Monday, December 01, 2008

Move Over Angelina ...


Move over Angelina, Oliebollen.com is now the hottest thing in People Magazine.

That's right, Oliebollen.com is mentioned in People Magazine this week. Okay, so they misspelled Oliebollen, but at least they know who we are! Not only that, they recommended 3 of our toys as great holiday gifts for little ones. They love our Vintage-Style Wooden Pull Toys , Recycled Plastic Tea Set, and Bamboo E-Racers.

(Note to Brad: you can stay right there, no need to move an inch.)

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Mark Your Calendars for Fun!


Visit Oliebollen.com on
November 28th thru December 2nd for some game show inspired fun!

Our Arm Chair Holiday Shopping Sweep spans 5 days & offers a bunch of new freebies & deals each day! The catch is that the surprises are hidden, so you really have to explore the site to find them.

So nimble up those fingers & prepare to shop like a madwoman on the old game show Supermarket Sweep!

We'll post clues here everyday during the event. So be sure to check back!

Click for full details.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Saturday, November 08, 2008

The Ultimate STUN Gun




We found this at Toys for Future Mass Murderers Inc. (aka target.com). The Nerf N-Strike Vulcan EBF-25 Blaster has certainly stunned us ... in a horrified, totally speechless way. Anyone care to add your own comment?

Monday, October 27, 2008

Cozie Up ... It's Getting Cold Out!

SAVE 20% ON ALL ZUTANO COZIES FOR 1 WEEK ONLY.

Now that the chilly weather is REALLY here, it's time to stock up on Zutano COZIES for your baby! Our fabulous COZIES cardigans, hats, booties, overalls & more are made of the most comfy 80% cotton sherpa ever. Hurry, snap up your cozies by 11/3/08 and save 20%!


Saturday, October 25, 2008

Never Too Young to Rock & Roll


Wondertime Magazine chose our Claesen's Guitar Jumpsuit for November's Stuff We Love column, quote:
Jimi Hendrix used to wear these. In paisley.

Not to argue with good publicity, but we think Jimi Hendrix only wished he'd had a jumpsuit as happening as this. Those of us of a certain age know that back in the 70's it was polyester or nude. So go check it out and then excuse us while we kiss the sky...

Monday, October 20, 2008

Flower Power




Check out the photo of one of our favorite Oliekids in her Kinder Heroes tee!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Cool Costumes at Devilish Prices



Save 25% on Halloween costumes & gear now through October 24th!

Friday, October 03, 2008

Who’s your favorite superhero?




Old-school Superman? Hollywood’s Iron Man? Or perhaps one of the few female offerings, like, Wonder Woman? Ever since Superman flew onto the pages of Action Comics in his red & blue tights, kids and adults alike have fantasized about having super powers. Who wouldn’t want to have superhuman strength? Or be able to fly? This has been the topic of HOURS of discussion in our house.

But do we have to be limited to Hollywood’s vision of who can be a superhero?

How about something a little closer to home, say…a worm. Or a flower.

One doesn’t have to look far to be amazed by super feats -- like the ability to tunnel through earth, composting and making it ready for new growth. Or delighting the world with beautiful colors and delicious fragrances in order to attract emissaries of the insect world to carry nectar and pollen.

We are beyond excitement to introduce Oliebollen’s version of a superhero.
Kinder Heroes – A Nicer Kinda hero.

Our first two tees featuring an earth worm and a flower are even more super because they are printed on beautifully dyed organic cotton, and made in the U.S.A. And each shirt come with temporary Kinderheroes Tattoos! The designs are also available on a bodysuit.


Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Kudos for Cottages

These little cottages are perfect for the little girl on the go. They open from the top, so she can tuck in a few dolls or toys for traveling or for stylish storage. Each cottage has two picture windows and a velcro door on the side. She can nest one inside the other, or carry one in each hand as she heads out the door. A totally sweet gift, we think.

And guess, what? We're not the only people who love this item! Two very credible blogs have posted nice reviews just this week. At Cool Mom Picks, you'll find some very kind words from Kristen Chase. And if you check out Droolicious , you'll see that writer Elizabeth Leach is a fan too. She also loves Cool Mom Picks, and all the super cool toys at Oliebollen.com. Excellent, taste ladies!

