In March ZipBin® products won a 2006 Design Defined Award from the International Housewares Association. "The purpose of the Design Defined program is to bring attention to those companies that have placed a premium on quality design," said Phil Brandl, president of IHA, which sponsors the International Housewares Show. Products were evaluated according to five standard design criteria:
Innovation: How is the design new and unique?
Aesthetics: How does the appearance enhance the product?
User: How does the design solution benefit the user?
Environment: How is the product ecologically responsible?
Impact: How did or might the product impact the market and the company's business?
And in April we were notified by Dr. Toy (noted child development authority, Stevanne Auerbach, Ph.D. and Director of the Institute for Childhood Resources) that we were the recipients of a Best Smart Play/Smart Toy Award for the ZipBin® Mansion. According to Dr. Toy, among the criteria employed were: safety, age-appropriateness, design, durability, lasting play value, cultural and ethnic diversity, good transition from home to school, educational value, learning skills, creativity, improvement in the understanding of community and the world, good value for the price and, naturally, fun.
In April ZipBin® Dinosaur also received the coveted Seal of Approval from the National Parenting Center. Their independent team of parents, educators and NPC panelists use such criteria as level of appeal, design and presentation, desirability, sturdiness, and interactive stimulation to select award recipients.
And again in April ZipBin® Mansion received the iParenting Media Award as an Excellent Product for 2006. The evaluation process conceived by the iParenting Media Awards program is so thorough it has attained ISO 9001 Certification for quality assurance. To be selected products pass a review by an expert, a childcare setting and a family. Each reviewed the products and submitted a thorough evaluation of each item. "The iParenting Media Awards program carefully reviews and then recognizes the best products in the marketplace and shares them with parents," says Alvin All, Chief Executive Officer of iParenting Media. "Our Excellent Products Call for Entry was filled with innovative products, but only the ones that exceeded the high evaluation standards we set earned the iParenting Media Award." iParenting also designated ZipBin® Mansion as a HOT product. "The iParenting Media HOT Award is a trend-setting award that appeals to those seeking the latest in "hip" or "hot" merchandise."
In May we were given an Overall Grade of "A" from the Toy Tips Toy Report Card program. To begin with toys are included for further examination only after they surpass strict standards of durability, ease of use, sensibility and value to the consumer. Then professional researchers evaluate the toys with respect to Motor Movement, Thinking Skills, Character Development and Social interaction. Finally, children provide a Fun Score. The Overall Grade takes all of the preceding into consideration. We're quite proud of our "A."
In July Creative Child Magazine notified us that NOI has been recognized twice more. ZipBin® Mansion won the Preferred Choice Award in the Creative Play for Girls category and ZipBin® Farm won the Seal of Excellence in the Creative Play for Kids category. Finally, in August NAPPA (National Parenting Publications Awards) informed us that both ZipBin® Mansion and ZipBin® Farm earned Gold Awards in the Age 4+ category.
That makes a total of 10 (!) awards for product excellence in seven months. Whew!
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