May 2006 | Vol. V - No. 5
|May 2006 | Vol. V - No. 5|
Gotta-Have-It Baby Gear Goes Beyond Pastels
Sophisticated Colors, Comfort and Versatility Rule Baby’s World
Cloud b LLC’s (ToyDirectory) Twilight Turtle takes softness and turns it upside down — onto the nursery ceiling. This “plush planetarium,” a plush turtle with a glowing plastic shell, shines eight accurate constellations onto the ceiling in blue, white or green.
Colors have changed lately, too. “What’s popular now is not quite pastel, not quite primary,” said Stephanie Taylor, owner of 5 Little Monkeys in Albany, Calif. “I would call them sherbet colors.” This trend is reflected in Cloud b’s blankets, which come in dusky blue, sage and salmon.
But don’t think bright colors are passé. Manufacturers from Stokke to BuiltNY use brights to enhance their products. Stokke’s famous wooden highchairs — which convert to chairs that are useful into adulthood — now come in a variety of cheerful colors. “Blueberry and raspberry are very popular now,” said Maura Peddle, owner of BiNK baby store in Warwick, N.Y. “Parents want items that are useful beyond babyhood, and when they come in colors like this, they can coordinate them to the child’s room as well.”
Saturated colors highlight Built NY’s neoprene bibs and its Thirsty Tote, a slim bottle holder that handily snaps onto a stroller or slips into a diaper bag. “A lot of people are looking for funky, sophisticated colors,” Peddle said.
That pleased John Roscoe Swartz, one of Built NY’s cofounders. “At Built NY, we like to do things differently than anybody else,” Swartz said. “We pick the colors we like.” He added that Built NY, which started with wine bottle coolers and lunch bags, is “a design company first and everything else second. Our unusual approach is a defining character of ours.”
Consumers love a product more if it can be used in more than one way. eeBoo's (ToyShow) Alphabet Wall Cards, meant for wall décor, often end up as supersized flash cards due to their durability. The eeBoo TotTower is popular in the BiNK store for the same reason, Peddle said. “Anything from eeBoo does amazingly well,” she said. “The artwork is beautiful, and it can be played with.”
Mia Galison, founder of eeBoo, said true art was the goal of her company. “Everything we do is very carefully done,” Galison said. Children’s book illustrators compose the fantastic images on each eeBoo product. The force behind eeBoo’s designs is “a combination of being a mother and artistic sensibility,” Galison added. “I think it’s wonderful that it’s successful.”
The Frog Pod Child Tub Toy Organizer, by Boon Inc., mixes fun with cool organization. “Parents come in looking specifically for the Frog Pod,” BiNK’s Peddle said. The funky wall-hanging frog combines a shampoo shelf, toy storage, hanging pegs and a toy-rinsing scoop into something both kids and parents can appreciate.
Then there are the things that have one indispensable use. Consider the Pee-pee Teepee by Beba Bean Inc., tiny cloth or terry cones that make diaper changes much drier for parents. The urine shields come in a slew of baby-happy prints and colors, including a Santa Hat for the holidays.
Babies appreciate sitting up, no matter how young they are. Parents and physical therapists praise the Bumbo Seat for building the muscles needed to sit. The soft foam seat lets infants as young as 8 weeks sit up comfortably and securely.
By doubling as art, incorporating contemporary colors or having multiple uses, manufacturers’ latest releases make parenting hip.
These urine shields come in an array of fun colors and prints, and help ensure a drier changing time for mommy and daddy. No more sprinkles when using these tiny cloth or terry cones!
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 6935 (added 2/21/2006)
For ages 6 months and up, the KinderZeat grows with the child, from infancy through school age to adult. The attractive, sturdy wooden construction comes in several colors.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 6936 (added 2/21/2006)
The Frog Pod hangs on the tub wall, complete with a concealed shelf for shampoo and baby wash (no more baby tipping over an open bottle). The frog’s toes easily hold a bath puff or hanging toys. The best part: Lift off the perforated scoop by its handle, and it becomes a handy tool for picking up and rinsing off bath toys. And the Frog Pod can store them until the next bathtime! No more dangerous mildew and bath residue on toys.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 4502 (added 9/9/2005)
Endorsed by parents and therapists, the Bumbo Seat enables an infant to sit upright and practice using the muscles necessary for trunk control. It is ideal for ages 8 weeks and up.
