OK, so I cheated. I didn’t take the pictures on Day 3. I took them on the first day, as the security guard was booting me out. What can I say? When her Majesty is excited about a new stroller, she can hardly be expected to contain herself! After all, she is the Ruler over all of Strollerland. And when I saw the colors of Maclaren, I was …
DAZED and BEDAZZLED! The 2005 Stroller-Rollout Review--Day 3~~~~~~~!
The streets of Manhattan will soon be alive with color. Blooming like the long buried roses of Spring. Roses, and lilacs, and petunias…OK, I’ll stop now…
But sakes alive, WHERE have all these BEE-YOO-TEE-FULL colors been? In all the fabric collections of Europe, says the Gracious and Talented Lady Helen Kay, chief designer/styler of Maclaren fabrics. Oh, did she do a great job! I threatened to kiss her, LOL! But I was dragged off her by the Lovely Dottie Dahm, as nice in person as she is to all of you Loyal Subjects on the phone.
Where can I start? I guess with the Volo. Remember the “Optic” Mamas and Papas I was so besotted with in the UK? Well, here it is, on the VOLO! The cool geometric prints, in the circles and squares. In red,black, or navy. And then, there is pink. PINK! A PINK VOLO! Holey Moley! Red has returned, along with silver and black. And best of all, the Volo now comes WITH a canopy!!!!!! In silver or black, depending on the fabric color.
On to the Triumph, in 3-tone colors. A half dozen choices, each cleverer than the next: Pink, green, and grey. Red, silver and black. Navy, green and lavender. Black, burgundy and orange. The only problem I have here is deciding which one to get!
Until I see the Quests, that make me go weak in the knees. DOTS! Big dots! Big, swirly retro dots~! In pink and fuschia, green and grey, or brown and grey. LOL, no wonder the name of this is the “Quest Mod!” It is fabulous,. The fabric has a different feel than in past years. It is a slick nylon to better showcase these FABULOUS colors! If your tastes or more conservative, there is the “Quest Sport.” Light blue, dark blue, red, beige, and yellow are the colors here.
And THEN, there is the Kate Spade Quest. As lovely IRL as in the pictures. I think I’ll get this one first, because it is available first. But those swirly dots are hard to stop thinking about. So hard that I am still perusing the pictures all through dinner, telling poor DH, do you like THIS one? Or that one? Or how about THIS one?
So of course, without further ado, I award the “Best Colors of the Show”, to Maclaren.
And lest I forget, the Ryder re-debuted. That’s the sort-of replacement for the discontinued Vogue. Comes in brown or black faux suede, embossed to resemble alligator/crocodile.
Now back to more colors--
Once again, the Techno is split into the “XT” and “Classic.” The XT is more subdued , with soft shades of lavender, and blue, and grey. While the Classic is bolder, with two-tone shades of red and black, black and silver, pink and grey. The Twin Traveler has colors similar to this, and the Global is in the check-y, tech-y fabrics of navy, black and red.
And those BIG swirly retro dots extend onto the Rally Twin, in red and grey, black and brown, green and silver…now if ONLY I can have twins to put in there…
The seats are nice and wide, now, they measure 12” across. And what does the King of Maclaren, Bahman Kia, think about HRH measuring his seats? “Oh, Strollerqueen”, he gestures. “Come here, I want to talk to you.” Her Majesty acquiesces, she shows proper respect to the King of this Kingdom.
But we needn’t have worried. He was as wise and erudite as King whose Kingdom spans 40 countries should be. Take heart, Loyal Subjects, he has heard your cries of distress. He has taken firm, decisive action to curb problems that have troubled his Kingdom of late. He now has a kinder, gentler, and larger CS staff, and gives HRH his word that this will continue to expand in the future. He has given assurance that he has personally addressed quality issues that have plagued his line since the manufacturing move to China. And he gave HRH an in depth look at the creation of his models; an impressive tutorial on stroller strength testing, the durability of rival models, and the quality of materials used in finish and frames. We are in good hands, Loyal Subjects, with this King at the helm.
Ahh, good news abounds at the 2005 BIG Stroller Roll-Out! Many of our Loyal Subjects have been downcast and dejected, since the amazingly engineered Teutonias and venerable and exquisite Emmaljungas have fled our shores. But NOW, we have something to take their place. A stroller that excites the senses, with it’s classic yet edgy styling. A stroller with the engineering of a well-tuned sports car. A stroller that has the audacity to show itself as a museum piece in their new catalogue. It is the I’coo, which wins the award of the “Hottest New Line of the Show”.
First, we will tell you about the heart-stopping Pico. The swoop of the frame, the gleam of the stainless steel mudguards, the strength of the body, the beauty of the eye-catching fabrics…oh yes, the sun has broken through the clouds, since the stormy departure of Emma and Teut. Not for the faint of heart, there is a pink and red color scheme, an orange and brown, a bright blue and lime, (my personal fave), and navy for the more traditional of our lot. The German family behind it’s creation was lined up and beaming, as proud as new parents in a hospital nursery. They explained that it’s a division of Hauck, an upscale approach to a line known more for the Disney characters on it’s seats, than high-styling and performance. The Pico comes in a 3 and 4 wheel version, as does it’s big brothers, the Photon and Platon. The Platon Duo is one of the coolest concepts in doubles I have ever seen. When you remove the front seat, you slide the frame tubing back in, and it becomes the same size as the single.
