Entries tagged with: toys

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*notcot in playful - 0 Notes

Unboxing: Fidget Cube

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The folks at Antsy Labs launched their Fidget Cube Kickstarter back in August 2016, and it was one of the highest funded projects yet, raising nearly 6.5 million dollars! As expected, hiccups come up along the way with manufacturing, and the Dec 2016 delivery slid a little, and it just arrived (in March! Not too bad?) though it was definitely a project that spurred MANY knock offs… in fact, i didn’t even realize that there were people like this one: 24-year-old made $345,000 in 2 months by beating Kickstarters to market and it is even sadder (but eye opening! especially for designers… ) to see stories like this first hand account of finding knock off Fidget Cubes all over China, not long after the campaign ended! Perhaps the hardest thing to stomach, is how many of these “fake” fidget cubes have flooded the global and online market. You can find them all over instagram, amazon, and in lots of you tube video reviews even… but the saddest, is when you read about people who actually like the MUCH cheaper knock offs BETTER (like 3-5x the price.)

Needless to say, the Fidget Cube has been a fascinating case study to follow - and it was definitely exciting to finally get ours in person! First thing i realized? It does FEEL nice in your hand, and i’m pretty sure Shawn might disappear mine quickly… it’s INSANELY annoying as a by stander if i anxiously click, spin, roll, etc while working… and really not that quiet.

Ready for an unboxing? To the next page…

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*notcot in playful - 0 Notes

Art of Play Curiosity Box 2016

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The Art of Play Curiosity Box 2016 is a magical and wondrous thing that promises “unique & clever amusements” - just what you need to help kick off your 2017! Especially the 3D Card Star of laser cut magicalness designed by mathematician George W. Hart (father of one of my favorite youtubers - Vi Hart)! There’s nothing like a good puzzle to get me out of a funk - though of course all the good ones drive you a bit more mad and frustrated to make solving them THAT much more satisfying. Also the Curiosity Box has delectable dark chocolate - that is ALSO a puzzle (though one that doesn’t last long.) Oh and the spring! So elegant, so pretty… then i handed it to Shawn and he solved it in seconds - reminding me the puzzle is basically a problem he’d accidentally run into when working on cars…

2016 was a funny kind of year, and while 2017 is full of uncertainty thus far - i’m feeling hopeful. And silly, fun amusements like these definitely help - so thank you, Art of Play for the surprise box of hopeful happiness! Ready to dive into the unboxing and details? To the next page!

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*notcot in playful - 0 Notes

The Brushies

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Meet The Brushies! I never thought baby toothbrushes would be something i’d be fascinated enough to feature, but the best thing about NOTCOT is probably the constant surprises! So when my email had the cutest picture of a board book and 4 finger puppet toothbrushes, i was intrigued. “Designed by two doctor moms” - a dentist and family psychologist - The Brushies aim to bring some fun into the fight against tooth decay which is apparently the #1 childhood disease. Their “world’s first finger puppet toothbrushes” are made of BPA and phthalate-free, non-toxic, food-grade silicone in the shape of adorable pigs, trexs, whales, and monkeys… and these characters are featured in their fun, playfully illustrated board book that is part of their initial Brushies Limited Edition Gift Set. The little silicone bristles are incredibly soft, and supposedly they are good on kids 4 weeks to 4 years old. Take a look at the unboxing, details, and a peek inside the cute board book on the next page.

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*notcot in playful - 0 Notes

Halloween Bucky - Campana Style

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Bucky got dressed up as a Campana Brothers Banquet (Stuffed Animal) Chair. It’s basically the perfect easy costume for the dog with FAR too many toys and a harness. It could also be a Katamari! We joked that next year, you could make them velcro-able and just have him run around and grow the costume/katamari ball… a few more silly pictures on the next page!

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*notcot in design - 1 Notes

MOOSE! The Big One 2016

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MOOSE! How fantastic is this moose character for AIGA Alaska’s The Big One 2016? Flipping around instagram as i woke up, i stumbled upon this awesome character by Headron Collider (i think - it’s what it sounds like from the fb page), and i had to collect up the pics to share with you! I hope they make an actual vinyl toy? There’s something kind of Coarse meets punked out designer about him? The moose has great details like… fun designer tats, spiked ‘design’ black baseball bat, Draplin AK tee, jeans, sneakers, graphic hoodie, earring, chain wallet and more… See it all on the next page!

UPDATE: In the notes, just learned that the Moose is named BIGGIE! Also that he was designed by Jontue Hollingsworth with Headron Collider and Courtny Brooks, AIGA Alaska’s Communications Director has been instrumental in developing the social media campaign!

