Saturday, March 29, 2008

Overstocked on plastic camels! Get yours today at a 15% discount!

Dear Camel Fans,

At Christmas we overstocked on these realistic and charming plastic Bactrian camels (two humps) from Safari, Ltd. It's as simple as that. During Christmas 1996, we couldn't keep enough in stock, so this year we decided to be prepared! As it turned out, we over-prepared, bought too many, and on top of that, it turned out not to be a big camel year for us. We have lots of them left! So, we're offering them to you at a discount. When you visit our web site to purchase your camel, the price you'll see in your shopping cart is the regular price. There is a COMMENTS BOX when you check out. Please make a note that you would like the 15% discount as advertised on our blog. We'll make the deduction as we process your order. Come see our plastic camels! Or, make us an offer for a larger quantity. Call us at (503) 325-3179 (West Coast Time, USA).

Thursday, March 27, 2008

The (plastic) bee and the grasshopper

No, this is not a tale of love or woe, but a warm welcome to two new critters in our animal gift shop. As usual, we like to take close-up photos that let you see what you're getting before you buy (click each image for a larger view). These two lovely creatures cooperated very nicely. For details and sizes on these two plastic insects, please see our web site. You can order online or call us at (503) 325-3179 (West Coast, USA). We'll be adding about ten more insects this week. I took the photos last weekend. Lee and I are working to get them online. Call if you're looking for something you don't see. We may have it!

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Animal jewelry - malamute dog

Here's another of the gorgeous hand-painted pewter dog pins we have in stock at TPF's Painted Animal Pins. Come see our dog jewelry and other animal jewelry. It may be just what your looking for for a special gift!

Monday, March 24, 2008

Animal jewelry: Black chow dog pin, red chow pin - hand-painted and beautifully realistic!

These two chow dogs are among the huge selection of realistic animal jewelry in our store - available today! Each painted pin, hand cast and hand painted in the USA is available for $25.00. We have hundreds of designs that are not pictured on our site yet but are in stock! Call us at (503) 325-3179 for information or to place an order. You can also order securely online. Scroll down to the list of available animal jewelry! At TPF's Animal Jewelry, we are here to help!

Adorable Shih Tsu dog jewelry!

Newly photographed for our animal jewelry collection is this charming Shih Tsu dog. Hand-painted on a detailed pewter casting that was also made by hand in the USA, this dog has two pins in the back, making it ideal for wearing on a blouse, shirt, hat, scarf, or wherever you can pin it onto a piece of fabric. The pins are sturdy with pinch clasps. There are two pins so the jewelry doesn't rotate while you're moving about. Stays nicely in place on any fabric. The pin can also be used as a large tie tack. Makes a beautiful gift for a dog-loving friend or a wonderfully unique heirloom-quality keepsake for yourself. These hand-made pieces, each painted individually, are so realistic that the dog seems to have a life and personality all its own. And the price is only $25.00. Call us at (503) 325-3179 for information or to place an order. You can also order securely online. Scroll down to the list of available animal jewelry! At TPF'S Animal Jewelry, we are here to help!

Yikes! Two of our very popular items have been discontinued!

Today we sold our last plastic nautilus and our last blue-spotted octopus. We're so sad to see them go! They were discontinued by the manufacturer, unfortunately. They were popular in our shop, but maybe not so much in other retail stores. This situation happens fairly regularly. We stock unusual and hard-to-find realistic animal replicas. They are a wonderful discovery for those looking for them, but may not be the top sellers made by the manufacturer. One of the reasons our customers find us online is just because the item they were looking for could not be found in local stores. You can be sure we'll be on the lookout for something to replace these wonderful aquatic creatures, and if you see such a thing, please let us know by e-mail! The plastic nautilus was 2 3/4 inches long and the small spotted octopus was 2 inches at the longest point. We have lots more octopi (none with spots), but no other nautilus. We do have clams, snails, sea cucumbers, and a host of other sea creatures. Check out our great collection today!

Saturday, March 22, 2008


This was the subject line of an e-mail we received the other day. The stuffed octopus in question is Olive, pictured above. For several years she's been one of our gift shop's most popular stuffed animals. Our customer wrote:
Thanks so much for the rush [shipping]. The party is tonight and my friend will LOVE her. She's gonna give her a great home.

