Due to continuous production, the gap between the new vehicle and the used vehicle is less. The older Bieffeplast model is definitely different. Models exposed to the element can produce a patina, some shades larger. But getting a new one from the bi-ritual shop seems like the least frictional way to buy standard furniture.
Surprisingly, the new model looks just as collectible as the old model. Carts old and new come in dozens of weird iterations, from crazy colorful flexes to the little direct models that scare the tall boys you find the hardest to get. (It’s almost impossible to find a vintage mini cart. You basically have to buy a new one.) Typically these are storage carts with drawers designed for A4 paper. But they’re also works of art filled with pre-visible shelves, which are displayed at Guggenheim-style angles.
Its new retro 70s aesthetic is very popular, and think about how much plastic, flashy or cartoon furniture there is now compared to a few years ago. But at least in the United States, Colombo’s beef plast masterpieces, which were mass-produced, have been largely misunderstood. For decades, Americans spent chasing cool Scandinavian teak carriages and Eames’s recognizable cannons, but non-organic materials felt cheap, so the bobby was cheap. It was not so much as important to Colombo’s design work as his intriguing lamps and challenging chairs. It was difficult to understand plastic and visual storage as art.
Snodgrass says the new interest in the bobby isn’t too far removed from people’s interest in other great designs of that era. All-new reproductions of works such as Ray Wilkes’ Chicklet sofa for Herman Miller, the Hayes Bruno Ray chair, and By-Wright’s 1928 Mallett Stevens chair all feel like examples of market change. He believes Colombo’s technology, space age, pop fusion, all service features, is the reason Kurt is alive. “It’s rare,” she says, “that you can nail both things.”
The authenticity of these designs explains why 50 year old plastic carts are so revived. But Bobby is also riding a wave of great vintage furniture that started rolling out before the pandemic. And while offered a new suburban home, it’s possible that he ended up finding an unlikely furniture hound Googled for Toshiyuki Kita’s “wink” chair. That’s amazing. Finding a good one is not that difficult. Forgotten designers are saved with a collection account. Items that were once limited to Europe can now be shipped in the United States without a third-party carrier. Sure, there aren’t many genuine vintages, but they weren’t. Also, in the new world, you can determine if you like something out of context and how it fits into the market and trends. Plastic is no longer more surprising than its function. Looks like color is a must. It’s clear we all want Bobby as more chic goes through the door.
And there are a lot of logistical hurdles related to furniture—old lamps need to be reattached, sofas need extra hands to move, all the good old ones are rare and the same vintage. Sounds different than Bobby, who opens and closes. The secret trade-off is that Kurt will probably never hover for $100 again. But getting it is easier than ever. So why wait?