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1410 Industrial Park Ave. at the Tri-City Shopping Center in Redlands, CA, 92374
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
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Finally making some progress getting our Easter decor on inside the Shop...!
SAVE MONEY with our current (or any past version) DISCOUNT COUPON (good on ALL regularly priced merchandise) soon to be appearing in the March issues of the Redlands, Highland and Yucaipa Coupons Monthly delivered to a mailbox near you!! We will have a stack of them in our shop once they are published in case you don't receive them in your own mail. REMINDER: You can use any of our previous coupons that may be floating around in a drawer, your purse or wallet, because they NEVER expire!
Congratulations to Gary P., our Valentine Customer Appreciation Gift Basket Drawing WINNER for 2021!
It's entirely possible to WIN a Basket like this from us from a one-time visit and a $5 purchase--and it does occur not uncommonly. As it happens, Gary's family has supported us for a number of years and it's really nice to see a loyal customer finally score a "thank-you" like this! If you happen NOT to be Gary, never fear! We begin taking entries for this year's Easter Customer Appreciation Gift Basket as of... NOW!
Just LOOK at all the adorable Easter items we've collected to assemble into Gift-to-Go/Gift-with-Purchase packages just for you! Here's how you can acquire these:
This is one of the NEW double-sided printed and fabric embellished Decorative Flags for Saint Patrick's Day from Evergreen! Dotted fabric surrounded by embroidery and felt addenda to the shamrock leaflets add richness and dimension to this modern design--available in BOTH a House and Garden size!
Two Group/Breeze Decor Flag Company is one of the few that doesn't immediately cease to make and drop from their line flags from any given season. We're especially happy about that in this case, because this printed (views correctly from either side) Saint Patrick's Day Flag is one of our favorites! We haven't had the St Pat's Puppy design in stock for several years now and figured it was high time to welcome it back (in BOTH House and Garden sizes)! Don't you agree?
It may not be obvious from this design sketch of an "Irish at Heart" Leprechaun dancing among a flurry of Shamrocks atop that Rainbow that promises Gold at its end, but this Flag is, in fact, an appliqued style with embroidered lettering that reads correctly from both sides. Would that we could all be this carefree again! Both House and Garden sizes available for this one!
Here's a pretty, double-sided Garden Flag to celebrate Saint Pat's that features a smattering of printed Shamrocks across a neutral, buff-colored "burlap" ground framed in green. Some of those Shamrocks are felt-embellished, giving them a third dimension and there's even an extra Shamrock appliqued to one lower corner of one side that has a smaller one attached as a free-falling dangle! Just the Garden style available in this style!
Another field of printed Shamrocks, a few felt-embellished, on a double-sided linen-look Garden Flag to wish everyone a "Happy St. Patrick's Day!", this design emphasizes the "Happy" part with a pair of Leprechaun Legs dancing among them! This Leprechaun's stockings are printed but his shoes are appliqued felt with sparkling golden buckles! Do you see an Irish jig in your future, perchance?
This richly printed flag design featuring all your favorite Irish icons for Saint Patrick's Day (isn't EVERYONE t least a little Irish on St. Pat's?) reads correctly on both sides! Both House and Garden sizes are available!
A jaunty Leprechaun diligently watching over that Pot of Gold at the end of his Rainbow graces this St. Patrick's Day Flag that is constructed of bright color blocks of solid fabrics outlined in embroidery! Brilliant in the sunlight, this design really pops, either as a House or garden sized Flag!
A field of appliqued Shamrocks, some golden, outlined in golden metallic embroidery decorate this classic Saint Patrick's Day House Flag with text that reads correctly from both sides (we all get a little Irish Luck on that Day, right?)!
Here is a NEW printed (reads correctly from either side) Saint Patrick's Day Flag from Two Group/ Breeze Decor Flags! This kicky, modern design features quirky ringlets of clouds(?) swirling around a central stylized Shamrock while an iconic Rainbow spews out gold coins into the sky! Available as both a House and Garden version!
Printed and appliqued felt Shamrocks appear again as Irish icons, this time on a double-sided Garden Flag design where they dance about on and over a nicely checkered Irish Top Hat! "Happy Saint Patrick's Day" to one and all right from your front yard!
OK--so obviously we have a pretty good selection of House and Garden Decorative Flags for Saint Patrick's Day (it's coming SOON, on March 17 every year!), but do we have any for EASTER (early this year on April 4, the first Sunday of the month)?
