under 3 are really more gifts for their parents, seeing as the kids will barely remember them as they grow up anyhow. So for all the playful parents with a love for vinyl toys, various cheeky, slightly twisted characters, and designs from incredible artists... here's a little roundup of stuffed toy options which i am considering toys that have come full circle, and are perfect for the babies of parents who loved the originals that inspired them... break down of the toys above on the next page!
Hey kids ~ i have one foot out the door, but just got an im giving me an sneak preview to tip you off on StrangeCo/Friends With You's Wish Come True's (isn't that a mouthful) contest that is launching... a contest involving stickers in the various blind box toys that are launching... and there's a Secret Map! The map graphic was so awesome, i stopped, postponed lunch, and had to throw this quick post up to share it with you... isn't it sweet? Anyhow, read more about how it works at the secret link here. Ok, i'm out... back in a bit perhaps...
In addition to my growing porcelain fascination this ICFF, i have also been noticing a lot of Foosball Tables going more high design. During the Conran Shop's Rojo opening (incredible! Definitely worth how wet i got in the rain to get there)... i came across the bright red metal RS Barcelona RS #2 foosball table designed by Rafael Rodriguez... and then saw the white one downstairs in the shop... the silver one at ICFF... and the coat rack versions in both the Conran Shop and ICFF. Really what stands out about this one is the bright metal frames and the arms and expressions on the player! Their faces scream "pass it to me! pass it to me!" with that excited/alert look... and their arms make them look like they are always on the go... which is admittedly, even funnier on a coat rack. There is also a hilarious stumpy super-buff silver and black set of players on another table i found at the Conran Shop that you've got to check out on the next page (and maybe one of you knows who made that one?)... see all the pics on the next page!
Finally! At the Designboom Mart, i had the pleasure of meeting Reiko Kaneko of the Egg Soldiers i had posted back as .org #7028! Fun thing was to finally get to poke at these in person, and check out the playful packaging!
"Egg Soldier Eggcup - Battle on the breakfast table: It's early in the morning..... Having been for a dip, the EGG quietly prepares for another day. Suddenly, from the end of the table, an army of BREAD SOLDIERS starts to approach. The MODEL SOLDIERS, fearing for the safety of their EGG, close in. They work hard to protect the EGG but one after another, the BREAD SOLDIERS just keep coming...." Images from the designboom mart at icff on the next page!
On more sneak previews of ICFF launches, how adorable is Hanno the Gorilla? "From the deepest jungles comes Hanno the Gorilla! Like Hanno the Navigator, the Greek voyager who discovered gorillas 2,500 years ago, your Hanno is brave, strong, and curious. Hanno's powerful hardwood frame can hold many poses. His elastic-band muscles and durable wood limbs make him almost impervious to breakage. Hanno cannot fly and is vaguely afraid of heights. Hanno is made from sustainably harvested new-growth beech wood." He is the brainchild of David Weeks, and will be available from Areaware's new AREAWARE jr. (their new children's division) starting in Sept 08. Check out a close up of this guy on the next page!
Fluffy Sheep! I'm gearing up for Design Week in NY... and somehow have gotten backlogged enough with everything other than posting... anyhow, i digress... Fluffy Sheep!
I first fell giddily in love with these at the Danish Crafts space at ICFF last year - and just noticed that this year they are launching in hot pink and black (and also an unpictured brown and grey)... these are designed by Povl Kjær, more pictures and the story behind the sheep on the next page!
i'm so excited about heading to NY this week for nearly 2 weeks.
Naef makes the most incredible wooden toys that transcend age... with vibrant colors and unlimited possibilities, they are good from childhood through adulthood - being both toys, desk sculptures, and perfect for coffee tables/waiting rooms! I've obsessed on them before, and Dan has even purchased a few... but i recently rediscovered the Rainbow, which was designed by Heiko Hillig.
Rainbow is not only a wooden stacking toy - that opens up the possibilities with its bright colors and playful curves... but add the mallet to it, and each piece becomes its own tuning fork! It has received numerous design awards including the Bundespreis for product design in 1998, Germany and the German Design Award Wooden Toys in 1997. And although its pricey at $175 - i can see this being a great gift for parents of new borns... or any designer regardless of age...
Orbit Baby ~ if i were to have a kid (unlikely, anytime soon), i can't imagine having one without this system. In fact, my back, sanity, and kid's safety would demand it. This company is based right in east bay up in norcal and it's nice to see such a sweet group of Stanford product designers leave IDEO to pursue their dreams and apply their skills to something that really needed some updating (full story here)...
I encountered Orbit Baby while at CA Boom V... this and the Nomad Yurt were the two things i walked away raving about. The Orbit Baby system is so modular that you have one main soft handled baby carrier (good for the day you leave the hospital), which docks into the easy car seat base as well as the quick collapsing stroller... and also with the simple eames rocker matching rocker base. And as your child grows, you can upgrade to the toddler stroller seat (still works with your stroller and car seat). And for those who like basinets, you can also go for the basinet option which also docks into all the bases, and even comes in a new organic super soft 'green' edition.
I know it seems silly, that i'm raving about a kid system that i couldn't possibly have any use for, but the thought that went into every design detail and the incredible quality of the whole system were irresistible in person. I also even attempted my first vimeo video below from the show (vimeo, wow, sidetrack, but i'm loving their incredible user experience). As for design details worth noting... this system even comes with an easy adorable bag that stores nicely under the stroller! It has two cup holders (aka perfect cellphone holder?)... and the handles even adjust/rotate to your comfort position. Coolest thing of all... (other than making life easier on the parents) - "zoo viewing mode" since you can rotate any of these seats on the base... you can have a sideways facing stroller, which seems perfect for walking around a zoo/aquarium, and perfect for not taking up the whole aisle in a crowded restaurant like many new parents seem to.
Tons of pictures and a video after the jump!