SANTA CLARA, CA -- Top Notch Toys reports that it has entered into an exclusive agreement with Commonstudio (Los Angeles) to distribute Commonstudio's "seedbomb" product line, including both "organic vendibles" and bulk vending machines.
Seedbombs were unveiled last year by Commonstudio under the Greenaid name. They are 1.1" diameter balls of specially formulated soil that encapsulates indigenous seeds. When planted in a garden -- or tossed onto a suitable patch of earth -- the ball quickly decoheres into a moist, fertile microenvironment in which the seeds germinate, with a good chance of growing into flowers.
[Photo] VICTORY THROUGH FLOWER POWER: Rob Rosenberg (left) of City Stickers (San Jose, CA) checks out new Seedbomb vender, built by Northwestern Corp., with Commonstudio's Dan Philips and Kim Karlsrud at recent Amusement Expo in Las Vegas. Commonstudio launched the concept in Southern California under the "Greenaid" name, and now has inked a distribution accord with Top Notch Toys. Seedbombs are 1.1-in. balls that grow into flowers when dropped in suitable places. This "throw and grow" approach to the greening of America appeals to guerrilla and traditional gardeners alike.
Designed for $1 vending, the seedbombs are dispensed without capsules, very much like high-bounce balls. Operators can market them both as "street art" products (the seed bombing concept dates back to the 1970s in New York City), or as educational and attractive items for home use, when offered in garden centers or at school fundraisers.
The seedbomb product line includes a customized Northwestern bulk vender, display cards, informational brochures and the seedbombs themselves. The program also is supported by an extensive online presence that allows consumers to upload and track the growth progress of their plantings, and to seek out other "seedbombed" locations in their areas. A key to this online function is the distinctive QR (Quick Response) code, prominently displayed on the vender display card. Similar in organization to a standard barcode, the QR code allows anyone with a smartphone to snap an image that takes the user directly to the seedbomb website.
"Over the years, TNT has developed niche markets in vending," said company president Mike Applebaum. "We felt that seedbombs offered the ultimate niche in that it speaks to the greening of America; we're very passionate about that."
He believes that the potential is almost limitless, because operators can fill out their routes with locations that they otherwise would have never considered approaching. These locations, Applebaum explained, include health food stores, museums, cutting-edge taverns and specialty food and produce markets that typically would not consider hosting traditional bulk vending machines.
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