Another comic-con is upon us ~ and last night did a quick loop around preview night to see what inspiration and amusement was around. While not nearly as crazed feeling as previous years felt (so far!) ~ here’s a peek at the toys and displays that grabbed me! From hover boards and monstrous creatures from the Hobbit ~ to angry woebots and kobe ~ HUGE transformers to shrympees and rhinos ~ Hypnotoad to monster toytems ~ and so much more! Take a peek at day one on the next page!
Entries tagged with: toys
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The details of Project Squadt toys are just incredible. From the design to the fashions to the weapons and more… they are just stunning! Remember my first Squadt NKD Jack? Well thanks to a little mix up and an incredibly kind offer from designer, Ferg, when the shipments got mixed up for my fr0g s001 + K11 spot [swamp dwllr] and the fr0g s003 with K11 spot [frozn whole] were sent instead, 3 generous options were given: 1. Keep the frog s003/k11 2. Send the frog s003/k11 back and receive your fr0g s001/k11 as ordered. 3. Keep the fr0g s003/k11 and pay an additional $115 and receive your fr0g s001/k11 in addition. Naturally, i couldn’t resist keeping the s003 and paying the difference to get the s001! The scuba diver in me adores this series more than the others ~ having a soft spot for the velcro on scuba tank/helmet and those adorable fins ~ especially cute on the surveillance camera headed dog of a K11 spot… and the tiny zipper work, and the side pouches velcro off… even the speargun has the most unbelievably thin spear that fits inside it! Take a peek at all the details and a few other Playge/Squadt goodies on the page!
… and if you’re here at SDCC too, go get the gohst s003!
For his BA Graphic Design course at Plymouth College of Art, Ross Penrose created a line of merchandise inspired by Channel 4’s Inside Nature’s Giants series. Ross came up with the idea when watching the fascinating anatomical series (as we all do!). I love the detailing of his work. The beautiful scale models are pre-laser cut on sheets of plywood (with gorgeous detailing!) and all come together in a single pack including a hardcover book of information about the anatomy of the species you construct! More photos on the next page.
It has been quite the (educational) adventure joining our NOTlabs director, Shawn Sims, and Golan Levin as they launched their Free Universal Construction Kit project… from learning about toys and 3d modeling, to the different 3D printing techniques and materials, to Intellectual Property and Patent law! One of the most exciting and interesting aspect of the project to me personally has been what the average person without access to top of the line manufacturing machines can really 3D print at home, and how does it work? Thanks to the amazing folks at MakerBot, today we got to find out through their Replicator (with dual extruders)!
Anyone can download the variety of Free Universal Construction Kit pieces on Thingiverse, send them to their 3D printer, and shortly after have toy adapters to play with! Of course depending on the resolution of the printer and the printing technique, some pieces will work better than others, so it was thrilling tonight to get to try them out on the MakerBot (the originals were made on an Objet) ~ on the next page you can see a full unboxing and the preparation of the MakerBot Replicator as well as our first “home” printing of some Free Universal Construction Kit toys! (And yes, this is the kind of project that has kept us busy in the NOTlabs till 4:30am!)
The latest from London-based editor, Justine Aw.
As part of Selfridges’ Big British Bang, the department store have turned their Wonder Room into a Big British Shop, full of all sorts of iconic celebrations of Britishness, and among them are a host of tiaras! Including this ‘Magic Crystal Tiara’ from Bompas & Parr. Watch a timelapse of our crystal tiara growing and more photos on the next page.
Inspiration in the randomest of places ~ ART IS MEDICINE! I remember vaguely seeing pictures of these little Zee pill toys by swiss toy makers, URFabulous (whose website is sadly no longer up!) years and years ago, but only just ran into a case of them yesterday and couldn’t resist the adorable little blind boxes. The packaging and pharmaceutical-esque copy heavy “instructions” that accompany it are even crazier than most you will get with real medication! See more pics and a full unboxing on the next page!
