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Det är för tidigt…

… att tänka på julen! Men vi fick en jätteleverans från Oskar & Ellen igår, och med leveransen kom våra första julprodukter – luciakronan, tomteverkstad, julkrubba, adventskalendar – och nya julfigurer till sångpåsen! Kolla under nyheter och börja planera…

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Vi fick en bra inlagg om våra leksaker på Elskligen – hon letar efter födelsagsprodukter till hennes snart 3-åring son. Du kan se produkterna som hon tyckte om – bilgarage, Bilibo, träpussel – dino, badkritor, paraply och bakverk. Du kan se hennes inlag här:

Kolla också på våra förslag på hemsidan –

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Regn, regn…

”Rain, rain, go away!”

Men om det inte går, kan ni säkert hitta ett roligt paraply! Nu har vi flera i lager, och några till som vi ska lägga upp så snart som vi får bilder.
Se alla paraply här: Paraply för barn

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We are in the process of organizing the next delivery from the US… but it is so difficult to get everyone coordinated. Everything needs to arrive at our consolidator’s at about the same time… but not everyone is equally speedy with shipments. The first time we tried a consolidated shipment, one company (who will remain nameless) was more than three weeks behind everyone else. Of course, we pay for storage while the order waits… and boats come and go… This time, we have things on the way from our old favorites – Adora, Set, Scratch-Art, Gamewright and Mindware – plus some new suppliers that we discovered at the German Toy Fair. Of course, it’s all ”hurry up and wait” at this point, because the boat won’t arrive until the beginning of April…

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Website Update

We got a new version of our website yesterday, and today has been full of seeing how the new updates will impact the site and how we can work with it. So far, the differences for us have been huge – almost like they took our wishlist and made all the changes we could have wanted.

The biggest differences for you – the customer – is that we can now list items in more than one place. We have so many products, but some are hard to classify, or could be found in different places. Hopefully, this will let us put the products where you will look for them. Even better, we can now have a better ”Nyheter” area. Before the upgrade, we could only feature the 20 most recent new products – but we had more than 100 new products come in during the last week alone, and more are arriving every day. Now we can feature the new ones easily.

Of course, every change comes with a couple of headaches… notably our ”top 20” list of bestselling products. Instead of showing the top sellers, it seems to show the products in alphabetical order…

And of course, there are still a few items remaining on our wish list…

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Helpful Ideas?

People contact me every so often… they want to start a web business and sell toys, too. They would like names of suppliers, information on profitability, how I do the site, etc. I guess there’s no harm in asking, but forgive me if I’m not always so helpful. So… I think I will be helpful, but in a different way.

I am an avid internet shopper. I am always looking for ways to make my life easier, and having things ”magically” arrive (rather than having to battle crowds, traffic, parking, not to mention dragging three kids in tow) is infinitely tempting. I purchase often from H&M, Lands End (US and UK), Amazon (US and UK), Hanna Andersson, Gap, CD-ON.com, dammsugarpåsar.nu, and many more. But there are so many possibilities out there – espeically in Sweden.

Here is a very short list of what I wish I could find online – actually what I have looked for over the past couple of weeks:

1) Brabantia Garbage Bags – we have three sizes of Brabantia garbage cans in our house, and the company makes wonderful bags that fit just perfectly. The problem is in finding them… and when I make the effort to look, the store is always out of the size I need.

2) Kids Outerwear – Cross is a great company with wonderful products… and so is Didrikssons and Reima… so why doesn’t anyone sell them on line (aside from used)? We seem to have a constant need for new outerwear year-round, between growth spurts and general (aka boy) wear and tear.

3) Merrell Footwear (especially for kids) – We love Merrell shoes, but they are really hard to find in Sweden. Here’s a great opportunity!

4) American Food Products – this might be tricky, as there may be rules for how to store and ship. I thought Grey’s would take care of my need for zip-loc bags and chocolate chips, but their website has never opened.

So – there’s a few ideas, and anyone who starts one of the above will be guaranteed a customer! Anyone have any more ideas?

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Santa’s List

So… what’s are my children getting for Christmas this year? It is a bit difficult, since they are in the shop/warehouse often, and have a pretty good idea of the product range. Since they don’t know about the blog, I’m pretty safe in letting you know what they have coming to them – just don’t tell!

Christopher (5) has been begging for a ”cook” outfit for weeks. Every time he comes to the office, he asks for one, and wants to try it on. So far, I have been able to hold him off, but I think one might find its way under the Christmas tree… perhaps with some baked goods to go with it.

He has also been the ”map king” at his dagis, drawing world map after world map, and is fascinated by the continents. I think the wonderful Världskartan from Oskar & Ellen might be just the thing for his room. I don’t think he gets the flag concept yet, but the animals will make a nice addition. We can always add the other sets later.
Annika (9) will get a new room this Christmas. She is – quite understandably – tired of the Noah’s Ark wallpaper that we chose for her before she was born (and before we knew if she would be a girl or a boy). She wants a pink room that is either High School Musical 3 or horses… we discussed it and since she wouldn’t want a HSM1 room now, she agreed that the lifetime of a HSM3 room would be limited. So we are going for the horses. I have my eye on some wall stickers that will be perfect.

Otherwise, she has her eye on an Adora doll

Benjamin (7) is the hardest to shop for, since he prefers couch cushions to toys. But this year, I think Creatiles will be perfect. Even though they are intended for slightly younger children, I think they will be perfect for him. He is always building houses for animals – real, stuffed and imaginary – so Creatiles should be great.

And of course, I’m looking for a reason to add a fort or pirate ship under the tree… and perhaps a few more games…

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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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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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Super Clay

I helgen lekte mina pojkar med Super Clay, det är en jätterolig lera. Den kladdar inte på underlaget eller på händerna. Pojkarna kom på att om man rullar bollar med dom och slänger på golvet så studsar dom, alltså en studslera……

Min äldsta son försökte banka en bit lera platt med sin panna……….då fastnade leran i håret så det rekomenderar jag inte. För övrigt kan jag varmt rekomender leran, den är verkligen super bra. Om man vill torka en figur man har gjort så låter man leran ligga framme under natten så torkar den och känns nästan som frigolit.
Vill man spara lera så lägger man den i en plastpåse så håller den jätteläng.(obs lägg en färg i varje påse, annars fastnar dom i varann).

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