I've seen some good examples of cliché themes made fresh. One of my favorite examples is Winter Water Factory's take on pirate bedding (above) for Land of Nod. Certainly a more sophisticated take on the motif which will also have more longevity in a kid's room. Another good example is Ferm Living's retro take on the train motif. But it still feels like the same themes get recycled over and over again. Do kids really love elephants more than walruses? Would anyone buy bedding based on ancient Egypt? Take a look at the puzzles below. Can you guess which one is the poorest seller?
The puppies. They're all made by Innovative Kids and when I chatted with them at the most recent Toy Fair they told me that they try branching out, but farm animals, safari, abc's etc. are always the best sellers. Puppies aren't even "out of the box" and still developing this puzzle was considered a financial risk. So I can understand why, from a business perspective, companies stick to the tried and true but I suspect there's a pretty big disconnect between what they think we want and what we really want. So what's a shopper to do? As more parents join the DIY revolution, they are bypassing stores and making what they want: bedding, decor and even toys. Certainly one objective of many DIY parents is to save money, but I think just as many aren't happy with commercial options. More and more I see kid's rooms filled with patterns and textiles primarily marketed to adults. And more parents are utilizing services that allow you to customize your purchases. Amy Bethune, for example, filled her son Graham's room with fabrics she designed herself and had printed at Spoonflower.
truck rug, princess bedding, robot pillow, robot pillow, bee pillow, flower pillow, butterfly curtains, pirate rug, firetruck lamp, owl rug, dinosaur bedding) 2. Land of Nod/Ferm Living 3. Carrie McBride 4. Amy Bethune)