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Learning Can Be Fun

Friday, November 17th, 2006

BubblesMatt and I just got a couple samples of onesies from Learning Tees, and let me say that these are really great little items. Each one comes with a multicolor screen print of an image representing a letter of the alphabet.

I got “B is for Bubbles” and “E is for Everyone” (I don’t remember what Matt got… hopefully “R is for Robot” ’cause that one kicks ass).

They’re all super soft organic cotton, and each shirt comes with a little “Fact Tag” giving a little bit of information about the subject of the shirt. Most of the icons involve science or nature, and the factoids are good life lessons for kids, and they are delivered in a cool little box (100% recyclable materials) with the letter printed on the outside in a nice Courier font. Once Hank grows out of his 3-6 month onesies, I can easily see us picking up a couple more of these. Ooh! Maybe the Robot one!

Gag Me The only minor complaints that I have is that the icon for the letter V is “V is for Valley Girl” which I don’t really think is relevant for my 20 year old little sister, let alone a 21st century toddler. Maybe that graphic is more geared toward the nostalgic parent than the little kid with the credit card, but it seems as though Volcano or Voltage or Vole might be a better learning tool than a Frank Zappa song from 25 years ago.

The only other gripe (pet peeve) that I’ve got is that the “About” page for the company has the following statement:

Our philosophy is to help children learn. And the best teacher is you…MOM. But MOM is really the same thing as CEO; it’s a daily juggle to get things done.

Dad is nowhere to be seen as a parenting force in their information, which (as you may have noticed before) is a big gripe of mine. I’m sure market research shows that Moms do the overwhelming majority of the clothes shopping for kids, but just because the majority of Hooters waitresses are women doesn’t mean that a guy couldn’t do the job just as well.

Political gripes and one questionable creative decision aside, these are great high-quality clothing items with a great message, cute (but not cutesy) images and an honest passion for making a difference in the world.

- Zac

There isn’t much Zac said that I can disagree with. The designs are striking and fun and the quality is top-notch. I got “A is for Ant” and “F is for Fish,” and while I concur that the Robot one is pretty neat, you can’t beat the soon-to-be-released “G is for Genius.”

Now, with all that in mind, I think Zac overlooked one of the most important aspects of any kid-targeted product, and the thing I most dislike about these admittedly snazzy duds: The price. At $29 (+$4.25 S&H), I simply can’t ever see myself buying one. The fact of the matter is, a onesie has only a slightly longer shelf-life than a Kleenex. We bought Oscar some 3-6mo Gerbers right after his 3-month birthday and he hit a growth-spurt and was too big for them in a week or two. My own child’s freakish physical maturation aside, you’re still looking at best at a 3-month window for the kid to wear it. Granted 18-24mo doubles that window and when he or she gets big enough for 2T and beyond you’ll be able to stretch clothes even longer. But the fact remains, you’d be hard-pressed to find a shirt for which I’d be willing to pay 30 bucks for myself, and I wear clothes for at least a decade or until they physically disintegrate off my body.

Bottom-line: I love these shirts. They might be the nicest kids shirts I’ve ever seen. But unless you build a time-machine, go back to 1977, kidnap me shortly after birth and raise me to not be an unrelenting cheap-ass, I have a hard time recommending them.

- Matt

Want S’moy?

Friday, November 10th, 2006

When someone emails you about a product from a company called Smoy, you listen. It’s just fun to say. Smoy, Smoy, Smoy. Anyway, a nice fellow from Smoy recently sent us one of these nifty PhotoCuffs for review.

The Smoy PhotoCuff is undeniably innovative. What you see is what you get. It’s a sturdy and stylish faux-leather (or Vegan-friendly, as they say) wristband with slots for tiny pictures. It’s simple, but it’s pretty much unlike anything I’ve ever seen.

To be honest, I couldn’t bring myself to wear it, but I really can’t see myself ever wearing any kind of wristband or bracelet. They’re a little on the pricey side too–the Brooklyn model, which I was sent, will set you back about 30 clams with shipping. That said, I’d be pretty surprised if these things didn’t catch on. In a sense, it’s like a wearable equivalent to your MySpace top-8. And it does look cool. Hipsters of all ages and parental-statuses will likely be sporting PhotoCuffs before long, so while they’re not my particular cup of tea, they’ll make well-received gifts this Christmakwanzannukah.

- Matt

Burninating the Nursery

Wednesday, September 20th, 2006

Sooooooo CUTE!Any nerd worth their salt will be agog at the cuteness of this Baby Trogdor onesie available from the Homestarrunner folks.

Anybody who is not instantly excited about this needs to get their nerd on and check out this little video of Trogdor’s origins.

- Zac

All Together Now

Saturday, July 15th, 2006

BeatyMy BabyMama found us this awesome Beatles cartoon 12-month t-shirt for like six bucks at Target.

Having a kid is going to be a lot of fun.

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- Zac

What’s Your Super Power?!?

Tuesday, July 11th, 2006

Maxi-Man to the Rescue!!!Maxi-Man To The Rescue!!!
 

- Zac

Once Upon a Child

Saturday, June 17th, 2006

Stroll OnIn our travels last night, PJ and I stumbled upon Once Upon a Child which is a resale shop for kids stuff (kinda like a used CD store, but slightly less interesting to me). They had a whole bunch of gently used clothes and baby shoes (’cause really, who’s walking around in newborn shoes anyway?), and also a bunch of really trashed but still functional strollers (“$25 As Is!”).

They also carry maternity clothes — PJ looked at a pair of jeans at Mimi Maternity in the mall for $35, and we saw the exact same pair at this place for $10.50. Gently used, but the crotch area was just fine (something I would have never thought to look for, and therefore would make a horrible pregnant woman).Scary Clown!

It looks as though they have pretty strict standards as far as the quality of the items they buy back, all of the clothes we saw were in really nice shape and fairly stylish (no Brady Bunch collars or velour onesies).

It’s on Washtenaw and open seven days a week.

Please note: I am not getting paid by them. If anything they’ll end up getting a chunk of my money.

- Zac