Extremely easy access from Interstate 10 in Redlands between San Bernardino and Palm Springs!
Find us NOW at our NEW HOME, at 1410 Industrial Park Avenue in the Tri-City Center
Open 6 days a week!
Friends from Riverside, Los Angeles, Orange and Ventura Counties and beyond: Do you pass "routinely" through Redlands on your travels?
Make Us a “regular” stop!
Just when we finished unpacking all that Everyday "Stuff" that arrived from Douglas last Friday, all of these boxes were delivered today! !
If this image looks different than the one of Friday's delivery besides there being one less box, it's because our Busy Bees Summer Customer Appreciation Gift Basket was just picked up by our WINNER, Aileen C., who drove in from Palm Springs to claim it! She was pleased to find it well worth the trip--and we are pleased to have more working space in the shop!
We should be careful what we wish for...
That BIG Everyday shipment from Douglas arrived on Friday and we're still busy trying to get it all sorted!
You can still score one of our Late Summer Customer Rewards Gift-with-Purchase packages featuring...BEES! Each package contains a plush Roly Poly Bee, a zippered Bee Accessory Bag, a Bee Garden Flag, a Bee Gnome Mug and a ceramic Bee Gnome, plus a little painted Bee "Rock" with a greeting sentiment! Earn one for FREE with a total purchase of $75 or more in a single transaction before we subtract any discounts!
HALLOWEEN "Stuff" is up on our seasonal display shelves!
This box, just in, is full of NEW Halloween Flags to add to our collection!
Fall Decorative Flags, including Halloween designs, are ready to view!
Here is a soft and gentle Fall flag designed to invite viewers to move from summer into autumn's more mellow "attitude"!
Printing of the image allows for lots of subtle detail and atmospheric perspective! The perfect placement of the House of these adorable Chickadees lets them cavort about the Pumpkins, Berries and Sunflowers they will be able to enjoy until the winter cold sets in and the landscape goes even more quiet!
We love how cleverly the designer of this Autumn Flag "diverted" its general "Welcome" (a LOT of you specifically avoid Flags that just say "Welcome" because they seem a tad too "inviting", especially in this day and age!) into a greeting for the season by completing the sentiment with "Fall" (rather than the usual "Mason") subtly embossed onto the lovely rust-colored jar! An autumn bunch of Bittersweet Berries embellished with a Pumpkin and a Leaf decorative pick are collected within the traditional harvest canning-vessel-now-vase and an iconic field Crow perches on the lip--all done in a charming printed primitive country stye! Both House and Garden sizes available!
This printed Fall flag features Apples, Sunflowers and... OK, Pumpkins(!), all legit icons of autumn bounty and all under the watchful eye of an equally iconic (and requisite!) harvest Crow!
It can hardly become Fall without us having a least one new Flag design starring a Scarecrow! No more intimidating than any of our Scarecrows past, almost all of whom seem to attract more Crows than they scare, this rustic patchwork-looking version is here to happily "Hello" to Fall anyhow as he watches over his field of fat fabric pumpkins! A lovely printed flag available in both House and Garden sizes!
Brilliantly printed classic Sunflowers, ripe Grain and Berry stalks and colored fall Leaves accented by contrasting blue Cornflowers and a burgundy-hued, polka-dot Ribbon Bow transform this country Milk Can into a perfect rustic "Happy Autumn" floral arrangement! We like this flag (available in House and Garden sizes) so much we've featured it on our Early Fall Storefront!
Just looking at the structure of a T-4 Bacteriopage, newly added to our Medical Area, makes it easy to accept that phages in its group are in fact among the largest and highest complexity viruses known. All of its sophisticated "machinery" enable it to find E. coli bacteria, inject them directly with its own double-stranded DNA and hijack the bacterial replication system to make more of itself (at the expense, of course, of the bacterium which eventually explodes when filled with enough invading virus particles!).
As one of the best studied model organisms, the investigations and uses of the T-4 Phage in research resulted in numerous seminal contributions to microbial genetics and the origins of molecular biology in the mid-20th century. For example, one group of experiments, carried out with mutants of the rIIB gene of phage T4, showed, that for a gene that encodes a protein, three sequential bases of the gene's DNA specify each successive amino acid of the protein. Thus the genetic code is a triplet code, where each triplet (called a codon) specifies a particular amino acid. Evidence was also obtained that the codons do not overlap with each other in the DNA sequence encoding a protein, and that such a sequence is read from a fixed starting point.
So the contributions to science of this virus are every bit as impressive as its obviously highly complicated structure!
We couldn't resist the opportunity to surround the huge I Heart Guts Eyeball already in our Medical Area with some smaller ones like this from Giant Microbes!
(Don't worry, you will easily "see" them both!)
In keeping with the silliness of that Snuggleluvs Bee from Wild Republic that we just added to our Fantasy area, we noticed that it seems that Douglas could not help themselves from creating a rather literal interpretation of our northern California coastal rain forest Banana Slug!
Apparently we could not resist the result, either!
With a few gaps needing to be filled in our Fantasy habitat, we took a look at some new Unicorns from Ganz--and found them awesome enough to join our collection! This sweet confection is the larger, multi-colored lightly tinted tie-died version, "Majestique" at 16" long and soft as a fluffy cloud!
Accompanying the large multi-hued Unicorn from Ganz were a couple of slightly smaller ones (at about 14" long)! While they may have "plain" solid fur (this is the soft dove-gray version), their bling factor is compensated by shiny metallic golden horn, hoof and ear detailing, along with lavish contrasting fluff for the mane and tail--and trimming each hoof! Fancy!
The other smaller Unicorn from Ganz is just as blingy, but in white with hot pink and shimmery gold trim! Totally lush!
Arrived this month direct from Australia: Quokkas!
We've had the larger (11") version on occasion, always selling them out, so since a smaller size (about 8" tall) has become available, we nabbed one of each this time around! These quirky-cute marsupials from Down-under are actually popular enough that we get requests for them by name--and given these designs , it's no great surprise they don't stay on our shelves for long!
We just added these two new Kangaroo-like characters just in from Bocchetta Plush to our Australian habitat!
The one on the left is a Pademelon(?!) and the one on the right is a Red-necked (they have red-necked residents in Australia, too?) or Bennett's Wallaby!
We've finally dug out the items we've collected to start making up our Late Summer Customer Rewards Gift-with-Purchase packages featuring...BEES! Each package will contain a plush Roly Poly Bee, a zippered Bee Accessory Bag, a Bee Garden Flag, a Bee Gnome Mug and a ceramic Bee Gnome, plus a little painted Bee "Rock" with a greeting sentiment!
We have a tentative prototype bagged and we're all set up to start putting those little packages together!
(Once we get these "under control", we'll be putting together the BIG Bee Customer Appreciation Gift Box (wait until you see the fancy decorative box we nabbed for this one) that we'll be choosing a winner for early in September!)
It SHOULD be easier to see all the plush Body Parts, Cells, Germs and Molecules in our newly redesigned and expanded Medical Area!
Recent additions from Folkmanis, the Puppet people:
We returned from our vacation to find LOTS of WORK to do (SIX big boxes from Wild Republic, a regular sized one from Ganz and a bundle from Bocchetta; the three in front are from Evergreen and include a huge selection of Christmas Flags that we don't have to unpack quite yet)!
Sharing but a little space with our Beagles, thanks to new deliveries from Bocchetta Plush Toys in Australia, adult sized Pit Bull styles in all of their available styles are restocked!
SUNFLOWER Acrylic Crystal Ornaments from Ganz are finally unpacked and on display for you to choose from!
