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Posts Tagged ‘Innovative

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Update 6/22/2012:  RIP Plum!  Too soon…  Good article here on why it failed.  I’m keeping this post up, because I still believe in the idea.  Interesting perspective in the article on why ThredUP works, too.

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Here’s an interesting notion for parents wanting to live simply yet still deck their kids out in boutique clothing: rent it.

Plum is a new company that calls itself “Netflix for baby clothes.”  Subscribers pay a monthly fee to receive bundles of two, four, or seven outfits at a time by mail, sending them back when finished for a fresh set.  Bundles are packed in a resealable envelope for easy returns, and the subscription supports one free exchange per month.

Does this pencil out over buying new?  Pretty much – at least for the brands they’re touting (Tea Collection, Petit Bateau, Kate Quinn Organics…)  Let’s say you were dressing an infant for exactly three months, and could live with Plum’s seven outfit bundle on top of all the stuff you were gifted by friends and family.  That’s a $49/month subscription – about $150 for the 3 months.  By contrast, Tea Collection or Kate Quinn layette separates run about $30-35 a piece – which would total about $210-$245 for seven outfits if purchased new.

Plum’s no-hassle stain policy (no worries – they just donate it to charity) helps make the service an overall good value, especially if you’re just having one child of a particular gender (finally – a girl after three boys!), or are not the type to do the legwork of keeping stuff pristine for resale.  Parents of multiples can use it to supplement what they already have in the house, maybe giving that little girl four sweet outfits “of her own” each month (for $29) on top of the more gender-neutral stuff she can reuse from her brothers.  It’s also a fun gift for relatives or friends to consider – either one time, or recurring.

Plum is in a public beta at the moment, with a waitlist for new members.  But if it interests you, definitely sign up and keep your eyes on it.  A similar service is ThredUP, where families nation-wide swap used baby clothing for $15.95 a box.  ThredUP is a great idea for the mass market, but with brands tending to be a lot more mainstream – Carter’s, Old Navy, that sort of thing – the lack of selection can be frustrating to folks who prefer (and would post up in exchange) the kinds of brands that Plum is carrying.

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Editor’s Note: ThredUP has since added a Concierge service which helps get higher-end swappers into the game.

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Photo Credit: http://www.toyfair.de

Today I learned about the International Toy Innovation Awards from Oompa Toys’ very excellent blog (and Twitter feed), and have been having fun poking around the web site of the Spielwarenmesse Nürnberg – the International Toy Fair.  2010 marks the 61st annual fair, and seventh year of ToyAwards for “especially innovative new products” distinguished by “topicality, quality, and inventiveness” (per the official site).

An independent jury awards a shiny red rocking horse in eight categories, some functional and others more esoteric.  You can tell these were devised by Europeans – – Americans would stick to labels you can shop by: “arts & crafts,” “stuffies” and “things that go.”  Category winners and links are listed below – thanks and apologies to the Toy Fair web site for the cut & paste!

Category: Emotion + Experience
Product: Paper Jamz, Sablon Germany

Category: Creativity + Design
Product: Organeco Blocks, HaPe International

Category: Electronics + Technical
Product: Carrera RC Racing Machine, Stadlbauer Markting + Vertrieb GmbH

Category: Knowledge + Learning
Product: tiptoi, Ravensburger Spieleverlag GmbH

Categorie: Fun + Sport
Product: Yo-Be – Sling Disc, Manley Toy Quest

Category: Games + Action
Product: Playmobil Play World Top Agents – PLAYMOBIL / geobra Brandstätter GmbH & Co. KG

Category: Ecology + Environmental Awareness
Product: GEOlino Power-House, Franckh-Kosmos Verlag

Category: Trend + Lifestyle
Product: Barbie Video Girl, Mattel



  • JHeff: I have read a good number of comments about most users of the boba not really ever using the foot rests. Looking at the videos I've seen, the back on
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  • Cathy: I know this is a couple years old but I ran across this post and was so excited when you said the Boba was made in America - a big selling point for m

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