The sea of exhibits and exhibitors in the Las Vegas Convention Center this past few days for the 2010 ABC Kids show might have been overwhelming at first, but I found my inner child and began at the beginning…of the alphabet. This is the A-to-Z of ABC.
A is for…Alcohol. Check. I apologize..in advance.
B is for BOOYAH Baby. We first spotted this up-and-coming product in the morning of Day 1 at the show. Prior to even seeing the cutest mini Maclaren sporting one of Booyah’s signature stroller blankets, the company’s adorable, modern, and classy logo caught our attention. We were caught off guard by the individual attention we received in the media room, and couldn’t help but note that Booyah’s stroller liners are not marketed as yet another stroller-turned-carseat-liner aka “dangerous aftermarket product”. Thumbs up for a little common sense, BOOYAH!
C is for Clek, my fellow Canadians. As always, Chris@Clek took time out of his busy schedule to talk to me about what we can expect from this innovative high-end booster seat manufacturer. While my eyes wandered across some of the newer Paul Frank fabrics and I dreamed of a future marriage between fellow Canadian company Lululemon resulting in a co-branded ivivva athletica booster fabric, Chris talked about what we can expect to see from Clek in the near future. It’s no surprise that Clek has a harnessed seat in the works, but the details of said seat remain under lock and key until Clek is able to work out the finer details of their new baby. Rumour has it that Clek will diverge from it’s “O” nomenclature in order to give us the “F” in “wtf?!” Do our readers have any guesses on what the “F” stands for?
D is for Donkey. We wonder if Bugaboo owns a thesaurus? While the name of Bugaboo’s new animal may well leave much to be desired, the stroller itself is really quite innovative. While we’re no stranger to hybrid stroller technologies, with years of experience with Phil & Ted’s, Valco, Bumbleride and others giving us great new ways to stack our brood on a single chassis, Bugaboo’s new treat brings a whole new reality to the concept of hybrid stroller technology. We’re used to expanding and adjusting our use of space front-back, but Bugaboo saw a previously unrecognized dimension from side-to-side. I could explain until I’m blue (or green) in the face, but fortunately we have some videographic evidence for our loyal subj…err..readers….coming soon
E is for ERGObaby.
ERGObaby carriers are one of my all-time favourite carriers, with soft high threadcount cottons and a useful infant head hood. Back when I had my first Ergo, I believe I had three different colour choices so I was in bliss as I wandered my way into the Ergo display of new solids and prints. This year’s ABC show had one colour theme–just as orange was the new black, and pink later became the new orange..guess what colour we were seeing a sea of ABC 2010?
F is for…foonf; As in “what’s the foonf?”.
G is for guzzie + GUSS…We literally spent hours with these folks. Their line of strollers takes the “ah-ha!” moments from all the other stroller manufacturers and then improves upon them and gives us an end product that is still priced well below the competition. The owners and employees at guzzie + GUSS felt like family, and when we walked into their display area we recognized what had been missing from the “big boy” manufacturers–respect for their fellow employee. guzzie + GUSS is a well oiled machine, and as I sat and discussed our primary mission with Cathy, my eye wandered to G+G’s versatile dual-swing metal baby gate and line of wooden highchairs. Are you wondering about the story behind their name? That’s a blog in of itself. One of our lucky readers will receive their very own guzzie the Goose and GUSS the Moose–the first 50 readers to comment (useful comments, please!) on this blog entry will be entered to win these adorable stuffies, provided by guzzie + GUSS.
H is for…Hold on Handles. [Jackie wrote this great product up for me!] Moving through the crowds of people and exhibits, one little booth got our attention immediately. Speaking with the owners and founders of “Greater than One Kids”, creators of “Hold on Handles”, I was amazed at this innovative little product they were premiering this week at ABC. Being a mom of more than one small child myself, I was always getting my children to hold my purse straps when we were out in crowds. Now, I can just hook a VERY safe little carabiner right on your stroller, belt loop, or wrist strap, and my little darlings can “hold on to the handles” while we safely navigate through parking lots or crowded malls. I plan to keep watching for their debut, as I will DEFINITELY be reviewing this product with depth in the near future. And what down to earth folks these two moms were; I feel like we are family, Robyn and Susanne! I mean, what CEO hugs you after you tell them how wonderful and exciting their product is. This one did!!