This one is the "simplest"--just an elegant 3" flower, same from each side, in translucent hues of golden amber, here to bring some summer sunshine into your indoor home decor!
This Sunflower Ornament is single-sided so lots more dimensional and complex from the "front"! About 5" tall and beautifully detailed with enough acrylic crystal components to still be brilliant in hue and sparkle in the light!
This interpretation of an acrylic Sunflower ornament is viewable from both sides and features the use of a "stained-glass" method of filling the outlined floral elements with translucent brightly hued resin rather than gluing heavier individual crystals to each side of an opaque metal background. This results in a more detailed and delicate design that takes advantage of the ability of light to pass through the little "windows" created by the un-backed resins! Added beaded accents and a crystal drop pendant enhance the bling factor!
This is Evergreen Enterprises' interpretation of an extremely sweet and cuddly (you won't believe the more-rich-than-cotton-candy softness of these pieces!) of a tan Labradoodle! Just look at that face--foofy lap-dog personified!
This is the NEW Pug from the new Evergreen Enterprises plush collection! Not a foofy texture, but a lush silky one for its fur, with a dark visage, turned up nose and just enough wrinkles and air-brushed accents to achieve the requisite worried pug expression! Oh--and that curled-up tail!
Here is the gorgeous and sweet new Siamese Cat from Evergreen Enterprise's NEW plush collection--the very definition of "silky" and beautifully marked as well! And those EYES!
This adorable Bichon Frise, back in stock from the Ganz Heritage Collection, is just as sweet as the reclining ones we have from Evergreen and Bocchetta, but posed entirely differently, just for fun--and by way of another choice!
This is the new Moose from Ganz's Heritage Collection! We can get several really nice examples of Moose, including a couple from Wild Republic and the Miyoni line from Aurora, but this one is unique in design from others we've seen, with interesting contrasts in colors and materials--and rather unusually designed "headgear" that is linked to its ears to provide stability. And, for a face many would contend only a mother moose could admire, this one has a pretty sweet expression!
We were looking to fill in some gaps in our Stable Habitat, so "invited" this gorgeous Miyoni Alpaca from Aurora to ride along with some newly arrived Fall/Halloween items! We just wish we could accurately describe how awesome-soft the "fur" on this piece is! Be thinking marshmallows ... or clouds... or dandelion fluff... or???
This little cutie-pie from Aurora's Miyoni Collection may be only 10 or 11 inches long (and considerably shorter!), but it is still loaded with Dachshund personality!
OK--so we already have Caffeine (and Chocolate) Molecules from Giant Microbes, but they simply could not resist this pairing: They made a nice Coffee Mug printed with an image of their Caffeine Molecule and the question. "Got Caffeine"? Stashed inside the carefully packaged boxed Mug is a clip-on size version of their plush Caffeine Molecule--just in case you "need" some... Now in stock for yourself or your favorite Coffee addict!
Thinking about and restocking both Caffeine and Chocolate plush Molecules from Giant Microbes got us focusing a little more on other Molecules affecting Brain Chemistry, so we got a few additional ones! Here is Dopamine, famous for being the neurotransmitter that mediates our feelings of pleasure, satisfaction and motivation. Who couldn't use a little more of that?
And if we're going to have Dopamine we HAVE to also have Serotonin!
Both affect our emotions, but the latter also mediates digestion and metabolism--and we need both in balance to function properly (e.g., while Dopamine causes a feeling of hunger, serotonin suppresses that feeling). Housed separately in the body, Dopamine dwells mostly in the brain while Serotonin mainly hangs out in the gut! These neurotransmitters work in different ways, but in concert, and a lack of one or both can result in mood disorders and addiction.
And what "discussion" of chemicals influencing Brain function would be complete without a mention of THC or tetrahydrocannabinol, the major psychoactive component and one of the 113 cannabinoids recognized in cannabis! So of course we could depend upon Giant Microbes to produce a "synthetic" (plush!) version! Marijuana plants did not produce this interesting chemical to acquire a natural high, but rather, it is assumed to be involved in the plant's evolutionary adaptation against insect predation, UV light and environmental stress. It's "side effects" in the human brain seem to be a coincidental happy(?) accident!
We have never even heard of a Yutyrannus dinosaur, let alone have a clue what it might have looked like! Clearly the designer who rendered this awesome plush version of same for Wild Republic's new Artist' series has a pretty good idea--or at least a great imagination! A truly gnarly piece for you plush dino collectors--this one is obviously special!
We CAN say we are familiar with Velociraptors, but this has to be one of the most impressive plush renditions of this dinosaur we have seen! New to the Artist's Collection of stuffed animals from Wild Republic, this version is highly detailed (if the fossil evidence even hints at the presence of feather-like appendages, most dino designers are trying to incorporate that information into their creations, so certainly not lacking here...) and nothing if not imposing! Another must-have for the discerning collector of dinosaurs done in plush!
We'll be featuring Bees for our Late Summer promotions (Customer Appreciation Gift Basket Drawing and Gift-with-Purchase packages), so this Honeycomb Bee Wind Chime was a no-brainer item to nab as an add-on, not-plush item for the Gift Basket! We got three. One is reserved for the Basket and one has already been sold (within a day of putting it on display!), so only one left! Hurry in or call if you want it!
This is another item we got for what will "bee" our Bee-themed Late Summer Customer Appreciation Gift Basket. It is a colorful metal well decor piece from Evergreen featuring BEES (what else?) hovering over some delicious looking flowers--and there is one "extra", so contact us if you might want it!
Besides their gorgeous decorative flags, Evergreen Enterprises also offers some additional flag design-related items like door and window decor, most of which we have not tried (it would be such a slippery slope...!). However, since this interesting Bee Gnome LED-window decor will happily find a home in our Bee-themed Late Summer Customer Appreciation Gift Basket and we had to order at least three of them, we have a couple left to offer you! The LED part is a series of tiny, battery-powered multicolored lights hidden inside the fabric that flash intermittently on a built-in timer! It attaches to a window by means of a suction cup behind the yellow flower. We had our misgivings at first, but having tried it out in our front window, we actually find that it is, indeed, kind of cute (even when the lights are not on)!
New from Ganz, with one of these destined for our Summer "Busy Bees" Customer Appreciation Gift Basket. We love to decorate our shop in yellow and white (including white daisies and yellow marguerites and sunflowers) for mid-to-late summer, before we can bring ourselves to get out those pumpkins; this charming painted metal wreath was just too tempting as great season-transitioning decor for us not to make it available to you, too (2 in store)!
We promised NEW "STUFF" would be coming in this week--and we didn't lie!
ALL of these Teddy Bears that came in those big boxes from First and Main have found their way onto the Teddy Bear shelves! Lots of old friends restocked. plus several newbies!
Even though these guys look like they possibly should belong in our Fantasy Habitat, we just received not just one, but two designs of realistic Axolotls from Aurora that now reside in our South American Rain Forest! One (top) is even a fancy Miyoni version, so especially well rendered--and BOTH definitely pass the cuteness quotient requirement!
OK--these two magical little charmers do definitely belong in and have found their way to our Fantasy Habitat! Fanciful standing Sparkle Dragons in pretty hues of aqua and blue, these two colors have never been available when we ordered their seated siblings in pink and in lavender, so we grabbed these when we saw that they were! Most certainly not in the scary category of dragons and more in the favor of princesses than warrior knights, either or both of these could become a little girl's best friend and confidant!
Oh LOOK what just arrived, back-ordered from LAST YEAR from Folkmanis (Puppets, of course)! An awesomely detailed "small" Chameleon has joined our African Habit (at least for a little while--the mini finger puppet versions are long-gone!) that is not made out of ridiculous tie-dyed fabric!
