ABC Expo 2011: UPPABABY

Front and center of the ‘New Product’ showcase is the long awaited UPPABABY Cruz.

The Cruz is basically a small Vista, taking their hugely popular stroller and trimming it down for something more compact.  The Cruz has a full sized reversible seat that is the same size as the Vista and has a five-position recline that can be done with one hand.  It has an easy one step fold, and can be folded with or without the seat attached.  Just like the Vista, it has a large spf 50 UV sunshade and is also compatible with an infant seat.
The Cruz is compatible from birth with the infant snugseat as you can see in the above picture. :)
At 21 inches, it is narrower than the Vista, and it does not have a bassinet option or the ability to take a second seat. The wheels are smaller, but have enough suspension to still handle bumps or very light terrain. The Cruz has a weight limit of 50 lbs.
The UppaBaby Cruz will be available in Denny (red), Jake (black), Sydney (yellow), and Tyler (Ice Blue) and will retail for $459. Its coming soon, in November 2011!
They also had these super cute stroller blankets that hook onto the tummy bar and keep tootsies warm without the big bulkiness of a foot muff. VERY cute. Another cute piece of information: All the names of UppaBaby colors are from the baby names of UppaBaby employees! How cool would it be to push little Sydney around in the stroller named after her? Must look into producing stroller to name after my own children…..
There are a few small changes to the Vista for model year 2012. As you can see, sleek sexy black frames are all the rage for almost every stroller brand this year, so I hope you like them!  ;) Also a new color seen above, which is a tangerine orange color named Drew. UppaBaby will be releasing their black frames in Drew and the all black version. UppaBaby have shortened the seat back (?) but they’ve raised the canopy to compensate for the lost height. The Vista will now have a total recline, making it suitable from birth- but please still use your bassinet! ;)
If you would like to win a new Uppababy Cruz (or $500), you can enter their “Where do you Cruz” through the UppaBaby website. You have to design or download a picture of UppaBaby’s flower logo and take a picture of your family with it, somewhere where you would ‘Cruz’ with your new Cruz. See all the details at UppaBaby Facebook. :)

ABC Expo 2011: iCandy.

I LOVE iCandy. They are the perfect blend of gorgeous style and Mama and Baby friendly function. Celebrities love their iCandy’s, and they are huge in the UK already. The first stroller I want to talk about is this ground breaking newbie for 2012: The iCandy Peach Jogger. Its pretty, its functional and IT CAN ACTUALLY BE JOGGED WITH. I repeat, this is not a ‘jogger’ by name alone, its actually a jogging stroller. And its an stunning every day, in the mall, going to playgroup stroller as well. This is definitely the first rear facing jogging stroller available in the USA. The weight has been carefully distributed so as not to tip or topple during a run. An adjustable handlebar, quick and easy fold, this just might be the perfect answer for the Moms who want something to exercise with and also a cute every day stroller as well.

The Peach Jogger will be available in the above ‘Glacier’, ‘Blackberry’ (all black) and ‘Cranberry’ (a rich red).

This is the new iCandy Strawberry. Its a lightweight, forward and rear facing stroller that has a total weight of 25lbs. Its very cute, but the best thing about it is the fold. Designed with post c-section Moms in mind, or any Moms that cant bend over to fold or pick up a stroller, the Strawberry folds UPWARDS towards Mom, rather than to the ground. Its all a one hand fold, and it stands by itself. As a c-section Mama myself, this really seemed like a good idea. The frame is so light you can put it in the back of the car one handed.

The Strawberry will be released in the four colors you see below- grey, black, red and a lush purple color. Also, there will be lots of available accessories, like the matching diaper bags and bassinets.

 

ABC Expo 2011: B.O.B.

Not much news out of B.O.B- they overhauled their line last year and are sailing into 2012 with the same awesome fleet.

The only change is an improved snack tray and car seat adapter. Now, instead of the whole thing being bolted into the stroller, just a small side clip is bolted to the frame. Then, the car seat adaptor or snack tray can be popped in and out with the click of a button. The clip is small enough to be left on the stroller full time without being in the way. The snack tray swings away to one side so your child can get out of the stroller easily. A big improvement!

