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!
Entries tagged with: toys
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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!
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!
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!
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.
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.
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!
Wow. Ferg is taking Project Squadt to the next level with Squadt Assembly, which he has been teasing us with on his instagram for some time now… This exhibition/pop-up-shop at Rotofugi in Chicago opens April 5th, and those who attend have the chance to build their own Squadt characters with lots of special creatures and accessories - from various eye colors, hoodies, tees, sniper rifles, knives, rocket launchers, packs, vests, and more… as well as exclusives that aren’t even available on the preview). Additionally there will be fun Squadt merch for humans like pint glasses, clothing, stickers, etc! Take a peek at some of the epic options and the promo video on the next page… and for those unavailable to make it to Chicago for the opening, there’s a lottery to build one online depending on what is left.
p.s. Yes, the top pic is totally what i’d build… only maybe with the skull parka instead if it’s one of the specials…
Wow. Tonight Emilio Garcia presented ARThropod Brain by Tokyoplastic at the Toy Art Gallery… and it is spectacular. Brains + bugs + 3D printing + hand painted high gloss metallics + skull faces + giant jumping brains and so much more… and a chance to meet the artists who have inspired NOTCOT for years now in person! It’s crazy to see that after 8 years of NOTCOTness, and over 53,000 posts that have made the front page of NOTCOT.org over the years, we’ve been writing about Tokyoplastic since the first thousand posts! (Their geisha drum machine flash piece is a classic, and we still reference it regularly) There has also been much love for Emilio Garcia’s Jumping Brains on NOTCOT for years, and they adorn the walls and shelves in NOTlabs too! Fanboying aside - these guys have been great inspiration over the years, and meeting them in person, and seeing this latest collection of work was incredible!
So back to the ARThropod Brain opening tonight is not only a beautiful collection of work, but technologically, it was great to hear that this collaboration came together through their digital models (where you can easily see Emilio’s brain motifs merging with the anatomically precise anthropods of Tokyoplastic) ~ which were then 3D printed by Shapeways, and then hand painted to have their metallic sheens. A nice example of taking 3D printing to the next level to create beautiful works of art - and digital collaboration from across countries! Take a peek at the show details on the next page, as well as Emilio’s new Skull Brains, and some huge jumping brains too!
Our little NOTpuppy, Bucky, has been jumping like crazy learning to catch things in mid air. In that photoshoot, there’s an awesome little fox toy that has a squeaky ball for a body a knot to start its tail with a squeaker in it! And being a labrador retriever (they are quite the obsessive chewers!) with his adult teeth now, he’s obliterating stuffed toys in minutes already (even the so called “tough/chew guards” don’t stand a chance with their weak points), yet somehow this cheap (3$), adorably distressed looking little fox from Target’s fun Boots & Barkley dog product line keeps surviving the last few weeks! Impressed, i had to go find more! There’s the fox, beaver, and platypus in a few different colors… and they all have amusing distressed eyes that are too cute while being whipped about by Bucky. Take a peek at all the details on the next page!
Back in October 2012 in Toronto’s Royal Bank Plaza, a shipping container sized structure popped up alongside a new Audi Quattro A4. In the glowing glass container, you’d find quite the slot car track, essentially a tiny Audi wonderland, which you could race through via iPads. Audi Canada and Slot Mods USA took the traditional slot car track to a new level, as this one included 3D printed 1:32 scale Audi A4s that you drive with an iPad and custom cameras. Bummed you missed it? Me too. Lucky for you and I they released a great making-of video about the process of creating the interactive installation.
