Advertisement* I visited the Cologne trade fair Kind + Jugend expo to see what’s new and what is still available. I visited on three days so this is my report of my first day, the other days will follow. This is the English Version. Meinen deutschen Bericht zur Kind+Jugend Teil 1 findet Ihr hier.
Visiting the iCandy stand
As last year I got invited to visit iCandy. The stand is „closed“ and not photographs are allowed inside. There were several smaller news, there are new colours available for the Peach, a mustard yellow with petrol blue stitching, which is something I haven’t see before but I actually like it. I was able to review both the newest iCandy Peach and the iCandy Raspberry this year and I love how iCandy keeps improving already great strollers. They really listen to their customers.
The Raspberry hasn’t had any changes this year, the Peach Allterrain got a completely new look. It now looks like outdoor gear and has a lovely kind of shiny (and at the same time not shiny) fabric and great details. When you order yours you don’t have to decide if you prefer three wheels or four, you get both and can easily swap then whichever you prefer for that outing. As with the normal Peach you can use it for two kids without having to get a wider stroller, you can attach two seats or a bassinet and a seat or even two bassinets.
I am not allowed to tell much about it, but there’s something new coming soon: iCandy will introduce a brand new pushchair in 2019: the iCandy Lime. It has some very special features I already can’t wait to see and lovely colours (who knows me, knows I love purple).
Strollers at OSANN, Moon & Mamas & Papas
Next I visited OSANN, who now have Sarah Harrison as a celebrity designers. Sarah Harrison is very well known in Germany and got a big following since she is a really hands-on Mum with her daughter Mia Rose. She designed a whole range of car seats and a stroller, each with a line for boys and one for girls. OSANN is an affordable brand and offers everything you might need like car seats, strollers and high chairs plus accessories.
At Moon the new Resea stroller caught my eye. My impression is that the new trend is a stroller size between a full sized one but still more comfortable and bigger than a typical buggy. Most brands offered something like this. The Resea looks really sleek and has a small fold. It weighs only 10kilograms and is for children up to 15 kilograms. Lots of parents want a stroller which is forward and parent-facing and easy to switch direction. So the new Resea should tick this box as it can be used in both directions and has a rather flat recline. The basket is a nice size, too.
I don’t have to tell international readers much about Mamas & Papas. The brand and their quality is well known. They showed in Cologne the Flip XT3 and the new special edition of their bestseller the Ocarro. Mamas & Papas have paired up with British brand „Moon“ and presented a special edition with tweed. My impression was that most brands presented some kind of tweed-look for Britain, so it appears to be a trend for this winter. I always liked Mamas & Papas, the designs are modern and minimalist and the strollers are easy to push and fold rather small. We reviewed the Urbo2 and the Armadillo Flip XT already.
Teutonia is back
Teutonia is back, the brand ID is now part of the Emmaljunga family. They showed the prototype of the new Teutonia Trio stroller. Trio because the offer the option of a bassinet, a typical stroller seat PLUS a buggy seat. The new design reminds me of Emmaljunga strollers. I was told that they want to return to great quality and customer service.
Skip Hop products
My next appointment was at Skip Hop. I was shown around and so much was explained to me. We started off at the Zoo products, the cute backpacks now are available in a fox design as well, of course you still get my personal favorite, the owl. There are bigger backpacks but also tiny ones which are isolated and keep food cool for longer. New is the luggage in the same design, there are small trolley suitcases available. They also introduced a new set, the Neat Eat Plate and Bowl. You can even put them in your microwave and they won’t feel hot! There is a kind of „rim“ so it’s easier for toddlers to get the food onto their spoons.
Then we took a look at the parents‘ bags. Skip Hop offers a wide range of styles for different tastes. I was impressed with one of the new bags. I usually carry my bags with a shoulder strap. But sometimes I buy groceries or I am carrying my child and then a backpack is much more comfortable. Now there is the new Greenwich convertible bag, you just put the shoulder strap on different hooks and put the strap through another hook and there you go: you have a backpack (my desciption sounds more difficult than it actually is).
We then had a look at the toys and they now offer an activity center, there are different toys and when your child grows older, you put the lower part as a cover on the middle part which is actually a black board so your child can then use it in it’s room as a normal table.
I always like things that kind of grow with the child and you can use for a long period of time.
There is also a wide range of toys, I only want to mention one which is a great idea in my opinion, there is a teether which has a stainless steel plate inside (of course it is covered) which keeps cool for much longer when your child chews on it.
The Skip Hop play mats are well known as they look inviting and the toys are interesting but there was something I hadn’t see before anywhere else, it is a soft playmat with different designs (I adored the city one) but the great feature is that you can just turn it when the child grows older or if you kid plays in the living-room and at night you prefer to have a room which doesn’t scream „toddler“ while you try to relax. The reverse side has a modern and minimalist design which should suit most living-rooms.