ABC Expo 2011: Babies’N’Kids/ Cosatto…

Responsible for my most embarassing moment, when I actually squealed with delight at all the ridiculous cuteness, heres an intro to the new brand (to the US, Cosatto are already in the UK and other overseas markets) of Cossato.

Cosatto make strollers and stroller accessories like footmuffs, blankets etc. They dont really do anything cutting edge, or life changing. BUT, they do the cutest, most fun kid friendly designs you will ever see. Forget waiting a whole year for what might be a questionable Maclaren special design pattern, check these out:

I mean, seriously. How cute is that? The double umbrella stroller retails for $399 and comes with all the footmuffs and accessories included.

The single versions are just as cute, and retail for $220, also with all the accessories included.

Ahhhh….. adorable.

ABC Expo 2011: BuggyLOVE.

Ummmm…..this is pretty awesome. Its not a stroller, but its stroller related.

 

BuggyLOVE has filled a gaping hole in the market for organic yet tough cleaning kits for our beloved strollers and prams. It has crossed my mind in the past that we all spend a huge amount of money on our strollers, our children spend hours and hours in them, a lot of Moms work hard to keep their kids and home chemical free- then we clean our strollers with overpowering chemical laden cleaning products. I freely admit, I am the first one to break out a Mr Clean Eraser or throw my fabrics in the washing machine with color safe bleach.

BuggyLOVE is an organic stroller cleaning kit thats 100% natural. It comes with:

- PolishLOVE: Tangerine Scented Spray for cleaning yuckies off chassis’s and frames.

- FabricLOVE: A liquid cleaner to remove stains on fabrics, like the dreaded spit-up or formula stains.

- FreshLOVE: A refreshing spray that smells all rosehippy and deliciousy. Like an all natural Febreze for your stroller.

- WheelLOVE: A blend of natural oils and lubricants to keep those wheels running smoothly, squeak free.

- ScrubLOVE: The tire cleaning brush (even this is all natural, for goodness sakes), a MicroLOVE polishing cloth, and the super cute BagO’LOVE to keep it all in.

I loved this stuff, it smelled amazing and was strong enough to work. Since I am never one to shy away from dragging my stroller through the mud, letting kids eat ice cream in them, using them as highchairs in restaurants etc, a good organic cleaning kit is a welcome change! You can find them HERE!

ABC Expo 2011- BABY JOGGER!

Everyones talking about the new Baby Jogger City Versa! The Baby Jogger rep called it a love child between the City Select and the City Mini, and that is an excellent description of this super new model.

The Versa has a reversible seat, and the ability to fold in BJ’s one of a kind ‘quick fold’ technology- no matter which way the seat is facing! It has an adjustable handlebar, something a lot of baby Jogger users have been asking for for quite a while.

It also comes with an automatic lock upon folding, that can be removed if you dont want an auto lock. I dont know why people wouldnt, but its there to be removed if you dont. :) It is going to come in red, black, green and silver (which is different to the old ‘Diamond’ color of the City Select, this is a real metallic silver). It has the ability to take a bassinet or a car seat adaptor, the glider board for a second child to hitch a ride on, and all the other standard Baby Jogger accessories.

The Versa will retail for $449. The biggest differences in the 2012 City Mini’s and double City Mini’s is that they have done away with the grey seat area, and now the strollers are all the one uniform color. Also, the price will be increasing for the City Mini to $249, up from $239 for the 2011 model. No word on the price of the double CM, but I would expect to see that higher as well. Also, that blue color is new for 2012, and its a pretty oceany bluey color. Note: Oceany Bluey is not what they are officially calling it. I cant imagine why.

The all terrain City Mini GT is also new for 2012, and its like a City Mini on steroids. But in a good way. It has 2 extra inches of padding in the seat, and 3 extra inches of headroom in the seat back and to the canopy. The seat is deeper and the footrest is longer, which is good for the parents who might have kids who outgrew the City Mini by height or width before they hit the weight limit. Its much more rugged looking that the regular City Mini’s. The GT’s all have the above slate grey base and the colors- black, green, orange and dark yellow- are in the trim. The City Mini GT single will retail for $349. There is also a City Mini GT double (BJCMGTD- hows that for an acronym!!) that only comes in two colors and will retail for $579.

