A significant amount of time has passed since the last post, and in that time our friends at Moluk have been hard at work preparing two new toys for the European summer – Mox and Nello. Read below for news from Zurich…
Next to the doll the ball is probably the most popular and universal toy. Mox combines both worlds: It has the expressive qualities of a puppet with a big mouth and the endless possibilities of a ball that can be rolled, thrown, caught or even juggled. One of the biggest surprises to most people is usually the sound Mox makes when you knock with it against your head or other objects. Filled with coins or beans Mox becoms a rattle. If you squeeze it or turn it inside out the expression of the ball changes and you discover many new faces. It’s like a tangible, 3-dimensional emoticon and in our social media campains #moxicons will be one of the hashtags we are planning to use. With its trademark simplicity and depth of possiblities we see Mox as a strong new member or the MOLUK family. It has no restrictions regarding age and can be sold as a baby toy, compact travel toy, juggling toy, fidget toy for stressed manager and in many other areas. We can’t wait to see all the uses kids will come up with once they have Mox in their hands.
Mox comes in two versions: The open display is geared towards shops where it fits next to the cashier and should make for some fun conversation while the 3-set box is mainly designed for online retailers, gift shops that like items in boxes or educational vendors who prefer sets.
Nello is very closely related to Bilibo. Both are what we call “tools for play”: Simple, intriguing objects that tickle the imagination and invite kids to invent their own games and stories. Like Bilibo Nello unites several toys in one. It is a color puzzle, a nesting toy, a marble run, a floating island in the bath or a sand toy at the beach. You can roll, spin and swing the rings, throw and catch them. Use them as targets for games like tiddlywinks or as beautiful props for role and pretend play. The bold shapes and bright colors have an iconic quality and look great even when the toys are just lying around before or after play. Nello is made of the same robust material as Bilibo and 100% recyclable. It comes in sets of 3 pieces or a Nello Max set with 9 pieces containing all sizes and colors in one box. This offers a great value, especially for educational channels.
At a recent trade expo called SARCDA we were very happy to see a surge in the number of parents, teachers, and toy retailers showing interest in a fantastic little water toy called Pluï. Pluï, designed by Moluk, is also known as The Rain Ball, because children can control the rate of air flow through the toy by blocking the top hole with their finger – and create rain drops. To date, Pluï has not sold very well – perhaps due to a lack of understanding of its potential, but I’m happy to say that nursery schools and even swim school teachers from around the country have taken Pluï home with them.
If you’d like to read a full review on Pluï, read it here. And remember, Pluï is available on www.straightzigzag.com.
Happy water playing in the warmer weather!
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Karen and the SZZ team
In the light of Thursday’s sad news of the passing of our much-loved and respected Tata Nelson Mandela, I thought it only appropriate to ponder for a moment on this great man’s life before we launch into the chaos of the festive season.
Firstly, I’d like to welcome all our new readers. When I’d blogged previously, Straight Zigzag was more of an ideal, a philosophy about play, a notion of how we’d like to see children develop. Now I can honestly say that Straight Zigzag has launched into the atmosphere, become a name that people ask us about and is developing the momentum to really change the way that us adults see the “work of play” that children understand so well. You’re all so welcome and we’re happy to know that you’re along for the ride!
So back to our former president and the father of the nation we call home. So many tributes have been playing non-stop on our tvs and radios for the last 4 days, and in so many of them we read and watch how Madiba treated the little ones. There have been videos of children singing happy birthday to him, Mandela stopping to greet the sick, stories of how he acknowledged the children of those who worked for him. One overarching value – compassion.
Maybe in the last few days you’ve received an email from us regarding Bilibos and Plui’s, but let’s not forget that Straight Zigzag is so much more than a toy shop. Our real aim is to reach those who are missing out on play opportunities for whatever reason. We’d like to attribute the Toy Sharing aspect of our vision to Madiba – a vision of sharing a generosity of spirit with everyone. So if you have reasonable looking toys that are no longer loved by your children, log onto www.straightzigzag.com and connect with us on the Toy Share page – we’ll make sure that some play experts (i.e. occupational therapists) match them to children who will love them. Also use the opportunity to explain to your children where the toys are going – and that perhaps for every new toy they get this year, they could share one with someone else. Compassion is a big word but it can be understood by the little ones when we show them how it’s done.
Wishing you and your families a happy, playful holiday season!