Though I don’t go crazy about chasing for the magic unicorn – that is the ultimate colored diaper – my infantilistic tendencies go far enough to find myself thinking “Aww, that’s cute!” more often than I would like to admit. As a result not only is my flat plastered with wall and window decorations that better belong into a children’s room/ nursery, but occasionally I end up chasing unicorns, after all. If it wasn’t for my background in graphics design/ arts and an educated restraint and distaste for the all too tacky, I’d probably completely go nuts over this stuff. That being the case, it’s a good thing when a product can manage to satisfy both sides of the equation and thus the Tykables Overnights have been long on my mind and incidentally make for a nice treat on an Easter weekend such as this.
But wait – it wasn’t exactly the Tykables, but rather the product under its old Snuggies name, which then of course had to be changed over some silly copyright thing in the United States. Regardless, these diapers have been rather elusive here in Europe no matter their name so I put off getting them forever. It always seemed like you could only buy leftover packs in the wrong sizes or even only limited numbers of single pieces at hefty prices, making it even less attractive to actually get them. I only took the plunge when our friends at Diaper Minister filled up their stock and to be on the safe side I ordered both sizes.
As a graphics/ design/ marketing/ advertising person I’m a sucker for good branding and it gives me some pleasure and satisfaction to see a vendor make an effort, beginning with the package. It’s just so much nicer having something colorful to look at instead just a white plastic bag. The “Bedtime Checklist” gave me a slight grin when I first noticed it, but sadly there’s no actual cardboard-printed complementary version inside the package to put to use. Still, I bet the stacks of packs look nice on the shelves at Tykables‘ little shoppe and playground, which unfortunately mostly has made headlines being scandalized by some less than understanding residents in the area where it’s located.
Having ordered both sizes, I was slightly puzzled when I actually pulled some samples out of the packs. In light of what I just said, it’s quite odd that the actual prints on the diapers not even closely match the colors on the pack and to boot there’s a distinct difference across sizes as well. That thing with the stars, which are supposed to be fade-away wetness indicator print, might be intentional, but even the pattern shows slight variations. Assuming that both come out of the same factory, that is indeed rather confusing.
Getting to the good parts, of course the overall design is what made me try this product out one of these days. The sleepy animals in their simplistic graphical style are just right. Not too refined to have you wondering about what details you might explore looking at your diapered bum in the mirror, but also not too crude and ugly. The size is also chosen well and the placement executed tastefully enough to not look like an afternoon hack job done in MS Paint. As I already mentioned, the colors could be a bit stronger, though arguably their pastel-y quality is beneficial to prevent ink rubbing off and dirtying up your precious protective pants on top.
Adding a slight exclusive touch is the colored inner lining, which is reminiscent of some MyDiaper versions. That also in a more general sense reveals the heritage of the product. It’s really nothing more than the ump-teenth spin on the “China-made standard diaper, model no. 1”, which is slightly disappointing, all things considered. Now of course this might have been different with the original Snuggies and my eternal procrastination might just be biting back, but still, given the marketing buildup by the distributor I would have expected something a bit different. The only saving grace (in addition to the more sophisticated design) is that a little more care seems to have been taken with the choice of ingredients and avoiding manufacturing issues.
As can be seen, the adhesive tapes are transparent, avoiding that ugly “white blob disturbance” feel found on other variations of this kind of diaper. They are also slightly broader, which is of course useful for getting a strong fit. Otherwise they settle down on the same transparent sticker front panel we’ve become so accustomed to. Speaking of fit, it is in line with my experiences with other such products. A size M (size 1 here) tends to be slightly small-ish for my bodily proportions and a size L (here 2) is preferable, even if it doesn’t fit perfectly, either, since it ends up being a bit oversize then. I’ll probably never get over having to compromise in these situations. ;-)
As could be seen in the folded-open shot, the pad is your standard variety as well, though I get the impression that newer releases of these products tend to be a bit softer. Older versions of comparable products used to be rather stiff in this department with the negative side effect of the first few doses of liquid not penetrating the pad’s tissue as fast, thus resulting in those bad “surface flow” situations where you couldn’t move immediately until everything had sunk in. I find this is much better now and I feel more confident actually maxing out the absorption (with the overall volume still being in the upper class), though it’s of course a subjective judgement and could be totally circumstantial.
Sadly, if it wasn’t for the unique design and other design-centric aspects, this would be pretty much your bog-standard imported diaper from some unnamed Chinese factory. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not bad, but all things considered you can have similar products much cheaper if you forego the print. This only really depends on where in the world you live – it may be easier to get this specific product in the US, but over here in Europe the market is flooded with other derivatives already, not making this an essential buy. It’s a bittersweet irony that Alibaba allows everyone to have their own diaper produced with relatively little fuss (as long as you can pony up the cash upfront for a sizable production run to fill a container), but in the end they are all the same…