Saturday, February 26, 2011

Hugglets Teddy Bear Festival | Kensington Town Hall, London, England | Whatsonwhen 27th February

Friday, February 25, 2011

The Wright Mouse for the Job, By Ellen McDaniel-Weissler for Teddy Bear and Friends...

By Ellen McDaniel-Weissler for Teddy Bear and Friends

Put away the traps and hide the cheese. Don’t run screaming or climb up on a kitchen chair—not that you would want to. One sight of R. John Wright’s very newest mouse creation, Little Tommy Tittlemouse, and the only place you’ll want to “trap” him is in your curio or what-not shelf.

With myriad bears, bunnies, squirrels, ducks, and even a monkey in the Wright collection, it seems only reasonable that mice have joined the parade. Today the artist’s mouse figures cover holidays and seasons, Mother Goose and Beatrix Potter.

The first mouse, The Mouse Tailor, appeared in 2001 as part of the Beatrix Potter series. “Several
of [Beatrix Potter’s] books feature mice characters,” explains John, “and we decided to produce The Mouse Tailor as an exclusive edition. We had never made a mouse before, and once we had worked out some of the design/production problems inherent in such a small piece, we saw the opportunity to develop other mouse characters.”

This first creation, seated atop a spool of salmon-pink thread and perusing a newspaper, is a delicately crafted piece in every detail, from his filament whiskers to his primly crossed ankles. He wears a remarkably animated expression for so small a work—peering over his spectacles with a look of scholarly inquiry. Such intricacy was the result of great experimentation and innovation.
“The main difference in making mice for us was the issue of size,” recalls John. “If a mouse becomes too large, it begins to resemble a rat! So it was important that the mice be no larger than four inches.”

This would, as John and his wife Susan feared, limit the artistic interpretation of the character. “At first it seemed like it would not be possible to keep the mice small and detailed if they were made of mohair plush,” says John. “Steiff produced small mohair mice, but we felt they were not detailed and realistic enough to evoke Beatrix Potter’s images.”

John momentarily considered making the mice in molded felt rather than mohair but felt they would be more appealing if made of plush. And so, to achieve the desired effect in plush, new design and production techniques were developed for the mice. According to John, mohair has a “spiky” quality to it if not treated to lie flat. “The direction of the lay of the fur was taken into consideration when sewing the parts together,” says John. “We had to develop new techniques for the fine mouse ears, and decisions had to be made concerning the paws and tail.”

Other Beatrix Potter mice have followed in The Mouse Tailor’s footsteps, including Johnny Town-Mouse, Hunca Munca, Tom Thumb, and Appley Dapply.

In 2003, the first in what became a series of holiday mice appeared: Nibbles, the original R. John Wright Christmas mouse who stands 3 inches tall, sports a dapper blue and grey scarf and clasps a delectable peppermint stick.

“The Christmas mouse Nibbles was made exclusively for the Toy Shoppe, who may have approached us with the idea of a mouse holding a sweet,” says John. “Initially, this was not planned as a series, but the response to Nibbles was so overwhelming that we quickly decided to make it an annual offering for the holiday season.

“The first prototype of Cocoa did not have a nightcap,” John continues. “Danny [Shapiro] at the Toy Shoppe asked if we could put something on the mouse to give more of an anthropomorphic effect, his reasoning being that the previous Christmas mice all had ‘human characteristics’ in the form of scarves, ribbons, etc. We made Cocoa a nightcap so he would be more compatible with the series. It was an immediate improvement!”

Danny of The Toy Shoppe (; 800-447-7995) remembers the exclusive premiere of Nibbles well: “Four exclusive mice later, we continue to be enchanted by John’s talent for bestowing such character in them … Our little Petit Four exhibits such emotion that you can actually ‘feel’ his longing for that delicious treat! It’s through this gift that John strikes such an emotional chord with all collectors.”

Lest the fans of autumn holidays think that Halloween has been slighted — think again! Trick or Treat, the first of the Halloween mice, appeared in 2008 and is followed this year by Black Magic. Each of these limited-edition pieces have been created exclusively for FairyTales Inc. in Lombard, Ill. (; 800-495-6973). “We had specialized in miniatures for many years with many of our collectors focusing on mice [like those by] Wee Forest Folk,” says James Pokorn of FairyTales. “Since Halloween is one of our strongest holidays, it was a logical choice to pursue Trick or Treat for our shop. Our collectors have embraced the mice created by John and Susan. Each is truly a piece of art with its own character and personality.”

“Black Magic will have sort of a ‘sorcerer’ motif to his costuming,” says John, “with coloring being primarily black and purple. The prototype has not yet been finalized, but the Halloween series will feature other small accessories not limited to sweets. And yes, there are ideas on the drawing board for further mice in the Halloween collection.”

The newest mice of the R. John Wright line derive from some of the oldest children’s stories. “The latest mouse collection is the new Mother Goose series. The first piece in that collection was Daffy Down Dilly based on the nursery rhyme of the same name. … The second piece in that series is Little Tommy Tittlemouse from the classic Mother Goose rhyme.”

Little Tommy Tittlemouse, who finds himself on the cover of this issue, stands just 3 inches tall. Wearing a natural straw hat and complete with fishing pole and felt fish, he is limited to just 150 pieces and available through the RJW company store.

Fans of the Mother Goose mice collection can expect more mice to come, including Little Maid, Pretty Maid, and Wee Willie Winkie.

