September 13, 2006

Evenflo ExerSaucer TripleFun w/Everything On It, Plus Bacon

The Evolution of the Evenflo ExerSaucer

Bacon is good, but bacon you didn't have to cook is even better. The fine folks of Evenflo hosted a breakfast at ABC Kids to introduce the media to just such a pile of bacon--and to get a little attention for their new ExerSaucer TripleFun.

The TripleFun converts from a playmat to an ExerSaucer to an S-shaped play table thing, an attempt to extend the usable life of the gear across three different developmental stages.

Frankly, trying to convey the virtues of giant plastic toys to a space-deprived New York parent is like pitching mukluks to the Yanomami Indians. But if you have room for this kind of thing, this is the kind of thing you have room for.

The other reality: the Baby Industrial Complex chugs merrily along, adding and changing products year after year, but parents almost never have any sense of this evolutionary history; honestly, I didn't know Onesie was a trademark of the Gerber Baby Corporation until well after the kid was born [and Gerber's counsel sent me a lovely letter, but that's another story.]

So it was with deep gratitude in my heart that I snapped this blurry-yet-invaluable picture of The Evolution of the Evenflo ExerSaucer, which traces the category leader's near-13-year growth and development. 2007 will henceforth be known to toy historians as a Neo-Baroque Renaissance, a return to 2002-level things-sticking-uppiness.

The current model, the Evenflo ExerSaucer Mega, has only two stages. It's $59.99.


Although our son is too old for the saucer now, he did enjoy our second-hand 2002 royalty-themed model (our democratic concerns about such toys notwithstanding). We called it "the office," as in, "I put him in the office so I could load the dishwasher."

One of the plastic attachments beeps out a jazzy version of "The Itsy-Bitsy Spider" that I have trouble getting out of my head.

Baby Products apparently are like running shoes. The companies don't put out any real revolutionary advancement, so they change just a few things call it "Now even Better!" or some other great marketing ploy, put new colors on it and send it out there.

Our first kid loved the exersaucer... you could stick him in there for about an hour and I soooo get John's comment about being able to load the dishwasher. From the time they can crawl to about 3 they are fascinated with the dishwasher (knives in particular) then they don't want anything to do with it. Our second kid would not even let you put him in it (the exersaucer, not the dishwasher). Maybe our second would like the "S" shape "office"...

[except of course, the S-shape doesn't immobilize them; it just distracts. -ed.]

We have the vintage 1996 model, passed along to us from a friend. You know what I love the most about it? No attached toys. My son was a big time puker, baby spit up all over all the time. The saucer tray was so easy to clean. It would have been difficult to clean all those fussier models.

I am enjoying your coverage of the conference. Thanks!

Our eldest child recently blurted out 'let's put the baby in the exhauster."

We also had a 1996 version, toy-free saucer for Monster. I miss it now that The Girl is enjoying her huge, battery-hog version shaped like a car.
It's impossible to clean.

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