I is for Inglesina…where we sat for quite a while waiting on Stefano Campagnolo. Stefano and his co-worker, a sweet Italian man named Luca, had obviously been busy from the green light through the conference center’s doors that morning. As Luca stood at a desk starting in on his post-3pm lunch of burger and fries, we encouraged him to come and sit with us as he ate. I suspect this was the first time Luca had been off his feet all day and wondered if Mr. Campagnolo weren’t a little hard on this sweet man. As we sat, I talked about my all-time favourite piece of baby gear over the last 8 years, the Inglesina Fast chair. My Fast lasted through three messy kids and hundreds of restaurant visits, but as a Canadian I was always disappointed not seeing it in local stores. When we eventually met with Mr. Campagnolo and poor sweet Luca wandered off to resume his work, the equally nice Campagnolo disclosed that our companion Luca (whose name tag dangled below the table the whole time we chatted) was actually an owner of the company…over his own, now cold, burger and fries.
J is for Jackie meets the Guncles. My partner in crime and I were standing around chowing down on what was perhaps the only palatable food at the whole show courtesy of boon, when we spotted the most adorable little girl having her own lunch with Daddy…and Daddy. Not being an avid television watcher and having no idea why Jackie was so excited, we spent a few minutes discussing the couple’s recent adoption of daughter Simone, male breastfeeding and the chocolatey goodness that were my M&Ms.
K is for…Klean Kanteen. Klean Kanteen is not only an ethical green product, they donate money to the Breast Cancer Fund. Their bottles are made from good-grade stainless steel and are BPA and toxin free. I was sure to purchase my special edition Klean Kanteen Prevention Purple bottle while at the show, and not only did I get this gorgeous Special Edition bottle, KK is donating $2 to a wonderful cause. You can get your Special Edition bottle, too, courtesy of Scott Rolfson @ Klean Kanteen in association with Carseatblog.com. The first reader to comment with “I love my Klean Kanteen!” will receive this “kool” bottle in the mail.
L is for…Love. My first true love: Mountain Buggy strollers. While I admittedly did shy away from the Mountain Buggy line soon after the Phil & Ted’s takeover, I have to admit that what I saw at the show may restore my loyalties. Mountain Buggy’s David Miller walked us through yet another new hybrid technology–the +one stroller. It’s a single, it’s a double. And unlike the side-by-side double of the past, Mountain Buggy now has a hybrid/convertible front-back option, with all of the benefits of a double stroller without being horizontally challenged. Shockingly, the footprint of the +one stroller is what you would expect from your average single stroller, and yet the front-back option doesn’t have you choosing between your stride and your child’s noggin.
We literally could have spent all day looking at the +one (and we hope to have an opportunity to spend more time with it in the future) but Jackie and I had to move on…finding our next gem only steps away.
The Mountain Buggy Free Rider was one of many ride-on boards at the show this year, but with a twist. Not only is the Free Rider a great no-kick board option for your Mountain Buggy stroller, it also has an innovative (hybrid–noticing a theme here?) design that allows it to be used as a child’s scooter. I believe David had said the weight limit is 45lbs, but don’t quote me on that. I honestly cannot wait to try this…but suspect I’m over the weight limit. Maybe Abigail and Mikaylah will give it a whirl for me?
M is brought to you by the words “Maclaren”, “missing” and Moby wraps! Who needs Maclaren when they can have Moby, anyways? The wonderful Tia@Moby promised my beautiful companion Jackie an early pick at one of the new Moby fabrics on display at the show. When we went back on our final day, the staff was true to their word and Jackie is one of the first people out there sporting their new “Bliss” fabric. Hopefully Jackie will have more to say about her new Moby in the near future!