This stunning creature is Aurora's large (about 18" long front paws to tail tip), fancy Red Fox from their Miyoni Collection! Relatively new, it compares very favorably with the similarly sized D-Lux fabric Douglas version that sold out over Christmas! In fact, this one has a slightly different facial expression and is presented in a somewhat more natural counter-positioned lying pose. We'll circle back for additional Douglas foxes when next we order from them, but meanwhile we're loving having this Miyoni design as a great additional choice!
In case anyone wonders if, since we do have a pretty good collection of plush Cats, we might also have any Dogs, we can affirm that YES, we do! Here are "a few" of them!
And a few more Dogs...
Do we have any plush Cats to choose from?
Um...yeah, at least a couple. We don't know where to send you to find a better selecion--plush Cats with the right
"Cat-itude" are REALLY HARD to find!
Do we have a decent selection of Dinosaurs/Prehistoric Critters left after Christmas, you ask?
Given that we received NEW STOCK a week or so before Christmas, YES, we have a fabulous selection of Dinosaurs/Prehistoric Critters (including Pteranodons, Mosasaurs and Plesiosaurs, along with most of the usual suspects!) for you to choose from!
The Pig Collection in our Barnyard Habitat has been restocked! We're up to EIGHT different designs of plush Pigs, with the largest laying down solid pink and spotted versions being rendered in that awesome D-Lux fabric by Douglas! It's what gives them that extra-fluffy, eminently huggable nature!
We were not kidding (we never are) about stocking up for Christmas--which, of course also means we are now very well-stocked in general for 2023! Our Ocean Habitat has gotten special attention as a "few" sea life pieces were missing in action! One group that has plenty of recent additions is our Sea Turtle Collection, including that pillow-sized Melissa and Doug version taking up most of one shelf! Filling in the "gaps" around it (and spilling onto the the bottom shelf next door to the left) are a range of smaller sized turtles from Ganz, Wild Republic and Douglas, et. al. Soooo.....LOTS of Sea turtles to choose from into the new year!
Not a lot of our vendors are currently producing a variety of realistic Monkeys from any habitat, so we of course turned to Hansa who makes things like these small, but exquisitely detailed (and, not surprisingly, not inexpensive) New World Monkeys! Starting at the top of the image and moving clockwise we have a classic Squirrel Monkey adjacent to a completely charming little Titi Monkey. On the lower right sits an adorably fluffy tiny Pigmy Marmoset and the collection is rounded out by another classic, a Capuchin Monkey, looking a bit like a world-weary little old man! We are so impressed with not only the artistry and craftsmanship inbued in these pieces by the Hansa artisans, but also the distinctive character obvious for each lovingly rendered species!
It has been awhile since we have had Tropical Frogs in our South American Rain Forest Habitat and we are happy to welcome back an old friend from Wild Republic, The Red-eyed tree Frog! This time we also added a Citronella Poison Dart Frog just for fun and because we could!
Everything Hansa produces is basically fabulous in quality, attention to detail and realism of portrayal of any creature they make, but they excel especially in their depiction of birds in plush! We simply had to add some of Hansa's beautiful Parrots to our South American Rain Forest Habitat, if for no other reason than for what colorful accents they provide! Note the hand-drawn feathers and facial details on these little works of artistic sculpture!
No South American Rain Forest Habitat would be complete without Sloths--and our collection of Sloths (we do have several) would not be complete without this guy from Hansa, who is arguably one of the best plush versions available! Good-sized, sitting at about 13" tall and executed in remarkable detail, in case that sweet expression on its face is not enough, his entire head can turn--and he's even huggable!
Our South American Rain Forest Habitat has been repopulated for 2021!
We are very pleased to have what is probably our favorite plush Rattlesnake back in stock after a too-long absence! We love the beautifully printed scales on this version from Fiesta and how it is posed coiled and ready to strike! And, yes, there are rattles in that tail!
We found this handsome Desert Tortoise in the Wild Republic Catalog! Isn't he a handsome addition to our Desert Habitat?
These two awesome Armadillos, one from Douglas (left) and an interestingly posed one from Wild Republic (right) just joined our Desert Habitat. Can you see why we like to get the "same" plush animal from different suppliers? We love how every designer has their own take on any given creature--and we especially love bringing you choices!
This exquisite plush "sculpture" of a North American Gray Fox from Hansa just joined our Desert Habitat (It could just as easily have "lived" in our northern hemisphere Forest Habitat, but that one is already jammed with Red Foxes, including a BUNCH of NEW ones, and this one can be found in desert environs...). We are completely blown away by the subtle variations in colors and textures of this duskily well-camouflaged predator, to say nothing of that suitably sly expression on its face!
Although sparsely populated in nature, our Desert Habitat is newly refilled with an array of creatures adapted to live in its harsh environment!
Starting on Africa today (it's a BIG Habitat, so this could take awhile!) with a couple of just sweet little Elephants, both from Aurora! The standing one, covered with silky "hair", is just stiff enough to remain upright, but the laying one is "floppy", smooshy-soft, with lush velvety fur!
What African Habitat would be complete without a Dromedary Camel, an animal so historically crucial to travel and trade across especially the northern part of this continent? In truth, we often do not have camels represented in this collection because not all that many acceptable (at least to us!) plush versions even exist! However, this is currently not the case since Douglas has finally designed and executed an especially nice Camel complete with the caravan referencing harness, posed kneeling, just waiting for a load to carry!
Here is another simply spectacular Fox from Hansa! This one happens to be a South African Bat-eared Fox, so it resides in our African Habitat. Those "bat-ears" are crucial for survival as this fox hunts for small prey below the surface of the ground which it detects by directing those ears to listen very carefully! We are so impressed with the craftsmanship employed to go from portraying that tail composed of lush fluffy plush to the finely trimmed detail of the muzzle and face (and everything in between!) of this exquisitely rendered creature!
All of our other Hedgehogs (and we just got in a good number of new ones!) are currently residing in our Northern Hemisphere Temperate Forest Habitat, as one would expect European Hedgehogs to be about! However, given that Hansa tells us that this small but precisely intense creature is an AFRICAN Pigmy Hedgehog, you will find him in that Habitat, along with the Bat-eared Fox and Dromedary Camel! Sporting a crest of fur vaguely reminding us of a carefully coiffed Mohawk hairstyle, the purposefulness of his expression could have us believe he is about to step up to the podium on those tiny little feet and expound authoritatively about some subject on which his well-versed expertise deserves to be paid attention!
This unabashedly lushly handsome 22" long (without the tail!) adult male Lion is NEW from Douglas. Matching the quality standards of everything else in the Douglas line of plush, including its elegant tactile appeal (it is every bit as soft as it looks!), we WISH this company would make more wild animals, especially when they would all be this nice! We will have to be content with loving their dogs, cats, horses, barnyard and fantasy creatures--and count our blessings when they do occasionally surprise us and drop something as lovely as this lion into their collection! Thankfully, we have an African habitat to accommodate him!
Who, other than Hansa, would expend such loving craftsmanship to portray a creature as gnarly as this remarkably accurately rendered Vulture? Obviously they believe--and we agree--that every creature holds an place of honor within Nature and deserves to be so respectfully presented. We have to admit that this is one of our favorite Hansa pieces--and we are very pleased to welcome it back to our African Habitat, a place decidedly less than complete without it!
This adorable little squirrel-sized primate just joining our African Habitat from Hansa is known as a Bush Baby, partly due to its diminutive size, but also for its huge eyes and rather plaintive cries, like those of a small child. It is rendered in the same kind of exquisite detail as larger pieces made by the artisans at Hansa, edging into the realm of sculpture as much as "toy"--but one you can hold in your hand and even stroke or cuddle its soft "fur"!