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*notcot in playful - 1 Notes

Rapha Citroen H Van Toy

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Far too excited about my new toy… Citroen HY Van! These amazingly iconic (and super utilitarian) vans have been a fixation of ours for years now… and when Shawn and i were grabbing lunch and wandering Abbot Kinney, we checked out the Rapha Pop Up, and while their full sized H Van wasn’t there, this amazing little 1:24 scale toy one was! So I had to get it. In a fantastic matte grey - complete with sliding panel door and a back that pops open - it’s going to be tough to stare at the scale model without wanting a full sized one even more! Take a peek at the awesome details on the next page.

p.s. We’ve also done lots of research and have SO many ideas on importing one to the states, doing an engine conversion, and making it into a really fun shop, adventure mobile, experience on wheels and more… Interested? Want to make our dream come true? Let’s chat!

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*notcot in design - 0 Notes

Qeeboo Rabbit by Giovannoni

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It’s so much easier to cover design fairs from your couch these days… instagram hashtags, snapchat, tweets, etc. give you so many first hand views of… everything?!?!?! Though of course we’d all notice and discover different things in person, it’s fascinating to step back and realize how much more (and how quickly!) we can see things these days.

That being said, i’ve been happily binging on Milan Design Week Instagrams to satisfy my curiosity and slight twinge of wonder about whether i should be there - but then i remember the insanity and appreciate how magical technology is to let us sit back and take it all in without the chaos!

… and one thing that has been taking over the feeds this Milan Design Week is definitely Giovannoni’s qeeboo… and particularly his new RABBIT! There is the Rabbit Chair, the Rabbit Lamp, and the Rabbit Chair Baby. They seem to be all over Milan, and they are pure instagram bait. Apparently people (big and small!) haven’t been able to resist hopping on them, and of course snapping pics!

Will the rabbit be the new Aarnio Puppy or Eames Elephant? See more pics on the next page.

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*notcot in playful - 1 Notes

Petco Dog Toys with (Squeaker) Heart

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There’s nothing more delightful than a thoughtfully designed surprise. Especially when you don’t even remotely expect it! Any dog owner (or friend of a dog) knows that squeakers don’t get to stay in toys long, and have likely experienced collecting up MANY clear plastic circular squeakers. Well Bucky just received an adorable camping themed duck and moose, and when it came time to get the squeaker from him (aka 5 minutes after he got the toys)… it was a red heart! These Petco Leaps & Bounds Camper Collection literally have heart! And they don’t even seem to advertise it on the product descriptions or labels. I love that they tucked a secret surprise into the toys where you least expect it.

Yay for delightful design! Designing physical objects that transcend their basic purpose and change the experience for the happier! They remind me of the red construction paper heart inside the Whole Foods Talking Pineapple Armadillo!

See more details on the next page!

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*notcot in playful - 0 Notes

Unboxing: Nextbit Black Sheep Toy

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Surprise from Nextbit just arrived! An adorable BLACK SHEEP! When you hear Nextbit, you probably think of the Nextbit Robin - that rockstar kickstarter of a phone that’s all about smart, magically efficient use of the cloud - and it’s coming really really soon to all the backers and buyers! While i could easily delve into all the fun details of the phone… that’s not what we’re here about. In addition to the Robin, Nextbit also turned its cloud logo into an ADORABLE SHEEP MASCOT… then had our friend, Andrew Bell turn him into a vinyl toy! In fact, if you couldn’t afford or didn’t want the phone, but wanted a sheep toy - that was even an option on their kickstarter. Take a peek at some of the fun, playful branding and an unboxing of this adorable sheep on the next page.

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*notcot in playful - 0 Notes

Bass Pro Toy Sets and Ride-on ATVs

bpstore0.jpg Driving across country from LA to Nashville, we had to stop at the epic Bass Pro Pyramid (Bass Pro moved into the Memphis Pyramid downtown) - and it is truly a disney style adventure inside… giant outdoor store with hotel (where rooms have screened in porches with rocking chairs), aquarium, ponds, nature dioramas, waterfowling heritage center, a fish themed bowling alley, restaurant, shooting ranges, an elevator to the top of the pyramid and more. And during holiday time, it was even more over the top. But what was most surprising (beyond seeing it all in person) - was the TOYS. I had no idea that they had so many toys… from their own brand… representing all types of outdoor activities (for adventure boys and “girlz”) from camping and kayaking, to fishing and hunting, 4x4 and rafting, motocross and more! They even have a “Sporting Dog Vet Set”! Also adorable ride-on ATVs for toddlers… which as far as how you ride them goes, it looks a lot more realistic than the mini Mercedes and Porsche ones! Take a peek at what grabbed my attention on the next page.

