There are always a few show stoppers at big tradeshows - head turning products that you haven't seen before or that pique your curiosity. Here are a few from the recent ABC Kids Expo that made me whip my camera out.
• The Hollis Crib by Nurseryworks. This is what I call a conversation piece. Do I like it? No, but there's no denying this acrylic crib is unique. This is a prototype and I'll be interested to see if it goes into production. I'm having a hard time imagining the person who would choose this crib for his or her child. Perhaps George or Elaine who need somewhere to store their collection of white rubber toys.
• Glo by Boon Inc. is an exciting spin on a child's nightlight. The removable balls (non electronic, i.e. safe to take to bed) will glow for 30 minutes after the lights are out. Good for bedtime juggling, to ward off monsters or to leave in their base for a cozy glow.
• Tree bookcase by Nurseryworks. This piece would make a big statement in a kid's bedroom while also providing storage for books, toys, shoes, you name it. Perhaps not the most practical bookcase you'll ever own, but possibly the most charming. Although shown here at an angle, it's intended to be placed flush against a wall.
• The so-ro cradle. This Scandinavian newcomer wins points for style and design - sleek and attractive and notable for creating a forward and backward rocking motion rather than the traditional side-to-side. Its creator asks you to imagine the soothing motion of being in a swing...zzzz.
(Images: Carrie McBride)