Do we happen to have any Cheetahs in our African Habitat?
The disappointing answer to this fairly common question (about a creature that can be surprisingly uncommon to find in plush versions) at our shop was, up until the end of December, "Right now we have exactly zero Cheetahs"...
Obviously this situation has changed--for the waaay better!
In fact, one reason we temporarily "forgot" to order Tigers was because we were SO excited about all the new Cheetahs we were finding that we had to add to this popular area! If you love Cheetahs you simply must check out all of these awesome plush renditions just added to our African Habitat!
Now that we've restocked all our favorites plus added the recently described "newbies" (note the special little area just for Flamingos!) our African Habitat is back to an "acceptable" level of choices! Come check it out!
Since we've shown you all the new and restocked "stuff" in our African Habitat, it's time to move over to our Asian Habitat right next door!
Before we get to inhabitants of the main Asian continent we want to draw your attention to the Asian Habitat shelves closest to our African area (just left of the Flamingos!) to find some interesting creatures from places like the Southeast Asian Islands and Madagascar! The latter is where to find Lemurs like this pair to draw to, a Red-ruffed and a Sifaka Lemur, both new to us. They will soon (we hope!) be joined by a returning Ring-tailed Lemur, currently on back-order from Wild Republic!
This adorable munchkin of a creature comes to us from Hansa (you could tell, right?) and is a Baby Tarsier! The adult version was out of stock when we ordered, but even this 6" tall incarnation has a head you can swivel! Rather than inhabiting the main Asian continent, species of Tarsiers are found on the Southeast Asian Islands of Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines. Nocturnal primates in their own family, Tarsiers are the only entirely carnivorous group of living primates, dining mostly on insects and spiders with an occasional small bird, lizard or bat also included in their diets, although Tarsiers can in turn fall as prey to any of the latter three! Those big eyes that give Tarsiers an edge while hunting at night also contribute significantly to their extreme cuteness quotient...
There are a number of different species of diminutive Old World Monkeys found mostly in Southeast Asia, including portions of India and China within that region, peninsular areas of Malaysia, Myanmar and Thailand, and/or Sumatra and Borneo that are commonly called Leaf Monkeys. They are typically arboreal and earn their common appellation from the main component of their diets. We are pleased to welcome this little little 7" portrait from Hansa of a generic version of this too-cute-for-words primate back to our shelves!
It may be hard to wrap one's head around, but this large nocturnal tree-dwelling primate fills the ecological niche on the island of Madagascar that Woodpeckers fill almost everywhere else! The Aye-aye is a lemur that hunts using a method known as percussive foraging, first tapping on tree trunks or limbs to find grubs and then harvesting them by gnawing an access hole with its sharp teeth and extracting them with a specialized long finger to consume them! Like those of many rodents, the Aye-aye's teeth continue to grow indefinitely, so it needs to grind them down chewing through tree bark on its way to prey!
Asia is home of one of the most famous and fantastically beautiful birds in the world and we just added FOUR NEW plush versions to our Peacock collection, one each from Hansa, Douglas, Folkmanis and Aurora (that's not counting one from Wild Republic that was previously holding down the space alone and another fantasmagorical one soon to arrive from Ganz)! We are so impressed with how wonderfully each manufacturer has rendered its Peacock--and how different each one is from the other!
Looking at the attention to detail on this rendition of a Pallas' Kitten, a diminutive feline endemic to, but widely distributed within the montane shrublands and grasslands of Central Asia, we are stunned at how closely the artisans at Hansa have matched its specific features as described by Wikipedia,
"The Pallas's cat's fur is light grey with pale yellowish-ochre or pale yellowish-reddish hues. Its forehead and top of the head is light grey with small black spots. It has two black zigzag lines on the cheeks running from the corner of the eyes to the jaw joints, and five to seven dark transversal lines across the lower back. Some hair tips are white and some blackish. Its chin, whiskers, lower and upper lips are white. The underfur is 40 mm (1.6 in) long and 19 μm (0.00075 in) thick, and the guard hairs up to 69 mm (2.7 in) long and 93 μm (0.0037 in) thick on the back. Its fur is soft and dense with up to 9000 hairs per cm2 (58,000/in2). Its eyes are encircled by white. Its iris is yellowish, and its pupils contract to small circular slits in sunlight. Its ears are grey with a yellowish tinge on the back and a darker rim, but with whitish hair in front and in the ear pinnae. Its rounded ears are set low on the side, so that it can peer over an object and show only a relatively small part of the head above the eyes without depressing the ears. This gives its face a look of ferocity and unrest. It has narrow black stripes on the back, and its grey tail has seven narrow black rings and a black tip..."
That, plus it is about as cute as a bug!
If the markings on this plush rendition of what is obviously not a domestic cat don't seem to be consistent with those you might recognize as belonging to regular Leopards, Cheetahs, Jaguars or the like, it is because this represents none of the above! In fact the markings on this wild cat are so distinctive, that its common name is derived directly from their unique appearance! This is a "Clouded Leopard", a wild cat inhabiting dense forests from the foothills of the Himalayas through mainland Southeast Asia into southern China. Clouded Leopards are solitary cats that exhibit advanced climbing skills useful for a largely arboreal existence, although they do spend time hunting on the ground at night when they are most active, preying upon medium sized vertebrates (e.g., the size of pangolins, binturongs, pheasants, small deer and the like). Per Wikipedia, "Its head-and-body length ranges from 68.6 to 108 cm (27.0 to 42.5 in) with a 61 to 91 cm (24 to 36 in) long tail. It uses its tail for balancing when moving in trees and is able to climb down vertical tree trunks head first."
We used to be able to obtain a nicely positioned, laying Clouded Leopard from Fiesta that is no longer available so are happy to see this one appear in Wild Republic's collection. In fact the fur pattern and texture on this version may be the more luxuriant!
Our Asian Habitat would be sadly lacking without Pandas--and betcha we couldn't order just one style, either! So we ended up with a lovely, fluffy PILE 'o' Pandas, of course! There's one from Ganz, one form Wild Republic and a couple of different ones from Douglas! Now making a choice among them is YOUR "problem"!
Lest those reptile-lovers out there think we are ignoring you, allow us to reassure you that we are VERY pleased to present not only one, but two different plush interpretations of a snake well-known as a denizen of places in Asia--and are delighted that BOTH the Wild Republic (left) and the Aurora Myoni (right) artisans used a few strategically placed stitches to position their Cobra coiled and ready to strike with its hood famously flared!
We got so excited to find so many of our manufacturers making awesome Cheetahs that we forgot to check our inventory of Tigers while ordering just before Christmas--and as it turns out we needed some of those! So we have meanwhile remedied that situation!
And if, as we must, we are going to have traditional orange Tigers in our Asian Habitat, it is simply de rigueur to have a few in White as well! That big one is every bit as lush and fluffy as the image would imply (its smaller compatriot is silky smooth and also eminently huggable, too)!
We can hardly call our Asian Habitat complete without representing the OTHER big Cat besides the Tiger, this one famous for its solitary existence in the icy cold extreme altitudes of the Himalayan Mountains! The only way we could get a naturally posed, laying down, counter-positioned version from Wild Republic at this time was to go with the JUMBO size shown here! This magnificent Snow Leopard's body is about two feet in length (and is as soft as a pillow--which you could use it as!)--and its big fluffy tail is nearly as long! It takes up an entire shelf unto itself, although, having no choice, we've managed to jam another plush piece or two on and around it...
