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.
Entries tagged with: toys
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On sex toys and massage tools that you can leave out, and people can easily assume they are sculptural play things - Jimmyjane has done it again with their new line of CONTOUR Ceramic Massage Stones. "Jimmyjane introduces CONTOUR Ceramic Massage Stones, offering a modern take on traditional hot stone massage. With smooth, polished surfaces, they glide over the skin, relieving tension as they go. CONTOUR Ceramic Massage Stones retain heat, and can be used at different temperatures for extra stimulation - warm them up to soothe or cool them down to refresh. Made from double-fired porcelain, they're ergonomic, bio- compatible, durable and easy to clean. With every surface designed for massage, each CONTOUR offers limitless possibilities." The designs are designed in house, and certainly have that distinctively minimalist style that is so Jimmyjane. For a mere $25 each, i'm extremely curious to get a pair to experiment with! See more close ups, and more information about the CONTOUR line (including some massage techniques) on the next page!
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!
NOTCOT Note: Here's another post from our friends at Sub-Studio!
Keeseh Studio is a design studio run by two talented RISD grads, Asher Dunn and Shane Richards. Both graduated this year - I was impressed by the quality of their student work and am looking forward to see what comes out of their studio this coming year.
Above is Asher's Upholstered Chair - I love the bent laminate chair shell - how the back curves to form the rear legs and how it sandwiches the cushions together. Also shown is his Serving Utensil, a nice translation of a common household object.
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!
So. Cute. Adfunture has teamed up with quite the lineup: DITA Eyewear, Staple Design, Suitman, Revelator, Black Cross, GUE and Puma, to create this 100 piece limited edition series of YOKA SC Edition. The 10-inch tall vinyl figure will be put up for sale on June 12th, 2008. $100usd each, and only 100 pieces will be available. All sales will be donated to Red Cross Society of China. It's absolutely beautiful, and a gorgeous gesture on all of their parts to help with the tragedy in China... i particularly like the puma branding on his feet. More images 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.
Really. A free classic for download on the Hermes site... i thought it was bizarre when Fendi went all DIY with its white canvas baguette that came with Pantone markers, but to see Hermes release Hermes Branded pdf's of DIY cut+glue models of Kelly bags... i just had to laugh. Then press print. Then post.
How do you feel about it? Is it awesome that these luxury brands are reaching out so strongly to a younger demographic? Embracing the DIY/customization trends... taking inspiration from dunnys and paper craft trends? Or does it cheapen the brands? Honestly, i'm pretty out of it, and not sure what to make of it. But first impression is certainly that these could be cute (cheap) branded place cards for a girly dinner party quite easily... See more screenshots and the pdf on the next page!
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!
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.
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...)
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!
Ready for a slightly more adult version of Spin The Bottle this Valentine's Day? Well Jimmyjane has you covered. This Valentine's Day from 6pm-8pm at the Gerber Group Bars and W Hotels Worldwide for the Spin Me Launch Parties. SPIN ME: Game of Mischief - "Remember “Spin the Bottle”? Well, we thought we’d raise the stakes a bit. The game of our youth lacked a bit of variety, so we’ve added a few plot twists. Some of those twists are G-Rated; others are closer to R or even, well, let’s just call it NC-17. To play: SPIN, READ, OBEY and REPEAT." See closeups below ~ an example game is "Let's Mingle: Take your SPIN ME game over to another table and ask them to play."