It’s the second instalment in our festive shopping selection! Today it’s all about the toys and bikes
Remember when Christmas was all about getting new toys and maybe even a bicycle? Good times, and why should that change now that we’re all supposedly adults? Especially since the design industry seems to have a special love for bikes and toys; and so today we’ve gathered together a great mix of bikes and bike-related stuff, plus a few toys of a more grown-up persuasion.
The Non Conformist
“I love this gnome,” says Jessica Walsh, “I want him by my desk.” You’re perfectly welcome to him, Jessica. Available in a variety of colours and designed by German artist Ottmar Hörl, this gnome (who goes by the correct name of Flying Splice) is without doubt a cheeky little fellow who’s left us pretty much speechless.
We’ve featured a lot of design classics in Computer Arts over the years, and yet for some reason we’ve never featured one of these. Frankly it’s a baffling oversight; the perfect marriage of form and function. We’d have thought it impossible to improve, but this version of the Whoopee Cushion is – get this – self-inflating. Whatever will they think up next?
Top illustrator (and keen rider) Jasper Goodall got in touch to tell us all about his dream Christmas bike. “Transition are a small Canadian, rider run, bike manufacturer,” he tells us. “They make awesome downhill, free-ride, jump and trail bikes... and as every mountain biker knows, one bike is never enough! The Transition Double is a fun play bike, for mucking about in the woods. What could be better?” It’s available as a frame plus rear shock, or as a complete bike – contact Transition for international prices.
From $1,449 (frame + rear shocks) or $3,249 (complete bike)
“I'm not really a huge toy fan,” says Jeffrey Bowman, “So I think a practical/creative toy that could contribute to the creation of my work would be good. And I am partial to a good Spirograph pattern.” So if you want to get him the perfect toy for Christmas, get him a Spirograph! He’s right, of course; Spirographs are brilliant, harnessing the power of maths to create beautiful patterns. If you’ve never owned one then you’ve totally missed out.
Animal Wine Stopper
We’re becoming a little concerned about Jessica Walsh, truth be told. First it was those weird headless dog speakers in our previous gift guide, and now it’s these headless animal wine stoppers. We're definitely not saying that she has a thing for headless animals, but the evidence is a little overwhelming. “I need these animals for my wine bottles,” she insists. On the plus side, once they’re in a wine bottle they’ll look more like whole animals that’s got stuck in the bottle; on the minus side they’re looking bit sold out at the moment.
Can't go out on your bike without having your iPhone to hand? Here's just the thing for you. Made from recycled tarpaulin and boat covers, the Spitzel iPhone holder is a triumph of German engineering. It’s simple, quick and easy to fit thanks to a clever clamp and tension strap arrangement, which also keeps your iPhone secure. Available in two different versions to suit the iPhone 3G or 4. Fits 22-27mm diameter handlebars.
“This is one of the most beautiful bikes I've ever seen,” says Jessica Walsh of this swish fixie, and it’s hard to disagree with her. Built around the Detroit Bicycle Company’s own frame with parts from Cinelli and Campagnolo (plus a Brooks saddle), it’s a vision in black and copper.
Contact for pricing
Castleforte Papertoy Monsters
Zombies and papercraft – we couldn’t imagine a more perfect pairing. Neither, it seems, could the folks at Castleforte, who have come up with this collection of 50 easy-to-make monsters, which includes templates for your own horrifying designs.
Brooks B17 Select
“Every good fixie needs a Brooks,” says Jeffrey Bowman, “And mine is vastly in need of one.” Fixies might be a bit of a recent craze, but the B17’s been around for over 100 years. Made with extra tough organic leather and hand-hammered copper rivets, this is Brooks’ flagship model; a serious saddle for discerning high mileage cyclists.
Does a ruler count as a toy? We reckon this one does, since it has a hand protruding from one end, making it easy to spot if it’s in a jar or shirt pocket, dwarfed by surrounding pens and pencils. Essential for measuring distances of up to six inches.
Next up on our Christmas gift guide: clothing! And probably accessories and jewellery. Drop us a line if you’ve seen something brilliant that we ought to squeeze in at the last minute!