And the grand finale of new additions to our Asian Habitat is...the Hansa Snow Leopard (just LOOK at that face--need we say more?)!!
Our newly restocked Asian Habitat has entire shelves full of Tigers, White Tigers and Snow Leopards with plenty of additional critters from Peacocks to Pandas stacked on and around them!
In moving on to describe refilling our Australian Habitat, we feel so fortunate to have Bocchetta Plush Toys, actually based right there on the continent in question, as an awesome resource for plush representations of some of the renowned and unusual denizens of this unique spot of real estate on our planet! Separated from other land masses for eons, most of Australia's land mammals evolved as monotremes or marsupials rather than as the familiar placental mammals filling similar niches everywhere else on earth! The Kangaroo is, of course, one of the more famous members of the marsupial group--and even though American companies can provide perfectly fine examples, we had to restock this magnificent rendition designed by artists who, living with them on a daily basis, most genuinely appreciate and accurately render their special, distinguished features!
One of our favorite reasons for having found Bocchetta Plush Toys from Australia is that they make a beautiful and altogether accurate, reasonably sized and priced Tasmanian Devil! Our only other current source for this famous critter from Down-under is Hansa; of course their piece is gorgeous, but also big at almost life-sized, with a matching Hansa price-tag, all of which is moot at this moment because Tasmanian Devils are out of stock/on back-order right now at Hansa. Thankfully, this one will serve as a perfectly fine, maybe even better, alternative choice for now--and alongside the Hansa one when it next becomes available!
OK--so almost everyone knows what a WOMbat is, but what about a NUMbat? This is one of the Australian critters we knew nothing about until we discovered it in the Bocchetta catalog! Turns out, although of course a marsupial (it evolved in Australia!), this mostly solitary creature is not closely related to other marsupials and is, unusual for this group, fully active in the daytime, rather than at night. It's mouth and tongue are adapted to efficiently slurp up its almost exclusive diet of termites, up to 20,000 a day for an adult, but because of its relatively small size and lack of strong claws for digging it must make inroads on the weakest parts of termite colony structures, usually shallow and unfortified underground galleries that termites construct between the main concrete-hard nest mound and their feeding sites and must hunt them when the termites are active and can be detected by the Numbat's strong sense of smell!
Although similar in name and also a marsupial, this Australian "Brushtail Possum" is more distantly related to our American Opossum than it is to kangaroos and other Australian pouch-incubating mammals! It is also mainly nocturnal, but dining more on plant leaves, including eucalyptus, than on smaller animals, although an occasional insect, bird egg and/or chick or other small vertebrate can be an acceptable addition to its diet. Like our opossums that have become accustomed to human habitation, per Wikipedia, "common brushtails are inventive and determined foragers with a liking for fruit trees, vegetable gardens, and kitchen raids". Not generally rendered in plush by our regular US vendors, this specimen is another welcome addition to our Australian Habitat from Bocchetta Plush Toys!
Here are a couple of versions of an Australian animal you may actually have heard of before! The Frilled Lizard is probably one of Australia's most famous reptiles and we were especially pleased to receive not only the rendition of one by Bocchetta (left) who is based on the continent and SHOULD be familiar with this critter, but also a full-body Puppet design from Folkmanis. If you are sufficiently coordinated (and have large enough hands to reach it), the puppet has an air bladder in its tail that allows the operator to actually puff air into the frilled collar to inflate it!
Although the Australian Quokka is reminiscent of cute western hemisphere rodents like Prairie Dogs or even certain rats, it is a marsupial relative of kangaroos and wallabies, although in its own separate genus. Only cat-sized itself, it can be preyed upon by introduced domestic cats, dogs and red foxes and due to such predation and significant loss of suitable habitat has become ecologically vulnerable. A nocturnal herbivore, the Quokka is able to climb small trees and bushes to reach leaves to munch on, but also eats grasses, sedges and other vegetation which it partially chews and swallows to regurgitate and chew as cud much like cows!
Here is another Australian marsupial (of course) that we had never heard of until we looked at Bocchetta's catolog! Unlike the Quokka, the various species of quolls are carnivorous. Per Wikipedia, "Quolls eat smaller mammals, small birds, lizards, and insects. Their natural lifespan is between two and five years. All species have drastically declined in numbers since Australasia was colonized by Europeans, with one species, the eastern Quoll, becoming extinct on the Australian mainland, now found only in Tasmania. Major threats to their survival include the cane toad, predators such as feral cats and foxes, urban development, and poison baiting. Conservation efforts include breeding programs in captivity, one of which is taking place in Tasmania with support from Rewilding Australia and Conjour.
Ah--at last an Australian animal besides a Kangaroo that you might even recognize--or at least have heard of! Being in Australia, Bocchetta Plush Toys would be expected to offer some Wombat choices and we picked out the two supporting this pile 'o' Wombats from them! Obviously, a little different in size there are a few additional subtle differences as well (eye and feet treatments); the Wombat on the top of this heap comes to us from Douglas and varies from the other two! Our really, really favorite Wombat is made by Hansa, but it is currently out of stock--it is also considerably more expensive than any of these--and we are happy to offer these alternative choices in our Wombat selection!
OK, OK--we do know that Kiwi Birds are not Australian, but rather, from New Zealand! However, Australia is the closest continent and doesn't boast enough indigenous animals to fill an entire habitat of its own, so much like Madagascar critters hanging out with those from Africa, our Kiwi(s) will be found in our Australian Habitat!
This one is, much to our surprise, from Aurora, a manufacturer who doesn't usually stray too far from the common and well-known creatures of land and sea for inspiration for their plush creations. We suspect one of their designers got their hands on some of this extra-fancy Luxe fabric and realized it would be the perfect thing of which to construct a Kiwi Bird, with the long, color-tipped fibers looking so much like the fine, needle-like feathers these flightless birds sport instead of flight feathers! We couldn't agree more!
Here is our Australian Habitat, updated with lots of interesting new pieces from Bocchetta, our supplier right there on that continent, among others of our awesome vendors, for 2021!
Moving out of our Australian Habitat, we're going to let these three shimmery Mermaids be our introduction to all the NEW ADDITIONS to our Sea Life Collection! We love how the multiple shiny fabrics of each costume compliment the beautiful skin-tones of each Mermaid and although all are different, each adds a a watery sparkle reflecting the marine habitat of these Sea Ladies!
If you know anything about us at all, it should be that when it comes to choosing stuffed animals for our shop we are ALWAYS attracted to the unusual and possibly even the strangest, so when we saw this pair of exotic fish appear in the Ganz catalog we HAD to have them! Ganz isn't even a company we would have expected to spend the time to get something as weird as the Lion Fish and the deep sea Black Seadevil, complete with its fishing line/lure to help attract unsuspecting prey near enough for it to grab, realistically correct (we expect them to provide us, rather, with awesome-cute Teddy Bears, Cats and maybe Puppies!), but we think they did a "fantastic" job with both of these designs!
So, speaking of exotic, we knew the moment we saw this fantasmagorical Sea Serpent appear alongside Dragons in the Douglas collection of fantasy creatures that we would need to add it to our Ocean Habitat! We love how it curves like the waves and how its scales have such a watery shimmer!
Just in case the Sea Serpent from Douglas is not complicated enough for you, we also have a slightly more over-the-top one from Folkmanis! Being from Folkmanis makes it, by definition, a Puppet so its motion in water need not be suggested merely by shiny scales, but you can fully animate its motion by moving BOTH its head and tail
Now that we have several to choose from you absolutely "otter" come check out our new collection of Sea Otters! We also have an even bigger collection of River Otters to rival these, but that's entirely different Habitat!
