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!
Entries tagged with: toys
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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!
I never thought sanrio would end up on NOTCOT ~ but when i saw the latest designs in the Sanrio x Mimobot collaborations for Sanrio’s 50th Anniversary, i LOL’d and couldn’t resist. Badtz-Maru make me think of… yea… a long time ago, and he was always my favorite, who can resist a disgruntled black bird?!?! And Hangyodon is just crazy… So check out these final characters in the 6 Sanrio x Mimobot collection on the next page!
What’s more adorable than gorgeous wood animals? Gorgeous wood animals that are also BOXES! New from Areaware ~ ‘Animal Boxes’ by NY based designer Karl Zahn as part of their Fall 2010 Collection! Love that the eyes double as hinges! See pics of the whole collection on the next page…
Metal screw top film containers? Adorable graphics? Miniatures of your favorite lomography cameras to hang on anything from zippers to cell phones to… (use your imagination!)? AND amazingly cute packaging and unboxing experience?!?! Also, awesome point of sale case?!?! I gave in and bought 2/4 - the Fisheye 2.0 (of course!) and the Diana F+… The whole collection is available here. See many a Hotel Vitale photoshoot pics on the next page…
Vitamin Living always designs some of the sleekest “Urban Creatures” for the modern home that are somehow filled with so much character! The latest from them are the Fang collection of bottle openers! There are 9 patterned versions of these vinyl creatures and one plain one (you can leave it as is, or customize it to your heart’s delight!) See the whole group of them on the next page!
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…
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!