The City Select has remained unchanged for 2012, with the exception of dropping the Diamond/ white color and replacing it with ‘Quartz’, a tan/ light brown color thats much nicer, in my opinion. They did have this shiny little gadget- a clip that is used to transform your City Select seat into an anywhere highchair. I pushed as hard as I could on it, and it was extremely secure. Great idea for traveling or grandmas house!

The City Elite has gone to all black frames and dropped that sporty white stripe that used to go down the canopy. It makes the whole thing look much sleeker and prettier.

Baby Jogger is definitely a brand on fire, their success is just amazing, especially with the City Select- which all the other retailers were always comparing their double strollers too. Like I have said before, if everyone is trying to be better than one product, think about why. Looking forward to some great things in the future from Baby Jogger!

 

 

 

2011 ABC Expo- BUGABOO

Of course the star of the Bugaboo booth was the Donkey. They had heaps of them laying around in all stages of undress, begging to be played with.

In 2012 they will be releasing a new color, called Petrol Blue. It will be a regular, standard color, not a special edition or anything. The Rep did say that they had dropped a previous blue to bring this one into the line up. You can see it here on a Cameleon:

Its nice, I do like that it will work better for a girl than the old real blues, but then boy mama’s might wish for the opposite. It will also come in all the matching color accessories like the footmuff, parasol etc.

Also, a new color addition for the accessory range is the denim being released in footmuffs, Bee cocoons, etc. Its the most recently released denim color, much lighter and softer than the 007 and Bugaboo (RED) dark denim. But it was also nice. You can see it here, furthest on the right.

Lastly, the black chassis Bee was introduced in the UK a while back, and there was one at the booth to play with.

However, there has also been numerous reports already out of the UK that the paint comes off very easily and scratches terribly. Bugaboo is fervently denying this, but even some major retailers are warning consumers against it. So, tread carefully there.

Speaking of Bee+ disasters, I asked the unpopular question about the Bee+ wheels and their annoying habit of, you know, not turning. The PR rep was very eager not to discuss it, and assured me that Bugaboo was going to be releasing an official statement on it very soon. Ahhhh….. nothing gets 10000+ customers happy again like ‘official statements’.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ABC Expo 2011- BRITAX

Not really much news out of Britax, just color updates. The 2012 B-Agile will have two new colors added- a tan or light brown named Sandstone, and a green named Kiwi. Otherwise no changes.

No changes either to the B-Ready, except that in 2012 the green color will be dropped from production.

I dont know enough about car seats to know if something hugely exciting was happening there, but I did see a few patterns that were gorgeous! The Boulevard and Advocate had a very cool zebra print version that was a little less loud than the cowmooflage but still lots of fun. And the Frontier 85 is being released in cowmooflage, which I love.

Thats all, folks.

ABC Expo 2011- PHIL & TEDS Promenade, Dot, and MB. PICS ADDED.

Big news out of Phil & Teds, but unfortunately no photos. :( The only strollers we were allowed to take pictures of were the ones that everyone already knows about. Trust me, I tried!! ***UPDATE: Someone (NOT ME!!!) did take sneaky pics and I am going to post them. I hope P&T dont get mad since its not REALLY me doing anything wrong. Sorry Mom….. 

The biggest news is the Phil and Teds Promenade. This stroller is amazing. Unlike their other (albeit very successful) inline strollers that are one big seat and then a smaller jump seat, the Promenade features two full sized seats. To give you an idea, its closest competitor would be the Baby Jogger City Select, it looks a little similar. It does accept two car seats- right now they are approved for Graco, but are trying to work up to Peg Perego and Maxi Cosi ASAP.