Do we have any Narwhals? Of course we do!
'The big smooth one with the printed dapple detailing comes to us from Wild Republic and the smaller, fluffy-huggy one is a Douglas creation, so it is soft, soft, soft!
We love Folkmanis, not only because all of their full-body plush pieces are puppets that you can either just display or fully animate, but mainly because they make creatures nobody else even thinks to try! Here is one example we haven't seen from any other plush supplier, a Giant Claim--with an equally unique dose of personality to accompany its unique form!
Here is another creature bringing some exceptional "character" to our Ocean Habitat, also from Folkmanis! The body and legs are accessible for animation by the hand of a puppeteer--or the entire Crab can be pulled back into its shell, just like any realistic Hermit Crab would need to be able to do!
Even though we already had a standard Dolphin or two in our Ocean Habitat we had to add this unusual Vaquita Porpoise from Fiesta! Limited to a tiny region in the north end of the Gulf of California with their population numbering at just around 60 individuals, Vaquita Porpoises are currently the most endangered mammal on earth. With Vaquitas being unintentionally caught during fishing operations, those activities have been suspended in its range in order to hopefully rescue the species. The distinctive facial markings, dark circles ringing each eye, have given the Vaquita Porpoise the nick-name, "Panda of the Seas"; these markings and the beaklike structure of the Vaquita's mouth are unique identifiers for this porpoise.
This smallish (17" across, stretched out), but luminous textured velvet and velour Octopus in colors to match the Sea comes to us From Douglas , so you know it also FEELS as awesome as it looks!
It has been quite some time since we have had Douglas's cute and colorful little Blue Crab in store, but it was about time to welcome it back to our Ocean Habitat! It's there now, waiting to be appreciated once again--just for you and all of your "crabby" friends...!
We were delighted to find this adorable little Puffer Fish in the Wild Republic catalog! This is the diminutive species of which the male carves out a huge and elaborate nest on the sandy sea floor to attract a mate only to have it swept relentlessly away by the waves once this goal is accomplished! It has been featured for this feat on at least one PBS Nature program recently--and it's hard to comprehend how such a little fish keeps track of such a massive design and actually maintains its symmetry long enough for any female to notice! Of course, we suppose it COULD just be that cute little smiley face that ultimately attracts the right girl...? We certainly hopes it attracts you to our Ocean Habitat!
Be sure to visit our Ocean Habitat, newly restocked for 2021!
And moving on to our newly restocked Forest habitat...
We are pleased to offer no less than three designs of plush Great-horned Owls now residing in our Forest Habitat! Bottom left is the Wild Republic version, on the right is the one from Douglas and overseeing both of those is the majestic Puppet Great-horned Owl from Folkmanis with a head you can swivel and eyes that can blink!
Leave it to Douglas to be the first of our plush suppliers to provide us with a Great GRAY Owl! This imposing creature has been missing from the collection of Barn Owls and Great-horned Owls and we are happy to welcome it to our Forest Habitat!
Here is a great example of why we love to be able to present the same animal in plush from different suppliers! Both of these are relatively accurate renditions of a Red-tailed Hawk, each portrayed handsomely, but with specific traits accented quite differently by their respective designers! Having both in this case also provides alternative size options for different spaces as well. On the left is the version from Douglas, accompanied on the right by the one by Wild Republic.
No Forest Habitat would be complete without representatives from one of its most iconic groups of residents, SQUIRRELS! And we have a good collection to choose from, including a couple of exquisitely detailed and complex renditions from Hansa (sitting on the wooden block), as well as simpler and differently sized versions in a variety of typical squirrel colors!
We got so excited to show you all the Squirrels in our Forest habitat we almost forgot to share this iconic Bird of Prey we are delighted to add to our collection! This elegantly rendered Peregrine Falcon is new from Douglas, the only supplier we are aware of who can even supply one as a plush piece and, as usual they got it right in all its regal detail while managing to keep it soft and huggable!
So, if we're going to have Squirrels in our forest, we have to also have Chipmunks! Both of these are adorably cute and detailed, albeit it to wildly different degrees. The one on the left, being a little sculpture from Hansa, is about twice the cost ($27) of the sweetly huggable Douglas version (not at all bad at about $13) on the right. We're all about providing you with choices, right? Here we have a couple of nice ones you can easily discern but not necessarily DECIDE between!
Another iconic and well-known wild forest (and increasingly urban) critter is the Raccoon! Meet our scurrilous crew of masked Bandits, each of which looks like its very own brand of mischief, all now residing in our Forest Habitat!
If one Hedgehog is cute and fun, more must be better--so we HAVE MORE! All of these are adorable and offer choices as to size and price (and expression!), but the coolest one is the hand-puppet (top left on the box) because, not only does it have an opening for the puppeteer to insert a hand to animate it, but it also has a second opening at its base that allows it to be turned completely inside-out-into a ball--just like the ones Alice in Wonderland got to smack while playing croquet with the Queen!
Moose were unacceptably absent from our Forest habitat until recently, but now we have these three distinctive choices! Gotta LOVE the schozz on that mush-soft lay-down guy in front made by Douglas in that fabulous D-Lux fabric!
So we already showed you our collection of Sea Otters, but least we forget about their forest and stream dwelling cousins, we have even more River Otters to choose among! What strikes us about these guys is not only how different they are from the maritime version, but also how differently each supplier has portrayed the whimsical character of each River Otter shown! The one standing up with the most attitude and looking slick enough to have just emerged from the water is Hansa's "sculpted" version with "alternative" contributions from Gund, Aurora and Wild Republic!
So, we went from having approximately zero Red Foxes in our Forest habitat in early December to having too many now to show in one image! This group features a lush Ganz Heritage Plush Collection version (top, left) alongside a Wild Republic design (right) with a rendition in front that is not only beautiful and exquisitely detailed, but being from Folkmanis, is also a full-body Puppet you not only can cuddle, but animate from within as well!
Red Foxes, Round 2: Here are the rest of the Red Foxes we just added to our Forest Habitat--and each of these is from Douglas, so you know they feel every bit as wonderful as they look! The two darker ones are constructed of that fabulous new D-Lux fabric that in this case incorporates that minky, light-to-dark color gradation on each fiber of long fur. This stunning piece is not only "D-Lux", but also completely "D-licious" to handle!
We were very pleased to find a Badger in the Douglas catalog at last. Everyone else's seem to always be out of stock, but this rather portly little version made it into one of our most recent shipments--and yes, that deep, frosty fur is every bit as lushly soft as appearances here would suggest! What a sweet face, too, for a creature with the propensity for a bit of grumpiness!
We've had several Brown Bears (although one of those just sold a few minutes ago) in our Forest Habitat for some time and were finally able (this guy has been on back-order since December!) to add this luxuriant Black Bear! Looking at that lush fur, it's not hard to figure out that this is a piece from Douglas or to guess how amazingly huggable it is, even though it does have an appropriately sturdy and imposing presence!
We were every pleased to find a Badger in the Douglas catalog at last. Everyone else's seem to always be out of stock, but this rather portly little version made it into one of our most recent shipments--and yes, that deep, frosty fur is every bit as lushly soft as appearances here would suggest! What a sweet face, too, for a creature with the propensity for a bit of grumpiness!
