Archive for november, 2008


We are offering a 500 kr gift certificate for participants in a lottery on Tant Ulrika’s Blog. She has done a wonderful job of capturing some of our favorite products in the web flyer. It will be fun to see what is on everyone’s wish list. You will find the details here and here:

Vinn ett presentkort värt 500kr från ABC leksaker i Tant Ulrikas blogg. Tävla du oxå!

Lycka till!

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Wrap Rage? I hope not!

I read a NY Times article recently about Wrap Rage, and how the plastic clamshell packaging sends some 6,000 people to emergency rooms in the US each year. You know how it is – you are opening presents on julafton, and your child is so excited about the latest gift… but 15 minutes later, you are still unwinding twist ties from tiny wheels or prying small pieces from plastic sleeves. You can see how people either end up with stitches or excessively high blood pressure.

I thought about packaging again last night as I brought home a product for the boys to try – the Barbapapa ljusslinga – which does come in clamshell packaging. I left the boys in their room, in bed, with the lights out, and promised to return shortly with a surprise. As I stabbed at the packaging with a pair of scissors, I wondered if I might become one of the 6,000 unlucky souls… but I survived, the product survived, and it was a big hit. The verdict? Of all the clamshell packages I have opened, this one was not great, but not the worst, and the end result was well worth it. (The NYT reported that one toothbrush took testers more than 8 minutes to open!)

But it did get me to thinking about the packaging we have in the store, and how difficult it may be to ”get to” some of our products. Amazon is starting an initiative to reduce packaging, and especially difficult-to-open packaging, but they are a bit bigger than ABC Leksaker (quite a bit), and have more pull with the retailers. Right now, I guess ABC Leksaker just has to take it like it is… but it isn’t that bad! (whew!) Here’s a quick survey.
  • The Barbapapa lights and their cousin Star are the only difficult-to-open clamshell packages we have.
  • Roommates wall stickers come in plastic packages, but they are easy to open and can be used to store the contact sheets in case you want to take the stickers off and store them.
  • Groovy Girls extra clothing comes in blister packages, which can usually be opened without (hopefully) injury.
  • Some of the Alex bath squirters come in clamshell packaging, but it doesn’t look too bad to open.

Everything else is remarkably free of clamshell, twist ties and difficult-to-open containers. In fact, if you open up one of our products at Christmas, I hope that all you will need is scissors – and hopefully not even that! (And please, please don’t end up in the emergency room!)

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The boat with our latest US order finally arrived! Sometimes the boat trip from the US seems to take forever… but this time we even got our things one day early. We have so many new things that we haven’t had a chance to unpack everything yet, but I just couldn’t wait to see the new Automoblox products.

In the original Automoblox line, a few of the models have updates or new colors. The new S9R, C9R and X9X are souped-up versions of the original model, and look great. The C9P will – hopefully – make the line even more fun for girls.

But the real treat in the shipment was the new Automoblox Minis. These are just like the bigger Automoblox cars with a couple of differences:

  • There are no people. In the original Automoblox line, 2, 4 or 8 people sit comfortably in shape-sorter seats. But in the Minis, the people would be too small. instead, the canopy fits neatly into the base.
  • The Minis have a universal connector. In the original Automoblox line, the connectors are shaped (triangles, ovals, squares, etc) and the pieces must match up with the right connector. In the Mini line, all of the pieces connect with each other.

But they are the same great design, and the same great feel to ”drive” across the floor. The price is much lower – and they are really, really cute! (We have three off-roading on our laser printer.)

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Happy Halloween!

The kids got to choose Lovely Lea costumes this year for Halloween – and they were a great success! Annika chose the witch – and was adorable in purple. Benjamin went for the vampire, and really enjoyed the dramatic possibilities of the cape. Christopher became a pirate, and wore the costume all week. We finally managed to pry it off of him after the trick-or-treating for a much-needed wash!

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