Thanks again!!!
You can read more about Olive Octopus on her own web page. Our stuffed octopus has a beautifully engaging orange eye and her tentacles curl back to position when you pull them stright. She has real personality and is a favorite for both online buyers and visitors to our showroom. We have quite a few octopus items for sale online. Check them out!

Monday, March 17, 2008

Unusual hand-made animal jewelry

This unique hyena jewelry by Corinna Bechko
comes in earrings, pin, or pendant.

If you like unusual animal jewelry, don't miss these original-design hand-made lightweight aluminum pieces by Corinna Bechko. At Tapir and Friends Wildlife World Online Gift Shop, we've been working with Corinna for almost a dozen years. Order online from us, and within a few days she completes your jewelry in her studio in California and ships directly to you wherever you live. Currently she makes fourteen different animals. Any one of them can be ordered as a pin, pendant, or earring set. We offer a number of truly interesting colors for the body of the animal; after that, your animal jewelry becomes truly customized when you select a bead color to go with the earrings or pendant. Corinna has a terrific selection of artistically-designed beads to go with any of the aluminum animals. We've seen some combinations that are analogous and subtle, and others that are amazingly exotic, such as purple with yellow bead, or red with . . . well, sometimes our customers just say, "Choose whatever bead you think looks good." We've never been disappointed, and our customers love her work.

Corinna Bechko is not only an artist, but she also has a degree in zoology. She worked at the Los Angeles Zoo in the research division and has volunteered at a wild animal rehab center in Southern California. Her favorite animals there were the opossums - she actually took a class in how to handle and rehabilitate opossums. She continues to work with wild animals. Corinna attended the Jewelry Arts Academy in Manhattan. The Los Angeles resident is also an author and filmmaker. What a lucky day it was for us in the mid-1990s when she discovered our web site and suggested we might want to see the jewelry she makes! At the time we were located in the tiny town of Palisade, Colorado. We later moved to Astoria, Oregon, where our association with Corinna continues. Working together over the years, we've made a lot of people happy, which makes all of us happy, too. Corinna's work is classy, and the prices are affordable. Making these beautiful pieces of animal jewelry is a labor of love for Corinna. She donates the cost of postage so we can put that much more toward the conservation of wild habitats. Please check out our page of Corinna's special animal jewelry. Here you can see all of the animal designs and a few of the delightful color combinations we've had in the shop as samples. Tame or wild, you decide!

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Dog jewelry - Australian Shepherd

Look at this beautiful, realistically-painted piece of dog jewelry. This pin depicts an Australia Shepherd in its natural colors. For more dog jewelry and other animal jewelry, come check us out at TPF's Animal Jewelry. Be sure to scroll down past the pictures for links to more jewelry items that are not yet pictured on the menu.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Animal jewelry: Standing horse and running ponies

Animal jewelry - horses - made in the USA

Click the photo of the charming horse jewelry above for a larger view. These are the only three hand painted horse pins we have in stock today. Each sells for $29.00. We have several available in metal finishes (call for details: (503) 325-3179). We also have three horse heads in bronze finish (not pictured). As always, these beautiful one-of-a-kind pieces of animal jewelry can be ordered from our web site. Also, don't miss the donkey jewelry elsewhere on this blog.

Our new display racks - what a shock!

One of our suppliers, Safari, Ltd, invited Sue and me to visit their facility in Florida. In January, we spent a very pleasant day with them seeing their new products for 2008, etc. And we talked about our display needs. They had a beautiful lucite display rack that had been discontinued in favor of a new more modular style. They offered us the old one if we'd pay shipping. What a deal! We loved it. When we got home, they calculated shipping at about $280.00. Done! Again, what a deal - from Florida to Oregon. Nice. When it arrived, we were so excited. Our old display rack for plastic animals had been temporary, and we were looking forward to something that would work better for us and look cleaner. So, the day the delivery arrived, we were excited. "Wait," the guy said, "I have some big boxes on this truck." "Yeah, we know they're going to be big," we said. "But," he butted in, "I'd check out this shipping rate before I signed for them." What??? We'd authorized $280.00, and now they wanted over $2,000.00? Somebody misplaced a decimal point. Long story short, the racks went into the shipping company's storage facility in Astoria while Safari went to bat for us. As it turned out, the mistake had been in the estimate and the shippers were holding out for the $2000.00 plus. A week or so went by and finally Safari had made a little progress with them, but not much. In the end, Safari paid the lion's share and we paid our originally-agreed portion. We want to thank Safari in a big way for this. They were fantastic! And, our new racks moved in.