Well, of COURSE we do!
Wishing you "Easter Blessings" is this adorable Spring Lamb decorated in a floral headdress and a big blue fabric bow and surrounded by decorated Easter Eggs and more flowers! This is one of those fabulous double-sided, appliqued and embroidered styles from Evergreen, so richly readable correctly from either side. We especially like this design because it is one of the few that features NOT Bunnies or Chicks! In fact we like it so much that it is one of the big House-sized Flags we chose to grace our storefront this month! Stunning as a House Flag, we also have the Garden size available!
This completely lovely double-sided, appliqued and embroidered Flag from Evergreen Enterprises features an elegantly appointed Lady Bunny wearing a garland of dimensional spring flowers and a pretty yellow polka-dot ribbon around her neck wishing all who view and appreciate her beauty a "Happy Easter"! House and Garden size versions available for this design!
EASTER 3-D PopUp Greeting Cards are HERE! Just look at all the cute designs!
Here is our collection of inspirational Acrylic Crystal Ornaments from Ganz for the Easter season and beyond!
Choose one or more from three color combinations of Floral Crosses and/or hang a blue bead accented Dove carrying a silver-colored Cross or a pink beaded Dove with a pink crystal Heart in its beak!
Our entire selection of everyday PopUp Greeting Cards has been refilled and updated for 2021!
Now that ALL of those boxes full of plush that arrived at year's end are unpacked, WHERE do we even begin to show you images of what they contained? By default because they each came in a box of their own, we started to show some (BIG) Sea Life from the newly arrived Fiesta shipment while we were waiting for the rest. Now it seems like a good approach to show you the newest "stuff" just added by habitat, since they are "related" even though they came from diverse suppliers, and where we can at least group some pieces, especially when we got more than one version of the "same" animal, for their "portraits". We will revisit our Ocean Habitat soon soon enough, but since we are looking directly across our counter at the South American Rain Forest Habitat and especially loving the little jewel-like New World Monkeys we just received from Hansa, we've arbitrarily decided to start there!
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!
Was it insane to drive across the desert to Kingman Arizona and back in the dead of summer? Yes!
Was it worth it to meet this little guy? ABSOLUTELY!
Meet "Gilead" being held by Breeder Julie Vanderlinden of Shadow Mountain (now Long Valley) Aussies about a week before our visit (at about 4 weeks old) on July 29. His Dad is "Gideon" and we wanted to name him something at least as distinguished! The esoteric history associated with this name, per Wikipedia, includes the fact that Balm of Gilead was a rare perfume used medicinally, that was mentioned in the Bible, and named for the region of Gilead, where it was produced. The expression has come to signify a universal cure in figurative speech. "Gilead" as a given name means roughly "everlasting joy (or happiness)" in Hebrew.
"Gilead" will likely quickly be shortened to "Gilly", which our favorite Reference Librarian (thanks Bonnie!) informs us is colloquial English for a carnation!
What do you think?
Gilead is GROWING! Here he is at about 6 weeks old!
And at 8 weeks!
Here's Gilly settled into his palatial digs in his newly remodeled kennel at home--with elderly rescue-dog, Dusty, worrying over him in the background (it's GOOD to have company again!).
Gilly, coming from the Arizona desert, is completely certain that the "water" bowl on the ground in his kennel is for playing in, especially scraping all the water out (we are REALLY glad we put in that decking or he would most certainly be a mud-puppy both morning and evening)! Hence the narrow-mouthed, chin-high version on the fence in front of him that he actually drinks out of!
Ah--that HUGE crate at the Shop is not so bad, afterall--and Gilly's toes are MUCH safer here than under Kathy's desk chair! There's plenty of room (and food and toys!) in there and Gilly gets to come out for potty breaks (he's already about trained himself about these), brushing and anytime a customer would like to greet him for free hugs and puppy kisses. Help keep Gilly from getting bored from not having enough people to meet and welcome to the shop, his official day-job now!
Gilead got to spend our "day off" on Wednesday, October 21, testing a NEW TOY and learning to negotiate a LOT of exercise/exploration possibilities on his awesome tie-out run! No wonder he was sleepy on Thursday!
At about 5 months of age Silly Gilly's grown-up fur is beginning to replace his fuzzy puppy coat--and it's coming in all swirly-curly, at least on his back, so far! We LOVE those cute little ringlets of fur doing just what it "wants" to do--and becoming beautiful in the process!
