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!
Entries tagged with: toys
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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!
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!