Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Return customer and stuffed toy squirrel both happy

Oops! Running out for coffee. Text to come soon!

~ Sheryl

OK, back again :)

Rachel wrote to us from Canada:

Re: Red Squirrel Order

Good Day! This is just to let you know I've received the squirrel today, safe and sound. He's gorgeous, thank you for chosing exactly the right squirrel for me.

We believe the squirrel is also happy and we're sure he/she has a good home. By the way, this squirrel is one of my favorite stuffed animals in our collection!

Sunday, July 27, 2008

New stuffed aardvark in our store!

Our new stuffed aardvark is a charmer! Made by Hansa, this critter is 12 1/2 inches long and looks every inch like a real aardvark! The fabric-covered pink tongue is posable - move it into a new position and it stays there. Soft and lovable, this stuffed aardvark is hand-crafted in the Philippines and exhibits the quality and design features you've come to expect from Hansa, maker of some of the world's best collectible stuffed animals! Come see our new aardvark!

Saturday, July 26, 2008

New stuffed tapir now in stock!

Our new stuffed tapir, Yanisa, has now been delivered and is ready for shipping. We've had a "pre-order" option online for some time, and those who ordered in advance have now received their tapirs. Here is the reply from one happy customer:

Plush Tapir ...safe arrival...

Hi: Just writing to say the TAPIR arrived and it looks very nice. Good in detail, and color too. I'm very pleased with it. Thank you so much, and I hope to do business with you again very soon.


Thanks, Donna! We love to hear good news . . . and we're glad the tapir has a good home :) Yanisa's name was given to her by a tapir fan in Russia. Yanisa is the name of his daughter - half Russian and half Thai. We thought it was a beautiful name, and appropriate since real tapirs live in Thailand.

Sheryl and Sue

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Plastic elephant on a mission


Thank you so much that was very nice of you and I am sure he will love it. You would not believe how hard it was to find reasonably priced toys for kids that they can actually learn from, so I appricate it. Thanks again :)

We love it when our animals make someone's day, whether it's to be educational, entertaining, or both. We have quite a collection of toy and collectible elephants. Come have a look!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

What goes together better than summer and ice cream? Obviously . . . summer and plastic lobsters!

No matter what color or size you prefer, our plastic lobsters seem to be one of THE most popular items this summer. Get them while they're hot (or cold, or floppy, or whatever tickles your fancy). These crustaceans are going fast! Check them out at Tapir and Friends.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Animal jewelry: yes, we have T-Rex dinosaur jewelry in two colors

We have three dinosaur pins left in stock! We have two green t-rex pins and one red pin. You can order them by phone or e-mail or check out our site. You can call us toll free at (888) 325-3179 or send e-mail. These hand-painted pins are $29.00 each. Read more about this US-based artist's work on the painted animal jewelry page of our web site.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Stuffed hyena and hyena animal jewelry from Tapir and Friends

This is a great time to be thinking about hyenas! Discovery Channel is featuring them this week, and you're bound to learn a lot if you tune in via TV or Web. Hyena gifts and stuffed animals are hard to find, but we've located two that we believe you will like. Our stuffed hyena is made by Hansa in the Philippines, featuring design by the artisans who make the products, and Hansa's typical hand-crafted quality. Hansa's animals are unique and collectible. The fabric is made especially for this animal in small lots with attention to detail. Hansa searches the world for just the right fabrics for each creation. Details are stitched and painted, resulting in stuffed plush animal toys that are not only fun to cuddle, but look like real animals!

Our hyena jewelry comes in earrings, pins, and pendants in your color choice. Individually-chosen beads from the artist's collection will be used on the earrings and pendants. You suggest the color! Each piece is made to order, but takes only a few days. The prices can't be beat for such outstanding artwork! They are made of light-weight aluminum and pack a lot of character. We're sure you will love them! Please check out our animal gift shop at Tapir and Friends! You'll have a warm and friendly welcome. If you have questions, call us toll free at (888) 325-3179 or send e-mail.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Giant Galapagos tortoise 3-D animal puzzle

Have you tried these wonderful 3-D plastic animal puzzles yet? They're among our most popular items. Fun for kids on summer trips, and fun for indoors entertainment when the weather gets too unpleasant to stay outside. I find this tortoise one of our more challenging. We have approximately 40 animal puzzles in stock. Most come in plastic eggs, shells, ice blocks, etc. In other words, the packaging is a snap-together container that you can keep as a way to store the pieces if you decide to take it apart rather than leave it out as a showpiece. The cases are also wonderful for packing to take the puzzles on trips.

