Back when they were still spotty graduates –albeit from the prestigious Product Design course at London’s Central Saint Martins- Thabto founders Steven Smith and James Wosiek were involved in a youthful brainstorming whilst sipping lukewarm coffee from polystyrene cups in the decrepit Uni canteen.
Filled with enthusiasm from the previous evening’s viewing of the cult film ‘Lock, Stock & Two Smoking Barrels’, they became fixated on the good old cockney expression, “You Mug!” Little did the two realise that fertilisation could occur so easily.
The Knuckle Duster Mug was born, however, somewhat longer than nine months later in 2008, when they established their company. All these years later, it’s still one of the top-selling designs in an expanded offer of fun, attractive and downright useful household items.
An underrated classic, this will appeal to any man who wants to be the thug with the mug. Crafted in ceramic with a man-size capacity, we personally think that the white and gold model brings a charmingly contradictory frisson to the workplace; one-part civilised Viennese coffee house, one-part East End gangster. But, if you really want to introduce an edge to your negotiation technique, you should have rushed to get your hands on the limited edition ‘blood splatter’ model before they’d all gone.
Other delights among their household objects for men who will never stop being boys is their Subbuteo-inspired, shiny bottle openers, the analogue table-top classic with a whiff of an Oscar. And, even when they’re not making such obvious visual jokes, they’re producing some really useful stuff. For example, don’t underrate the Wonkey, a keyring that means that you’ll never have to be irritated by one of those wobbly café tables again. Though if you spend a lot of time in the local coffee joint lost in the world on your screen, you run the risk of wandering home to find yourself locked out…