June 26, 2007

Skip*Hop Playspot Challenges Red-Yellow-Blue Playmat Hegemony


It's such an obvious question, it's like it's been staring us in the face. Right under our noses. Or our feet. In fact, I'm looking at one right now. It's the perpetually in-your-face reminder of the Baby Industrial Complex's occupation of your territory. Of course, I'm talking about the sawtooth-edged, primary-colored, ABC foam playmat. Why does it have to be so damn bright all the time?

Fortunately, the folks at Skip*Hop were wondering the same thing, and they did something about it. Their new Playspot foam tile playmat brings cool, elegant innovation to a product that desperately needed it. Not only are the colors non-heinous, the pattern is kind of mod, and best of all, functional; it integrates the tile connectors as design elements in a way the zig-zagged tiles just don't [this is a pet peeve of mine.]

The only possible downsides I can see, and neither is a dealbreaker: now you'll actually have to pay attention to the colors in the kid's room, and she won't learn the alphabet from her floor.

The Playspot set includes twenty tiles and sells for $79. [skiphop.com via core77]
Previously, from when there was no alternative: Alphabet Floor Tiles
Related: Jigs Up jigsaw-shaped carpet tiles from Flor are another, non-heinous, non-alphabet suggestion from Maxwell from Apartment Therapy


Also, those are 4× the price of the alphabet tiles. Just sayin'.

Hey, I'd pay extra for a kid's product that doesn't have "learning nuggets" emblazoned all over them like cheap NASCAR endorsements. How many kids at graduation thank both their parents and "that wonderful playmat that taught me my ABCs"?

I'm all for someone taking on an updated version of a poorly-designed classic. What would be even better, is if Skip-Hop had hooked up with the crappy company who makes the traditional pukey ABC mat and worked with them to make an improved, prettier version. Same with the Bumbo seat: someone needs to hook up some nice colorways.

[yeah, the one advantage of everything in the kidworld being red-yellow-blue is that it all matched itself. -ed.]

Huzzah! Also, comes in three color combos:

[d'oh, guess that's the difference between DT and coochicoos; they opened the press release pdf *before* posting. pink/brown, blue/gold, and 'brights'. that last one sounds like it blows a hole in my RYB theory... -ed.]

Nice. We actually wanted one of these before we had kids, because the dogs liked to having peeing contests on our downstairs rug. It was impossible at the time to find anything that would go well in our living room. Definitely going to have to add this to the list for the new house.

the ABC tiles that are large and infant safe are actually $50 at buybuybaby.

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