The absolute best thing about this stroller however, is this: The seats are designed to be seats and bassinets in one. If anyone has owned or seen a pre-2010 Peg Perego Skate, they know what I mean. When in seat mode, you unclip a buckle and the seat bottom and leg rest fall downwards to make a fully enclosed hard sided bassinet. Both front and back seats are able to do this, so you can have any combination of seats/ bassinets and car seats you want. I LOVE this feature. I loved it on the Skate, and I love it on the Promenade. There are significant studies that show how bad it can be for babies to be in car seats over a prolonged period of time. Of course its great to have a stroller be infant seat compatible for quick dashes into stores, but whenever possible its best for babies to be laying flat on their backs- not crunched up in car seats. However, when so many stroller companies charge more for bassinets, not many people buy them. So I am happy to see the Promenade effectively have two bassinets included by default. Lets see more babies in bassinets!!! /end unprovoked rant.

The Promenade model was in black, and there was no mention of other colors but that doesnt mean there arent any. It seemed long in an expected way, the way any inline stroller always is. It was very luxurious, far more elegant and high quality than even the Vibe- their previous ‘top of the line’ place holder. It will retail at $849 for the single- which at first does seem pricey. However, I do think that it is comparable to other high priced strollers, and remember it does come with a bassinet. The second full sized seat (AKA the converter kit to make it a double) will only be $135, putting it at $985 for the complete double. But, to get the same stroller (two seat, two bassinets, two adapters) in the City Select is also $960, so its decently priced for what you get. I am really excited about the Promenade, I think its an excellent contender in the ‘single to double’ market and will be a HUGE coup for Phil and Teds. I will update with more pictures when I get them!

There was also another traditional inline- the Dot. Its a small Explorer- everything about it is 10% smaller otherwise it looks exactly the same. Except its brown fabrics and orange or blue seat liners. I found it a little weird. P&T keeps on releasing these inlines, most of which are exactly the same as the last but with one or two tiny differences. The Sport (still here), the Dash, the Classic, the Vibe, the Hammerhead, the Verve, the Explorer, shall I go on? Most are released, then retired quite quickly and replaced with another thing thats marginally different again. Pick a lane. I do love you though, P&T!!! Really!

One cool thing on the Dot though is that they are in experimental stages of trying a new braking system. There were two models of the Dot, one with the traditional foot brake, and then the new system with a handle mounted ABS brake. Think, like a lawnmower. When you walk, you hold it down (there is a clip if you want to fasten it temporarily) and if your hand comes off it, it will stop. The Rep said they are sorting this out to see which one performs better. Its up to you, I guess!

Other than that, there was a full collection of the Mountain Buggy Runway collection, its a special edition limited collection of Mountain Buggy (the Urban Jungle model) that has colors based on the 2012 fashions coming off the runways- namely Burberry. They are cute, bright colors.

The Duet was there, the seats are veryveryvery small (they have to be to be the worlds narrowest side by side) but its a great stroller if you have the right sized kids for it. Thats about it. Its clear that the Promenade is their shiniest new baby, and I think they are right to feel that way. I cant wait to see and hear more on it, coming Spring 2012. :)

ABC Kids Expo 2011- CHICCO…

A disappointment. Firstly, their booth was walled off and barricaded, maybe to give the impression they had some super secret product hiding in there…. they didnt. And the Chicco guy standing at the welcome desk was incredibly rude.

The first piece of news I got was that the i-Move is NOT being released to the US. At all. The PR rep told me that they didnt think there would be a market. She was not particularly interested in my opinion otherwise. So sorry folks, I know a lot of people have been waiting for the i-Move to hit our shores, but its staying in Italy, and Italy only. For now.

Other than that, the only piece of worthwhile info is that the popular Liteway will be released this year as the ‘Liteway +’ and all that means is that it is car seat adaptable with the Chicco KeyFit. Good news for those of you who bought the Cortina/ Keyfit travel system, then preferred the Liteway to the Cortina.

No one was allowed to take pictures, no one was allowed to touch anything, and I wasnt even allowed to tell you about the colors on the showroom floor because they are “for the show only, we arent really releasing them”. Oh. OK.

A note about picture taking in general: A fair few places were not allowing cameras. For some, this was because they had official press pictures to share instead. But others just werent allowing pictures. I know a LOT of media reps/ buyers in the past have taken sneaky pics while no one was looking, or maybe have got special permission. I was way too scared to do either of those things. So for the meek little Stroller Girl, when they said no pics, I behaved myself.

So, to make us all feel better, here is a cute picture of a kitten.

So there, Chicco.