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Pugzee used to work for the mob bosses back in the day. While in prison (or an animal shelter; whatever), he learned how his old stomping grounds of Red Hook started changing, so he broke out and took matters into his own hands. Pugzee is the latest creation of toy sculptor and designer, Dave Cortes, who has a history of sculpting toys for an impressive list of companies including Mezco Toyz, Mcfarlane Toys, NECA and Toy Biz. Pugzee is Cortes’ first solo designer toy scheduled to drop in the next few months, and he’ll come with a cigar, baseball bat, a Kangol hat and own comic book. We have fake nostalgia for Red Hook already.

Tangible Worldwide’s Virtual Store

Tangible Worldwide just opened the virtual doors to their new online shop. If you’ve got love for Chicago or Portland (both fine cities), take a look at some great gocco prints, T-shirts and posters that reflect the civic pride. I may not be from Chi Town, but I’m really digging the Chicago Gocco print. In celebration of the store’s opening, they’re having an introductory/holiday-special sale until January 1st, so this is your chance to pick up a few limited edition pieces at a nice price. You’ll want to keep your eye on these guys, because they’ll be rolling out new designs in the near future.

Reasons To Give

While times are pretty tough, a lot of us still have it pretty good. Unfortunately, there are plenty of families who need a little extra help. The good people from the Chicago based Firebelly Design are giving back this holiday season. They’ve created Reasons To Give to help families in need. The site features individual families with their stories told with their own voices. It is great to actually see the faces of the people you’re helping. If you’re in a giving-mood you should head on over and contribute.


When I meet with my international friends I am always humbled at their ability to speak two, three, or four languages. Now that I’m a little older, I’m kicking myself for not studying a language in high school and college. Sure, I can count to seven in Spanish and say “the dog is on the table” in French, but other than that, I am out of luck. The polylinguists at Livemocha are on a quest to build the best language learning service on the web. It’s extremely similar to the expensive Rosetta Stone software but Livemocha allows you to interact with native speakers who add supplemental information to the standard lessons. This includes grammar help, alternate colloquial meanings and other helpful hints. But the best part – it is all totally free!

Studley’s Wonderous Tools

At we’re usually on the lookout for the latest and greatest, but sometimes we come across something that is too amazing to pass up. This beauty was hand-built by Henry Studley in the late 1800′s using mahogany, rosewood, walnut, ebony and mother of pearl — among other scraps — that he found working as a piano and organ builder. His tool-chest is packed with just about every tool (over 300) an 19th century piano maker would need. The craftsmanship is simply amazing and he didn’t waste an inch of space. I can’t even imagine how long it took to build. It is currently on display at the Smithsonian Institution‘s National Museum of American History.

Via Boingboing


Sure, having everything online is nice, but nothing can replace the tactile feel of a great magazine. FUTU is a magazine that is doing things the right way. The Warsaw, Poland based bimonthly magazine is an international collaboration of design, art and future trends in luxury. Each issue is designed by some of the most prestigious graphic design studios in the world, including Studio8Design (UK), Albert Folch Studio (Spain) and Frost Design (Australia).

FUTU brings a new look to design, photography, fashion and luxury by combining the most advanced publishing techniques with the newest trends in graphic design and typography. Flipping though the pages creates a true experience, and as a result, readers receive a stimulating combination of articles, interviews, and art.

The latest edition has a limited circulation of 6,500 copies, is packaged in a specially designed carton, and come with a few extras (poster, stickers). If you want to pick up your own you’ll have to head to select book and concept stores in Paris, London, Milan, New York, Stockholm, Zurich, and Tokyo.


The Minute Glass

I’ve never been much of a morning person. My snooze button and I have had a love/hate relationship for years. Sure, I get a few minutes of extra sleep, but I’ve often abused the snooze and ended up being late. The Minute Glass has an ingenious solution for all you snooze abusers. It’s powered by magnetic induction which occurs when you shake the clock, requiring no batteries or external electricity source in order to function. When the alarm goes off, you have to shake it and generate enough electricity for the device to function for another full day before the alarm will turn off. All that shakin’ is sure to wake you up. Plus, the clock also has a built in LED flashlight for all your lighting needs.

Via Unplugged


One of the worst feelings is showing up to a social gathering and seeing someone wearing the same shirt as you. Our friends over at MarkerTees has solved this travesty. They’ve just released a whole line of tees that let you use your shirt as a blank canvas. Each comes with a re-writable marker that allows you to experiment. When you want to change your message, simply throw the shirt in the wash and the drawing disappears. If you can ironically dream it, you can wear it.

Gift Guide: Toys

1. Stealth R/C Helicopter: Read JS Review | Buy It ($30)
Break out your favorite pair of aviators because the Black Stealth R/C helicopter is the perfect little gadget for all you wannabe flyboys. With the ability to fly left, right, up, down, backward and forward, you’ll be terrorizing your coworkers (or pets) with ease.

2. Mostrini: Read JS Review | Buy It
The Mostrini puppets look like monsters you’d find a bizarre, drug-induced dream world. Yet, these little guys aren’t scary – they’re quite cute, actually.

3. Artoyz: Read JS Review | Buy It
Just because you have to do grown-up things like paying taxes and worrying about your worthless 401K, doesn’t mean you can’t still play with toys. Artoyz has many great designer toys from a slew of world-renowned artists. One of our favorites is Kid Onion by Easy Hey.

4. Thingamagoo: Read JS Review | Buy It ($120)
Thingamagoo are little metal creatures that beep, buzz, zap and make the noises you would hear in any Atari game. Push the buttons, twist the knobs and create your own synthesizer creations.

5. Shelby Slot-car Track: Read JS Review | Buy It ($249)
Channel your inner child with this giant Shelby series slot-car track. Assuming you have the patience to construct this thing, you’ll be zipping around the track for hours.

6. Slobots: Read JS Review | Buy It ($175-$650)
The Slobots are great little robots looking for a purpose in life. Each one is hand built and comes with its own life story.

7. Les Deglingos: Read JS Review | Buy It ($40)
Each Deglingo is a quirky and lovable creation. The multiple textures and vibrant colors make these little creatures an amazing gift.

8. Jon Burgerman’s Heroes of Burgertown: Read JS Review | Buy It
U.K. artist Jon Burgerman is always up to something. Earlier this year he added toy design to his impressive resume. Heroes of Burgertown is a great little collection of 16 vinyl mini-figures that will bring a little joy to your desk.

We wanted to give a big thanks to toy guru Jeremy Brautman from ToyCyte (and formerly here at for helping us put our list together. Check out ToyCyte for the latest news in the toy world.

Glass iPhone

Steve Jobs, here’s what we want for Christmas. The “Glassy Glassy” phone is a new concept by designer Mac Funamizu; absolutely gorgeous and looks straight out of Minority Report. It features a double-layered glass body — great for sex appeal, not so great for oily-fingers. But the real questions: Will it shatter into a million pieces when your inevitably drop it? Will people across from me be able to read my text messages? Would Apple charge $1000 on top of a three year service agreement for it?

Via Yanko Design


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