Upscale though these may be, there is one model that tops them all. Are you sitting down? Because this will knock you over. It’s…a REMOTE-CONTROLLER stroller! Yes, I try to resist clichés, but wouldn’t you say this falls under the category of “What will they think of next?” It is called the “Peak”, and the Queen who created it explained that she was trying to mimic the Mercedes Benz. It has real leather trim, a wood grain finish, and a remote control to raise up and down the backrest and footrest,. Yes, this is the most expensive of the show, retailing at $12-1300. Something like that. I don’t know, over a thousand and our ears don’t hear well.
No wood grain, leather, or electronics on I’coo’s sister line, the TraXX. Once again, the Queen explained to me that she developed this side as the Sporty Line. The distinguishing characteristic of this line is the squiggly ergo foam handles. They adjust up and down, and are amazingly comfortable. There is the whip-stitched 3-wheel Dolphin, the 4-wheeled Eagle, the 3 and 4-wheeled Panther, and the 3 and 4-wheeled Jaguar. All of the tires are big air wheels, but interestingly, some are fixed, some swivel, and some pivot. Guess which one the retailers preferred? Yes, the swivel 3-wheel Jaguar, which was my fave, too. It comes in sky blue with matching wheel centers, red with matching wheel centers, and lime with matching wheel centers. It is not only stunning, but super-strong. That fun-loving German family insisted that HRH take a ride, and speeding down the aisles of the Great Hall we went, pausing only for a few photo ops…(Pushing me is Mr. Rob Gardner, by the way, who later went on to found "Joovy.")
What we can tell you is that if you like Quinnys, Bertinis, or Bebecars, you will most likely love these as well. They are of that genre, big and heavy and strong enough to tackle any type of terrain. They are major head-turners, too. You will assuredly be guaranteed to be the first on your block to have one.
And speaking of being the first on your block…. HRH was being interviewed by a national magazine for her take on this great Stroller-Rama. The reporter says, “And now, Strollerqueen, the ‘EXPLOSIVE’ question, what do you think of the Stokke Xplory?” We are flummoxed. So before we will answer, we say, “Now just WHY is that explosive?” “Well because”, says the reporter, “Everyone thinks it looks like a dentist’s chair, no one gets it.” Hmm, well initially HRH thought it was more like a ‘highchair on wheels.’ But in further study, and consulting with engineers about the design, the Queen has had a change of heart. She likes it! And “WHAT??? WHY? “ the reporter stammered, because HRH’s response was not at all what she had anticipated. “Because”, the Queen replied. “It is unique. It is not an off the shelf China clone. It is well-designed, and well-thought out. It is stable, has an amazing fold, and pushes one-handed like a dream.” But--we can’t really give any more detailed thoughts about it, until we see how well it performs on the Strollerqueen Obstacle Course. The Strollerprince has assured me he is up to the challenge. (Well, he always is.) Now Stokke, are you????
Did someone say “trendy?” Or did they say Bugaboo Frog? Which did do well on the SQOC, until the little prince tipped it over. In any case, every other stroller I see in my neighborhood now is a Frog. And to think, I remember the day when a MBUS was trendy…
The news for you Frog-aphiles is a limited denim edition, with a matching bag. And that’s about it. They are planning a double version, perhaps by next year….
So I must end this review on a happier note, with Kit and Michelle of Baby-Outfitters.com and Valco. It would be difficult to be UN-happy around this bunch. They are all about the funniest group I have ever seen. First--Kit and Michelle. Now this is Day 3, in the last hour of the Show, and this is what I hear… “Oh My GOD! IS it STROLLERQUEEN??? I have goose-bumps!!!!” And this is how I met the Queen Of Baby Outfitters, Michelle. We could have chatted for hours, if we had hours. But the clock was tick ticking, so I asked her to come with. Fortunately, she knew the lay of the land, grabbed my arm, and we RAN! Ran ran ran! To all of the latest and greatest and finest and must-sees. She was a most kind and gracious tour guide, knowledgeable, opinionated, and a life-saver.
And we wound up the Show at Valco, giving autographs and eating Bobkas? (I have no idea), from Brooklyn. Some type of chocolate cake thing, anyway. Yes, we ate a lot of chocolate at this show. But despite the sweets, I have to award Valco “The Most Useful Stroller of the Show” honor. That’s because I am a fiend for their toddler seat, especially since one fits on their double. I get way too many letters saying “Strollerqueen, I have a 6-month old, and just found out I am pregnant with twins. Help!” Well, now I have one I can in good conscience recommend. I measured it at exactly 28” across, which is the narrowest double I have come across. Their “Rebel” model can face Mama, AND take a toddler seat as well. They have several A/T models, a lightweight umbrella single, and a lightweight umbrella double. Now here’s the Kit and Michelle tie-in. They are actually manufacturing a pink, and light blue version of their signature model Runabout, just for them!
Now the lights are going down, and it’s time to return to Strollerland, but before we do, the funny guys at Valco insist on pictures, of Kit, Michelle and me, by their strollers, posing like Vanna White…
Hang on to your wheels, Strollerland! The 2014 BIG Stroller Roll-Out is coming soon! So keep watching...