Magis’ Me Too collections always have such awesomely playful pieces… this year’s addition launched at Milan is Marc Newson’s Rocky. A rocking horse of course! The official info - “The second of Marc Newson’s designs for Children, Rocky is a modern take on a traditional object, a pop version taking its character loosely from medieval jousting horses. The parallelogram motion mimics the movement of a traditional rocking horse. It is made from rotationally moulded polyethylene chosen for both its durability and recyclability.” Adorable isn’t it? See another pic on the next page…
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! Picture the crazy structures you (or your kid’s) wildest imagination can flourish in as every piece can connect to every other piece… or how many more toys you will need to buy to fully utilize the Free Universal Construction Kit’s capabilities…
While the monster of a Universal Adapter Brick was quietly launched at Golan Levin’s Eyecode solo show at UCI’s Beall Center for Art + Technology a few months ago, it’s exciting to see the rest of the kit finally available! So, freshly launched this morning from Golan Levin at F.A.T. Lab and our own head of NOTlabs, Shawn Sims comes the Free Universal Construction Kit. It is “a collection of nearly 80 adapter bricks that enable complete interoperability between ten popular children’s construction toys. By allowing any piece to mate with any other, the Kit encourages totally new forms of intercourse between otherwise closed systems — enabling radically hybrid Constructivist play and the creation of heretofore impossible designs.”
You can see the full chart of all pieces, download the full .stl pack, find just the piece you need on Thingiverse, and even watch the 80’s style advert for Free Universal Construction Kit on the next page!
Next… if you have a 3D printer, and have fun toys, AND print out some pieces… i’d love to see what you (and/or your kids) create with them!!! Please share pics!!!
On 5$ impulse buys… i couldn’t resist. Toy Boarders!!! You get 24 little skateboarders! (No girls though, perhaps in their future packs… or snow or surf packs to come?) A fun twist on classic toy soldiers these little plastic guys are made in china but come from super local San Clemente, CA! Adorable… they are skating around our whole office and house now… take a peek at the silliness in a bag on the next page! (The video is pretty fun too!)
Happy March! We’re kicking off this month with an awesome giveaway and unboxing of the gorgeous porcelain limited edition Potamus Red Anarchy by Frank Kozik & K.Olin Tribu. We first wrote about these beautiful pieces back in 2010… and having one in person in front of me, it’s even more beautiful than i imagined. The packaging is stunning as well… and the detail of a porcelain disk and ribbon sealing the box as well as a porcelain CARD with a special web password as the certificate of authenticity. The details are incredible… both the figurine and the presentation box are made in Limoges, France.
… and the folks at k.olin tribu are generously giving away one Potamus Red Anarchy by Frank Kozik & K.Olin Tribu to a lucky reader who leaves a message on their Facebook wall sharing where you would put this awesome Potamus if you win! He will pick the winner on March 5th! You must be a fan of K.Olin tribu page to be eligible.
And as for now ~ take a peek at the unboxing and details on the next page!
p.s. free shipping with code NOTCOT on the K.Olin Tribu website during the contest!
While exploring the Toy Fair, we ran into our old friends from Mimoco! They’ve come a long way since we first started posting about them in 2005! From a variety of artist Mimobots series, licensed characters, hoodies, and more… they have now veered into Mimomicros! These are new characters that have a flip out USB plug and you can put in any sized microSD card to use them as usb keys… or just use them to transfer info from phones/cameras/etc that use microSDs. Take a peek at the fun Mimoco toy fair booth (How fun are the turntable/record like displays you can really spin? Sadly no music plays though!) as well as close ups of the new Mimomicros on the next page!
While i’ve seldom had the traditional “family vacation” as a kid ~ talking to NOTlabs director, Shawn, i found out that he knows HomeAway well! Apparently his mom’s been booking everything from houses in the Rockies, French Quarter in New Orleans, and Utah Ski trips on the site ~ and they often associate family vacations with insane jigsaw puzzles and toys… so when HomeAway asked us to share some awesomeness around family travel… adventures at the NY International Toy Fair seemed like a perfect fit! There were SO many random toys in every genre you can imagine, so to narrow it down, here’s a selection of our favorites that are perfect to keep kids (both actually young and young at heart) occupied in the car/plane en route or curled up by the fireplace/dining table when just hanging out! Ready to see some crazy puzzles, fun magnetic building toys, turtles, mazes, paper animals, electronic experiments and more? To the next page!
This season Areaware is launching this series of adorable new beech wood animals by Karl Zahn (who was also behind Areaware’s animal boxes. The new selections include a set of dovetail animals as well as stackable crocodiles! Each of the dovetail animals is composed of three segments, so you can mix and match parts from the five styles: dog, llama, elephant, horse and crocodile. More photos and a video of the new wooden animals on the next page.
