August 18, 2006

If You're Keeping Score At Home, There Are Now 12 Planets And One Orbit

orbit_stroller.jpgMagic Beans in Boston just received their first Orbit Baby System, a display model, which is at the store, ready for your test driving pleasure. Magic Beancounter Sheri just posted her first impressions on the store's blog.

The verdict: it's gorgeous, "long," full of thoughtful features, and the carseat's a bit "hefty." And the rotating lock rocks. What's it gonna take to get you into one of these Orbit Babies today, you ask? A freakin' miracle, frankly. They're not going to start shipping until "the next month or so."

The First Orbit [spilling the beans, thanks sheri]
Orbit Infant System website []
Previously: The Orbit Infant System: for when James Bond has a kid


Hey, my wife waited 8 months for her Prius, so can get on a list for one of these.

Oh, wait, we haven't even decided on whether to have another on or not (baby, not Prius)...

They have one of these at lullaby lane in san bruno, ca if you'd like to take it for a test drive. I'll admit, I was caught in the hype and seriously considering purchasing this.

I went last weekend and was very surprised with this system. At first glance, they've solved many of the newborn problems. The biggest problem which no one seems to have an answer for is the toddler seat. What I don't quite get is the toddler seat and it's usability. Specifically, I can't imagine carrying my toddler in the seat(like the infant) out of the car and placing them on the stroller. It seems like the process would be, get the kid out of the seat. than take the seat out of the car and plug it into the base. then put the kid back in the seat. Wouldn't it be easier to just have a normal car seat and an umbrella stroller.

I guess not only does coolness cost a lot, but is sometimes not practical. As far as I can tell, this is probably great for the first 6-9 months, but than after that you will discover the usability issues.

I am curious to know more about the toddler seat as well- I got the impression that it is not one seat attachment but two- one that attaches to the stroller (so unlike a snap n' go the stroller "base" will retain value as a stroller) and another one that attaches to the base in the car. I could certainly be wrong, but that was my impression... Not sure where I got it from, but it did say the toddler seats would be "two new seats" on the website.

You MUST be kidding. $900 for a stroller? I'm new to the blog and not generally familiar with how you approach "gear" (to masculinize all of the baby paraphrenalia), but stuff like this just painfully reminds me what a gap exists between rich and poor in the U.S. Conspicuous consumption, indeed.

[welcome, Kent. It probably doesn't help to know that back in '04 when Daddy Types started, we were all saying, "$700 for a stroller??" Some folks calculate the money they spend on multiple $1-200 strollers, others compare the cost of a stroller+ something, like a bassinet or a car seat (in the case of Bugaboo and Orbit, respectively). But there's no way around the fact that there are now strollers ranging from $100 to $1000 out there. If your main complaint is actually with "conspicuousness," though, you should probably avoid the non-traditional or newly launched strollers like the Stokke or the Orbit. My guess is, you'd get stopped and stared at quite a bit on the street. Better to go for the stealth option: the $1000 Carbon Fiber & Leather Maclaren ;) -ed.]

I'm worried that after all the production delays( over a year). That the toddler attachment won't be ready in time for the first wave of newborn parents. What do you do in a year when your kid needs a bigger seat for the $900 stroller and it isn't available? And we are so excited about the new planets at my house. But it my intention to raise math and science nerds.

As one of the founders and COO of Orbit (and an avid DT reader), I thought I would write in and say that we always appreciate candid feedback on our products and take your comments very seriously.

One of the challenges of a start-up company is dealing with misconceptions and inaccurate information that take on a life of their own. So, for everybody's sake, I thought I would clear up a few that have been circulating.

The first set of misconceptions deals with production and timing. We've been in development now for over 3 years, so you can imagine nobody's more eager than me to see our product in the stores. Since we are very proud of the design and performance of the Orbit Infant System, we are certainly sorry that we did not catch up to every parent who had wanted one for their newborn. However, I still need to address the issue since many people have implied that our perceived delays indicate potential problems with the product. I think that the perception of a "year" delay stems from our having shown a prototype of our product to retailers at JPMA last year as a way to gauge interest and gain feedback and insight from the stores. Armed with the overwhelming response from retailers, we spent the last year perfecting our launch product and setting up production. This includes our exhaustive testing - including dozens of sled and durability tests. Most people in the industry and familiar with product development have been astounded by the thoroughness we have managed with such a fast timeline.

The second set relates to Orbit's toddler follow-up products. To address these, we will have some exciting announcements at the end of the month, and are only being cautious with this information in the meantime since we've learned our lesson from our launch product information releases. I can tell you that we will soon release a separate stroller seat attachment that turns our Stroller frame into an amazing stand-alone toddler stroller. It will last through the toddler years, can stay on the Stroller, and will address folding and usefulness better than any existing premium strollers on the market. Orbit's unique SmartHub rotation will especially benefit toddlers and we definitely have solutions that ensure the Orbit Infant System continues to grow with your child beyond the infant stage.

I hope this clears up some of the questions. Daddytypes readers should feel free to email us (info at orbitbaby dot com) with any other questions. I'm a dad myself, and my wife is due with our second child this week (not timed to coincide with our launch, I promise.) I certainly understand the importance of this purchase and doing the research to inform your decisions. Thanks for the interest in the Orbit products.

The release date has been pushed back several times in the past year. I was told in an email from Orbit that it would be releasing end of July. I love the design, it is stunning, but the facts are the facts.

[personally, I blame the damn stroller media for hyping this thing before it was even ready for testing. -ed.]

Nice stroller. But it has to have a little more to make me dump my Bugaboo.

My wife wrote to the address 2 weeks ago and has not heard back since. She wanted to know when the toddler seat is coming out (amongst other questions) before committing to buy the orbit system. We're not impressed! The stores were telling us the seat would be available in Dec 06 and now it is mid Jan 07...what's going on?!

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