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Gift Lab: Alphapets

October 11, 2011

I’ve always thought that origami was pretty neat. I’ve seen people fold paper into those prophetic fortune telling contraptions, make beautiful swans out of napkins, construct geometric fish in just a few creases, and create those highly fashionable newspaper hats. However, to be perfectly honest, aside from the occasional paper airplane, I had never made an origami figure of my own.

Of course, when I was offered the opportunity to test the Alphapets Origami Book, I had to give it a try.


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Gift Guides

Last Days of Summer

September 7, 2011

The sun is still shining, the AC is still on, and we might be able squeeze in at least one more trip to the beach. No matter how you long you try to hold on to the lazy days of summer, it’s time to admit that the season is coming to a close. But don’t worry, before back to school bells ring and leaves start turning, there’s still time to have a little fun with these clever toys and activities for kids.

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Gift Guides

Gift Lab: Lojo Ball Chair

August 19, 2011

1) Product Name: LOJO BALL CHAIR

2) Background Research:

Currently my daughter’s room is set up with her bed and a child size table with two chairs. The chairs are not very comfortable, as they are hard plastic. I wanted to buy her an inexpensive chair that was comfortable as well as fun.

3) Hypothesis:

To successfully set up the Lojo Ball Chair in Shyanne’s room, so she can have a comfortable place to sit while she reads or plays her video games.

4) The Experiment:

The Lojo Chair comes in its very own carry bag along with instructions and a hand pump. It’s also very light, so you do not have to worry about lugging a heavy item around with you if you choose to travel with it. It took about 1-2 minutes to fill each side up with air. The chair can be used in both the open and closed position.

Shyanne loves to use it in the closed position because she likes to roll it around and play on it.

The seat portion is very comfortable (it has a removable bean pillow btw) and the ball actually supports your back, which I was skeptical about.

5) Results:

I would definitely recommend the Lojo Ball Chair to anyone who has kids. It’s a great fun alternative to a boring regular chair. It’s also great for adults, I tried it out myself and it’s actually very supportive.

6) Conclusion:
I’m soooooo going to get one for myself!


The Lojo Ball Chair is available for $45 and available in orange or blue.

Gift Guides

Top 10 Gifts for Music Lovers

August 18, 2011

Looking to celebrate the music lovers in your life?  Shuffle through UncommonGoods Top 10 gifts for music lovers, and check out our picks for some late summer songs that will get you singing along!

Created with flickr slideshow.
Cool Jazz Ice Stirrers bring together two things every party needs: music and drinks!  Fill the tray with water before your party for a fun way to keep cool, or mix it up and use the set to make your own popsicles.

The Portable Balloon Speaker is an attractive and easy way to share music from an mp3 player or your mobile device’s headphone jack more effectively than loudspeakers alone would.

Designed by Hannah Garrision & Steve Bernstein, the Guitar String Bracelet is handmade from guitar strings.  Bracelets are sold individually and come in five different colors.

Artist Jeff Davis turns classic LPs into functional and unique Record Bowls.  Whether your favorite genre’s hip-hop or jazz, the bowls come in a variety of styles so we’ve got you covered.

Or, if you have a record of your own you’d like to have made into a bowl, just mail Jeff the record and he’ll create a truly one-of-a-kind Custom Record Bowl.

Our Mechanical Music Box Set puts a new spin on the old-fashioned music box: included are three strips of paper, a hole puncher, and instructions for creating your very own tunes to crank through the instrument.  The set is perfect for budding musicians or seasoned professionals, and comes with a sheet of the Happy Birthday song pre-punched.

Exclusive to UncommonGoods, the Glass Guitar Picks are handmade in Hawaii and available in three colors.

UncommonGoods artist Jeff Davis makes Record Cuff Bracelets from recycled records.  The bracelets, like Jeff’s record bowls, are handmade in Pennsylvania.

Getting ready to go back to school will be infinitely more fun with a pair of Drumstick Pencils in hand that do that classic double duty: business in the front and a party in the back!

Speaking of parties, the Geneva Sound System will have you geared up and ready to go the next time guests are over.  Winner of the  Consumer Products Award by I.D. International Design Magazine in 2010, the speakers are a beautiful way to amplify your tunes.


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Gift Guides

Gift Lab: Let’s Go Fly a Kite!

August 12, 2011

Marketing intern Ashley added some uncommon experience to her resume this summer by perfecting the art of kite flying with the High Art Kite.

I had never flown a kite before, and in New York City my opportunities to enjoy the outdoors are fairly limited. When I saw the High Art Kite, I thought it was a great chance to test my urban kite flying skills.

I love the slightly devious look of the Winged Demon design and took the kite out to the East River Park to test on a sunny Saturday.

The kite includes directions for assembly and comes together quickly (but also folds up neatly for easy storage and transportation).

Unfortunately, my first attempt at kite-flying failed. There wasn’t enough wind along the East River that day, and there’s not enough room to get a running start without running into cyclists.

A few weeks later into the summer, I headed out to a very windy Brooklyn waterfront next to the UncommonGoods office, with much better results.  See the video below to get an idea of how easy it was to fly out on the docks in Sunset Park.

Conclusion: at just $12, the High Art Kite is a simple and fun way to enjoy the outdoors, even in an urban setting like New York City.  For more family-friendly ideas and games to test before school starts, check out our wide selection of kits and crafts!

Gift Guides

Gift Lab: Beer Making Kits

July 28, 2011

When Kira, our operations analyst, and Jonathan, our sysadmin, saw our new Beer Making Kits, they knew they had to try one out. And luckily for the UncommonGoods team, they shared their results freely. You might think home-brewing is one of those “Don’t Try This At Home” type activities, but read on. Kira and Jona offer up some great tips for the novice brewer.

Beer making kits are $40 each and come in Everyday IPA, Jalapeno Saison, and Chocolate Maple Porter.


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Gift Guides

Best Dressed Baby

July 21, 2011

We love our new Have-A-Ball Babysuits™ so much, we started thinking about some of the other fun baby goods in our lineup. From old favorites, like the Worth the Wait Set, to new community approved items, like the Baby Fortune Cookie Booties, we have little ones covered from head to toe, whether you’re looking for an adorable outfit for your own bundle of joy or a great baby shower or new baby gift.

Created with flickr slideshow from softsea.
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