So, you’ve seen the AMAZING video of the dutchman in the woods introducing Cubelets (if not, you must). Well, i finally had a date with Modular Robotics Cubelets ~ and got to explore and create with them over beers and bruschetta while at CES. Fun part? Building autonomous robots that can drive themselves, run away from me, run to me, spin lights around, and beep away… all while navigating around the place settings and deliciousness. There’s something undeniably satisfying about the way the magnetic blocks snap together and just start DOING things! And their natural ability to pique the curiosity of people of any age to just get lost exploring the possibilities… truth is, you definitely need a table full to properly explore the overwhelming amount of options… and i love that it feels like true object oriented programming ~ in that you literally connect blocks that have various functions… like the light sensor block to the inverse block to the flashlight block and add a battery block and things just start happening!
Anyhow, these fun robotic cubes have been getting written up everywhere ~ but are you ready to take a peek INSIDE? When popping by the booth the next day, the Modular Robotics team broke out the leatherman and let us take a peek inside an inverse block ~ granted it’s one of the less filled cubes ~ but I love the design of how it opens (and is held together with two little screws!)… also if you ever want to hide things in your robotic cubes……… see more pics on the next page!
Unexpectedly fun and addictive ~ the Fling and Fling Mini suction joysticks from Ten One Design for touch screens are great. There’s something unbelievably satsifying about the way the action of the joystick movement feels ~ also the design is ingeniously simple. “Fling is constructed from silky-smooth anodized aluminum, and an incredibly tough, perfectly clear, and unusually flexible engineering-grade resin. It’s nearly indestructible, and will give you years of precision gaming.” Take a peek at more pictures on the next page…
On more fun things i’m excited to finally see in person at CES tomorrow ~ Cubelets! The robotic building blocks from Modular Robotics, a spin-off from Carnegie Mellon University (they started as RoBlocks). I’ve been hearing so much about this venture while visiting the CMU Computational Design Lab the last few months of random adventures in Pittsburgh, it’ll be nice to finally get my hands on the Cubelets and make some fun robots! But first ~ had to share their hilarious new video introducing the cubes and how they work! Just try not to get distracted by the snake skins on the wall behind the wacky guy in the video… “We shot the video last Summer at Oli’s cabin in Conifer, Colorado. It was an epic day of fliming, Cubelets fiddling, and snacking on Edam.” OK ~ go see it and fun screencaps on the next page!
Just noticed these cute DWR exclusives, Moderne Wood Animals, designed by Linnea Gits and Peter Dunham. The description reads, “The founders of the Chicago design firm called Uusi, Linnea Gits and Peter Dunham are graphic artists who have produced work for Herman Miller®, Sharpie and Prismacolor. Their Moderne Wood Animals (2011) are crafted from American black walnut and white oak veneer that’s finished with nontoxic, odorless mineral oil. The designers selected these woods for their beautiful grain and because they are materials that have a rich history in the production of American-made objects. A lot of attention goes into how the direction of the wood grain falls across the form of each animal, making each sculpture a unique piece. The Bear, Bull and Horse were inspired by the Chauvet Cave paintings discovered in France and believed to be artwork from 30,000 to 33,000 years ago. Each animal is packed in a box featuring an illustration of what’s inside. Very simple assembly required; the animals are comprised of a few pieces that need to be slotted together. Made in U.S.A.” ~ I love the shapes! It’s like the simplified/modernized version of those old wood toy skeletons of dinosaurs and such that you’d pop apart and slot together! Take a peek at the details on the next page!
Grenade Bunny!!! Tonight’s current inspiration obsession are the adorable Grenade Bunnies of Lucky Bunny ~ triggered by the giant (larger than human) one that Vinyl Pulse shared from DesignerCon this weekend… i ended up on the Lucky Bunny site, facebook, and store exploring the world of Lucky Bunny and the making of the various Grenade Bunny creatures! Take a peek on the next page… and keep an eye out for the next limited edition series of Grenade Bunnies hopefully in the near future.
I’ve been lusting after the Parrot AR.Drone for years, (remember their amazing outdoor play area at CES in jan?) not sure why i never gave in to it till now, but NOTlabs definitely needs some fun toys… and running around Fry’s, there was one just there… calling to be brought home! So here’s a peek at the unboxing ~ and a few random images from test flights… but to be honest, it’s so fun to fly, it’s hard to remember to take pics of it at the same time, especially cell phone pics since you’re using iPhone/iPad and/or Android to control it! Touted as the first AR Flying Video Game, it’s gorgeous, amusing, surprisingly stable and even has two cameras mounted on it (front facing and downward facing)… so take a look at what’s inside the box on the next page…
p.s. i’m sure Shawn will be coming up with more NOTlabs projects to dronehack this one in to when we’re not busy flying it around the lab/yard. So more to come… and we might need another to properly play each other!
p.p.s. fun to see what other apps people have been developing for it!