All pictures but the last one are from the Skip Hop press release, courtesy of Skip Hop.
Having a look around at the Kind + Jugend
These are just nice things I saw when walking around. Roommate had this lovely tent, as I said, children’s toys can appeal to both, parents and children alike. It can be colorful while still not totally cramping your style.
Last year I saw the Way To Play Ringroad at the Kind + Jugend and really like the functions and design. So we got our youngest son one set for Christmas and as the kids all like to play with it, we got a bigger set for his 3rd birthday last week. Kidzpiration presented both Way to Play by the designer Sybren Jelles and also wooden cars and houses by the designer Floris Hovers.
The Way To Play roads are designed in the Netherlands and produced in Germany. You can use them about everywhere, we even took ours to the beach and on Instagram I saw kids playing in the mud or in the bath. You just wash it off and dry the part again. You can use all kind of toy cars with the road.
Well, I am big fan of Wobbel and their concept. Their slogans „invitation to grow“ and „invitation to play“ are so true. The Wobbel is a balance board which was used for Waldorf for ages but wasn’t available any more. So the Wobbel team redesigned and developed it again. The Wobbele are made of FSC beech wood in the EU. Until now you could choose between eco wool felt or cork but this year they introduced the new Wobbel Pro for high use made of recycled pressed felt, the wooden part is the same as with the other Wobbels (although there is a bamboo one as well).
Our children now have had their Wobbels for a year (we got one to review a year ago), our eldest son then got the Wobbel XL for Christmas. This year Wobbel made a Wobbel Starter which is suitable for smaller children (although under parental guidance you can use the Wobbel Original too for toddlers) and which is why it appeals to us, you can take it with you when traveling or visiting friends, as it is small and light but still can be used up to 100 kilograms.
During this year I have recommended the Wobbel to so many people. We are not being paid or in any connection with Wobbel, I just honestly love the concept, the product and the whole vision of Wobbel.
Design Award for Creatus ‚Upe“
This year I also visited the design area where designers presented their ideas. ‚Upe“ by Creatus caught my eye and I later learned that she won the Kids Design Award. ‚Upe‘ are wooden blocks which have very different shapes so you can not only build buildings and forms but also spell letters and numbers with them. I got a bag to review (I will soon do the review) and my children loved them, even without the guide it was obvious to them what they could do with them. They are looking for a producer now but as the product and design are so great I am sure they will find one pretty soon. Until then, if you want to get these, be in touch with Creatus on Facebook.
Squiz Re-Usable Pouches
My kids as probably most kids love those fruity squeeze bags you can buy. But those obviously produce loads of waste. So when I saw Squiz last year I was curious to try them. We’ve used our one bad loads now and so I was happy to see them at the Kind + Jugend again. You just fill the pouches (130ml) with whatever your kid likes, either home-made or shop-bought fruit puree. After use you wash them and then use them again. It’s easy and great for the environment. We have used them now for months and so far they don’t leak or anything. The designs are colourful and bright animals and the children like them a lot.
RUK-BUG & Uppababy
We then stopped at RUK-BUG as BestBuggy recommended them. They developed a new stroller which is both light and very sturdy. You can use it up to 22kilograms and it was especially designed to stay upright. Sometime kids (or Mums with their bags) manage to topple a stroller over. The RUK-BUG has a rather big basket (up to 7 kilograms) plus there is an attachable basket as well, so loads of room for your groceries. It is a three wheeled stroller and has a small fold. One thing is special as well (besides the curve) it can be carried as a backpack. The harness impressed me as well, it is a special magnetic system which almost closes itself but the child cannot unlock it without help. How many times do parents suffer when trying to strap in a toddler mid-tantrum? And it still only weighs 10 kilograms.
Our last stop was at Uppababy. I have read so much about their new Minu stroller on Instagram. Mums love the Minu. I have to say I like the design and especially the fabrics as well. It has a rather small fold, too, and the basket is a good size for this size stroller. I haven’t had the chance to really try it myself, I only pushed it without a child inside on Thursday at the Kind + Jugend.
play it green @design post
After the trade fair we went to have a short look (it was rather late already) at the invitation of afilii to the „play it green“ respectable and sustainable design for kids at the design post just opposite the Köln Messe. Here several brands presented their new products. I had read about it on the Facebook page of Müller Möbelwerkstätten, they produce lovely and well thought through furniture.
The Bioserie toys are 100% bio based and safe for babys, you can get rattles and toys and soon they intend to introduce plates and bowls as well. Something else I really liked were the pure&green lunch boxes made of stainless steel without any plastic. There was loads of interesting other things as well so if you can spare the time, go there!
*Please note I am German and not a native speaker. I mention brand names and information I got from different companies. I was neither influenced nor paid to write this article. By German court ruling mentioning and showing brand names still constitutes „advertisement“. All opinions are my own. Skip Hop allowed me to use their press photos.