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!
Entries tagged with: toys
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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!
So, thanks to a few awesome toy/webcomic friends, i found myself hiding out in San Diego the last few days at Comic Con ~ while there… the first annual International Designer Toy Awards (DTA) were hosted at SDCC 2011 this year! And close friend and maker of creatures and androids, Andrew Bell, won FAN FAVORITE!!! (Congrats, Andy!)
What did winners receive? These awesome golden TOY KING trophies designed by Pete Fowler ~ so after a fun night out, we couldn’t resist a litte hotel room photoshoot to share just how awesome Fowler’s trophy is! (From all angles, and posed with one of the new limited edition Androids of course!) Check out all the pics on the next page!
Somedays you just wander into things you’ve always thought about buying… and can’t resist. I’ve always been curious about these Marshalls ~ marshmallow characters from 64 Colors ~ since posting them on NOTCOT.org ages ago ~ and the toasted ones are all different! Hand “toasting” creates unique colorations for each one ~ and i couldn’t help but go through a few before picking this guy. And while at the Rotofugi booth, the new limited edition glow in the adorable sidekick of a puppy, Gumdrop, was too cute to resist as well. Take a peek at their booth and close ups of the two on the next page!
Toys! Toys! Toys! I forgot what chaos the world of comicon is ~ but there are so many fun art toys to be stared at in one place. While i desperately need to crash before more madness tomorrow (and i’ll be helping out at the Dumbrella booth #1337 around 1-3ish if you want to come visit) ~ had to show you some of the random toy goodness that ended up in my camera… explore it all on the next page! And more posts to come on goodies i couldn’t resist, etc… soon? Perhaps.
p.s. HUGE thank you to The Vinyl Frontier for helping get me a last minute pass to SDCC to check out all the toys ~ i was a bit slow on the press reg and missed it… but he saved the day! Check out The Vinyl Frontier on DVD ~ good stuff if you’re into the world of vinyl toys!
Adorable HUGE “Make Summer Funner” campaign installations by Target are popping up ~ just spotted these time lapse videos of the making of the giant iconic Little Tikes Turtle Sandbox in Chicago and the Sprinkler in Houston over at AdWeek… such a fun idea, would love to see them in person, check out the vids on the next page!
Taking what may be my first actual full on “break” in a few years this week… it should come as no surprise that my life became filled with silliness and toys… so let’s kick off this catch up post with: Xploderz and their H2GROW Ammo - after having them on NOTCOT.org, when i ran across these new age water guns in person, i HAD to get one. So, here’s an unboxing of the Xploderz Xranger 2000 and a peek at how the pellets become the ammo you see. On first impressions, LOVE the concept, but the execution does leave quite a bit to be desired. The balls are actually more Tapioca/Boba/Bubble tea like… think jello jiggler marbles that smoosh on contact. You won’t really be hurting each other with these, but they do shoot impressively far and straight. Be warned though, if you’re preparing for a full on war, prep early, it takes over 4 hours to have a fresh set of ammo soak up its full potential… experiments to try later: can these become jello shots? can you use other similarly sized pellets? Frozen pellets? And to mitigate the disappointment, these are all about the novelty of the ammo… the gun doesn’t let you actually pull the trigger and the plastic/design of the gun leaves something to be desired. To launch, you pull and release, essentially launching the pellet… you also have to reload between each shot. But ~ on to the details to give you a better feel of this Xploderz Xranger 2000 and it’s jello shot like pellets, check out the next page!
As a new mom, it is easy to be overwhelmed by the amount of baby stuff out there. Skip Hop is a favorite of mine for their refreshingly playful and modern designs, and for their affordable prices. I got to go to their offices to check out their Fall 2011 preview, where there were lots of new additions to the Skip Hop collection. I also got a behind the scenes look at Skip Hop’s design space, and met their lead designer (who is seven months pregnant!). Check out some photos from my visit on the next page!
Just in from the UK ~ Justine just checked out Clerkenwell Design Week!
Nostalgia just hit ~ remember those pin art toys from the… 80s? Just lost a little time ending up on searching for the old ones! Found info on it on Wikipedia - random fun fact? “The pinscreen was popularized in the 1985 music video for the Midge Ure song “If I Was”, which included a giant body-sized version.” They are even still available on Amazon!
But i digress… this installation from Clerkenwell Design Week is “Be a Pin Up!” from Lulu Guinness, there she is with it above (pics from her blog). The giant frame of pins is situated in front of the iconic London landmark, St John’s Gate and lets the public create full body sized portraits using the 6,000 chromed capped aluminum pins. Here are a few pics of the images created by passerbys. Check out the pics on the next page!