The short film, Painting Coconuts - The Audi Quattro Experience, is filled with inspiring craft and passion. It follows David Beattie, owner of Slot Mods USA, and his team as they produce the one of a kind interactive artwork. Every detail is painstakingly hand crafted. The trees are made from dried Japanese Sedum flowers, custom circuits were built for the POV cameras, and when sourcing a 1:32 scale model of the current A4 proved difficult, they 3D scanned a real one and used the digital file to 3D print the slot cars. Check out the making- of video and lots of close ups on the next page…
For a love of all things matte black - these Alexander Wang Objects Collection made me laugh… matte black Inflatable Shark! And Beach Ball… and Pool Ring! Also amusing - the Dog Collar & Leash, perfect for Bucky our black lab on special occasions? See more on the nest page!
We’ve been following and loving the paper craft characters of Shin Tanaka for some time now… So, while at the LA Auto Show, i was delighted to find scattered around the Scion booth were Shin Tanaka DIY Collabos with Scion… fun Paper Shapers of Scion FR-S, iQ, xB, xC, and xD complete with little speaker sneakers, arms, and more. Too adorable to pass up - i just sat and made them all to share with you! Supposedly there is an app available where you can customize, print, and build your own - but i can’t find it in any app store yet (let me know if you have more luck?) See details as well as an animated teaser video on the next page!
Remember when we showed you our first pack of AJ’s Original Toy Boarders? Think little green army men - only skaters? Well he’s back with Toy Boarders Series 2!!! And this time there’s even a girl cruising along… and a filmer with video camera… as well as a Bomber, Front Lipslide, Backside Boardslide, Switch, 50/50m and Tailgrab. For 5$ a pack of 24… these are perfect for stocking stuffers or even decorating cupcakes!Take a peek at everything in the new series on the next page up close!
p.s. This is also a sneak preview of one of the goodies you can win during the annual NOTCOT Holiday Giveaways starting black friday! Stellar line up this year!!!
Wishing i were in Chicago for this stunning “Souls Gone Mad” Sculptures and Photographs by Mark Landwehr and Sven Waschk [Coarse] at Rotofugi Gallery - running November 3-December 2, 2012. The body of work looks absolutely mind blowing… and the owls are too cute! You can get the full exhibit listing here, and check out Vinyl Pulse for a peek inside the show. On the next page, see some of my favorites from the show!
Phew* what a few days it has been! On Tuesday, we added a new addition to our NOTCOT family - Bucky (short for Buckminster, naturally) the 8 week old black labrador retriever puppy! (My first puppy!) This awesome little guy is a ball of non stop energy, and we’ve been lucky that he’s magically house broken, sleeping through the night, and great with other people, dogs, machines and more… but it also means he learns crazy fast, can get sneaky, and can’t get enough play time sprinting throughout the house and yard when not sleeping or eating! It has also become clear that this little guy is going to get HUGE! And since Shawn has a big, older, 120 pound lab back home in TN - i’ve been getting caught up on what toys will and will not stand up to the hardcore, persistent chewing of a lab in full force…
So we’re starting Bucky off right - and trying to find the most fun, chew-proof toys that will last (besides the usuals we already have at home that he’s loving - tennis balls, hockey sticks, etc) - and aren’t too hard on the eyes (it’s been mind numbing seeing how much terrible stuff there is out there - both in aesthetics and quality!)… On the next page you can see some of the things we’ve bought, as well as some i’m curious about…
P.S. Do you have a dog? What are his/her favorite toys that have been exciting and lasted well?
They’re here!!! For those following on twitter/instagram, you’ve been seeing peeks of NOTlabs turning into a laser cutting puzzle factory… cutting 50 limited edition Chris Yates Studios’ Bafflers in the first CLEAR editions! The first 25 will be kept in “Total Clarity” and the second 25 will be hand painted on both sides for the “First Frost” versions… with his signature hand sprayed paint splatter (only in a translucent and opaque mix this time!) on both sides, each “First Frost” will be truly unique.