I said the tortoise was one of the more challenging, and it is. Most of the bulky animals such as the hippo or one of our two elephants are a bit tough because there are some interior pieces. With the bulky animals you sometimes need to pull off a side, front, back, or top once it's partially put together to get the interior pieces into where they belong. With the thinner animals, most if not all of the pieces have exterior paint and that helps match the pieces up, and you also don't have to maneuver the outside pieces while working on the inside. It's hard to describe, but you'll see what I mean. The snakes, for instance, are reasonably easy, but each animal presents some sort of problem to solve. THE most difficult is our tarantula! Try figuring out which jointed leg goes where - and yes, they have to go in the right sockets, because otherwise the spider simply won't fit together. Kids usually do better with these puzzles than the adults! Check them out, they're lots of fun. And once put together, they look like real animals, so you can add them to your collection of collectible toy plastic animals!

Animal jewelry: Airedale dog pin

If you like Airedales, you might just love our Airedale dog pin. It's hand-cast and hand-painted in the USA. This lovely dog pin is yours for only $29.00 while our stock lasts. Our hand-painted jewelry includes hundreds of animal types, both domestic and wild animals. Come check them out at our new Painted Animal Jewelry Pins web site!

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Stuffed wombats at the waterhole

One of the joys of working in a toy shop is coming across scenes like this one. It was night time, and I was alone in the building. I glanced into the storage room as I was about to turn off the light, and what should I find, but three stuffed wombats that appeared to have converged around a water hole or food bowl. Alas, it was not the case! The object of their attention was a six-pack of packaging tape! Still, I found it amusing and took this photo, just hoping there was enough light. I didn't want to use the flash. You can see one of the wombats better here on display.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Box Turtle Rescue: Partnering with other conservationists ~ Earthshine Mountain Lodge, Lake Toxaway, NC, USA

Photos copyright by and courtesy of
Earthshine Mountain Lodge

Conservation is such an important issue, we partner with other conservation organizations and movements whenever possible. The other day, we received this heartwarming letter from Steve O'Neil:

I am a naturalist and wildlife rehabilatator at a small environmental education facility called Earthshine Mountain Lodge in western North Carolina. I am working to educate our guests on the plight our planet's wildlife is facing due to human encroachment into their habitats as well as habitat destruction and fragmentation locally and worldwide. Last year I started an Eastern Box Turtle rescue and rehabilitation program for turtles injured on roads and those that have lost their habitats due to over development. We currently have two large outdoor habitats with 4 non-releasable turtles and one waiting to be released. We are also participating in a statewide project called the Box Turtle Connection that is trying to learn why the box turtle is declining in numbers throughout the state.

For this project we are censusing and marking all the wild turtles we find and tracking 4 wild turtles using micro-radio transmitters. Guests at the lodge learn about turtles through special programs and guided turtle tracking hikes and through the website linked below. We fund most of our project on donations and therefore we are on a tight budget when it comes to purchasing equipment and educational aids, so if you are interested you may "adopt" a turtle to help support the program.

Below is a link to the Earthshine Nature website that covers our nature and box turtle projects:

The main Earthshine site can be found here:

Thank you,
Steve O'Neil
Naturalist/Environmental Educator/Wildlife Warrior
Earthshine Mountain Lodge
Lake Toxaway, NC
(828) 606-8939


The Tapir Preservation Fund realized we could help out by donating certain plastic turtles to their gift shop that fit better with their programs than with ours. We also broke one of our cardinal business rules and gave out a couple of contacts. Sure, we need to make some money for the tapirs, but conservation efforts such as Steve's are extremely important to all of us and to our planet. We believe in working together to preserve nature in its entirety for everyone. Please check out the links above. Have you ever thought of vacationing in a gorgeous setting in green North Carolina? Think about it! Or make a donation.

All the best,


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