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*notcot in tech - 0 Notes

Unboxing: Teenage Engineering PO-12

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So far we’ve loved everything Teenage Engineering for years… from afar… or through the internet. The design, photography, and ideas are always incredible! But between getting in to SF and meeting friends for dinner, we managed to squeeze in a few stores in the Mission, one of them being the unmissable Dijitalfix. Drawn in by the Freitag pop up in front, and sucked further in by so many design brands we adore… before i knew it, i lost Shawn. Turns out he ended up in the backroom completely engrossed by all the Teenage Engineering toys. And while he was busy pushing buttons and learning how they all worked, i couldn’t stop staring at the products themselves… and the packaging… and the displays! So that was settled… we had to buy one! While it was tough decide, we’re starting with the PO-12 rhythm

And of course, in the small amount of time between procuring the PO-12 and meeting for dinner… we couldn’t resist buying batteries, parking, and unboxing it in the car so we could play with it! So here’s a first for me… an iphone camera unboxing in our car parked on the street at night. Ready to see how awesome it is? See the pics on the next page!

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*notcot in sponsored - 0 Notes

Inspiration: Jurassic World at Target

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Target provided the Jurassic World toys (and a gift card for us to pick some of our own) and Shawn, Bucky, and I happily took their inspiration and ran with it. Who doesn’t love dinosaurs? … and Jurassic Park was one of the first “scary” books I read as a kid. The movies are also ridiculously epic, so it’s hard not to imagine how fun the latest one will be too. When the box of dinosaur toys arrived, Bucky, the NOTpuppy, was the first to dive in and try to run off with the Indominus Rex (something about that rubbery face he just HAD to grab). I started to poke at the pile of dinos and when I discovered the Jurassic World Lego sets with Lego Unimog, G-Wagen, and raptors online… that Target gift card disappeared pretty quickly. The dinosaurs quickly spread across NOTlabs, the Legos were built over coffee one morning… and as Shawn and I played with them and brainstormed ideas to try out with the new Roland CNC - it hit us! Wooden Desktop Planters! A fun little set that we could attach the Lego pieces to made from a nice dark walnut wood to mix with succulents and strawberries would be the PERFECT playful table top setup for the dinosaurs!

So if you’re ready to see all the fun we’ve been having… and the ridiculousness that ensued… to the next page!

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*notcot in design - 0 Notes

Made By NOTCOT: Plant Experiment #1

legoplant0.jpg It’s here!!! I’m so giddy to get to present our latest NOTlabs experiment, Plant Experiment #1 - and we’ve decided to make an extremely limited edition of them since friends have already been asking for some!

Plant Experiment #1 is a limited edition trio of walnut planters. Shawn and I designed them right here in NOTlabs, Los Angeles. Every piece is CNC milled (on the Roland Modela Pro II 540s we recently unboxed) from a single block of walnut and hand finished (by Shawn and I!) Inspired by our love of succulents, Lego®, a surprising Target sponsorship and the need for projects to get to know the CNC better - these square planters are Lego®-compatible and the perfect size for small and medium succulents, seedlings, and other plants. Each piece has drainage holes to keep your plants happy. You can also get creative and build up, down, and all around them turning them into mini worlds on your desk, pen/paintbrush holders, candy dishes… a little bit of each… and more.

The trio contains one 12x12, 8x8, and 6x6. Only 10 sets will be made. Each set will laser numbered on the base of each piece. Take a detailed look at Plant Experiment #1 on the next page - and pop over to the store if you’d like a set.

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*notcot in design - 0 Notes

FREE UNIVERSAL CONSTRUCTION KIT: Cooper Hewitt

uck0.jpg Time flies! Remember when we went with the Free Universal Construction Kit to Linz, Austria in 2012 for Ars Electronica? Well, on exciting news, the Free Universal Construction Kit that NOTlabs’ own Shawn Sims and our friend, Golan Levin, created is currently on display at the Cooper Hewitt Museum in the Beautiful Users Exhibition in all it’s 3D printed awesomeness. While you can’t play with them - it is so great to see the creative multi-toy sculpture they’ve created with the super brick! It’s thrilling to see that it is still inspiring and instigating people all over the world.

While friends have been sending us cell phone pictures when they run into it… i’ve still been curious to see more! Though we’re LONG overdue for a NY trip, i got so impatient i asked via social media if anyone going could help take some pictures, and Evelyn Frison was kind enough to answer the call! … and pictures just landed in my inbox! Check it out on the next page!

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*rugenius in design - 0 Notes

100% Norway 2014

norwayness.jpg Here’s the latest from NOTCOT’s London-based editor and resident zoologist, Justine Aw as she explores the 2014 London Design Festival.

So much fun, playful wooden design shown at 100% Norway by the Bergen Academy of Art and Design at Tent London this year! Everything from an adorable elephant stool/sorting system to a collapsible playhouse, beautiful stool, canned hiking happiness, and more. See my favorites on the next page!

