Feeling a bit nostalgic today, cleaning up old pictures and posts that fell through the cracks, wanted to share these little Tiger Balm toy/marketing prototypes my grandfather made that surfaced last time i was in Singapore. So adorable and made of wood, couldn’t help snapping a bunch of pics to remember them by! So sad one of them lost an ear! And some of the springs got a bit wonky… and check out the super cute blue toes! More details on the next page…
Entries tagged with: toys
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While trying to kill time in TriBeCa between meetings, i followed a recommendation to check out Playing Mantis for some fun wooden kids toys… and found the most amazing chess set of hungarian hand carved little knights… as well as these knights on horses. As you can imagine, it took a while to pick the perfect one, and i settled on this guy, because i simply had to get some close up pics to share with you!
Shin Tanaka is indisputably one of the paper toy design masters of our generation… and his Baggies are adorable! And just in times for mother’s day for those kids out there looking for a fun way to customize a cute little something to spruce up your gift, how about making one of these your 3D gift card dancing upon the gift box? See some examples on the next page… and print one of his 3 patterns or the blank to customize yourself here!
When i visited the Oakley HQ a few months back, one of the things i quickly became obsessed with was this artist edition Antix Oakley collaboration with Mambo. Yes, its from fall 2009 ~ but how did i never notice? And how did no one tell me about 1) how amazing the concept is and 2) how cool the packaging is~ particularly in how it opens! It’s fun enough i even had to make a little video for you on the next page so you can understand what i’m talking about! But first, back to 1 ~ the concept! Why do i not have more toys that serve a higher purpose… like holding my sunglasses on my desk and looking pretty cool while doing it? With details down to certain toes being lifted up, thumbs to hold it in place, a little red tongue… It’s a stunning toy. And a mind blowing glasses holder. And we haven’t even gotten to the beautiful art work adorning all sides of the box, the sunglass’ sleeve, and the sides of the glasses themselves. See more of Flavien Demarigny, franco-hungarian artist, born in Santiago, aka Mambo’s work here. As for the details i can’t stop gushing about on this stunning Oakley artist collaboration… see the pics and video on the next page!
While in Stuttgart, i had a field day going to toy stores! Germans seem to have far more fun toys ~ particularly wooden ones and i adore their amazing puzzles and stunning miniatures! After falling for the bowl of Japanese Wooden Tops (which i can’t seem to give any away so far, they live on my table and are far too fun!) ~ i think a fascination with unique tops is growing! Quickly! So when i encountered 1000 Schoen in Stuttgart, it was hard to resist buying up the pile you see above! The incredible wooden ones are made by Mader Kreiselmanufaktur, and their site even shows them being made by hand! Absolutely fascinating! The other type i fell in love with are these metal and metal/wooden tops that initially look like gears! For the wooden ones with metal tips and a bent metal rod included, you basically insert the rod into two holes in the top, twist to wind it up, and when you let go, the tension gives you incredible spin! The flowery gear you hold between two fingers and blow to get it spinning super fast, and drop it and watch it go! The man at the store mentioned it’s great to use a straw to keep blowing on it to keep it spinning. Take a peek to see them all close up on the next page, as well as a video of some in action!
Sandy Vohr has been making the most adorable luscious little leather bean bag creatures for the last 30 years. In fact i think i even received one of her beautiful little leather frogs as a paperweight as a kid! The site even says, “The animals are made from cowhide and deerskin, and filled with various combinations of fiberfil and beadlike materials.” When i spotted the Bunny Bookends at Barneys, i got nostalgic and ended up looking up Sandy’s site… where i discovered so many new adorable leather creatures ~ from moose to dragons, robots to octopi! See some of my favorites on the next page! Looks like she’ll even do customs!