We’re not really sure what’s going on with these yet… but Justine found these Mr. Potato Head’s in the windows of Liberty in London. With a twist ~ paired with designer fashions…. there are literally bags of real potatoes… adorned with gold spray painted Mr. Potato Head parts! See more close ups of the bizarreness on the next page!
On fun design spotted in real life ~ just noticed the new Alfredo Haberli Carafe for Georg Jensen at La Rinascente in the design supermarket… and it seems to be half the price of what i’m seeing online (though i can’t find it for the life of me on the Georg Jensen site)! While we saw the preview on NOTCOT.org of the new collection from Alfredo Haberli, in person, it drew me in with the wooden spinning top of a stopper of course (remember these and these?) ~ AND, you can even buy just the top over at Unica. Take a peek at it up close on the next page!
Rapid 3d printing in the real world! Love this video that Justine found… i’ll let her fill you in on the rest!
Souvenirs are way more fun when you make them yourself. I loved pressing pennies as a kid, but never dreamed I might be able to make a 3D print of myself! Love this project called Be Your Own Souvenir from Barcelona based blablabLab.
The project uses custom software developed using openKinect and openFrameworks. To create an army figurine style souvenir, visitors use 3 kinect sensors to create a 360-degree scan which creates input pointclouds. Meshlab then uses these combined pointclouds to create a Poisson reconstruction, which is cleaned up via Blender and Skeinforge before being fed into a cnc machine (Rapman 3.1), which prints out the souvenir. Voila! Now, seriously, check out the pics and video of it in action on the next page!
I’ve always wanted one of Emilio Garcia’s Jumping Brains by Lapolab… remember the peek at the making-of the new Brain Hues? When i popped by The Toy Art Gallery to pick up Squadt ~ it was the Brain Hues launch day, and a few still remained… so i picked two up! Their pearlized finishes make them perfect to photograph in the sun out in the yard… So take a peek at my random little backyard photoshoot and the packaging/limited edition details!
Oh, Project Squadt (A collaborative effort between Ferg and ThreeZero, brought to you by Jamungo). Amazing creatures ~ beings? ~ with masks, and faces, and interchangeable eyes, and some bad ass weaponry. I’ve always wanted one… never quite made the lightning fast online limited edition sales… so when i stumbled upon some in the Toy Art Gallery Store, i couldn’t resist. And upon realizing they were right here in LA ~ popped over to the store to pick it up! While i still wish i could find one of the gas mask guys ~ for now i’m playing with Squadt NKD Jack + QPMNT PAC 1! Complete with bathrobe, various arms, tactical knife, tactical chest rig, sUMP, sMK23 with holster, and long sleeve shirt. They really are so photogenic too… see him in various set ups and unboxing on the next page!
p.s. how awesome are the dogs?
New Lapolab Jumping Brains in a whole colorwheel of spectrums: Brain Hue. These 2” pearlized vinyls will be released monthly, starting today, March 14th! The series is limited to 20 collections! ! See the making of on the next page, and a peek at them too…
This CES content is sponsored by BestBuyOn.com. Thanks, Best Buy!!!
AR.Drones have come a long way since they mesmerized us at CES with their amazing iPhone controlled flying machine last year… that was in a huge net on the show floor… well this year, they have a great space outside! And it’s definitely had me watching, mesmerized, wondering how i’ve managed not to give in to one of them yet. Or TWO… you can even played augmented reality shooter games with them now… (see the video on the next page to make sense of it)… see more pics on the next page of them in action. It’s hard not to want an iPhone/iPad controlled wifi AR qudricopter!
Merry Christmas! Not sure why i’m up at 4am on christmas… and yes, still playing with toys into the night. Kidrobot sent over a fun christmas surprise ~ The Burglars Dunny by Saner… and the flocked santa beard was so hilarious, i couldn’t help but mix and match the accessories instantly. Doesn’t this Rocketworld guy just look far more distinguished in mustache/beard while wielding his spork? Really, all he needs is a monocle now! And you should see the James Jarvis King Ken snow gorilla with the reindeer skull on a stick! Oh, and the actual Santa Barbaja character too… see it all on the next page!
