Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Plastic Maryland Blue Crabs for Summer Fun!

Our plastic Maryland blue crabs make great decorations for restaurants and summer parties.

This engaging, realistic-looking plastic blue crab replica is colorfully painted. It is soft and hollow and squeaks. The artist who designed this crab took care to accentuate the colors of the claws. This crab is 8 inches across and 3 3/4 inches from front to back. It has raised large black eyes. We think Chesapeake Bay or Maryland Blue crabs are wonderful and are tasty to eat. We appreciate sitting at long tables with newspaper and hammers in hand to eat them. I hope this crab makes you hungry. Check out our other crab realistic educational toys and gifts.

The blue crab (Callinectes sapidus) is a species of crab found along the Atlantic Coast. It is numerous and harvested in crab pots placed at shallow depths. Many coastal communities depend on crabbing as a main source of income for the fishing community. The blue crab has five pairs of appendages including two large claws, which it uses as defense and to tear open food. The Blue crab is an excellent scavenger and feasts on clams, small fish and other small crabs. It is usually about 5-6 inches wide and is prevelant in Chesapeake Bay. It is an important symbol for the State of Maryland.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Fancy pants mandrill plastic toy

Check out our cute little mandrill plastic toy in Tapir and Friends online animal store! The face looks like a mask, and perhaps the word "fancy pants" fits the other end of this ape! This plastic toy mandrill is colorful for sure! It's made of solid plastic with the colors painted on. Be sure to see our other baboon and mandrill toys and gifts.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Platypus drinking cup for children

What fun! The tail of this platypus forms the handle on this delightful, blue, kids' drinking cup. It is great for birthday parties, for holding crayons, or for orange juice and milk in the morning. You will find our entire inventory of cups on our page of Animal Drinking Cups. Mix and match animals and cup colors to create your own unique set! Check out our terrific selection of platypus toys and gifts.

These cups are safe and have been tested for plastic and paint safety. They have been imported into the U.S. for years by one of the nation's top wholesalers of animal-themed toys and gifts.

Friday, June 26, 2009

3D Plastic Animal Puzzles - order while we they're still available! Time is running out on these beautiful, realistic, toy animal puzzles!

These wonderful 3D plastic animal puzzles are on their way to extinction. Unfortunatley, once our stock is gone, we won't be able to get them again. Although we still have over 40 realistic animal types in this fun and challenging 3D plastic puzzle format, the supplies are dwindling. They make wonderful stocking stuffers for Christmas, but we may be out by then. There is nothing wrong with the puzzles, but due to new import laws regarding paint testing, the tests have become so expensive that as of this writing, the puzzles are a casualty of the more stringent laws. The puzzles were safe before, and they're still safe, but so many tests are required PER IMPORTATION that suppliers have cancelled this product. Please check them out while we still have them. They are charming and educational, fun to put together and enjoyable to look at once they're finished. Or, you can take them apart and put them back together again. Even if they were not puzzles, these would be some of the best-looking plastic animals we know! Learn about animals as you play!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009



We've just installed a new shopping cart at Tapir and Friends online gift shop! We now have MUCH better options for our overseas customers. You will actually see your country on a drop-down menu and you won't need to go through complicated work-arounds to enter your address and post code! We've been waiting for this for a long time.

Our US-customers will also find the cart faster-loading and very easy to use. Our shipping options have been clarified, too.

We know hope you'll enjoy easier shopping as much as we enjoy knowing it's going to be a more pleasant experience for you. And if you have any questions or requests, PLEASE LET US KNOW. We have more control over this cart than we did the old one. We're still adding a few embellishments, but the improved and updated basics are there. Have fun shopping for your favorite stuffed animals, plasic animals, and unique, realistic animal toys and gifts! And let us know what you think, OK? We are open to what you need.

Of course, as before, THE CART IS SECURE.


(503) 325-3179 or Toll Free (888) 325-3179

Sue and Sheryl

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Last chance for 3-D plastic animal puzzles?

We HOPE it's not the last chance, but here's the deal. All of the 40-plus plastic 3D animal puzzles we carry have been discontinued by the US importers we buy from. These puzzles are popular with kids and adults and are both fun and a challenge for people many ages. Yet, popularity is not the problem. The manufacturers in China have raised their minimum quantity orders to to the wholesalers so high that everyone we know has stopped carrying them. I won't go into details here because I don't know all of the rules that the importers and exporters have to comply with (Sue deals with these details, and I can find out if anyone is interested), but I do know that although the toys were safe to begin with and some tests are, of course, needed, the level and frequency of the tests has been escalated beyond what many importers can afford to pay and still deliver the goods at a price consumers find acceptable. The new pricing and shortages have begun to take effect this year and we will continue to see changes as old stocks are depleted.

Although some of our puzzles are now out of stock, we still have a lot left for you to choose from - please come check them out on our web site - until they are gone!

