Since hanging out on the Cotton Babies Flash Mob Facebook group, I’ve learned that there’s a lot of interest in the Genius Series diapers… as well as some questions about what diapers are, in fact, part of the Genius Series and a whole lot of other questions. So with that in mind, I bring you the Comprehensive Guide to the bumGenius Genius Series Diapers.
Part of what makes the bumGenius Genius Series diapers so desirable is that they are part of bumGenius’s limited selection of prints. For a company that mainly focuses on solids, anything that’s a print will do well. The Genius Series is particularly attractive to collectors. However, not all releases of the bumGenius Genius Series diapers are universal, so that only adds to the confusion.
Albert & Lovelace – The Original bumGenius Genius Series
Albert (left) was named after Albert Einstein. The black diaper features white chalkboard type writing with mathematical symbols and equations, along with the famous E=mc2. Interspersed throughout all of the mathematical stuff is the phrase “I’m a genius.” Albert has been available in newborn, bumGenius 4.0, bumGenius Freetime, old bumGenius Elemental, new bumGenius Elemental, Flip, and Flip trainers. The diaper has also been released in both snap and hook & loop closures. Albert is still available in retail stores in all closures but hook & loop. (Except for newborn size, as that’s only ever been available in hook & loop.)
Lovelace (right) was named for Ada Lovelace. She was a mathematician and is also known as “the first programmer” for writing out an algorithm that was intended to be used by a machine. The colors on the diaper are white, Dazzle, Sassy, and Mirror. The snaps are Dazzle, Mirror, Sassy, and Grasshopper. This diaper does not have any text on it at all. Lovelace has been available in newborn, bumGenius 4.0, bumGenius Freetime, old bumGenius Elemental, new bumGenius Elemental, Flip, and Flip trainers. The diaper has also been released in both snap and hook & loop closures. Lovelace has been discontinued and is now becoming a “hard to find” print.
Irwin & Maathai – The Second bumGenius Genius Series
Irwin (left) was named after the late “crocodile hunter” and conservationist Steve Irwin. The Irwin features a pattern of animals in Oops purple, a green that is close to Hummingbird, and other greens. There is no text of any sort within the pattern. To the chagrin of many Irwin diaper fans, the pattern is often mistaken as “camo” by other moms. The Irwin was only released in bumGenius 4.0 and in two versions: multicolored snaps and Ribbit snaps. The multicolored snaps is more sought after by collectors. This diaper has been discontinued.
Maathai (right) was named after Wangari Maathai, a Kenyan environmental and political activist. The Maathai reflects its namesake’s love of nature and the vibrant beauty in nature with a dazzling array of colors in flowers. The Maathai has no text within the explosion of flowers on the print. Maathai was only released in the bumGenius 4.0 with multicolored snaps: Grasshopper, White, Mirror, and Sassy. This diaper has been discontinued.
Carroll & Jules – The Third bumGenius Genius Series
Carroll (left) was released in November 2013. The Carroll bumGenius Genius Series diaper was named for Lewis Carroll, the author of Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass. Carroll draws inspiration from Alice in Wonderland; the red diaper in a subtle rose print background is adorned with white rabbits, playing cards, keys, tea cups, and watches. The white tabs feature pink snaps. No multicolor snap option has been released as of this time. “I’m a Genius” is worked into the pattern. Carroll was available in hook and loop newborn size. Carroll was released with snaps in the bumGenius 4.0, bumGenius Freetime, bumGenius Elemental (new style only), Flip, and Flip Trainer. Carroll is no longer being manufactured and is considered “hard to find.”
Jules (right) was also released in November 2013. The Jules bumGenius Genius Series diaper was named for Jules Verne, author of Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea. This particular print features a Mirror colored base with some slightly darker bits to simulate waves, a dark blue-green kraken and anchor print with white fish and Sassy stars throughout. “I’m a Genius” is worked into the pattern. Jules was available in hook and loop newborn size. Jules was released with snaps in the bumGenius 4.0, bumGenius Freetime, bumGenius Elemental (new style only), Flip, and Flip Trainer. Jules is no longer being manufactured and is considered “hard to find.” This is the first diaper where collectors were concerned with “pattern placement.” Some prefer an anchor in the center of the bum, while others prefer the kraken. Regardless of placement, Jules is highly sought after with a lot of drama as a result.
Audrey – The Lady
Audrey is the most recent bumGenius Genius Series Diaper released. In March 2014, the bumGenius Audrey diaper was “leaked” to the Cotton Babies Flash Mob Facebook group. Audrey is named for silver screen actress and children’s advocate Audrey Hepburn. The design of the diapers is a print of sunglasses of various designs, which are a nod to Ms. Hepburn’s iconic look. The word “stylish” is written in joined script between the rows of sunglasses. “I’m a genius” is present within the lens of a rectangle pair of sunglasses, but is not heavily imprinted on the diaper. Some Audrey diapers don’t have the phrase in a visible place. Audrey was released in bumGenius 4.0 and bumGenius Freetime with no colored banding, in snap closure only. The Flip and new bumGenius Elemental have a pink leg casing to contain the elastics, also only in snap closure. The newborn size is the only version to have a hook & loop closure.