On going full circle ~ the toy movement has come back around to stunning luxurious porcelain figurines… French company, Art & Toy, has just started selling the new figures by K. Olin Tribu, who has worked with the finest porcelain sculpture modeler, great artists and designers to manufacture limited edition toys in Limoges porcelain. The beautiful Potamus Anarchy figures in black and red editions is a collaboration between Frank Kozik & K.Olin Tribu. There’s something so awesome about seeing the signature angsty cigarette wielding creatures of Kozik cast in porcelain… anarchy gone fine art? And in such beautiful packaging as well! See lots of detail pics on the next page…
Gift Guide time! In addition to the NOTCOT Holiday Coupons and the many Holiday Giveaways that will be unfolding daily… and today we’re looking at TOYS! And fun things for big kids and little kids… This gift guide is sponsored by Starbucks who is celebrating their 12 Days of Sharing with us; hiding fun goodies, which are popping out from behind NOTCOT.org posts! Now ~ on to the gift guide picks on the next page!
Black and white? Wood blocks? Golden Ratio? How could i not give in to it? Besides, a gorgeous desk toy to help distract and inspire while i work my way through the fun and craziness that is the upcoming Holiday Gift Guides and Giveaways… perfect! Swiss company, Naef, makes some of the nicest quality wood toys, and they appeal to the beautiful simplicity of geometric shapes to create unthinkably inspiring complexities. Their description of the Naef Tectus? “Impressive architecture This cube is divided several times in adherence to the golden ratio and surrounded by black shapes. During play, these become foundations, walls or roofs and a player the architect. Everything fits into each other harmoniously.”
Ok i keep getting far too distracted constructing buildings across my desk as i attempt to write this post. So go take a look at the unboxing of this gorgeous Naef Tectus on the next page…
The Tegu guy made me a castle! With a draw bridge! Out of magnetic wood blocks! LIVE! That was my silly excitement this morning as they let me put in the first request as Tegu LIVE! went… well, live. These playful magnetic wood building blocks made from sustainable tropical hardwoods in Honduras are inspired by the gorgeous european wood toys… with a magnetic twist. While kids of all ages can make anything they can dream up, to help inspire everyone, Tegu and Poke NY have teamed up to build a non stop live stream of a mysterious man in a tegu lab coat of sorts who will take your requests via Twitter, Facebook, and livestream for things to build. And poof just like that, he builds them for you! And then sadly deconstructs them as quickly as they came to be. Though, i’m told not to worry, since all designs will be archived for future viewing! If you’re curious what they are capable of, go make your request at Tegu LIVE!. They sent me a few cases to play with, and their packaging is awesomely fun as well… so take a peek on the next page for the products, packaging, AND my castle in action!
Lelo INSIGNIA ~ the Swedish brand’s latest line of luxurious pleasure objects launched this week, marked with the triple loop infinity symbol! Taking the pleasure out of the bedroom, they even include a beautiful INSIGNIA Brooch in each gift box, which can easily be worn in plain view, as if part of a secret society, where anyone who responds or reacts to it, you’ll know they too… love… pleasure… and beautiful objects? The symbol also houses the three buttons on each of the objects in the collection (Alia, Isla, and Soraya) and each has a void through the shiny metallic core that you can slip your fingers through to easily grasp them. All are waterproof, powerful, and discreetly quiet, and come in a gift box that looks topographically inspired when the object is removed. See a close up of the design details as i unbox the Soraya on the next page, as well as a peek at the Alia and Isla.
Mmmmmm… on sunday fun, while working my way through the backlog of stuff that awaited me here in LA when i got home, Linhchi and i decided to try out Vosges ULTIMATE Chocolate Chip Cookie Mix ~ when a delicious chocolatier decides to go cookie mix, how could we not try? And if you follow their instructions exactly, they are HUGE! We’ve also enlisted some of the Kidrobot 2Tone Dunny characters to help us out for a sense of scale! On the next page, take a peek at their awesome packaging, cheeky copy, our experience baking them, and of course, the final product!
Paul Budnitz’s I Am Plastic, Too is like a who’s who of toys. Everyone’s in there And the photographs are so beautiful, for all the collectibles/art pieces you may have missed, or didn’t have room on the shelf for, you can admire them for eternity in his second book. It’s no surprise that the founder of Kidrobot has issued what looks like the ultimate glossy toy yearbook… so many NOTCOT friends and favorites are included from the Rocketworld guys to Andy Bell to Amanda Visell to Joe Ledbetter to…. really there are too many to name, and too many gorgeous pages in the book… so i tried to take pics of things that excited me as i flipped through it! In addition to rounding up some of the best toys of the year, there are also interviews scattered throughout the book with various artists. And as such a lovely coffee table book, definitely adding this one to the gift list for any toy art lover! Take a browse through the book with me on the next page!