And for those fashion-conscious collectors interested in the sartorially minded mouse, don’t forget Lady Mouse and Gentleman Mouse, who model the latest fashionable rodent attire of the 18th century. And the simple change of seasons is celebrated with Annamarie and Fritz, the Winter Mice.

Although there are no plans in the making for perhaps a Fourth of July or Thanksgiving mouse, John readily admits, “It could be a fun direction to go!”

Appley Dappley™, Beatrix Potter Series, was made in 2007 exclusively for Apple Pie House in the U.K. Includes embroidered apron, custom-made basket, and plate of pies.

New for 2009, Black Magic is the second mouse of the Halloween Series, available through FairyTales. Includes silk wizard’s hat, cape, and wand.

Right: Trick or Treat, the first of the Halloween Mouse Series for FairyTales, was made in 2008. Includes silk cape and hat, shoes, and felt candy corn.

To Order any of the R John Wright Mice, please click on the header above ( The Wright Mouse for the Job.... ) This will take to their Page.

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Thursday, February 24, 2011

WDCC - Tinker Bell - “Delicate Day Dreamer” - 2011 Premiere Spring Event Sculpture.....

Tinker Bell ("Delicate Daydreamer") the Fourth Release in the Disney Artist Series and Second Release in the Tinker Bell Seasons is a Numbered Limited Edition (NLE) of 3,000 sculpted by Margi Wray.

To Order the Tinker Bell - Winter in Bloom, please click on the header above ( WDCC - Tinker Bell - “Delicate.... ) This will take to her Page.

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Friday, February 18, 2011

New Disney Collection arrives in store by artist Romero Britto.......

....... works of art brought to you in the shape of Mickey Mouse and other favourite characters.

8 inches tall.

4 inches tall.

Tinker Bell Trinket Box 6.25 inches tall

About Romero Britto
Romero Britto has become a POP culture phenomenon. His vibrant use of color and bold prints have made him a famous artist of the 21st Century.

Romero Britto began his career in Brazil. Many of his first projects are little known, but led to his discovery and notable mark on the art world. His growth as an artist has also expanded his creativity. Britto has embodied the definition of POP ART. He has created art that can be enjoyed that can be enjoyed by people of all ages and walks of life.

Romero Britto has not followed conventional art with the distribution and production of his pieces. He has licensed his prints for gift collections, housewares, jewelry, and several special projects and items. Romero Britto is also the first artist to create and retail miniature sculptures.

Romero Britto has become internationally known and his work can be seen all over the world. He has brought smiles with his use of color and playful themes. Britto's art has become immensely POPular and thus fulfilling his philosophy on his art...

"I believe that every human being should try to do good for someone else. There are so many different ways to do it. My art can be an instrument for helping people... What a good feeling - that I can do that with my art..." - Romero Britto

To Order the Romero Britto collection, please click on the header above ( New Disney Collection arrives.... ) This will take to Romero Britto Page.

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Thursday, February 17, 2011

Steiff - Toffee Ted UK Exclusive 2011 arrives in store....

...... and what a Confection Perfection all wrapped up in a bear - that's the new....

"Toffee Ted"

Made of finest mohair
dark brown tipped
surface washable
limited edition of 1,500 pieces
with growler
with gold-plated "Button in Ear"
37 CM

This collector's item is not a toy as defined in the European directive (88/378/EWG/appendix II; from 20.07.2011 (2009/48/EC)) on toy safety.

To Order Toffee Ted, please click on the header above (Steiff - Toffee Ted UK.... ) This will take to his Page.

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Friday, February 11, 2011

R John Wright debut's Dorothy Gale from the Wizard Of Oz Collection....

.... this is an amazing creation of such an Iconic figure.

"Dorothy" - the latest addition to our exciting series based on the characters from the classic MGM motion picture The Wizard of Oz!™

"Dorothy" is faithfully based on the character unforgettably played by Judy Garland in the 1939 film. The Kansas farmgirl who was swept away into the Wonderful Land of Oz, has been vividly brought to life by R. JOHN WRIGHT DOLLS for the first time in the medium of molded felt.

Standing 16 1/2" tall, Dorothy is fully jointed at shoulders, hips and neck with the R. John Wright ball & socket jointing system with internal wood mechanism. She has a realistic molded felt torso and limbs and her lovely hands have individual fingers. The compelling portrait face is finely modeled in a true likeness with delicate hand painted features. Dorothy's meticulously hand-knotted wig is made of the finest custom-dyed mohair and precisely styled.

Oz's beloved heroine is outfitted in the trademark costume consisting of a blouse of fine Italian cotton organdy with custom-dyed rickrack trim, period undergarments, and a pinafore dress tailored of imported blue checked cotton fabric. The dress is exactly patterned after the original design by famed MGM costumer, Adrian, with authentic A-line styling and includes such details as the hidden pocket in seam! On her feet, she wears custom-made cotton anklets and detailed miniature replicas of the iconic Ruby Slippers - hand cobbled out of fine leather and covered in micro sequins, rhinestones, and faceted crystals. On one arm, Dorothy carries a custom made miniature of the actual basket in the film with checkered napkin inside. No effort has been spared to make this the most authentic version of this beloved character ever produced.

Dorothy will come enclosed in a deluxe presentation box with the accompanying signed and numbered certificate of authenticity and the forms for owner registration. Matching numbers will be provided to other characters in the R. John Wright Wizard of Oz™ series subject to availability.

To Pre-Order Dorothy Gale and to view and order the other editions available in the collection, please click on the header above (R John Wright debut's Dorothy Gale .... ) This will take to the RJW Wizard of Oz Page.

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