By Laura Vaillancourt - Friday, September 19th 2014
After traveling the world attending toy fairs, Michael Sellinger noticed there were no contemporarily designed, open-ended toys in the U.S. market. So, he created Sound of Fun to “correct the situation.” Sound of Fun offers two lines: the Kiddimoto — a wooden balance bike, and the Roomii — a ride-on toy chest. Both Kiddimoto and Roomii are awarding-winning English brands that represent the best in UK design, while meeting all American and European standards.
By Stephanie Hanlon - Wednesday, September 17th 2014
The Made in USA label has always meant durability, local design and processing. Now it can also indicate stylish, modern and organic designs unique enough to be featured in your store. Beautiful beasts come out of Brooklyn with Snuggly Ugly dolls and décor that add flair to nurseries. Clever child nicknames gave birth to nini & pumpkin and their moon cocoon wearable duvet. Young ladies get the royal treatment with the Ecoprincess line of makeup and bath products by Organic Beauty Now. Take note of Tree by Kerri Lee for a handmade movement in music that will replace plastic music boxes forever.
Beginning swimmers, competitive swimmers, and even those just having fun in the water need to be have clear vision in order to move around properly in an aquatic environment, and swim goggles are the best way to achieve that. But swim goggles aren’t just about safety and necessity; they’re also meant to be stylish and easy to wear. Bling 2o is a line of fun, fanciful swim goggles in a variety of looks that kids love.
What’s the one dream all kids have in common? To be a super hero, of course! When Holly Bartman’s son turned four he wanted a super hero themed party, but he wanted something a little different. So Bartman jumped behind her sewing machine and started making capes as a take-away gift for all of the party attendees. Upon seeing the creations one of the moms said, “You need to make these to sell!” So Bartman gave it a try. The process was slow to start, but grew through the years. Now, eight years later, Superfly Kids has 18 employees and is making thousands of capes every week.
It all started with a caring husband looking out for his pregnant wife. She was losing sleep as she attempted to find comfort contorting and repositioning her pregnant belly. Soon Eyal Levy and his wife were seeing and utilizing the concept of stretchy fabric beanbags and they began to play with the idea. Immediately they started filling their basement with unique bean bag designs and products, until very quickly it became too crowded with all the Yogibo products that customers were waiting to buy. Products range from YogiBalls and neck pillows all the way up to their six foot Max, a gigantic bean bag.
Allan Rubinfeld has been an inventor ever since he was a little boy; he grew up designing and building new contraptions. A gifted student, Rubinfeld was about to attend medical school at UCLA when a devastating automobile accident left him in a coma. While recovering from his extensive injuries, Rubinfeld had an amazing idea. He asked his mother, “Mom, what did I hate doing when I was little?” and she replied, “Showering.” Rubinfeld then dedicated several months to teaching himself how to sew. He created over a dozen different prototypes until finally he had the rough draft of Soapets.
All ages are crazy about electronic devices and here is a new way to show them some love. The creators of Bubble Buttons are back with the next round of fun and quirky tech accessories that dress up and personalize virtually any device. Bubble Buttons are stickers that fit right on the home button, offered as six packs with cute designs like the animal group that includes an owl, penguin, angry love bird, ladybug, panda and goldfish peering out of his bowl. Kids love to trade and stick Tech Tattz on iPads, iPods and iPhones to give them personality. Retailers should note that they also make original small gifts and ideal party favors.
Take a pinch of magic, wish hard and get transported to a far away land where children stay young forever. That is the spirit behind a book that is a sure-fire fave designed to win the hearts of kids, especially girls aged six to ten. The Never Girls: A Pinch of Magic is the seventh entry and newest in the blockbuster series by writer Kiki Thorpe who has already rocked the pre-teen world with the earlier Never Girls books including The Space Between, A Dandelion Wish and The Space Beyond. Thorpe sets the stage for wishing, dreaming and, most of all, reading — an activity parents are beyond thrilled to have their daughters pursue.
Many families with children understand the struggles of raising a picky eater. Some younger kids may only be interested in one or two dishes, while others will only eat food of specific colors or shapes. In older children, pickiness tends to be more about resistance to change, leading to an unwillingness to try unfamiliar foods. Parents of a picky eater generally want to fix the situation, but find that forcing the issue with threats and punishments is no use; they either have to wait it out or inspire the child to make a change using fun, interactive methods. The latter option is the premise of Joanne Oppenheim’s The Prince’s Breakfast.
Every home needs some ambience; a way for the inhabitants to feel cozy, secure and happy. Aesthetic touches like blankets, pillows, throws and other accessories do more than just provide physical warmth and comfort; they add a distinctive look and help create the right vibe. They also provide a way for the residents to express their unique style sense and show appreciation for the things they love. Scene Weaver describes itself as a “feel-good” company that offers multiple collections with a little something for just about everyone. Pickled is a branch of Scene Weaver that offers lighthearted children’s room décor and clothing collections.
Empress Arts offers a complete package for the gift industry: high quality, beautiful products, and pricing designed to include anyone who enjoys unique gift gifting. Owner Kathy Tanabe states, “We love kids and feel that there’s not really a lot of time before they are grown and want parents to cherish as many special moments as possible by providing well thought out products that make people smile.” Empress Arts has been able to grow by continuing to do trade shows and use sales reps though the years. They feel it is important to meet customers face to face and hear what they have to say.
As the world of nature disappears faster than we appear to be doing enough to stop it, stories of this part of life teach important lessons. Squirt the Otter is a true story of an orphaned baby critter who was found, in all places, in a farmer’s field. Tracy, a zookeeper, together with her dog Muffin, befriended the baby otter and took her into their home, caring for her to enable her to grow into a healthy adult. This warm tale by Tracy L. Mikowsky, the actual Tracy of the story, shows how compassion and friendship transcend the species, giving concrete examples of the bond between humans and animals and the benefits to both of forming close, caring connections.