Sunday, June 27, 2010

Great Blocks of Goodness

Why so silent?  I've been stewing about some Things that I wanted to respond to objectively.  I'm almost calmed down enough that I can write rationally, but not quite, so I thought I'd talk about something mostly happy!  I like happy, don't you.

A big block of monstrously happy making goodness.  It's soft cushy baby friendly goodness, and Snapdragon likes it profusely.
The minky is swirly pettable fun, the print has Monsters proudly proclaiming what type of monster they are, whether they're friendly monsters or the egg monster, and the ribbons are fun. The ribbons are the MOSTLY happy part. I'll get back to that in a minute.
Snapdragon LOVES his block.  He positively beamed when he got it on his birthday.  He seemed to like the colors and he likes pulling on the ribbons and sucking on the ribbons.  I think the ribbons are delightful too.  Spouse's favorite feature is that it's just the right kind of squishy to use as a pillow in a car on road trips while I'm driving.  Snapdragon also thinks it's great for road trips.  See?
Perfect for car trips.
Snapdragon also thinks that it's the perfect amount of squishy to use as a ball when he can't find one and that it is a good compliment to his world balls for being ruler of the universe.  You know, Earth, Mars, Monster Cube Planet.  

As a mom who loves to sew, I'd also like to point out the fact that the block is very well made, remarkably block shaped for a stuffed toy (or am I the only one who has trouble with stuffed cubes looking like pointy spheres?) and is altogether fun.

I got this block from my dear friend Ailie whose Etsy shop is just bursting with fun felt food and sensory blocks.  You should check her out. You should like her on Facebook too.  She's rad.  She also makes other fantastic blocks, you know, if you don't heart monsters the way I do.

Yummy yummy radness.

The MOSTLY part.

This is one of the things I have known I was going to have to blog about but didn't have the words. I'm not fully there yet, but this is a beginning.

See the ribbons?  See how they're lovely and pennant like in that they stop abruptly, are heat-sealed wonders of infant joy inducing raditude?  They're why Snapdragon has a block. My good friend Ailie needed to test out a way to keep the ribbons and not have them loop, yet not fray.  Why can't they just loop?  Because there's this company with a punitive policy of hounding, hampering the business of, and otherwise messing with the groove of WAHMs who have great baby friendly products.  They've somehow managed to get a ribbon loop sewn between two layers of cloth patented.
Yes, that's right.  That tag on the inside of your shirt as a child?  On the backside of your toy?  Those loops of ribbon telling you how to wash your mom's fifty year old blouse that was her mother's?  Well they have somehow managed to get a patent on that technology, despite the fact that it's been used for a long time prior to them. Maybe I'll patent water.  I also think they have a patent on being jack asses, so next time you see someone doing that, be sure to tell them someone else holds a patent and they need to cease and desist.  
Note I'm not naming the company.  I want their internet trolls to have to do their work before finding this post, because troll they do, and mostly on Etsy.  A friend with looped ric rac (you know, because that's SO exactly like a ribbon, except for the part where it isn't a ribbon at all) on her baby friendly product just had her products pulled the other day.  So not cool.
So yeah, these blocks are made of AWESOME, and I love ours.  The WAHM who makes them is a great mom, a creative woman, and an all around delight to have in the online business world and as a friend.

So yes, I think people should buy her awesomeness because she's my friend, but more so because I don't like bullies, and I view spreading awareness of her goods as a way to stick it to the corporate man, and lets face it, he needs it stuck.

Disclosure: Yep, I tested her non-loopy prototype all freetasticly.  Also, if there's actually some poor government employee who has to read these ridiculous disclosures, you straight up should buy one of these for the next baby shower you attend.  It'd be like sticking it to the man while sticking it to the man, oh, and go eat a cupcake.  Working for the government is probably pretty soul sucking, and cupcakes are good for that.

9 reflections:

Ryan, Corrie, Max, and Jack said...

It WOULD be nice if someone could patent being a jackass. And stupidity. That would rock.

But looped ribbon on a baby toy?? Is it ALL looped ribbon-ish thingies? Like looped ribbons on hair bows???

And how sad is it that this corporate giant has to have people scanning the internet to make sure NOBODY is using their precious patented ribbon loop??? Are they THAT insecure?? I mean really, what else could it be???

Slee said...

As a not proud owner of one of their products, as it was given as a gift without the ever coveted gift receipt, i have to say it's because their products are INFERIOR. Poorly designed with little to no attention to aesthetics or quality. I'm sure they are insecure, particularly in recognizing that WAHMs catering to their niche markets can do a better and more appealing job of making things people will want to buy and that children will enjoy playing with.
It does not (yet) apply to bows, just to looped ribbon sewn between to layers of cloth, though they tend to scream patent infringement a lot more loosely than that.

quazydellasue said...

As an attorney with a background in patent infringement cases, I'd like to see their patent - I have a sneaking suspicion it does not cover as much as they're claiming. See, you can only patent something that has UTILITY, not just a design element. Unless you get a design patent, which are uncommon.

I'd be willing to bet they're just using their size to intimidate people into not selling products they really are legally allowed to sell. I wish lawyers weren't so damn expensive that only corporate giants could afford them - it's the WAHMS who need to be protected here!

(If you can point me in the direction of the patent, I'm more than happy to scope it out. Gotta put this degree to some use!)

Kayce Pearson said...

quazydellasue - This is what etsy sent me after they took my loveys off

Hope it helps!! This company needs to go down.

Slee said...

I suddenly feel like my blog is all useful and stuff. Wow. Thanks guys!

quazydellasue said...

Well, get this: the current patent is a REISSUE of their original patent, issued in 2000, because someone actually contacted the patent office and said, basically, this patent is invalid. (I have to agree.) So the PTO (Patent and Trademark Office) reexamined the patent and said, nope, it's valid, here ya go. Which really shocks me because I have a hard time understanding what is patentable about a fleece blanket with looped ribbons.

The sad truth is that the PTO is staffed with overworked, underpaid lawyers who are not necessarily geniuses in their field. And they make a lot of mistakes. And the only way those mistakes get straightened out, if they do, is as the end result of a long, CRAZY expensive litigation. Like, 300K a month litigation that lasts for 5 or more years.

I have no doubt that the WAHMS would come out on top at the end of that 5 years and many millions of dollars, but who's going to pay for it? That's what's so unfair. The system doesn't work, and only someone with a FORTUNE can set it right.

All pissed off now! Grrrr!

Ryan, Corrie, Max, and Jack said...

So can we spam this Julie Dix *w*itch with what a *w*itch she's being????

I get that patents are a good idea, but on a very basic level, one that is the broad in scope seems extremely selfish to me!

Hey, let's patent green grass!! Or something else stupid and broad in scope.

What a jerk.

Slee said...

Yeah. I can't believe that the function of "looking at or manipulating" counts as a function. Honestly, I'm appalled.

Slee said...

Anonymous- that's a good question, I'll defer to the besieged on that one.