July 8, 2007

Oof! Oeuf Baby Lounger Recalled For Frame Failure

Oeuf Hang Out Baby LoungerWow, a recall at one of the mini majors of the indie baby gear market. A recent batch of Oeuf Hang-Out Baby Loungers have been recalled by the company and CPSC after six reports of the tubular steel frame failing. So far, no injuries have been reported.

Details are in the CPSC recall announcement--which went out in April, how'd I miss this?--but the Loungers were sold between Sept. 2006 and March 2007, through both online and offline retailers. The company is offering a repair kit to strengthen the frame.

One interesting datapoint for your parent company business plan: the Lounger was one of Oeuf's first breakout products, and it's been in the market for almost exactly three years. Oeuf easily has as good a distribution network as anyone in the modern design market. Meanwhile, the number of affected Bouncers sold is "about 1,400" Loungers, or 200/month.

If your sales projections have you doing better than that in Year 3, I hope you have a mighty good explanation. Because otherwise, the real market for high-design baby gear might be a lot smaller or harder to reach than you think.

Infant Bouncer Seats Recalled Due to Frame Failure [cpsc.gov via dt reader nelson]

PS Oh yeah, Made In China.

10 Comments

Sales of the Oeuf chair may have been hurt by one simple, fatal flaw that I've seen over and over again in "high-design" baby gear - no BLACK option! Brown is not black. Grey is not black. White is not black. I bought the BabyBjorn chair even though I thought the Oeuf was marginally better-looking, just because the BB is available in black (well, black-and-red, but mostly black). I got a Gecko instead of a Cameleon for the same reason. Why, oh why, are so many baby clothing/gear companies reluctant to put out a black product? Black does not = satanic, regardless of what my born-again relatives think. Black just = "goes with everything and hides stains".

It's remarkable how much that looks (shape-wise) like the ancient Jolly Jumper bouncy seat I have in my basement. It is a nice, solid blue, though it needs a new cover. Perhaps when i am done my custom stroller refit, I can use the leftover scrap fabric to make a saver version of this.

Er, safer version. I can't spell before coffee.

I actually have the safer version of it... it's called the Fisher Price. I paid $30 for it and it's currently on my third godchild *wink*
The colors aren't quite as pretty, but it works well, doesn't break and it came with fun toys, so I'm happy :O)

[if it's the fisher price we received as a gift, it is the fugliest piece of fug in the world. turquoise steel and zebra print with ruffles and an underseat vibrator? -ed]

I'm very unimpressed with Oeuf customer service. I own the Oeuf crib, mini-library, and dresser and I must say that quality is only slightly above Ikea but at a premium price. Even the assembly instructions included with the "knocked down" furniture look identical to Ikea. Btw... the furniture is made in Latvia.

I had a problem with them in that they advertised their changing station to include a certain change pad, and when I bought it and found out it didn't include the advertised change pad, rather than rectifying my situation they basically said "tough luck" and posted a disclaimer on their website saying "product may not be exactly as shown."

What a bunch of goofs... Never going to recommend them again.

Yeah, I've seen the fugly zebra print FP bouncers... and 'fug' is a good word for them, but no ours is blue and has a very small cat/dog print on it with a cover so while not a pretty cover, I wouldn't call it ugly either. I'll settle for a little less attractive for safer though.

Now the FP infant-to-toddler rocker we have... with the giant cow on the back. While I love it too, that gets covered with a pretty blanket because that thing meets the definition of "fugly."

Like Rachel we had the FP bouncy chair for $30. It worked well for both kids and we even loaned it to a friend and then gave it to another. It seemed really safe to me. It was blue print with some animals/fish on it I think. It had a little arch with toys hanging on it that you could put on and take off easily.

Aruni

How big do you think the market for high-design baby gear is? I don't have any demographic info lying around the office but I can't fathom it being larger than the baby-producing portion of the top 1-2% by income of households in metropolitan areas. And that's just who can afford the high-design products; I bet it's fair to say that of that 1-2% only 10-15% actually care enough about design to purchase something that is marginally more functional but 3x the price. ...and, crikey, if Oeuf is manufacturing that seat in China and it gets recalled then Oeuf is a brand on its way out. btw, we had the Maclaren in a nice shade of blue...the boy hated it.

I have the oeuf bouncer and would not have got it if I'd seen it IRL. It's surprisingly cheap looking in person. (I bought practically everything online). Plus it started to fray and the buckles are super-cheapy looking. Since moving to the UK, I have seen similar bouncy seats for a fraction of the Oeuf price. BTW, did anyone see the posting on APT Therapy's Nursery section? Some dad made a solid wood version of the Oef Crib--now that's beautiful. Not some MDF piece of crap! By the way Dasd Dad--think you're wrong about people not caring about design. I think there are lots of people waiting for better looking baby stuff who aren't necessarily high income. It just seems that you pay a premium in the US at least to get non-frilly/cartoon character laden stuff.

Had the Oeuf lounger and passed it on to a friend. We were happy with it; it never frayed and the buckles worked fine. It looked cute, did the job (for the 7 months or so that we actually needed it and, no, we're not rich.

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