Here we're in the process of loading in carefully-chosen items that will relieve some of our storage issues in the back and make a nice display for the customers.

The cardboard boxes went into the recycling bin, but we got a bonus out of the deal - enough bubble wrap to last awhile (and I took the photo after much of it had been stored). We were happy. We recycle everything we can, and we won't be having to buy new bubble wrap for quite some time.

I thought I'd like to end with this. You can see this poster on the wall in Picture 2. And yes, that's a lowland tapir near the center on the left. The Safari poster rack can be seen on the right in Picture 2. We carry a number Safaris' beautiful posters, but they're not online yet.

Click any photo for a bigger view.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Special sale on sea otter and spotted seal children's drinking cups!

Until our overstock is depleted, contact us for discounts on our spotted sea and sea otter plastic children's drinking cups! Usually $3.00 each, we are selling from one to a quantity at $1.50 each (US dollars) until our supply is down. Call (503) 325-3179 (West Coast time, USA) or send e-mail. Thanks! Thse cups are colorful, kid-friendly, dishwasher safe, and have been tested for paint and plastic safety. They are made in China for K&M International, a US distributor who has the highest standards in safety and quality. You'll see their products at major zoos and animal attractions, or shop on our web site. Buy from us, and you help save rainforest habitat. Online with integrity for nearly 12 years. As of this post date, the sale price is not on our site. Either call us or send e-mail, or if you order from the site, put a note in the comments box that you found our sale on the blog. We will adjust the price for you before we process your credit card.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Chocolate wombats?

I heard today from an American who has just come back from Australia that Australians do Easter a little differently than we do in the U.S. Since they don't like rabbits that much (see the history of Australia and the importation of rabbits in 1859 - that's the second importation, not the first) they don't want to see chocolate bunnies at Easter. Instead, they make chocolate wombats. What you see above is NOT a chocolate wombat, but a plastic wombat from our online gift shop. It may not taste as good (and we recommend that you don't eat it anyway), but it's non-sticky, non-fattening, won't cause dental cavities, and you can keep it around for years to come. Also, plastic wombats do not breed. I'm not sure about chocolate ones.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Animal and bird jewelry - hand-painted cockatoo

Bird jewelry - Cockatoo

Here is another piece of our exquisitely made realistic animal jewelry - this time, a beautiful cockatoo. I've left the original picture large, so just click on the image above for a better look at the craftsmanship and detail. The original cockatoo is cast in pewter and hand painted. The feathers and other details are in raised metal (bas relief), and pained. Some of the shading and detail effect comes from the casting and some from the paint. You can see more of this beautiful animal jewelry art in our online gift shop. Choose from hundreds of birds, animals, fish, and other life forms such as squid and octopus. Use as a lapel pin, hat pin, scarf pin, or larger tie tac. Many of our designs also come in smaller traditionally-sized tie tacs and with metal finishes. When you go to the web site, scroll down past the images for a partial list of what's available. You can also call us at (503) 325-3179 or send e-mail.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Plastic shark mouth

We have a lot of plastic sharks in our online gift shop, but this one may be destined to be a favorite if we get him in. It's not in our line yet. A customer needed a shark with certain specifications, so we put out a search and came up with this one. One of the specs had to do with the mouth, hence the photo. Right now we have two other hollow plastic great white sharks that are also not online yet, but will be soon. One is six inches long, one is 9 inches long. They look a lot like this 5-inch shark, but the 6 and 9 inch sharks have squeakers in the mouth. When we put the sharks online they will have the traditional side view, or maybe both. I couldn't let the opportunity slip by to post this . . . just because. If you're looking for plastic sharks, Sue has just done the research. Give her a call at (503) 325-3179 or send e-mail.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Animal jewelry: Leaping rainbow trout pin or tie tac

The painted pewter fish jewelry we have on hand is stunning, as you can see from this trout. We have a lot more species of fish. Just ask if you're looking for any one in particular. Our number is (503) 325-3179 (in Astoria, Oregon). Jan came by today and volunteered to help organize the collection of pins, so hopefully that's one step closer to getting them all online. She sorted the rest of the mammals and the wonderfully colorful birds. I can't wait to show them! You can click to see a bigger image of the trout if you like. I can't believe these are painted by hand.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Animal jewelry - ostrich . . . really???