This product was recalled on on October 25, 2007
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 6938 (added 2/21/2006)
The Tidy Bib, for bigger babies and toddlers, attaches easily around the neck. A wide-open pocket at the bottom catches messes. When meal- or snack-time is over, the soft, neoprene bib easily washes clean.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 6939 (added 2/21/2006)
This sleek, insulated tote simplifies the chore of carrying baby’s bottles and keeping them cool. Their slim design slips easily into a diaper bag; a snap handle enables the tote to hook onto a stroller for grab-and-go ease.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 6940 (added 2/21/2006)
Each Twilight Turtle and Friends character from the collection projects constellation nightlights that create a magical sleep-time environment. Each “shell” illuminates the night with three soothing color options to help ease fear of the dark. The Twilight Collection includes Twilight Turtle and Twilight Ladybug, each available in three colors and a Twilight Sea Turtle that also has five illuminated windows projecting images of sea life.
— Retailers surveyed by TDmonthly have been naming the Twilight Turtle as a best-seller since 2006.
— Six of 66 retailers mentioned one of the Twilight Turtles as a top-selling item for baby gifts in July 2008. Four of 47 retailers named Twilight Turtle as a top-selling baby gift in June 2009. Three of 64 retailers cited it as a top-selling infant and toddler toy in March 2009, and eight of 39 said the same in March 2010.
— In a 2012 survey, Erika Evers, owner of Dancing Bear Toys in Hendersonville, N.C., told TDmonthly that their best selling infant & toddler product is the "Twilight Turtle from Cloud B, and it's spin-offs, like the ladybug." They sell about 20 units each month.
— Want this? As of 05/06/2011, this product was available for purchase at Toys & Co.
AWARDS: 2010 TDmonthly Top Seller
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 7426 (added 3/30/2006)
The new Supreme Snuggle Nest with Incline offers great new features and design improvements to provide even more comfort and safety for co-sleeping infants in the adult bed. The sturdy support walls are now vented for increased air-flow. Also, the quilted cover includes breathable mesh on both interior and exterior walls. For parents’ convenience, the product includes a new built-in nightlight that is easily removable and freestanding for use on a nightstand as well. In addition to the secured back-sleeping positioners, the new Supreme Snuggle Nest includes a foam wedge that can be used for inclining the mattress pad for improved breathing and digestion when infants are ill. For added value, an extra sheet is included with each product.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 7532 (added 4/12/2006)
Sesame Street Table TopperŪ All-in-One Meal Kits by NEAT SOLUTIONS INC.
Other products from NEAT SOLUTIONS INC.
Table Topper All-in-One Meal Kits cleverly combine all the essentials for feeding baby, age 6 to 36 months, while away from home into one convenient, easy to carry assortment. Each kit includes a Table Topper disposable stick-in-place placemat, a Tummy Topper disposable bib with crumb catcher and a disposable fork and spoon all enclosed within a disposable sippy cup with no-drip spout. The cup contains the bib, placemat and utensils and is wrapped in protective plastic to keep the kit sanitary and incredibly simple to transport. Parents just toss a cup into their diaper bags and go. Everything mom needs for a germ-free meal is neatly contained and ready for use. The product has won the iParenting Award of Excellence and the Juvenile Product Manufacturers Association "Most Innovative Product" Award. At retail a 4-count pack costs $ 4.99 and a 6-count pack costs $8.99.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 7566 (added 4/13/2006)
Parents can turn these hip Wee Gallery flash cards into a cool urban mobile with this stainless steel Kikkerland mobile kit. When baby is older, the kit can be used to display favorite photos or drawings. Animal Flash Cards are included with the mobile to turn baby's nursery into a sophisticated baby art gallery, worthy of plenty of wide-eyed concentration and certainly a lot of well-deserved baby drool.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 7607 (added 4/19/2006)
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