Andrew Bell’s DYZPLASTIC Android toys are finally here, and i’m a little obsessed. They are ADORABLE. And oh so detailed in all the right ways… and that glow in the dark radioactive one… just stunning. And how some have arm tattoos… or cufflinks… or tramp stamps… or awesome logos… and swirls in the eyes… you really must see them all! Also as much as i can’t stand blind box toys conceptually, i do adore that 5 year old feeling of joy when you sit and tear through a case of little boxes and their foil wrapped innards. Take a peek at all their close ups on the next page! Including two of the secret chase characters!
p.s. as i play with these, i can’t help but wonder, why don’t more OS’ have awesome little mascots?
p.p.s. Soooo, it sounds like demand has FAR exceeded expectations ~ which is awesome! Unfortunately that means these little guys are hard to get your hands on. However, Andy wanted me to assure you that there will be more Series 1 available this summer ~ which really is just a blink away… so sit tight, and/or grab some when you see them!
Tops! They are universally mesmerizing! Regardless of age, they will definitely amuse… so imagine how my eyes widened when i came upon a huge bowl of these small wooden japanese spinning tops at Tortoise in Venice Beach… i kept going through the whole bowl ~ one by one ~ and slowly ended up buying a dozen. They were all so different! So hard to resist! And many have these floating rings carved into them that float as they spin… and they make the most amazing sounds… when still, the curvatures in your hand are just so beautiful… and then get them spinning, and it’s hard not to just watch them for ages… see the videos and more pics on the next page!
On random design inspiration ~ Playmobil seems to have evolved quite a bit since i was a kid. We had the zoo, rock climbers, fancy dressed victorians with car, the teepee, and farm animals… but definitely no disheveled stubbly striped shirt, sport jacket, sunglass, and beanie wearing safe crackers… these guys even come with graspable money, a canister with hose to freeze the lock(?), silver suitcase, keys, flashlight, and even a weighty metal gold bar… best part of all, the safe is actually lockable! You can set the combination by picking two numbers… and it actually clicks as you rotate the dials.
So for random weekend experiments, had a bit too much fun taking pics of this set on the pool table…
While i’m a bit swamped in the UK ~ Linhchi has been playing with the penguins at my house in LA… and put together our second “Dear NOTCOT,” postcard! The first part of the evolution of this particular magenta penguin started here. See the details of her latest adventures with the penguin on the next page!
They are finally nearly here! Andrew Bell teased me with sneak peeks of toys in the making on his phone over lunch a few months back ~ so long as i promised to stay quiet. Well, it’s been hard! Because, we all know as fun as the Google Android phones and UI are… i’m pretty smitten with the adorable mascot. And here they finally are! A series of blind box toys bringing that adorable little Android to life!
The details? Illustrator and toy designer Andrew Bell has teamed up with a few friends at Google’s Android project to bring their green mascot to life. Presenting Android mini collectibles series 01! Each 3” vinyl figure sports one of 12 different possible designs and features a rotating head and arms. Packed in “blind boxes” so you don’t know which design you get until you open it up. Pick one up and take a chance or grab a case for a near-complete set. Available in an initial limited release later this month from dyzplastic and specialty retailers.
If you’re ready, see more details on the next page! (And notice he says “Series 01”… will there be more???)
Andy Bell is probably one of the awesomest people i’ve met in 2009 (yay, sdcc?) ~ and his red and blue sushi’s sit sadly in their boxes by my desk inspiring me daily. So you can only imagine how ridiculously giddy i’ve been photoshopping the behind the scenes pics for this feature where he gives us a look into not only how they came to be, but also a chance to giveaway one of the much coveted GREEN O-NO SUSHIs!!! Before they are even available (you can buy one in january, but you’d better be quick!)…
So if you’re ready ~ go see the making of feature as well as details on how to win one of these awesome little guys + some stickers too on the feature page!
p.s. we got a sneak peek at the green ones at SDCC
Noferin has launched their latest set of woody toys, this time a blind box set: Jibibuts! And for this Holiday feature, they give us a peek into how they are made, the full set, and even a teaser as to what those 2 super special mystery characters are… ready to take a peek? See the full story on the next page!