We finally managed to have the camera and Gilly together at the same place and time on 1-3-2021!
At just over 6 months old, isn't he becoming a really handsome Dude? (And he's tall enough to chew on his doghouse roof!)
We received a very special shipment from Two-Group/Breeze Decor Flag Co. on Monday, June 29! It included some custom House and Garden Flags in a special design we created just for Redlands!
These flags are the ONLY regularly priced items in our shop to which you CANNOT apply our COUPON DISCOUNT. This is because we will be donating approximately 20% of the sales of both sizes to one of the local Redlands outreach groups that especially supports young people in our community. We hope there is enough demand for these flags that we can eventually support additional groups, but the beneficiary of our first significant batch of sales will be Music Changing Lives founded by Josiah Bruny. Josiah is a friend of Brian Seghers at Rendition Tattoo here in Redlands who inspired us to create these flags with all of the Orange Hearts he has painted on windows, boards on storefronts and yard stakes for Redlands to keep our spirits up during these trying times!
We just realized that we ordered so much "Stuff" for our Medical Area from both I Heart Guts AND Giant Microbes that we had to expand our display for this "interesting" Collection...
The I Heart Guts shipment arrived in June and plush Body Parts/Organs from this supplier found their way onto the shelves of our newly expanded Medical Area! They have now been surrounded by plush Cells, Organelles and Molecules in a shipment from Giant Microbes that was delivered a few days later!
Giant Microbes used to package a number of their cells and germs as mini pieces of three inside of a deep Petri Dish. They no longer do this, probably for the same reason sleeve after sleeve of Petri Dishes shipped to the research lab Kathy once worked at were returned for replacement--Petri Dishes are incredibly subject to fracturing with the slightest ding in the right spot, so losses probably made this kind of packaging, while adorable, a case of diminishing returns! That is certainly not to say we no longer can get, for example, plush Red Blood Cells. They simply are only available only as individual, larger (the "giant" in Giant Microbes!) pieces. As you can see, these are at least as cute, if not more so, as the mini versions! In order for you to better see them, we will be showcasing additional plush Cells that arrived in the most recent shipment from Giant Microbes and are now surrounding the I Heart Guts plush Body Parts in our Medical Display Area!
If you are going to make plush Red Blood Cells you pretty-much HAVE to make plush White Bloods Cells as well! No worries! Giant Microbes does just that! (Now in store in our Medical Area!)
And to be sure those Red Blood Cells can properly clot as needed, there must also be Blood Platelets, AKA thrombocytes) Not enough Platelets in the blood can result in bleeding that cannot be stopped, but too many can cause spurious clots that can cause heart attacks and strokes.
And, of course all of those different kinds of Blood Cells need some kind of medium to swim around in while being transported throughout the body to do their jobs. Enter Blood Plasma, a bit of a challenge to convey as an individual plush item. Giant Microbes' solution to the problem is to present Blood Plasma as a single "liquid" droplet, albeit a slightly fuzzy one (which we also think looks a little like a fried egg...), lacking nothing at all in terms of "personality"!
Meet a plush version of a Stem Cell! Stem Cells are undifferentiated cells, for example those found at the center of early mammalian embryos, that have the capacity to develop into almost any kind of specialized cell needed to function in various developing/adult tissues. Deciding what specialized cells stem cells ultimately become is a highly complex process depending on precise regulation mechanisms, but until that happens a Stem Cell has the capacity to develop in any direction. Note how this trait is suggested here by the rainbow coloration and neutral expression of the as yet undefined plush Stem Cell!
Our very favorite thing abut supplying our Medical Area is what a great marriage the plush Body Parts from I Heart Guts make with complimentary plush Cells from Giant Microbes!
Here is a perfect case in point: The plush Heart is from the former and the Heart Cell is from the latter. We love how anatomically correct I Heart Guts has made the Heart--and that the Heart Cell from Giant Microbes not only makes a faint heartbeat sound, but lights up in concert with it when pressed...!
If we can have a plush Pancreas from I Heart Guts, it seems only fitting to also have plush Pancreatic Beta Cells from Giant Microbes! Since Beta Cells are the ones specialized to produce Insulin to manage blood sugar levels, Giant Microbes includes a plastic model of an Insulin (gigantic!) Molecule stashed away inside a special zippered pouch inside each Beta Cell!
Today's Medical Dynamic Duo is plush organ, the Stomach from I Heart Guts accompanied by an individual Stomach Cell from Giant Microbes!
