Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Dispatch from the ABC Kids Expo

From Dan: Millie and I just returned from the ABC Kids Expo in Las Vegas, which seemed to be about 50% bigger than last year.

Las Vegas was the same as always--hot, loud, and crowded. On Monday, we got to witness a rare thunderstorm, though, which flooded the streets up to our taxi's wheel wells. I guess they don't build real big storm sewers in Las Vegas.

The expo itself was a huge mixture of strollers, diaper bags, baby carriers, toys, and just about everything else you might buy for a kid. We visited with a lot of our suppliers that we've worked with for years, like Moby Wrap, Ergo, Bum Genius, and Maya Wrap. And we found lots of new items that we hope you'll like when they arrive in our store.

As always, the Bad Idea Fairy has been busy in the past year. We saw several products designed to help toddlers keep track of their food, including a strap that attaches a sippy cup to a child's wrist so they won't lose their juice and a silicone band that performed a similar function for bagels. The worst idea we saw was the "Baby Beehavin"--a stroller with a built in DVD player. Why look at the world around you or even at your mother's face when you can just sit and watch Dora?

We also saw dozens of products designed to solve problems that don't really exist, like a tether that you connect to your kid when you go out so that you don't accidently leave them in the car; or a sticker with a hand print on it that you put on the side of your car and tell your kids to keep their hands on the sticker while you load groceries. Well intended, both. But needed?

Finally, we saw LOTS of celebrities!!!!! Well, not really celebrities, but pictures of them either caught in the act of using a baby product or quickly photographed at some event where a free diaper bag or swaddle blanket is shoved into their hands. Some of them we didn't even know--like a soap star who was going to make an appearance at the Foogo booth to help them sell sippy cups. We paused to ask about a certain baby sling and all we got was a bunch of nonsense about how many celebrities owned it.

Hello baby product makers everywhere: We don't care what Angelina Jolie uses for diaper rash or which baby shoes Adam Sandler's kid wears when he's shopping. LEAVE THOSE CELEBRITIES ALONE! NO ONE CARES!

So, that's our report from the baby gear trenches. It was nice to come home to September in Minnesota.
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