Recently, I made it into the city to take in the August market at the New York International Gift Fair (NYIGF). I was pressed for time, so I focused my energies on the Accent on Design section in the mammoth Javits Center.
The brinca dada booth was among my first stops, and I was rewarded: the final 3/4" scale Bennett House was on display, along with a new line of furniture! Founder and CEO Doug Rollins was on hand to answer my many questions as I stared and stared at the final house (they previously showed a prototype at the Toy Fair in February; see my article in the February issue of this magazine).
So what did I learn this time around about the house?
It's smaller than the prototype, but still opens up to provide many levels of play. There's even a hinged garage and an elevator (hand cranked)!
* It's a straightforward assembly made of eco-friendly woods...Doug assured me that it would not take longer than 45 minutes (P.S. This is not a lightweight house...definitely has some heft)
* Doug and his partner Tim Boyle, the architect who designed the house, used a completely different manufacturer from the Emerson, and are very happy with the quality. Doug does not foresee any issues and knows he will have happy customers.
* A whole new line of furniture is available with the house and will be sold as a complete set for $399 or by room, and prices will range from $29.99 to $49.99 per set. This new line is a *major* upgrade from the Emerson line...real wood grains, some leather, fabric, hinged details, and working drawers. Doug told me that they were designed by Cecilia Reboursin, a professional contact who had not designed miniatures before.
* Unlike the Emerson, the house will not be electrified. Too complex, and eliminates production delays and difficulties.
* The Bennett will be a limited run, only 300 are planned and a portion of that will be shipped to Europe.
* Retail price: $599
* The house is still on track to be available in October, and they will start taking pre-orders in the next few weeks.
How about some photos? The quality is not ideal -- they were all taken with my iPhone. The final flooring in the house will be bamboo, and Doug showed me a sample. I took some of the furniture shots on the sample. He also mentioned that the flooring in the garage will be cement-like.
That's Doug making a sale on a Bennett in the background, one of the few that occurred while I was at the booth!
The garage -- floor will have a cement finish
LOVE the stool, and the lounger is pretty great as well
Fabric topped bed!
That's a leather covering on the office chair
Two rugs come with the set
Nursery furniture also features fabric toppings
What do you think??
You might have seen the Dylan lurking in the background. Doug tells me the house, which retails for $149, is doing very well since it launched this spring and started shipping in the summer. The final furniture was on display, and I was impressed by the its sturdiness and style. For $14.99, it's a steal.
Here's some video of the Dylan and its furnishings (excuse poor video quality):
I'd love to hear your thoughts on the latest from brinca dada. Is the Bennett on your wish list? Is the Dylan already in your house? What shall we ask Doug and Tim to make for us next?!