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*notcot in playful - 0 Notes

Laser Smashball Experiment

smash1.jpg It feels like it’s been summer here since february or so… and when we were checking out at the supermarket, had a nostalgic moment when i spotted Smashball - that beachy wooden paddle ball game thats been around since the 70s with such an adorably iconic logo. It also seemed like a fun one to experiment with in the Laser Cutter! Remember the hexagon experiment from the laser challenge? Well we threw some of those patterns together and played with painting and etching it into the paddles and toying with some custom colored plastidip. Take a peek at more details of the experiment on the next page!

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*rugenius in playful - 0 Notes

Made in Korea at Pulse

mori_4053.jpg Here’s the latest from London-based editor and resident zoologist, Justine Aw!

Our highlight from Pulse this year was the “Made in Korea” stand showcasing a number of designers respresnted by NoTag that had lots of playful items including fold-your-own paper toys, a dog-shaped bookstand and more. Check it out on the next page!

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*notcot in playful - 0 Notes

Bruce Lee Playing Cards by Dan&Dave

*notcot in playful - 0 Notes

Cycle Dog 3-Play Turtle

*notcot in playful - 0 Notes

IKEA Lillabo Toy Cars

*notcot in playful - 0 Notes

Coarse Omen Blink Hoot + Hush Owls

omen0.jpg First stop at SDCC this year ~ the Squibbles Ink + Rotofugi Booth ~ which as soon as preview night opened, had quite the line for coarse Omen Blink Hoot + Hush Owls (as well as Ferg’s Playge Misfortune Cat)… and the packaging and owls are ADORABLE! These 3.5” little owls (limited edition of 800 each) have the following story - “After the last rays of the sun dip behind the forest’s edge, two pairs of eyes burst open. Hoot and Hush warily stand together keeping watch over a nest of unhatched eggs. Gazing up into the night, they wait in silence until the voice of the Void breaks through the darkness and orders them where to go.” Take a peek at all the packaging and toy details on the next page!

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*notcot in food+drink - 7 Notes

Torres Sangre de Toro Toy Bulls

toro0.jpg Happy Meals come with toys… kid’s cereal comes with toys… but this is the first WINE i’ve seen that comes with fun toys! While in Sitka, AK at Ludvig’s Bistro, we had Torres’ Sangre de Toro and it came with a little plastic bull toy adorned on the side! It got even more interesting when the second bottle arrived, and the bulls were different! Then the waitress gave us a third from their house bottle, and it was different too! On the back of each bull is a number, and so far, we’ve seen them go up to 7, but who knows how many there are? Can you line them all up on a disc and spin them to animate a running bull? Also, out of curiosity i picked up another bottle at Bevmo when home, and between that and quick internet searches, it looks like the bulls and the ways they are attached evolve regularly. Take a peek at the bulls and packaging shifts up close on the next page!

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*notcot in design - 0 Notes

STIX from Not Another Chair

stix0.jpg Here’s the latest from NOTCOT’s London-based editor and resident zoologist, Justine Aw as she visits the London graduate showcases!

Another of my highlights from the Central Saint Martins 2013 Degree Shows was this fun project, Stix by Not Another Chair (Colin O’Dowd). The project was based on the idea that more dads are opting to stay at home and the kit encourages parents and children to play and explore their imaginations together, turning found sticks into cars, planes, trains and animals from the farm and jungle thanks to dad-friendly diy staples like cable ties and tool kits. Love the toy rubber band gun pack too! More photos on the next page.

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*notcot in playful - 3 Notes

TOYS! Metaproject 03 - RIT/Areaware

metatoy0.jpg On amazing projects at ICFF this year, i’m smitten by metaproject 03 - between RIT School of Design and Areaware. As they describe, “Each student will be required to explore the properties of wood and its use as a primary material in object construction. They will be required to research examples of cuturally specific historical and contemporary toys and to define the meaning of Universal Toy. Ultimately each student will select and research a specific object typology in the domestic sphere and a specific cultural / situational context and respond with an inventive proposal that explores the meaning and notion of how toys integrate into contemporary cultures and lifestyles.” It was hard to ignore the pull of the MANY playful/modern wooden toys on pedestals in the center of the floor… the students did an incredible job bringing the “universal toy” motif to life, and i hope some of them have the chance to become real products! Take a peek at some of my favorites on the next page.

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*notcot in playful - 1 Notes

Squadt Assembly Show + Unboxing

assembly0.jpg Remember the upcoming Squadt Assembly show at Rotofugi I told you about earlier? Well, while i couldn’t make it out to Chicago for it… got lucky with the online lottery and got to build my own! Also Ferg posted a bunch of amazing pictures of the show! So take a peek on the next page of my unboxing of my latest Squadt and his arsenal… as well as the incredible show at Rotofugi!

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