February 25, 2010

Bee Plus: Redesigned Bugaboo Bee Set To Ship In April


There's been some PR hints, and Boston's Magic Beans has already announced a preview party, but now the word's official: Bugaboo is shipping a new & improved version of the Bee in April.

The key changes are called upgrades, but they strike me as normal refinements and tweaks meant to help the stroller perform better and last longer. The most obvious change is a redesigned seat. It's now slightly wider, it loses the padded wings, it's molded "to mirror the natural state of a child's back," and it's now height-adjustable. And the canopy--now slightly less curvy-looking--raises with it.

The Bee Plus [or whatever, I guess it's really just the New Bee, and by Spring it'll just be the Bee] also has redesigned joints for reversing the seat, improved brakes [presumably, the brakes were just fine before, right], preset increments for adjusting the handle height, and more Frog-like wheels. All well and good, and the kind of steady incremental improvements you'd want to see after a new design gets a couple of years of real-world experience.

All this, and Bugaboo managed to keep the price just the--oh, I see why these are all upgrades. Because they're also upgrading the price by $120. The new, upgraded Bee will be $649. Or to put it another way, Bugaboo Bees just went on clearance sale: now just $529! While supplies last!

My real concern here is that though Bugaboo has announced a new, softened Breezy Canopy, they haven't said anything about the full-stroller Sunshade. I know summer's still months away, but I worry that the "upgraded" model might not turn out as scary-alien-chrysalis-like as the current model. The original is seriously one of the awesomest pieces of baby design ever. And at only $25, every collector should have one.




An article from this month's Metropolis mag with the guy who did you the redesign. I think it's just newly online.

Do these changes justify the price increase? Probably not. These are the days where car manufacturers frequently release new models with more/new features than the models they replace at prices that are essentially the same. Same thing is true with each new lineup of MacBooks or [fill in your favorite product here]. What we are seeing here from Bugaboo is probably a result of a price point analysis from the marketing department more than a reflection of the cost of these new features. The "problem" with the Bee is that it may be a compelling stroller, but unlike Bugaboo's other models, it doesn't distinguish itself with as high a price. While the Frog/Chameleon are no longer at the top of the game in terms of price, they are near it. However, the $529 price point is surrounded by many "pedestrian" competitors. Pricing the Bee at $650 ensures that buyers will consider it premium and they may even see a boost in sales.

I like the look of the canapy of the old bee better than the new one. It looked more chic and stylish. I think that the price hike is a little ridiculous, as those glitches that it had should have been just fixed since it is a high end stroller! I think that Bugaboo is getting greety because you can get a Frog fpr $100 more, and it comes with the bassinet!!!

Have you seen this?


(I too prefer the look of the original canopy, and the solid wheels, but like the idea of the adjustable seat.)

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