Also… they have sent over one full case to give to one of you! For a chance to win, leave a comment on the feature with your favorite childhood toy!
PLEASURE TO THE PEOPLE! Who can deny pleasure? Jimmyjane recently teamed up with Yves Béhar to create the new FORM 2. Great design + pleasure? That’s pretty irresistible. Jimmyjane has just released FORM 2, the first launch of PLEASURE TO THE PEOPLE, a groundbreaking new series of waterproof, rechargeable vibrators designed by Yves Béhar and Ethan Imboden. So for this latest holiday feature Jimmyjane founder (and designer!), Ethan Imboden, has decided to take us behind the scenes, sharing some amazing pics and confidential sketches, of how this pleasure object came to be.
GIVEAWAY! They really aren’t kidding around when it comes to spreading Pleasure To The People ~ they have generously given us a FORM 2 for you as well! So for a chance to win, leave us a pleasurable limerick (if you are limerick challenged, be creative and pleasurably poetic?), in the comments of the feature, and i’ll pick a winner on December 16, 2009.
Back in March of 2007, Dave Pressler sent over some adorable little Endorphins ~ and ever since, they've moved with me to various homes and always lived under or near my monitors. Who doesn't need some super happy little endorphin critters nearby at all times? Well, he's gone and dissected one of his larger ones, and anyone fascinated with anatomy can't help but to stare at what he's dreamed up is really INSIDE these guys... look at those fangs! And that skull in its... stomach? And that mini spine! It's all so fascinating, go see closeups on the next page!
On intriguing art that just showed up in my inbox, Moss in association with Edelman Arts presents Remains by Cathy McClure. "Hands wielding scissors, McClure massacres the motor-driven robotic plush toys, eviscerating them through a Geppetto-like taxidermy until she gets down, as she says, 'into the guts of the piece'." The truly amazing part isn't that she guts these toys (didn't we all as kids?) ~ but she then re-casts the parts in bronze and reassembles them! The result is fascinating... is it now high art? is it still a toy? do they still work? Apparently the original circuit boards, batteries, gears, and voice boxes are all re-installed, but you can't help but wonder how those gears will handle the new weight... looking forward to seeing these in person, they will be at Moss in NY November 20th through December 31st, with a quick trip to Miami for Art Basel Dec 2nd through 5th... see more pics and information on the next page.
Adorable! Brain Pattern Egg Qee ~ hand painted by Emilio Garcia. I've loved his brainy frogs ~ and this egg is too cute ~ its fun to see the creation process step by step ~ see pics on the next page!
Brio Network Collection ~ first time seeing it in person, i just noticed it in a tiny kids play cubby hole in Magasin 3 in Stockholm! Between the lovely space and works i totally got sucked into photographing these very well played with and possibly chewed on little woody guys reenacting how computers work... from emails to viruses and search and more! If you recall, i've written about Series 1 here and here in the past... but this is the first look at them up close, now i'm so tempted to try to track down the full set!
for americans, i found a few at Amazon: Brio Network Toys!
On a quick look at Stockholm shopping before Absolut madness kicks in... turned a corner, saw this brightly lit store of enticing colorfulness... realized it was Brio! And proceeded to let my inner 5 year old out ~ i don't think i've ever had the chance to see all of their toys in one place (we certainly only get bits and pieces of the collections in the US lately) ~ and i had no idea they had so many amazing strollers and high chairs too! Unfortunately i didn't have my proper camera (was in shopping mode!) but did snap a bunch of cell phone pics to share with you on the next page... the walrus is just adorable... the flying bunnies are hilarious... the fake cellphones cute too (but we all know kids know better and never stand for the imitation phones when they can grab at your fully functioning one!)... and yes that pez dispenser looking walrus is totally in a hoodie (and the hood can be pulled back!)... so take a peek at some cell phone pics from the Stockholm Brio store of the Brio "My Very First" collection...