It take a LOT of Muscle Cells to build a big strong Muscle. Luckily, Giant Microbes makes plush Muscle Cells and I Heart Guts has the "Muscle" to provide the plush organ they make up!
This I Heart Guts plush organ represents a Kidney. The particular plush Kidney Cell that Giant Microbes decided to make is a Podocyte, a very specialized kind of cell that, with the help of very specific proteins, wraps itself around tiny knots of blood capillaries within the kidney to facilitate filtering of waste from the bloodstream, an amazingly complex process that allows two kidneys to clean 400 gallons of blood every day!
The huge Knee Joint on the left is one of the newest "organs" from I Heart Guts! As it happens, theirs is a healthy joint. Giant Microbes, who in addition to cells and molecules also specializes in germs and various maladies, chose to make their Knee Joint their "showpiece" for Arthritis!
Bone Cells make up our skeleton and are therefore found helping to hold our shapes, bend and maneuver, throughout our bodies.
However, sometimes things go amiss, usually not so much with bone itself as with how bones connect and interact with each other so we can move. Along with their Bone Cells, Giant Microbes offers two examples of these maladies represented in plush: Back Pain and issues leading to the requirement for Hip Replacement!
Not only does Giant Microbes make entire cells in plush, but they have even added some important cellular Organelles to their line-up!
According to Giant Microbes (we LOVE that they include information like this on all of their pieces), The "Golgi Apparatus" manufactures and packages proteins, lipids and other macromolecules produced by the cell. It assembles simple molecules into complex ones in conjunction with the Endoplasmic Reticulum..." in all eukaryotic cells, including those of both plants and animals, acting as the cells' factories.
Here is another organelle vital to eucaryotic cellular function and presented in plush by Giant Microbes! While the Golgi Apparatus is considered to be one of the main construction sites within a cell, the Mitochondria would be the energy producing centers! Biology students, this should be familiar; remember the Kreb's cycle, respiration and all those ATPs and ADPs? This is the organelle where all that happens! This is also the organelle whose own small amount of DNA, different from that in the nucleus, comes ONLY from your maternal parent, the "Eve" DNA, and thus can be used to trace maternal family lines.
Besides producing Cells and intracellular Organelles, Giant Microbes even makes plush versions of some very important Molecules on which life depends! Of primary importance in reproduction, growth, development and maintenance of living cells is, of course, DNA--and here we have a plush portion of a DNA Molecule, complete with its double-helix twisted "ladder" of coding base pairs!
Another extremely important molecule produced by our bodies is the Antibody, in the news a lot lately because researchers all over the world are trying to develop a vaccine that will effectively encourage our immune systems to create antibodies able to suppress infection by the COVID-19 virus! Each kind of Antibody is very specifically designed to capture and help put out of commission a very particular microbial invader such as COVID-19 , likely in the case of a virus by targeting an exposed protein on its external coat. Giant Microbes has even illustrated this "capture" of a target Antigen on one of the "arms" of their plush representation of an Antibody! Doesn't it look SO busted!
OK--Home-schoolers and Distance-learners, Giant Microbes (along with I Heart Guts) is here to help with those biology lessons! As we've shown, Giant Microbes makes a plethora of cellular Organelles and Molecules and here to put some of them in context is their plush version of a generic, unspecialized Animal Cell, with a handy-dandy reference card attached!
Although plant and animal cells share many internal organelles, their structures and modes of operation vary quite significantly. Here to illuminate the wonders found at the cellular level in plants is a huge plush Plant Cell, brought to you by Giant Microbes and also featuring a handy-dandy cheat-sheet, er-um, information tag, identifying its parts!
Back in stock from I Heart Guts: a plush set of Lungs, accompanied by a hang-tag with another famously bad pun!
Who else but I Heart Guts would endeavor such an "in depth" 3-D "study" in plush of a Colon? The pun on its hang-tag is even worse than the one for the plush Intestines above!
The perennial get-well gag-gift for anyone who has had to have one removed! I Heart Guts brings us this ginormous plush Appendix. If you "Feel it in your Gut" as the hang-tag suggests, unfortunately, it's probably time to be seeing an emergency room surgeon!
Having done detailed plush studies of both the Colon and Appendix separately, I Heart Guts combines them here in the "context" of the entire set of "Intestines" and points out on the hang-tag that you do, in fact, "Go with your Guts"!
