A+R Toy Lab at Crafting Community

  • The Ice Cream Truck by Famous Oto is the first food truck by this brand new Brooklyn-based toy house.

  • The A+R Toy Lab at Crafting Community 2013.

  • Wood car, bubble wands and stars by Japanese brand Kiko+

  • David Weeks' Cubebot Robots before they unfold...a crowd obsession!

  • Kid O Spinning Tops fill a Dropp Bowl by Niels Römer for Menu

  • A whole colorful heap of Naef blocs inside these Japanese-made buckets that can be closed and double as seats.

  • Toys from Kiko+, Naef and Kiko+!

  • Airplane by Kid O. Coming soon to A+R!

  • Nina checks out the library at the A+R Toy Lab. In the back the new Oto Ice Cream Truck.

  • Magnatabs magnetic writing tablets by Kid O are a consistent favorite.

  • Nina and me inside the A+R Toy Lab. Above our noggins: the Ship Kites by Haptic Lab, customized for this amazing weekend event.

From a food truck for toddlers to magnetic blocks to a tiny wood recreation of Paris, we’ve tried to create a world of magic and creativity for the more than 200 kids playing at the A+R Toy Lab this weekend at Crafting Community, the weekend escape at Ace Hotel in Palm Springs. And what joy it’s been!

Kids have made cars from the magnetic blocks and magnetic wheels from Tegu, the New England-based company founded by two brothers who set out to make sustainably sourced, eco-friendly magnetic wood blocks in an effort to preserve Honduran rain forests while paying fair wages to the craftsmen making them.

These kids have also been twirling tops and flying planes, all in A+R colors of red, blue and green, by Kid O, another east coast brand, this one founded by a mom, Lisa Mahar. When her son was having trouble learning how to make letters, she created the Magnatab. Not surprising those magnetic boards have been some of the most popular playthings of the weekend.

Our friends at Kukkia Japan, a.k.a. Kiko+, made sure we received a few of their newest wood toys for CC13. We already wanted to bring their Machi Town series, including Paris and London, to the event. But they also sent the cutest little wood cars in pop colors and patterns and a bubble wand set in the shapes of stars. There’s also a box filled with hundreds of wood stars in colors and mettalics that kids have been positioning on everything.

The Cubebot Robot attack is courtesy of David Weeks for Areaware, which also sent Patrick Kim’s new mahogany and pine Alphabet Blocks. We also featured the rubber-band jointed wooden creatures from this New York artist and maker.

On a whole other dimension in terms of size is the ice cream truck by new Brooklyn-based toy brand Famous Oto, of which we have the prototype at CC. They are going into production next week, and A+R will be among the very first to have them. Our pal Emily Fischer of Haptic Lab also beautifully painted 2 of her fair-trade made Ship Kites for us to hang above the little ones’ heads at Toy Lab. They are just magical!

We’re also showcasing for kids to play with the LED UFO Lights from Foreverlamp for Alessi, a cork drum from Materia in Portugal, a giant snow globe from Maison Martin Margiela and our favorite Omintoil buckets from Japan to fill it all with magnetic blocks by Tegu and stacking blocks from Naef. And. boy, has our amazing Toy Lab attendant Brooke been keeping the place in good order and spirits flying high among the kids and their parents this weekend.

Check out the designated Crafting Community page at the A+R store. It’s up for a limited time only, featuring all the toys at A+R Toy Lab (and a few more!). So visit us there.


Posted In: Craft, Design, Event, Family, Gifts, Kids, Toys, Uncategorized, , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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Rose Apodaca