Tara McPherson’s Lilitu (2010) painting is going 3D ~ here’s a sneak peek at the new Kidrobot Black piece by Tara McPherson… rising up out of a pool of black with fiery red hair… This 8” vinyl will have a limited run of 200 pieces.
Who is she? “This painting is based on the Sumerian myth of the demon Lilitu. Representing chaos, seduction and ungodliness. She is a sexually charged yet infertile succubus who behaves aggressively toward men and children killing them at her every whim, her breasts are filled with poison not milk. In her every guise, Lilitu has cast an evil spell on humankind.” See a full spin around of the new vinyl on the next page… (perhaps slightly nsfw).
I couldn’t resist buying German toys at the Munich airport on the way home. Even if they are for toddlers and up… i was fascinated by the way the connectors work on the Mic-O-Mic building systems and when i couldn’t decide which to get to try it out, i bought four - a little boat, car, helicopter, and seaplane. And they are awesome! Solid plastic. Ok to toss in the water. They are connected by little plastic pegs that perfectly fit and rubbery eye mask like pieces that allow a nice flexibility to connections. They even come with a tweezer like tool made of the pieces themselves to pinch-remove or push-hammer in the pegs with. Nice simple graphical pictures to diagram how to assemble each as well, and for the more creative ones, they have extra pieces and are all modular enough to mix and match. Take a peek at the sets on the next page!
p.s. yes, i built these on the bed in my jetlaggedness…
There isn’t much to say here ~ but you can’t help but stop and stare when amongst a sea of cars you see a huge Bumblebee from Transformers between the Chevy Camaro and Volt… and secretly wish it would move. or talk. or… TRANSFORM? (And then secretly hope the rest on the floor are robots in disguise too… can you imagine which would be autobots and which would be decepticons?) This one is specially for Ganden, Shawn, and Madeline ~ take a peek at all the pics on the next page! He’s HUGE!
On delayed San Diego Comic Con adventures ~ one of the last things i imaged writing about was Disney’s Phineas and Ferb booth. But it was massive. Had impressive branding… and a converted trailer that was turned into a HUGE Platy-BUS. Seriously, how impressive and eye catching is that thing? Making of video of it on the next page is surreal. While i must admit i’ve caught a few of the cartoon episodes, enough to at least make sense of what was going on… visually, the booth was like entering a crazy cartoon world, and they definitely took it above and beyond. Inflatable tree… with karaoke, guitar, and little platypus stools beneath it… large purple “evil incorporated” blimp flying above… and food truck like trailer serving up limited edition blind box toys of Perry the platypus pet that turns super spy… Then there’s the bizarre branding overload, with nice display cases showing off everything from the Kraft Mac & Cheese version of the characters and fruit snacks to band aids and toothbrushes… as well as other toys. It looked less like they were pitching those to kids and parents, but like a brand display to show off how far they can reach. Anyhow, it was quite a world they created… So things design worthy to note? The Platy-BUS and making of, the platypus stools, and the packaging details… check it all out on the next page!
My first reaction was “omg. super hipster plush toys?” ~ then when i couldn’t seem to close the tab and kept flipping through the pics, the adorably illustrated and reversible Patrice and Beatrice grew on me. And i secretly want them both… with their hipster glasses wearing serious fronts, and their beach ready, summer loving backs (or vice versa, on which is front and which is the back) This pair of plush toys over at Smallable are an exclusive collaboration with My Name Is Simone, aka French designer, Caroline Castagna-Suarez. “Caroline Castagna-Suarez, aka Simone, finds that Sometimes, growing up stinks. Therefore, she spends her free time battling against Seriousness, in every way she can.” See close ups of these two… as well as Super zéro, Suzanne, Simon, Daisy, and Jean-Louis on the next page!
Having just shown you the awesome Toy King Trophy won by Andrew Bell and his Androids ~ seems like a good time to share some of the Android fun at SDCC too! Launching at SDCC are Android Mini Collectible Summer special editions! 2 Heroes and 2 Villains ~ one available each day… we even took one to lunch with us (see? Tortilla chip in hand and all up there!) New Sashimi color ways ~ Worrible plushes ~ Android blind box series 2 ~ and so many more goodies available at the Dumbrella booth where i was hanging out most days (booth #1337 if you want to go visit!) Also awesome, Andrew is drawing on the blanks for people if you’re not creative enough to do your own thing… and super special, you can get a peek at the wedding cake toppers he decorated on the next page… as well as a peek at the awesome packaging details of the new Summer collectibles!