Another hugely "popular" post-surgery get-well gift is this plush Gall Bladder from I Heart Guts! It is SO popular, in fact that we are often out of them and waiting for them back-ordered from the supplier! Back in stock...for now!
Among the silly things listed as fun information (besides the requisite pun on the front!) inside the hang tag for this plush Bladder from I Heart Guts is the fact that most bladders have the capacity to hold as much urine as the contents of a can and a half of soda...!
Complete with the Hammer and Anvil (both are ossicles which transmit sound vibrations from the eardrum to the snail-shaped) Cochlea (that converts those vibrations into electrochemical signals sent on to the brain to be interpreted) and even the Semicircular Canals that help maintain balance, this plush Inner Ear from I Heart Guts helps to explain how we HEAR sounds!
Here's a plush set of organs from I Heart Guts that anyone with allergies will appreciate! Allergens like pollen and dust are one group of things, along with bacteria and other breathed-in invaders that are trapped by the Sinuses by encasing them in mucus for expulsion in snot, hopefully before they get to your throat and lungs, but making your head feel like a cotton-filled balloon in the meantime!
We have amazing organs in our throat and head to allow us to make and hear sounds and even catch unwanted things we may breathe in, but one of the most awesome organs of all is the Eyeball, here rendered in plush by I Heart Guts! Very detailed information on how the eyeball and brain accomplish this miracle is available on the hang-tag!
Your Pineal (refers to its being vaguely shaped like a pine cone) Gland, a rice-grain sized organ buried inside of your brain, plays a significant part in the mediation of your waking days and sleeping nights as it is where the hormone, melatonin, that tells you when it is time to sleep, is produced. Sometimes called our "third eye" because in terms of biological evolution it can be interpreted as something of an atrophied photoreceptor, the Pineal Gland responds to information actually obtained by the retina about the state of light and darkness in the environment. Melatonin is made by the Pineal Gland when darkness is signaled. The Pineal Gland is also implicated in the regulation of bone metabolism and the functioning of another important gland, the Pituitary, including influencing sexual hormone production.
Meet The Thymus Gland, presented for your enjoyment in plush by I Heart Guts! Important to know in these times of contagion and confusion, the Thymus, seated right above your heart, is where those amazing T-cells that fight infection are made and mature to help your body defeat specific intruders!
Read just a portion of all the awesome information included on the multi-page hang-tag of the Pituitary Gland from I Heart Guts: "The teeny tiny pea-sized gland has a lot of big jobs. The Pituitary, which dangles from underneath your brain, watches over the body and works to keep everything running smoothly. The Pituitary releases hormones into the bloodstream that tell other organs and glands to do their jobs. These hormones help control growth, metabolism, sex hormones and blood pressure as well as maintain water levels in the body. That is one busy gland!"
Additional hang-tag Fun Fact: This so-called "Master Gland" actually takes orders from the Hypothalamus.
One Adrenal Gland is perched atop each Kidney in the body. These are the glands that produce Adrenaline, the famous "fight or flight" hormone that increases your heart rate and generally pumps up your strength to enable you to effectively do one or the other (there is a cute chart on the hang-tag detailing how and what body organs are affected by Adrenaline during this response). They've been very busy in the last few months producing another hormone, cortisol, also a stress hormone, in almost all, if not all of us! The Adrenal Gland is also in charge of producing sex hormones, so, all in all, a rather important organ!
We could never come to be were it not for the fluid produced by the walnut-sized Prostrate Gland in men to protect and nourish the sperm generated in their testicles. It is actually mainly the Seminal Vesicle Glands atop the Prostrate that makes most of what goes into semen, the medium wherein sperm cells swim.
Hang tag info for the plush Lymph Node from I Heart Guts:
"Sprinkled throughout the body, Lymph Nodes are filled with White Blood Cells which patrol the lymphatic system for bodily bad guys. When these cells identify harmful invaders, they drag them back to the Lymph Node to be destroyed...!"
Having these organs removed is every kid's nightmare! Tonsils were once believed to be not of serious usefulness and thus got taken out at the first sign of a sore throat located in them. Fortunately, modern medical practitioners recognize the value of Tonsils in fighting germs in our mouths and antibiotics can assist when it seems the tonsils are becoming overwhelmed by an given invader. Wishing to preserve the infection limiting potential of these organs, physicians now tend only to remove them when the tonsils become too compromised to provide that function. Whew!
We can hardly discuss organs of the mouth without mentioning Teeth! Here from I Heart guts is a big plush molar --in pearly white, of course! It even has its own "toothy" grin...!