Friday, September 19, 2008

Cookie Magazine Rocks!

Cookie Magazine's October 2008 issue features the Trillium Rocker from Chelsea's very own Roebuck Studio !

It's the top recommendation in the Cookie Dough section where readers "score serious discounts on products that will thrill every member of the family!"

This child's rocker, designed for ages 2 through 6, is an elegant yet rugged piece for your home. Chair measures 26"L x 13"W x 22"H . The parts come flat packed for shipping and are easily assembled by fitting the slots together. All edges are rounded for safety and a safe, shellac finish is applied. Available with contrasting sides in black, white, red, orange, green, yellow or a clear finish.

About Roebuck Studio:

Roebuck Studio is a fun, imaginative children’s furniture design and manufacturing company offering high quality, moderately priced, modern styled furniture built with sustainable materials in an environmentally responsible way. Their furniture is designed & manufactured in Chelsea Michigan -- just a few miles west of Oliebollen.com headquarters in Ann Arbor!

The Birch Plywood furniture is made of baltic birch, which is strong, lightweight, and stable. Low emission glues keep off-gassing to a bare minimum as compared to MDF, particleboard, or other engineered materials. Only FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) certified birch plywood is used.

All furniture parts are finished in traditional shellac, which creates a natural, durable, water-proof finish that can be wiped clean easily. Shellac is a time tested wood finishing material that is made from the cocoons of a small beetle dissolved in alcohol. This makes it safe enough to put in your mouth and chew on, in fact, some apples, candy, and other fruits in the grocery are coated in shellac to add shine.

Water based interior wall paints are used to add contrast and interest to the pieces, but all furniture is also available with clear finish.

SPECIAL COOKIE DOUGH OFFER!
Kids' Trillium Rocking Chair from Roebuck Studio
Save 25 percent. Regularly from $171;
Cookie Dough price: from $128 each
How to get it: Go to Oliebollen.com and enter "OLIE" at checkout.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Zen for Little People


Inspired by nature in all of its beauty & simplicity, the Fisher Price Zen Collection was designed to create harmony in the home with its earthy colors, beautiful wood accents and richly textured fabrics...

Let's see, the company that sells America about a zillion tons of obscenely bright plastic every year now intends to "create harmony in the home"? Could they be worried about karma? Nah, they probably just see a chance to sell even more stuff to exhausted parents. Kind of like selling the virus and the cure.

But if Fisher Price has truly found the light, then I guess the new way to Zen is earth toned baby gear...

With graceful patterns that are inspired by nature, each piece in the Zen Collection promises to complement your home’s d├ęcor while creating a serene, soothing environment for baby.

All I can think of is how are they going to make yoga pants to fit those Little People figurines? Now that would be transcendent!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Asian Kitschology

At last, the perfect gift to get those tv-watching, computer-game-addicted boys off their butts and into the outdoors.


Inside this gift-giver's delight of a tin, you will find a carefully chosen vintage-style metal torch, magnifying glass, metal compass, string with knot-guide and notebook and pencil.

Featured in magazines the world over - this absolutely rocks!

Created by illustrator, Fiona Hewitt, and expert in Asian Kitschology, Andy Tainton, Dumpling Dynasty kits were inspired by years spent living in Shanghai, Beijing and Hong Kong, endlessly trawling the flea markets and junk shops for inspiration.

Check out all of our Dumpling Dynasty kits at Oliebollen.com.

Monday, September 08, 2008

Another Reason to Love the Internets


Tick Tock Toys: A Cavalcade of Images & Ideas, is a virtual treasure trove of rare & kooky kid-related commercial art from the 1940s thru 1970s. It is just one of the many public services offered by the talented, Dan Goodsell (see my Sept. 7th post).

I just spent over an hour exploring the hundreds of cereal boxes, store displays, newspaper ads, packaging & more. And I didn't have to move anything heavier than my carpal tunnel afflicted fingers - a mere ten thousand times. Such injurious repetitive motion is a small price to pay to lay eyes on all this cool stuff. In the non-virtual world, even if you left the couch for DAYS, you would not find anything that comes close to this stash.
So hats off to Dan & the Internets! You make life more fun, and way less productive. (This hilarious artwork is from a prototype for a bubble gum card. Question for the kids ... do they still make bubble gum cards?)