If you’re unfamiliar with Chris Yates’ puzzles, the name “Bafflers” makes complete sense as soon as you dump the pieces out and start to try to reassemble. Each and every insane (sometimes multilayer) puzzle is hand cut out of wood on a scroll saw, hand painted, and “made to last generations”… they are truly maddening works of art. (See his traditional creation process here.) Turning these into clear acrylic has in no way made his Bafflers any easier… having accidentally dumped out the clear puzzle while first working on the prototype, it certainly took a bit of time (but not TOO much) to get it back together… and perhaps the most mind twisting part of cutting the batch of 50 has been transferring the cut pieces from the laser bed to the stacks of finished puzzles, and every time they come apart slightly, if a piece flips over, etc., it takes a few to piece them all back together! We’ve cut and inspected each and every puzzle, and are so excited to help Chris bring these “Aperture” limited edition clear Bafflers into the world! Take a peek at more details and a peek at the making of on the next page!
Adorable! Papafoxtrot Space Fleet! With gorgeous packaging too! Designed for Papafoxtrot by Postlerferguson - “We have selected the 5 most iconic unmanned spacecraft circling the earth and transformed them into Papafoxtrot`s iconic design language which we developed with our series of wooden cargo vessels a year ago. From an interplanetary garbage collection to a future commercial spacebus to Mars these amazing machines are making the world go round day and night. The satellites are made out of maple as well as laser etched stainless steel parts with polished natural wood, matte white and glossy red finish.” Take a peek at Spektr-R, GEOTAIL, Cygnus, Dragon, and ORS-1 on the next page…
Another whimsical find from 100% Design this year were these adorably little, concrete versions of rubber duckies from Gray Concrete. Where some brands might still have stress ball creature swag at their booth, Gray had these little ducklings decorating their stand in a wide range of colors- really bringing concrete to life. It has been interesting to see the trend in concrete coming to a smaller scale and more playful functions… from lots of DIY cement planter molds to jewelry and more. Check out more photos of the concrete duckies on the next page!
MAMMUT!!! I can’t believe this swiss outdoor gear brand is already 150 years old! It’s adorable mammoth logo in black, red, and white has always pulled me in. I won’t deny that it played a big role in one of my pack purchases… that and their amazing detailing and quality! So when i wandered through the main square in Linz late that first night the Mammut store instantly caught my attention. Excitedly today, we finally had time to go in, and not only was it great to see all the products online in person, there was MORE ~ their adorable mammoth logo was in various plush sizes, on a mug, and even available as indoor rock climbing holds! Being another impulse post while running around the city, all the pics are from my HTC One S… take a peek at the fun mammoth details on the next page!
It has been amazing to witness the development of the Free Universal Construction Kit that NOTlabs’ own Shawn Sims and our friend Golan Levin created ~ and even more incredible to see the eye opening discussions it has sparked far beyond the interoperability of toy sets, but on patent/IP law, the future of 3D printing, open source physical forms, and much more around the globe… and now it has brought them (and me along with them!) to Linz, Austria for the Ars Electronica Festival, where the project has received the Award of Distinction in Hybrid Art from the Prix Ars Electronica. In addition to the award, Golan will be speaking tomorrow on the opening day of the festival, Shawn will be speaking on Sunday, and for the first time, the Free Universal Construction Kit can be seen in its entirety along with a selection of playful assemblages we created demonstrating various toys playing nicely together at the OK “Offenes Kulturhaus” CyberArts12 Exhibition! (Big thank you to the kind folks at Instructables for their support of the project! They produced the full set of pieces showing at CyberArts12!)
So, we’ve just spent the last day setting up the display for the exhibition ~ and i’m thrilled to give you an early sneak peek before tomorrow’s opening!
If you need a refresher on the project: Toys (specifically Lego, Lincoln Logs, Duplo, Fischertechnik, K’nex, Krinkles, Tinkerytoy, Zome, Zoob, Gears Gears Gears, etc) + 3D printer + Free Universal Construction Kit = MORE ways to play with your toys! And all of the pieces are available for download (open source!) on Thingiverse, which you can either print on your own 3D Printer, or send them to a 3D printing service (like Shapeways!)