O is for…Orbit’s Sidekick. The irony of this ingenious product’s name is that it’s finally a ride-on board that, at 5’9″ with the stride of an amazonian, I WON’T kick. While standing at Orbit talking with Mohini about Orbit’s dual certification of their infant seat (that’s Canada/US for those who haven’t figured out where my loyalties are by now) and admiring the Sidekick, one of the ABC Show attendees came into the Orbit booth with her own Orbit stroller…and SidekickS. She so very kindly allowed me to snap a photo of her dual board arrangement with two of her little models.
I bet she’s relieved she got that pedicure before Carseatblog.com made her toes famous on the web, right? If you’re out there, let us know! We’ll be able to identify you by your feet
So Orbit is now the first company to slap both sets of stickers on their seats…Hopefully Orbit sent that tidbit of information to the folks at Canada Customs before people start having problems returning to north with their shiny new seats!
P is for Piggy Paint. I cannot say enough great stuff about Piggy Paint. As ethical bloggers, we were not going around the Convention Center with our hands out-stretched. We so truly believe in this product that Jackie and I begged Piggy Paint to sell us some of their gorgeous nail polish for our daughters upon our return home to Canada. Piggy Paint is non-toxic, odorless and kid-friendly. I have no reservations about my 5 year old daughter and 7 year old son using this product. The staff at Piggy Paint even went above and beyond to help us return a lost phone to another ABC attendee Watch the blog for a Piggy Paint giveaway in the near future!
Q is for…Queen…and her beautiful little Prince. We spotted the Prince wandering quite a ways outside the temporary kingdom of Skip*Hop, where we were admiring the Zoo Lunchies and new Bento kits. We reunited said Prince with Queen, much to the small Prince’s delight.
R is for…Russ@Sunshine Kids. Jackie was so excited to finally meet the famous Russ that we had to snap a photo. We also loved one of the new Radian fabrics on display–which, rumour has it, may be named after one of the equally pretty Carseatblog.com bloggers. I wonder if he’ll put that in writing?
T is for…Toilet. The one in our Planet Hollywood hotel room that screamed in anger all night our last night, and spontaneously flushed itself while I was beginning this blog entry. I think our bathroom was possessed.
U is for…Up, up, up. Up go the upper weight limits in 2010. Vehicle seat and child restraint manufacturer Recaro has upped the ante this year, with pushing the upper forward-facing harnessed limit on a standard child restraint to the 90lb mark on their ProSport carseat. Now if only we can see Recaro go up, up, up into the Canadian market–no plans on making the move across the 49th quite yet, however.
W is for…Whatever I want. And while I would love to post the photographic evidence of Transport Canada’s own Barbara Baines testing out the adult sized version of the “nap nanny” on display at the show, I promised not to to post the photograph ON the blog…and we all know I’m a gal of my word, right?
Y is for…You, our reader…Throughout the show, we had numerous attendees and exhibitors tell us how much they love the blog. One, in particular, Torey, hunted us down in the Cybex baby booth and despite making numerous attempts to contact her during the show to give her a Car-seat.org/Carseatblog.com lanyard, we never did cross paths. So, just for you Torey, I have a lanyard that was even previously warn by the one and only Darren@Carseatblog.com. Let me know where to send it!
Z is for Zapp…After wandering around what was dubbed the “Fort Knox of the ABC Show”, or the Cosco pavilion, we finally found the entrance on the south side of the exhibit. Despite having no formal appointment, the folks at the Dorel Juvenile Group kindly provided us with a tour guide/escort through the displays of Cosco/Dorel products to the gems in the back. We were drooling over the new Zapp–which has come a long way from that compact three-wheeler we all imported from Europe (and later Canada, in a limited two colours of red and lime). This baby has really grown up into a refined full-featured adult but without losing the compact fold that first drew us to the stroller. Our new Zapp “Xtra” has a reversible seat and, as much as I enjoyed hanging my newborn from her sling to sleep in the seat of my original red three-wheeled Zapp, it now has 2 recline positions when rear-facing, and 3 while forward-facing. Although I didn’t hear it during our time in Fort Dorel, according to the Quinny website people who purchased the original Zapp may also be able to buy a new seat with these new features–does anyone know if this is also the case in the United States, or is it just offered in Europe? What a great opportunity to update your Zapp without having to replace the full stroller–AND a wonderful way to get yourself a spankin’ new colour!