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Food For Thought

an·thro·po·mor·phize
transitive verb : to attribute human form or personality to things not human
Entry Date: 1845

According to Webster's Dictionary, people have been trying to make objects seem human since at least 1845. Do you think they were drawing smiley faces on clouds & potatoes way back then? If so, why? Something to ponder, and research, for sure ...

Fast forward to 2008. People are still drawing smiley faces, plus arms, legs and all sorts of humanly attributes on inanimate objects, and we love it! What is so adorable, engaging, endearing, & hilarious about a winking carrot or a french fry in a bad mood? I don't have an answer at the moment. If you do, please comment!

What I do know for sure is that I am totally in love with Mr. Toast & friends and was thrilled to meet their creator, Dan Goodsell, in Las Vegas, recently. Although, he was sharing a booth at Magic Kids, with Monkey in A Dryer (we'll talk about them in another post) Dan confessed he wasn't sure why he was there. He had a bunch of vinyl Mr. Toast key chains to give away, so we decided that was his purpose. I asked him to make some toddler sized tees for us featuring Mr. Toast, his best friend Joe the Egg, and a few others. He said that could probably happen if I e-mailed him. (I did & I hope it will!) Dan also hooked me up with a source for some plush versions of Mr. Toast & friends. And guess, what? After tracking down this source, leaving lots of messages, I was actually able to order them and should have them on the site in the next week or so!

Until then, just gaze at this photo, and imagine how much cuter Mr. Toast will be when you see him in person. UPDATE: Mister Toast & His Friends have arrived at Oliebollen.com. Check them out!

Friday, September 05, 2008

Endlessly Funner

Did anybody see our full page ad in the September issue of Wondertime Magazine? The photo shoot was a little insane. We rounded up 11 or so kids through friends & co-workers and set them loose on a local playground. The jumping dude is Mikey, the son of Amanda our Customer Service manager. (Yes, he is always that cute!)

For more behind-the-scenes dish about the photo shoot, check out this post at Relish (a blog written by our fab photographer, Myra Klarman).

Tell us what you think of our ad!

P.S. : You can still enter to win a year of free tees. Just go to www.oliebollen.com/funner.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Tokidoki Time




Tokidoki is a Japanese expression that translates loosely to "sometimes, I guess, whatever" It is also the name Italian artist, Simone Legno, gave to his endearing take on Japanese culture. I've been a fan of Tokidoki character art for a while, so it was really cool to discover Little Rocker & Cactus Girl baby clothes at the Pool show in Las Vegas last week.

These snide yet innocent little characters exhibit some serious 'tude while somehow remaining totally adorable. Kind of like the stubborn toddler who wears his underwear on his head, or his boots to sleep. Oh yeah, he's baaadd. But in a good way.

Look for genuine Tokidoki clothing & toys to appear at Oliebollen.com in January 09, if not sooner.

Ashita Tomodachi (English translation = later, dude )

Monday, September 01, 2008

Finding Our Barry

Who would have thought my B.A. in Anthropology (class of '81) would finally be useful (told you dad!). But it actually was on my recent buying trip to Las Vegas. As I waded through every genre of fashion, culture & humanity itself, I felt much like a scientist exploring a totally foreign, yet fascinating world. Millions of products on display - each loved by somebody - for some reason. And all set within a city offering every idea of entertainment imaginable.

Not only was it fun, but it helped me see Barry Manilow in a whole new light. I may not want to wear his face on my chest or own a set of "Manilow - the Hits" wine glasses. But I can totally see why someone would. Everybody has his or her own Barry. Our goal in life is to find it, wear it, embrace it, be it.

And that is exactly what Oliebollen.com is about. We're devoted to our idea of what is cool for kids. It may not be yours. But if it is, we're your Barry. And you know, we can't smile without you...
P.S. I'm thinking Barry isn't so bad, is he? What do you think?


Sunday, August 24, 2008

Vegas, Baby!