Friday, June 12, 2009

Plastic hermit crab looks rather friendly

Plastic Hermit Crab Here's our beautiful, big hermit crab - one of the latest aquatic toys (replicas) in Tapir and Friends Wildlife World toy store. We look for things we know you'll like, and we are dedicated to the realistic animals as much as possible. It's getting harder and harder to find realistic toy animals these days, but we think everyone has the right to have toys that look like the real animal! They could be considered replicas for class projects or labelled educational toys. We also try to give you a bit of information about the animals.

Our Plastic Hermit Crab

This engaging, realistic-looking plastic hermit crab replica is 4 3/4 inches wide and 2 1/4 inches high. It is made of solid flexible plastic. Its legs are flexible, but not posable. The shell is made of the same hard plastic and is flexible at the front. Our hermit crab has a kindly expression and promises not to pinch. This hermit crab makes a nice pet, a gift or works well in a diorama. Check out our other crab toys and gifts.

About Hermit Crabs

There are approximately 500 different species of hermit crabs living in saltwater intertidal zones. It isn't a true crab, but has a soft belly which it protects by crawling into an abandoned mollusk shell. This behavior of living in abandoned cave evokes the image of a hermit, thereby gwetting its name. As the hermit crab grows, it must find an ever larger shell to inhabit. The hermit crab is fussy about which shell it takes. It likes those that have anemones or sea plants growing on it and even decorates his shell with these living things. This provides a symbiotic relationship, food for them and they provide better security from predators through camouflage.There are land varieties of hermit crabs and, surprisingly enough, there is an organization of hermit crab pet lovers, who keep them at home in aquariums.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Is this the strangest eel you've ever seen?

Strange-looking Pelican Eel (plastic toy!)
Our Plastic Pelican Eel

This creepy-looking, realistic plastic pelican eel replica is 10 1/2 inches from front of the mouth to end of the tail with the body and tail in a snaky postion. It has a 4 3/4-inch-wide jaw. It is made of solid, flexible plastic, and has a finger-sized hole forming the throat. If you straighten the tail and body as much as possible, it's about 16 inches long, but it snaps back to the original position. It has detailed eyes, nose and fins. Our miniature eel has a fierce expression, but promises not to bite. While some may want to use the unusual eel replica as a deomonstration for science class or as an educational toy, this plastic eel also makes a nice pet, gift or gag gift, and fits well into a deep-ocean diorama. Check out our other eel toys and gifts.

About Pelican Eels

The pelican eel (Eurypharynx pelecanoides) is a deep sea creature found at depths between 3,000 and 26,000 feet. It gets its name from its loosely-hinged pelican-like jaw. The jaw can open to accomodate fish much larger than itself, but it tends mainly to eat small crustaceans. It has a strong whip-like tail which, at its tip, glows red, ostensibly to attract prey. It coils its body and places its tail tip near its mouth.

New, colorful Sally lightfoot crab in our store

It seems the last three posts have been about crabs, and that's OK! We have a number of new plastic crabs for you, including this oh-so-colorful Sally lightfoot crab. We have a new hermit crab, too, and I'll be posting that in awhile.

Our plastic Sally lightfoot crab

This engaging, realistic-looking plastic Sally Lightfoot crab replica is made of hard flexible plastic. It is 7 inches wide across the legs and the carapace (shell) is 2 3/4 inches wide. It does not float. Our Sally Lightfoot crab miniature has a kindly expression and promises not to pinch. This sally lightfoot crab replica makes a nice pet, a gift or fits into a diorama for a school project. See our other crab toys and gifts.

About Sally lightfoot crabs

The Sally Lightfoot crab (Percnon gibbesi) is one of the most common crabs along the coast of South America. It is especially prevalent along the rocky shores of the Galapagos Islands. The crab derives its name from the fact that it scuttles along on its tiptoes, thereby appearing light-footed. It has large eyes and remarkable vision. It runs very quickly, is incredibly hard to sneak up on and catch and, even as a group, changes directions almost instantly. It eats algae and almost any kind of organic refuse. The Sally lightfoot crab is a prolific breeder and fortunately is not endangered like many other animals in this region. If you think the colors in our plastic crab are exaggerated, take a look at this photo of a real Sally Lightfoot crab! They must be among nature's most colorful animals!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Plastic mud crab for school, party fun, seafood restaurant decor, crab feed, or you name it!

This lovely big plastic mud crab is new in our online gift shop!

Our Plastic Mud Crab

This engaging, realistic-looking plastic mud crab is both solid around the outside and hollow at the center with a squeeker inside. The legs are are about 7 1/2 inches wide and are both dark green and black. This crab floats. The body is about 3 inches long and 1 inch thick. This crab makes a nice pet, a gift or is useful for a diorama. Check out our other crab toys and gifts.

About Mud Crabs

The most common mud crab (Scylla serrata) is generally a mangrove crab but can also refer to several similar crabs found in mud throughout the world. Some mud crabs are large crabs with a smooth, broad carapace. They have 9 even sized teeth on each side of their eyes. Their two hind legs are flattened for swimming. In the most common form, the color varies from very dark brown/black to mottled green. Mud crabs inhabit sheltered estuaries, the tidal reaches of some rivers, mud flats and mangrove forests. These crabs are found scuttling along a soft, muddy bottom, often below low tide level. Some are harvested commercially especially in Australia but, for the most part, they make excellent bait for larger agressive fish.