Audrey set records with the speed of sales: many stores were sold out within hours of stocking. This was the beginning of some stores adopting a “one per customer” limit due to the start of the trend of people buying as many as possible to sell at an inflated price. Audrey is a discontinued diaper and is increasingly difficult to find in stores.
Chaplin – The Little Gentleman
Chaplin, the eagerly awaited companion diaper to Audrey, was released by Cotton Babies on July 15, 2014. He is a tribute diaper to famous silent screen comic Charlie Chaplin. Charlie Chaplin was a comedic genius, both on stage and in silent film, who personified “rags to riches.” The late Mr. Chaplin grew up in a “broken home” with an absent father and a mother who was in and out of mental institutions. He spent much of his childhood bouncing between home with his mother when she was released from the institution and workhouses for the poor. His acting career, both on stage and on film, released him from the poverty he knew as a child. As a silent movie actor, he was famous for his “tramp” personification and his outfits of baggy pants, tight jackets, small hats, and a mustache.
The Chaplin is a tribute to Chaplin’s signature look, featuring a row of fedoras, top hats, bowler hats, and pork pie hats. “Dapper” is written in joined script across a row between the hats using the same font as used in the Audrey’s “stylish” script. In the white band of a black fedora, “I’m a genius” is present in the black script.
Cotton Babies learned from the previous Audrey release: the company gave retailers the option of pre-ordering the diapers before the release date without disclosing the appearance of the diaper. This made it possible for stores to have their orders placed without scrambling or panicking, and also made it easier for the consumer to find Chaplin diapers without paying an exorbitant mark up within hours of release. Cotton Babies also limited the number available for purchase at the time of launch, making it possible for everyone to have a chance at buying their diapers at retail price. Although Chaplin is discontinued, this Genius Series diaper can still be found at retailers if one looks carefully. (At the time of this update, they are still available at Cozy Bums in Canada.)
The Chaplin was released in bumGenius 4.0, bumGenius Elemental, bumGenius Freetime, bumGenius newborn size, and Flip. This diaper was only released as a snap closure in all one size varieties. Newborn size Genius Series diapers are only available in hook and loop closure.
Spence and Marie – The Aquatic Genius Series
Spence is a tribute diaper in honor of Dr. E. Lee Spence. Dr. Spence is, unlike previous Genius Series namesakes, still living. In light of his “still living” status, he was able to grant Cotton Babies permission to use his name for the Spence Genius Series diaper. Dr. Spence was selected for a Genius Series diaper due to his status as an underwater archeologist and maritime historian. He is credited with the discovery and salvage of several Civil War era vessels.
The bumGenius Genius Series Spence is a nautical diaper to honor Dr. Spence’s work with lost ships. Little adventurers for generations have been dreaming of finding lost pirate treasures through obscure little maps of their back yard, and the Spence does not disappoint. Spence has a pattern of parrots, pirates, maps, and ship compasses (or are they “steering wheels?”) with “Ahoy!” playfully scattered across. Spence snaps are Sassy; the diaper print features Clementine, Sassy, and Moonbeam accents throughout. “I’m a genius” is written beside the map swirls, though some moms have reported that they don’t see “I’m a genius” anywhere on their prints. The Flip and Elemental versions of Spence have white piping similar to Audrey’s pink.
Marie is a tribute diaper in honor of Marie Tharp. Ms. Tharp was an American geologist who made a nautical contribution to science: she created the first scientific topical map of the entire ocean floor. In an era before computers and satellites, Ms. Tharp’s contribution is even more important: she worked in an era where women were frequently excluded from her chosen field based completely on gender. Women were strictly forbidden to work on ships at that time. However, in 1965, she was finally able to work aboard a ship for data collection to further her work in ocean floor topography.
Much like Marie focused on what lay beneath the ocean, her Genius Series diaper focuses on deep sea fantasy: mermaids, seahorses, starfish, and other deep sea elements are scattered across the diaper with “SPLASH!” throughout. Marie comes in a few snap varieties: you may find Marie with Zinnia or Dazzle snaps with Mirror rise snaps. The print features Mirror, Clementine, Dazzle, and the discontinued Zinnia. “I’m a Genius” is written in a tiny script along side seahorses. The Flip and Elemental versions of Marie have zinnia piping similar to Audrey’s pink.
Both Spence and Marie were released on August 21, 2014. Both prints were available in bumGenius 4.0, bumGenius Elemental, bumGenius Freetime, bumGenius newborn, and Flip. All one size diapers were only offered with snap closure. Newborn diapers only offer hook and loop closure for easier fit. At the time of this update, both of these diapers are available for retail, though they are getting harder to find in the United States. Canadian retailers are still offering them as pre-orders as they are not here. I expect them to start filtering through to the Canadian retailers around Thursday, August 28, 2014.
Do you have a favorite Genius Series diaper? What theme do you hope to see from the next pair of bumGenius Genius Series diapers?