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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

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Eco Baby Gear Portland Oregon

Site Logo: ecobabygear.com

In news of local interest to my Portland readers, eco-minded families have yet another great place to shop in the stretch of SE Division between 20th Avenue and 39th – ahem – César Chavez Way.

Eco Baby Gear has moved 20 blocks closer to the Willamette, joining Bar Avignon, Twill, and Sushi Mazi in the rehabbed retail space at SE 21st and Division.

The new space is just a couple doors down from New Seasons Market and this momma’s favorite: Zenana Spa and Wellness Center, it’s a great location on a major bus line, bordering well-heeled and family-oriented Ladd’s Addition and funkier Clinton neighborhood.  The Division Vision project is busily beautifying this stretch of inner SE, which is still relatively affordable for owners and renters alike.

Truth be told, there was already a great eco baby gear shop in the area: Mother Nature’s at 26th and Clinton.  Mother Nature’s (across from Piccolina Resale, a great stop for eco-as-reuse shoppers) has a similar product set, if more limited in scope, so it will be interesting to see how this plays out.

Chan-Pie-Gnon at Eco Baby Gear

Available at ecobabygear.com: Chan-Pie-Gnon

At the moment, Eco Baby Gear is doing a lot of things right – perhaps most importantly, maintaining a well-stocked online store and boasting the top Google result for “Eco Baby Gear.”

If I could wish for one thing in this burgeoning cluster of eco-shops on/near SE Division, it’s a more expansive vision.  Babies are a lovely target for green living, but they grow up quickly.  What about the rest of the family?  We, too, want to grow up BPA-free…

Now that I’m stirring a pot of trouble, I thought I’d open a place to share the GOOD news and random bits I find.

We’ll start with the stuff most relevant to my previous post on the Babies R Us Trade-In Event:

Toys R Us (BRU’s parent co) did make a very generous $150,000 donation to Save The Children in response to the disaster in Haiti.  In early stages of disaster relief, money probably is truly more helpful since it allows organizations to buy what they need and distribute it in a flexible manner.  However, we still wonder what is going to happen to all these traded-in pack n’plays.

Diapers.com is getting in on the help, working with SkipHop and others to make % of sale donations to the Red Cross and Partners In Health.

Partners In Health specifically notes that blankets and tents are urgently needed in large supplies.  I wonder whether pack n’play and portacrib-type items qualify – seems like a good idea to get babies and little tots up off the ground.  (Perhaps I can find that out…)  The key of course is large supplies – which is why I thought this might be a good opportunity for Babies “R” Us and their Trade-In Sale…

Green To Grow, a fantastic company focusing on BPA-free and alternative plastics for children’s products has made a large donation of BPA-free bottles to Hands and Feet Project, an orphanage with two locations in Haiti.

Kids in Distressed Situations, or K.I.D.S. has been at work in Haiti for some time, and is accepting donations of baby gear and supplies from individuals and corporations.

From their site: K.I.D.S. is working with retailers and manufacturers to obtain donations of desperately needed new products and is asking the public for monetary support at www.KIDSdonations.org for our long-term response to the children and families in Haiti affected by the earthquake.

I would urge any readers with connections to major retailers or baby companies to urge action, and provide such information to your contacts.

Here are some links:

Via Yahoo! Shine: Help for Haiti from Baby Gear Companies

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  • 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
  • Mama GaGa: Oh, boo! Thanks for the manufacturing update - I will make note in the post. Cheers - MG
  • 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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