This luxuriant Black-footed Ferret comes to us from Douglas. Looking at its lean and wiry body and lush fur it's no surprise to note that this in a member of the same family as weasels and minks. Dependent upon prairie dogs as its main prey, its numbers in the wild declined nearly to extinction when prairie dog populations tanked during the 20th century. Discovery of a small remnant group of Black-footed Ferrets in Wyoming in 1981 allowed for a captive breeding program "launched by the US Fish and Game Service that resulted in its reintroduction into eight western US states, Canada, and Mexico from 1991 to 2009. As of 2011, over 1,000 mature, wild-born individuals are in the wild across 18 populations, with five self-sustaining populations in South Dakota (two), Arizona, and Wyoming. It was first listed as "endangered" in 1982, then listed as "extinct in the wild" in 1996 before being downgraded back to "endangered" in the IUCN Red List in 2008." (per Wikipedia).
This guy HAS to be the gnarliest Alligator we have ever seen rendered in plush! Not only does it have those fabulous cat's eyes and iridescent, colorfully mottled scaly "skin" and plastic "claws", but since it is made by Folkmanis you can animate it from the inside by hand, including opening and closing that toothsome mouth!
We have the cool Bison back in stock!
The one on top is a classic from Douglas (we generally just about hate that kohair fabric on cats--they "should" have lush, standard, plush fur--but it is just about perfect in its different forms for a piece like this with curly and straight fabrics of varying pile lengths: "shaggy" really looks shaggy on this Bison--and the entire piece is still soft!). The two in front are from Wild Republic and we really appreciate that they took the trouble to make a Bison Calf (left) as well as the adult (right) as they really do have distinctive features as baby Bison!
Our northern hemisphere Forest Habitat, including our Audubon Bird Collection (these are the ones with the authentic songs recorded by Cornell University and brought to us by Wild Republic), has been fully restocked with TONS of choices (many are new designs fresh for this year)!
Moving on to our Fairy and Fantasy Habitat, we obviously have to show you some pretty fantasmagorical Unicorns! Well, this piece from Douglas is technically a "Cat-icorn" and it has to be one of the most colorfully embellished creatures we've seen that started out as basic, pristine white! It is, without a doubt, the fluffiest piece we have in the Unicorn category!
Not quite as fluffy as the "Cat-icorn" we showed above from Douglas, but every bit as soft (can you say "melty"?) and possibly even more colorful, with the added feature of a braided mane embellishment, is this seated "Rainbow Unicorn"! This piece is so soft it almost has to lean on something to keep from collapsing into a multi-hued cloud with a horn and a tail!
As soft to the touch on its surface, but stiff enough to stand without wires, so not as smooshy-soft to hug as the Rainbow Unicorn above, this awesome mottled Teal Unicorn from Douglas is not only a fabulous combination of lush hues, but has the added feature of both an extra long groomable tail and mane--it even comes with ts own little brush to help with that!
Could we have a Fairy/Fantasy Habitat with Unicorns and no Dragons? Well, maybe, but how lame would that be, especially since there are some pretty awesome NEW plush Dragons now available from several of our coolest suppliers, including this recently arrived Black Dragon, "Vincent" from Douglas? We love his shiny metallic silver fabric claws and underbelly and, even better, deep red under-wing webbing! How distinguished--and imposing!
Most of the Dragons we source from Aurora tend more toward the cute than the gnarly end of the spectrum, but this one just might be the exception that makes the "rule"! We were especially attracted to the sophistication of that deep-indigo-to ice-blue mottled fabric--and that was before we even noted the coordinating shiny metallic wings, spines and feet! Most unusual, but perfect from a design standpoint is the fancy fluffy "mane" in Renaissance hues of olive green, teal and magenta! A uniquely awesome and stately Dragon from Aurora!
When it comes to Dragons this year even Ganz has gotten in on the fun! This super-shiny Green Dragon is made from an iridescent fabric with scales that grade through the colors of the rainbow on a chartreuse ground--and if that wasn't "fancy" enough, its wings and underbelly are covered in multi-hued sparkling sequins!
Oh--and that shimmering fanciful Dragon from Ganz also comes in PINK!
Our friends at Folkmanis Puppets make some of the most fabulously rendered creatures of all sorts and there is no category in their line for which this is more true than their Dragons! This little Winged Dragon, although one of their smaller ones, is certainly no exception, with different textiles aptly chosen and applied for the body, spines wings, wing-veins, inside of the mouth, teeth, claws and even that forked tongue, sparing no detail along the way during construction! Cool just to look at, as a Puppet it can be made to come alive by the hands of a puppeteer!
Leave it to Folkmanis to even attempt a shimmering, swirling, flying version of a "Jabberwocky"! This one, amazing in its luxurious detail and rich heavy fabrics is structured such that it really needs a puppeteer to fill it out and give it substance--and when that occurs it becomes magnificent!
This BIG (over 12" tall) winged Wyvern Dragon from Folkmanis is lovingly constructed of golden crushed velvet and two wildly different versions of colorful scaly fabric to create an imposing and impressive piece that becomes even more so as an animated Puppet!
Our Fantasy Habitat is now jam-packed with all sorts of Imaginative Creatures for your choosing enjoyment!
Even though our first experience with Bocchetta Plush Toys in Australia was, in fact, as our only source of plush Pit Bull dogs, we understandably enough thought this supplier would become a go-to source for unusual and unfamiliar Aussie marsupials besides the well-known koalas and kangaroos our stateside vendors can supply--and indeed they have so become. What we did not expect was to find them to have such a great collection of plush Dogs and Cats--and in breeds we have often not been typically able to find at all and if so, rendered as well or even more interestingly as from our best suppliers (including, much to our surprise, Douglas)!
This gorgeous Schnauzer is a prime example! Douglas has had a very nice Schnauzer off and on in its plush dog collection, but not at this time and even if they did, this version is in a different pose and would give it a design and materials run for the money! This beautiful piece from Bocchetta is about 14" tall in this seated position and it is every bit as lush and fluffy and pleasing to hold as it is to look at! The first one we ordered stayed on our shelves for maybe a week once it arrived, so we immediately ordered two more! The first of these did not even make it from the box to the shelf as it was nabbed by a customer who asked if we had one as we were still unpacking the shipment. The second one was also gone in under two weeks once it made it to the display! We have three more as of this moment, but cannot guarantee for how long...!
Bocchetta Plush also provides us with this little detailed jewel of a Chihuahua in Black and Brown (all our Douglas ones are fawn-colored!). Anyone with even a little sewing experience knows how difficult it is to render small items of any sort in fabric ("Mommy, make some clothes for my Barbie, pleeeese", "...Noooooooo....!")--and we think the Bocchetta artisans have rivaled even Hansa with success in that regard depicting this diminutive dog breed with its accurately placed markings, finely sculpted pointed nose, rounded head and correctly shaped and proportioned ears--and still managed to give it such a sweet and attentive expression!
Here is Bocchetta's version of a classic Bulldog in all it's wrinkly, smushed-rather-flat glory, complete with that almost-sad, sleepy expression! Somebody MUST need to add this couch potato to the cushions already residing there!
Bocchetta Plush Toys brings us fancy Poodles, one snow-white and standing, the other coal-black and lying down, both with cute little bows on their ears! Even Douglas is not making a medium-sized Poodle in any color right now, so we are pleased to find these from our friends at Bocchetta!
Bocchetta is the ONLY manufacturer we know of that makes legit, realistic Pit Bull Dogs in plush! A few American vendors have tried but this dog's often unfair "reputation" as a "mean" and "dangerous" breed sadly seems to preclude retailers from wanting to stock enough of them to be worth the vendors' trouble, manufacture being demand driven as it is! We are really glad Bocchetta does not seem to have picked up on this breed bias and, in fact, makes not only these two beautifully rendered versions in Gray and in Black and White, but a couple more we will show you tomorrow!