I dont think that bear with crazed eyes and spork in hand could sum up how i'm feeling today better... unless maybe he was sipping some Balvenie 21yr Portwood as well... yes, let me level with you, it is most certainly that kind of a tuesday after a long weekend. BUT, on the flipside, it makes for an awesome excuse to share pics of this adorably crazed Rocket World T.A.D. Griz Lee Bear with you. T.A.D. Gear stands for Triple Aught Design ~ and is truly some of the best designed tactical you'll find... not to mention it's the brain child of Patrick Ma alongside with my favorite Rocket World creatures. While i have much more to show you from my latest stop up at their store/studios in SF, lets start with the spork wielding Griz. Check out the fun packaging and details on the next page...
So when my friends over at Rocket World reached out asking for some design help they thought it would be nice to ask you all for some help as well! The Creature Hoodies have been such a hit ~ and they are adorably cozy (fleece as fine as you'll find from folks like Patagonia ~ but less branding and even cooler little details you never even dreamed of, but can't live without once trying it!)... You can see lots of pics of the latest one (with removable ears - and swappable horns - with no face) from the giveaway post from the holidays... and for a chance to win one of the 2010 Creature Hoodies (that you will help decide the fate of) plus a Rocket World Gift Bag ~ and two runners up will also get gift bags! Anyhow, if you're feeling nice, please check out the possibilities for the 2010 Creature Hoodie on the next page and more details on how to share your opinion!
not to bias you, but i'm all about 3b or 4a... can't decide between the black or grey yet...
On NOTCOT favorites, SDCC highlights always including visiting the Rocketworld booth to see what Patrick/Otter X and his crew have been up to. Just as it was really fun to see how many unexpected product offerings were popping up at Dumbrella's booth ~ Rocketworld is also expanding and evolving through collaboration in some great new directions... incredibly cozy floppy plush toys (with velcro hands and skull - and a little belly button!)... super limited edition silver jewelry pieces (only 5 of some of them! i couldn't help myself)... stickers!... 2 series of new toys... mini exact replica T.A.D. Gear backpacks for the IWG... letterpressed cards... and even a peek at a *possible* animated IWG to be! In a time where many companies (esp some of the toy guys it seems) are hurting a bit, and it certainly felt like less new launches this year... the Rocketworld booth was almost all brand new products, and really expanding the line by bringing in friends who are masters at plushes and jewelry. See lots of pics on the next page!
On toys i was excited to peek at in person ~ three blind box sets from KidRobot jumped out at me at their booth. The Futurama ones of course ~ and Junko Mizuno's Pure Trance ~ and DJ Kid Acne's Rolling Stock... take a look at closeups on the next page!
While the sdcc preview night doors open in just a few minutes ~ i couldn't resist taking in the view and doing a little photoshoot on the hotel coffee table to show you Andrew Bell's amazing O-No Food Company Sushi toys that just launched with limited edition Blue 150 colorway (only 150 pieces) for sdcc... Luckily the Dumbrella crew snuck me in early, and gave me a chance to see what pre-comicon is really like (constant forklift dodging!)... BUT back to the matter at hand, while i got excited about these Sushi guys when they were NOTCOT.org #22670 ~ they are even better in person! And their stumpy little arms rotate... their eyes swap... and he's strategically placed his name on them too. Anyhow, see the pics of them on the next page... i even tried to put SOME of their tentacles back on...
Found these adorable wooden kids pull toys the other day, and the simplicity of the design, and the appeal of the adorable glossy turtles. From Maya Organic Toys in India ~ made from a sustainable wood source and hand crafted with natural dyes, it even has nice simple eco-friendly recyclable packaging! My favorite part are the details like... it looks as if they lacquered the whole sphere, THEN cut the stripes into them... and they spin simply from the friction of the little sphere "legs" rolling along! Check out the video and more close ups on the next page!