We're heading to Vegas tomorrow in search of new stuff for Spring 09. The Vegas trade shows are a new scene for us. We typically do our hunting & gathering in New York or in bland hotel suites near our offices in Ann Arbor, MI.

But this year, we're shaking things up and going west in search of the kind of off-beat, but in-tune stuff that makes us smile. The Vegas markets are known for mass-market, tacky junk --but we're betting there are some real jewels amid the rhinestones.

So, no need to worry! We're still dedicated to offering the coolest things for kids, including old favorites. We're just hoping to crank up the fun, so that each time you visit us, you'll be delighted by what you find.

Stay tuned...we'll post some previews when we return and you can tell us what you think. In the meantime, if you want to suggest products or brands, please add your comments!

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Blogging for Bloggers

This blog was created to spread the word when new stuff arrives in stock at Oliebollen.com. But as much as we love the idea of doing this, we probably think more about our neglect of this blog than we do about actually posting to it!

Why do we have such a hard time promoting ourselves? I don't know. Prior to founding this business, I spent many years in marketing, and had no problem promoting other companies!

Yet, when it comes to stuff that I truly, personally love, I'm at a loss for words. If I love something, I want others to see what I see at first glance. Explaining why I love something is almost too personal. What if I bare my soul about how I feel when Sophie the Giraffe looks at me with her innocent, rubber eyes ... and people think she's nothing special? Silly as it is, that thought kind of hurts.

(Awkward silence ....)

Oh, Sorry! I'll get to the point.

From now on, we're going to expand the focus of this blog to include what we like to do better - talk about how great other people are. Specifically, how great other people's blogs are.

So today, we're going to start with one old favorite and one new find.

Red Shoes
Catherine of Red Shoes is a personal friend and a local artist here in Ann Arbor, MI. She has an adorable little gift shop & webstore. On her blog, she chats about her daily life in a way that lets you see how an artist thinks.

A simple pleasure. Enjoy!

Motherhood Uncensored
I just found Kristen's blog the other day. It was during one of those meandering surfs that may have started at babble.com and an hour later dropped me at Motherhood Uncensored with total amnesia about how I got there. As I read Kristen's quick post about sending her daughter off to school for the first time, I laughed, I was touched, I marveled at her wit, and then I wondered what was wrong with me that I never heard of her before. As I explored her blog and followed links from there, I discovered that Kristen is one of the big deals in the "Mommy Blogger" world. And her blog is just one of her many, interesting ventures.

A snarky pleasure. Read it & smirk.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

No Boring Backpacks!

Come find a fantastic selection of backpacks for this fall - We have something for everyone! Find anything from funky to furry in our amazing selection of backpacks. Starting with funky paul frank offers up fun with packs featuring JULIUS or SKURVY.

Super classic themes to please the young digger or horsie enthusiasts include CONSTRUCTION (don't miss the matching lunchbox), HORSES (again, matching lunchbox) or straight-up CHEERFUL with hearts, smiling backpacks, clouds and flowers.
Great sizes, great colors and great selection - HURRY! Hurry..... hmmmm, rhymes with furry. Didn't I promise a furry backpack?
Here it is -
FURRY, well FUZZY anyway.

Friday, July 18, 2008

TOYTIME till July 21st


It really is TOYTIME - time for 20% off your toy purchases at Oliebollen.com till July 21!! How to make the magic happen? Like this:
1) Add heaps of cool toys to your shopping bag
2) Click View Bag
3) Enter TOYTIME in the COUPON CODE field (after you click View Bag)
4) Click apply and BAM! 20% off your toys - and have we got such cool new toys!

Where to begin? Hmmm - oh yes, the coolest toy ever - MIX IT UP.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

HOT DOG! Mini Rotation Tees are Here!


Summer is well underway - celebrate with summery-fun tees from Heavy Rotation's new kid's line mini-rotation

Soft,lightweight tees and onesies are perfect for summer weather and are printed with the funky-fun graphics you expect from Heavy Rotation.


Thursday, June 12, 2008

Semi-Annual Sale In Progress Now.

What else is there to say, but Go. Shop. Now. The deals don't get any better than this!

http://www.oliebollen.com/SearchResult.aspx?CategoryID=428