The coup de grass of Teeth would HAVE to be a GOLD Tooth--and far be it from I Heart Guts to forego the opportunity to make one! One of our customers has already provided this stunner to her Dentist as a "Thank-you" (sort-of) gift!
Sad news:Our beautiful day on April 1, 2020 appreciating California's native plants flowering in our local deserts (far away from other people) ended sadly when we returned home to find our beloved Australian Shepherd Foxy expired as if asleep in her kennel. We are devastated because this came as a shock, especially as Foxy was always one of our healthiest dogs, and had our vet look into possible causes. It turns out the Foxy had a silent tumor, hard to detect with no symptoms to suggest its presence, on an artery at the base of her heart. It finally caused a rupture that bled into the pericardium of her heart. We consider it a blessing that she showed no signs of distress until her last few days and then slipped away peacefully after a long and happy life of being much loved. Eventually, we will replace the gaping holes in our heats with another fur baby, but for now our hearts are aching..
Rest in peace, Foxy. We'll see you on the other side of that Rainbow Ridge....
It is hard to believe that Star Tulip Stuffies, House of Fine Stuffed Animals has been open for over four years home again in Redlands, CA (we started here back in 2003 in the now-defunct old downtown Redlands Mall)!
We have lived and worked and been your neighbors in this area for more than 40 years! Star Tulip Stuffies was originally opened as a storefront in the Redlands Mall back in 2003. Since then a growing following of stuffed animal aficionados has managed to find, support and spread the word about us.
From the very beginning our intent has been to bring our customers the very best selection of the finest quality plush creatures we can find while keeping our prices as rational as we can.
We are all about choices; we like nothing better than to present several different companies’ version of the same animal because we have found that every designer will have a different take on that same critter. Thus, if you visit us, which we certainly hope to make you curious enough to do, you should not be surprised to find that, not only do we have an “unusual” creature, say a porcupine or an opossum, rendered in plush, but that we also will likely have four or five or even more styles from as many different manufacturers (with accompanying differences in sizes and prices!) of that individual kind of animal! This also means that while you will find respected and familiar names like Gund, Ganz, Douglas Cuddle Toy, Fiesta Toys, Aurora, Wild Republic, etc. on many of our products, we make a point of searching out quality companies less well known, especially in California, that you may only brush up against on a trip to the zoo or aquarium (we really love the educational kick provided by those extremely realistic representations!) or while traveling east of the Rocky Mountains (many retailers are simply unwilling to stand the cost of shipping some of these…)--or that are just outrageously esoteric (we have plush germs--in Petri dishes, no less--by GiantMicrobes and body parts--if I only had a brain--from I [Heart] Guts!
Our selection is so diverse (we are simply stuffed with “stuff”, but then “stuff” is what we do!) in order to keep track of everything we have resorted to arrangement by habitat! When you visit (by now you know you have to if you can…) you will eventually notice that our entire shop is suggestive of the interior and exterior of a gigantic fantastic playhouse or dollhouse. “Inside” live authentic Raggedy Ann and Andy, Sesame Street characters, etc. Also living the pampered “indoor” life are plush Cats and Teddy Bears “Outside” you will find our rather extensive collection of realistic Dog Breeds (this is a personal favorite category of ours, so if someone makes a decent version of a specific breed, we will try to have it for you!), Barnyard Animals, Horses, Frog and Turtle ponds, Forest critters, Desert animals, Birds, and creatures of Central and South America, Australia, Africa and Asia as well as an area devoted to Ocean life! There is even a section “inhabited” by the fantasmagorical creatures of the imagination including dragons, faeries, unicorns and the like!
About Our Name: The “Star Tulip” part of our name alludes to our other life as occasional botanists! “Star tulips” are members of a rather large genus, Calochortus, meaning “beautiful grass”, of native Californian lilies that includes species with enchanting common names like “butterfly” or “mariposa tulips” and “faerie lanterns”. The butterfly tulips have large goblet-shaped tulip-style flowers, often marked with spots and bobbing in the breeze above their cohabitating grasses like the insects they appear to mimic. The more diminutive faerie lanterns have closed flowers on slender overarched stems and could easily be imagined to light the nighttime activities of elfin woodland inhabitants. Our tiny namesakes open fully wide and close to the ground as if they were stars scattered across the forest floor! The alliteration of “Star Tulip” and “Stuffies” was just too tempting to pass up!
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