Black and White Border Collie "Chase" from Douglas (rear) is back in store (we always feel lucky when he is not on indefinite back-order because is is SO popular!)--and now he has a new seated buddy "Tommy" from Bocchetta in Australia where they know a thing or two about working dogs!
We were delighted to find an actual color-variation (we have NEVER seen one in this color from any of our US suppliers!) on this popular working dog and are very pleased to be able to bring you this gorgeous BROWN and white version of a Border Collie from Bocchetta--sitting at alert attention, looking like he's ready to get busy ("Show me to some sheep!")!
Douglas was one of the first plush companies to take on the complex challenge of rendering a blue-merle Australian Shepherd ("Sidney", top right) in any kind of textile--and they invented at least one fabric (that also shows up as the tails of their small grey squirrels!) to make that possible! Now that they can get their hands on that fabulous new DeLux material, they obviously had to use some to make the bigger and better version! Maizie (laying in front here) turned out so fine that she graces the front of the 2021 Douglas plush catalogue! If you are an Aussie Shepherd fan, shouldn't she be gracing at spot in your home, too?
And here is the brand NEW for 2021 blue merle Australian Shepherd from Bocchetta, now part of their "working dogs" collection--a different enough (grown-up!) version to be well-worth adding to ours too!
The Aussie Doodle, a cross between an Australian Shepherd and standard Poodle, has become an incredibly popular mix of dog breeds, largely because the resulting offspring are incredibly cute! This cuteness quotient was enough for Douglas to recognize the "need" to create a plush version and we doubt they could have done any better, especially since they stayed with the puppy version! What you can begin to suspect looking at that fluffy "fur" but cannot fully appreciate without holding this little guy is how fabulously SOFT and cuddly this piece turned out to be--plus Douglas manages to convey just the right "personality" for this combination of two great dog breeds!
Sheep Dogs are one of the breeds of Dog that comes and goes in availability as stuffed animals and consequently, we have not had them in stock for awhile. We're not sure why, but since they seem to be "in fashion" at this moment, we nabbed a couple from different suppliers while we could! The large laying version is from Douglas--and we did brush its hair out of is face so you can see that it does, indeed, have eyes buried under it all! The designer of the Ganz rendition sitting next to it was a little less effusive with the woolly, face-covering fur, but still a nice rendering of a classically furry, huggable dog breed!
Not a lot of plush Terriers out there either, so when these two showed up, one (left) seated at about 9" tall and described specifically to be an Airedale in the Ganz Heritage Collection and one (right) as a NEW 18" D-Lux fabric laying down version (Mixed Terrier!) in the Douglas catalog (in fact, this one made the cover!), we HAD to nab them both! Terrier lovers take note--and don't miss the "opportunity" should you happen to "need" a stuffed animal rendition!
We try to keep in stock at least one plush "generic" Dog we can envision as some little kid's best buddy to cuddle, sleep with and drag along everywhere! It has to be cute and floppy and soft and huggable, with a sweet face that indicates astute attention being paid to any secrets being shared! At this time this yummy 16" long (it can sit or lay down) Labradoodle by Douglas would be our choice as it meets every one of these criterion--and it even has curly "fur"!
Going from a "generic" Labradoodle to these very specific and precise plush French Bulldogs (in two variations, no less!) is made possible by Bocchetta! These little guys are the most realistic and accurate we can find anywhere and we are consequently SO grateful to have this company as a resource for you!
Being as mush-brained for dogs as we are we are always on the lookout for plush versions of Dogs we have not seen done as such before! Sometimes that includes breeds we have never even heard of (just like our exotic wildlife occasionally does) like this Flat-coated Retriever provided by our favorite plush dog manufacturer, Douglas! We know essentially nothing about this breed except that it is categorized as a working gundog like other kinds of Retrievers. With its distinctively "feathered" legs, chest and undersides of tail and belly compared to smooth upper body head and ears, it must present as an entirely handsome creature in real life! This plush version looks like it could easily serve as some deserving young man's best plush buddy!
And from the beautiful solid coal-black fur of the Flat-coated Retriever we shared above/yesterday, we go to this wonderfully detailed portrait of a snow-white breed, the cute-as-a-bug--and simply fabulous--Westie! This is another breed we've had trouble consistently finding in plush in any form, but leave it to Douglas to make not only an accurate, but excellent one--making sure to portray it as an adult in a breed-standard show-cut! This one should be on the way to a championship place in the heart of any Westie lover!
Douglas brings us yet another somewhat unusual Dog Breed to find rendered in plush! While almost every manufacturer that makes plush dogs eventually gets around to some form of German Shepherd, Douglas has responded to a specific interest in the distinctive Belgian Malinois! We've actually had a few requests for this breed over the years that we've never been able to satisfy--until now! And of course Douglas has captured the intense and distinguished character of this handsome working breed!
OK--when someone purchased our last Quokka, we knew it was "time" to reorder from our friends in Australia, Bocchetta Plush Toys (Alert to budget: Danger, Danger!)! We try to keep in stock the wonderful Australian Cattle Dog from Douglas that is made of an amazingly soft, merle-printed, suede-like textile, but the last two of those sold out a few weeks ago, so we decided to try the Bocchetta version of a dog they should be eminently familiar with until we can get another order in to Douglas, especially because Bocchetta's designers have a wildly different take on this particular breed! We love how handsome this guy is and how relaxed and naturally his laying-down pose presents (it's probably one of the few way to see a working breed like this staying still)! He is also soft, but in a different way, with thick, rich classic plush, from the Douglas design. And doesn't he have the sweetest, most alert and engaging expression--with that cute little tongue barely hanging out of his open mouth just making him look alive?
This beautifully executed laying German Shepherd from Bocchetta is BACK in STOCK (along with more Quokkas, a new Potero, a new Flying Fox and a new Emu, not to mention several fabulous Cats, all from this fun company based in Australia)! Much like their amazing Schnauzer, this piece is stunning enough that it sells out, not quite as fast, but still rather quickly (we got an extra one this time...). Unlike the Schnauzer, we do have alternate choices in the US for German Shepherds (Douglas and Ganz currently have good versions in their current collections; a few from additional companies are almost an embarrassment to display on our shelves, so we avoid them!), but this is the BEST one we can find anywhere in this size and price range, being much more detailed and naturalistic in its portrayal, showing off the most iconic characteristics of this well-known and admired breed!
We like the laying German Shepherd from Bocchetta so much we thought it well worth trying the seated one, too. We wanted the 14-15" tall one proportioned to "match" the laying one we love so much, but those were out of stock this time around so we opted for the 8-9" just to see how that pose looks in person! We have to say that there is no loss of detail--or personality--on this smaller size and it comes with the advantage of being a little less expensive than the larger one. Totally handsome!
What fun to find such a charming example of a plush Golden Doodle in the Bocchetta Dog Collection! A little bit Poodle-curly and a little bit Retriever-"feathered" with plenty of that "Golden" just to please the eye, we think this rendering of this now-classic breed combination admirably showcases the best of both, while looking like it is just waiting for a hug!
We are pleased to have this quintessential spotted Fireman's Dog back in stock! Much easier than the real ones to keep entertained and out of mischief is this eminently soft and huggable Dalmatian from Douglas!
We are always delighted when we can bring you a breed of dog that is almost impossible to find as a stuffed animal! We've even been known to have things (like plush Pit Bulls!) shipped in from as far away as Australia to make this happen for you! Fortunately, we did not have to go that far afield to find this beautiful Weimaraner; even better, this one comes to us from Douglas whose sensitivity (not to mention quality of design and materials!) in rendering especially dogs in plush is a hallmark of their pieces! Nothing less than you would expect here for this handsomely rendered breed--in classic solid steely gray with BLUE eyes!