Yes, our painted animal jewelry even comes in this style - a charming running ostrich! Each hand-painted animal pin or tie tack is $29.00. We have some metal finishes as well for $10.00 each. I heard from the artist yesterday that the price of pewter (in which all of these animals are originally cast) went shooting up from $3.00+ for x amount to $10.00+ for x amount. It makes it hard to keep producing these exquisite products! The only good news here is that we have so many pieces of this particular style of animal jewelry in stock right now that our prices don't need to rise with the price of metal.

Snow leopards on TV and in your home

If you like these beautiful cats, we have a couple of suggestions. They're going to be on The Discovery Channel on Sunday, March 9th (click the link to see times and read about these animals and their unusual eyes). You could also take home a 3-D plastic snow leopard puzzle (as seen above) from Tapir and Friends Online Gift Shop.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Hottest selling animal toys in February

What were our best-sellers in February? We had a three-way tie between our crocodile children's drinking cup (which also comes in turquoise, light green, and purple), our plastic red-eyed tree frog, and one of our plastic African elephants. The croc and the elephant have been with us for a number of years and are old favorites. The tree frog is one of our newest items. It's always fun to see what people like and which items continue to attract attention!

3D animal puzzles!

Hi, Everyone. This nice humpback whale puzzle has just sold out. We can't get any more, and we're sorry about that, it was a real favorite. The good news is that we still have a very limited number of dolphins and orcas from the same series. You can see and order them here.

We have approximately 40 3D puzzle animal types! They're fun for kids and for adults, although the kids are often more adept than us old folks at putting them together. One youngster who had every puzzle we sell also had a special talent. He mixed all of the pieces together from every animal and was able to put them back together at some astounding rate. I'm not sure I would try it! However, you can create your own game, as this young man did, or just enjoy the results of the finished puzzle!

If you're looking for something new, we have four new sea life 3D puzzles that are not even online yet. To order any of these, please call us at (503) 325-3179 (West Coast Time in the US). As of this post, the prices are:

Clown Crab: $8.00
Chambered Nautilus: $8.00
Green Sea Turtle: $8.00
Octopus saiamensis: $6.00

These fun puzzles are also known as 4D . . . three dimensions plus details. Once you've put them together, they make a nice addition to any toy or plastic animal collection! CLICK ON THE PICTURE FOR A BIGGER IMAGE.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Animal jewelry depicting cats

Hand-painted cat jewelry ~ $29.00

Although our online store generally focuses on wild animal themes, our line of hand-painted cast pewter animal jewelry (pins and tie tacks) contains a large number of domestic dogs and a variety of cats, including mother cats with kittens. The calico mother cat with her two kittens shown above is just an example. The same pin comes in black and white. I'll post photos of some of the SEVENTY-TWO dog breeds soon. You can check out Tapir and Friends to order or to see the list of dogs, cats, and other animal pins available. Yes, we even have painted Asian tapir jewelry! Call us toll-free at 1-888-325-3179 (in Astoria, Oregon).

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Stuffed tarantula (plush spider)

This stuffed spider isn't a new item in our gift shop, but it's a new photo. This is such a nice stuffed spider, but it was hard to differentiate the body from the background in the photo we used from the catalog, so I took another picture. We usually use our own photos, but in this case for some reason we didn't, until now. Now even in the menu photo the legs will show clearly against the background. You have to see the larger picture, though, to see the wonderfuly sparkling eyes! Come see the spider here and order! This stuffed spider is super soft and cuddly!

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Attractive and weird stuffed animal . . . the krill!

This stuffed krill is one of the more unusual stuffed animals in our online animal gift shop! Check out The Discovery Channel Web Site to see what real Antarctic krill are about. There have been some remarkable recent findings. Here's a teaser from the site: "The discovery radically changes the scientific understanding of the major food source for marine animals including fish, squid, penguins, seals and whales, said the study, published in the journal Current Biology." Me the Flea by Alexandra Hubicsak

Take a look! We have the perfect stuffed flea to go with this book. Check it out. You can order the flea through the link above and order the book here: Me the Flea: Alexandra Hubicsak: Books. Nice combination!

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