September 17, 2007

Hipposmile Highchair: Ballsout Sinocanadian Stokkeknockoff!

hipposmile_teak.JPGtripp_trapp_baby_rail.jpg
one of these things [L] is a freakin' lot like the other [R]

Unbelievable. Peter Opsvik's 1972 design for the Stokke Tripp Trapp has definitely inspired its share of adjustable, modern-style wood high chairs, but the Hipposmile Happy Hippo Chair is a flat-out, rout-for-rout, bolt-for-bolt, made-in-China ripoff.

Though the Canadian company seems to have in-store distribution in Canadia, the chair's only available in the US through the company's storefronts on Amazon and eBay.

Everything nice is too expensive, I know, but on the Like-a-Bike Scale of Blatant Knockoffery, the Hipposmile rates even higher than Mod Mom Furniture. Let's look at the numbers:

A handmade-in-Germany original Like-a-Bike is $279. The shameless copy Skuut is $90, and Target's slightly different walking bike was $50, later marked down to $25. But an export guy told me if I ordered a containerful, I could get bikes from the Skuut factory for just $14 apiece.

Compare those discounts to the Hipposmile, which, at around $132 shipped, is just $67 less than the Tripp Trapp [which can often be found with free shipping.]

The only non-fake-sounding customer reviews on Amazon are negative, complaining about shoddy quality, broken or missing parts, and teethpulling customer service, while all the 5-star reviews are careful to avoid mentioning Stokke, but all share phrases like "similar high chairs".

If a Hipposmile cost $60, it'd be a tougher call, but if it's only saving $60, it just doesn't seem worth it. If you're really so broke and/or cheap, and you want a sweet high chair, forget the Stokke and the Hippomobile; get the Ikea Antilop and save yourself a whole $180. Let's see the Canadians undercut that.

Hipposmile Happy Hippo Knockoff Chair [hipposmile via dt reader fuzzy]

Previously: Skuut suspiciously like Like-a-Bike
Mod Mom Furniture DWR-$50 for Tarzana cheapskates

6 Comments

Plus you can put the Antilop seat in the dishwasher.

Unbelievable. Aren't people ashamed of themselves???

If you're on Hanna Anderson's email list, they recently sent a coupon for 20% off anything in the store. That brought our total down to $159 and we had it the same day.

on a similar note, check out this highchair from new zealand...craftily entitled the "mocka." not to be a traitor to my beloved stokke (we have an xplory, and i'm in love), but i kind of like this better - i like that it has a tray: http://www.mocka.co.nz/601.html

The coupon was in the Chinook Book, a local coupon book here in Portland. It didn't come via email.

Well, I checked out that website : http://www.mocka.co.nz/601.html and was amazed to see a look-alike for a chair from Ikea... check out the likeness between the Ikea MAMMUT chair (http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/20099496) and the Mocka children's chair (http://www.mocka.co.nz/98354.html) Amazing.

[wow. -ed.]

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