August 7, 2006

The Our Children's Gorilla In The Room

gorilla_chair.jpgI'd seen the slot-together chair by Swedish indie designers Our Children's Gorilla a few months back at Yoya but it didn't have any labels on it, and when I went back, it was gone. And Googling around for "Swedish Gorilla" came up empty, so I was stoked to finally connect the dots at Bubble today.


Like almost every company at Bubble, it seems, Our Children's Gorilla was launched a couple of years ago, and they've quickly expanded to a very coherent range of contemporary, humor-tinged products: the Pearl chair has a tough, bull-like feel; the A-Frame House is a simple, clean alternative to the Victorian and/or plastic schlock dollhouses out there; sturdy stacking Rubber Band boxes [rubber bands? I just thought they were stripes]; various wood or metal robots; very cool monkey-shaped hangers [it's really hard to sneak whimsy past me, but these hangers manage to do it]; and what feels like a flagship product, a gorgeous walnut train.

gorilla_monkey_hangers.jpgThe chair, the house, and the hangers are all made from Valchromat, a dense, organic, dyed-through MDF, which has a nice, paper bag-like surface [matte, warm, slightly fibery] that's different from most slick MDF's.

There's more, actually, but these were the highlights for me. Stores like Yoya and Kid-o in NYC have some pieces, and Modern Seed is starting to carry some, too. OCG's online shop is under construction [sic], so you'll still have to hunt a bit to find just the gear you want. I say it's easier to do it now, while it's still light 22 hours/day in Sweden.

Our Children's Gorilla [ via bubble]


That wood/rope robot is sweet. Greg - if you see one at kid-o or yoyamart, let me know!

Daddytypes is my crack. Speaking of "plastic schlock dollhouses," I read your site daily and with wild abandon for all the well disgned kids stuff my daughter will never ever own because her parents are too poor. I was wondering if you had any thoughts on spray painting said schlock dollhouse.

We were gifted one - beggars can't be choosers ya know - and it's great (fisher price, has all the parts, folds up thin to fit in her teeny bedroom), but it's butt ugly. Think mid-90's pink and teal. I was thinking a makeover of olive green and either orange or a nice light blue. Should I be worried about poisoning my little pumpkin with a spray painted toy? I'm thinking it has too many parts for her to play with it before she's out of the everything-in-my-mouth phase...

{I say lacquer it up. Krylon has spray paint for plastic, you know. They also have chalkboard spray paint; you could make the roof look like slate, AND it's writeable to boot. Cover the whole thing in green chalkboard paint, and watch her inner graffiti tagger blossom. -ed.]

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