Well, it’s official, we did our first trade show (The NY International Gift Fair) for Wee See. It was a great (albeit grueling) experience. Beyond making amazing connections, a very cool bi-product of participating is that you get to see what everyone else has been up to. We took good notes and will be sharing some of our favorite finds in the coming days. So come on back!
First up, tegu, a beautiful set of wooden blocks that they’ve somehow managed to embed with magnets. You simply can’t make anything unattractive with them. We could’ve spent all day building stuff if we didn’t have to get back to our own booth.
I was recently in the MoMA Store in Soho and saw they sell Slinkys. I’d forgotten what beautiful objects they are. A wave of nostalgia washed over me as well as a curiosity of what the story was behind its invention. So I Wiki’d it! Reading it was a reminder that perhaps the only thing keeping some of our simple ideas from becoming great, life-changing ones, is believing in them and following through. Inspiring.
“In 1943, Richard James, a Naval mechanical engineer stationed at the William Cramp and Sons shipyards in Philadelphia, was developing springs that could support and stabilize sensitive instruments aboard ships in rough seas. James accidentally knocked one of the springs from a shelf, and watched as the spring “stepped” in a series of banana spilts, to a stack of books, to a tabletop, to the floor, where it re-coiled itself and stood upright. James experimented with different types of steel wire over the next year, and finally found a spring that would walk. [His wife, Betty] dubbed the toy Slinky (meaning “sleek and graceful”), after finding the word in a dictionary, and deciding that the word aptly described the sound of a metal spring expanding and collapsing.”
Interested in finding something for under $20 that will entertain your kids for… I don’t know… say… their entire childhood? Of course you are. Get on over to eBay and win yourself an auction on a “lot” of scarves. From peek-a-boo, to dress-up, to fort siding, you will NOT run out of ideas and uses for these things. Search “lot vintage scarves” and you should have yourself some options. Obviously “vintage” is optional, but the patterns from ‘back in the day’ seem far more inspired.
How great is this? Music box meets train track. Amazing on many levels, but I think my favorite part is that you can shuffle up the track pieces to create different musical configurations. If anyone figures out where it can be purchased please let us know.
Another gem from Miller Goodman. Available in mid-November from their website.
These blocks from Miller Goodman are as near to a perfect product as I can imagine. Simple, smart, and both fuel and flame for the imagination. The only thing I enjoy as much as watching my daughter play with them, is playing with them myself. Certain to be in stores worldwide soon, but available now from the Miller Goodman website.