What's your favorite thing about crabs? Leave use a comment!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

R U into Horseshoe Crabs?

We're very excited about the new plastic horseshoe crab in Tapir and Friends online store. It's 6 1/2 inches long and the underside is as realistic as the top! Come take a look at our plastic horseshow crab here.

For something a little more elegant, try a horseshoe crab pin cast in pewter and painted by hand in the state of Washington.

Lots of people are fascinated by horseshoe crabs. They are so ancient and cool-looking, such unusual and interesting animals! They've even been in the news recently. PBS starts it's story about horseshoe crabs this way: "With its armored shell, ancient anatomy, and 350-million-year lineage, the horseshoe crab almost seems too inconspicuous to stir up controversy." Read the rest of the story here!

This engaging, realistic-looking plastic horseshoe crab replica is almost 6 1/2 inches long from nose to tail. It is made of solid hard plastic with a 4 inch body, but flexible around the edges and has a flexible tail. It has small distinct eyes. Our miniature horseshoe crab has a kindly demeanor and doesn't bite. This horseshoe crab replica makes a nice pet, a gift or fits into a diorama. Check out our other crab toys and gifts.

About Horseshoe Crabs

The horseshoe crab (Limulus polyphemus) is a marine animal more closely related to spiders than to crabs. It is found mainly in the Atlantic Ocean and in the Gulf of Mexico. The horseshoe crab is a living fossil with its closest relatives living 230 million years ago, the now extinct trilobites. Horseshoe crabs have three main parts to the body: the head region, known as the 'prosoma', the abdominal region or 'opisthosoma', and the spine-like tail or 'telson'. The carapace or shell is shaped like a horseshoe, and is greenish grey to dark brown in color. Many other marine creatures such as anemonies live on the horseshoe crab's shell and have a symbiotic relationship with the crab, which looks fierce but is quite a harmless, gentle animal.

Do YOU like horseshoe crabs? Leave us a comment!

Friday, June 5, 2009

New day-glo orange plastic crab

Our orange crab is made of hollow plastic and measures 6 3/4 inches across the legs. It is day-glo orange, but does not glow in the dark. It has a squeaker inside. and floats. This plastic crustacean is great for school projects, toys, novelties, animal collections, party favors and more. Our plastic crab is for decoration or play only. Although it floats, it should NOT be put in your aquarium. However, you can make a cool sea-life or aquarium shoebox diorama using this and other plastic aquatic creatures and mammals, sharks, fish, sea turtles, birds, and decor from our gift shop. Best of all, there is no mess, no feeding, and no tank or cage cleaning :) Come look over our other crab toys and gifts.

Stuffed toy maggot? Ewwww.

Maggot Stuffed Animal Toy OK, I admit it. I didn't want to get this disgusting MAGGOT for our gift shop, but Sue was convinced that people would want them. Guess what? She was right! Despite the icky ewww factor, and despite the fact that it took me forever to "get around to" taking its photo, and it took Lee just as long to "get around to" putting it online, Sue was already selling them to delighted customers on the phone. I have never been a maggot fan, and I'm still not convinced I want to take one home, but we do aim to please and it seems many of you out there LIKE these things - or like to freak out your friends with them. Actually, they seem to get more giggles than I would have suspected. So, you asked for it. HERE IT IS! (Ewww.) And it's priced just right for all you maggot-lovers!

Our maggot stuffed animal toy

This engaging, realistic-looking stuffed maggot is soft and cuddly. Its body is made of soft plush fabric and shows well-defined segments. The body is light golden yellow. Our maggot has a kindly expression and promises not to gross you out too much. This maggot makes a nice pet, gift, novelty, presentation piece for a school project, or gag gift. Have you noticed how some guys call each other "Maggot"? What could be a more perfect gift! Sometimes veterinarians like to keep maggot replicas on the desk as visual aids for discussions! See our other maggot toys and gifts.

About maggots

The word "maggot" is a general term referring to the larval stage of flies, but can be applied to the larval stage of many other insects.Certain kinds of maggots have been used for centuries in wound treatment, since maggots eat only eat deads tissue and leave healthy live tissue alone. There is some question as to whether maggot secretions create, in themselves, harmful bacteria. Maggots can come in large quantities and are usually found in rotting meat around garbage cans or dead animals. Maggots develop into flies, so there is the potential for flies to become numerous if maggots are left to develop to the adult stage.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Realistic plastic replica frigatebird of the Galapagos Islands

We have a nice selection of Galapagos Islands animals and birds at Tapir and Friends. Have you ever seen a frigatebird? They're pretty amazing. They look prehistoric, and there are some interesting facts about how they fly.

Our Plastic Frigatebird

This amazing bird is one in our series of lively and lifelike plastic animals found in the Galapagos Islands. Its realistic shape and details will be enjoyed as part of a school project, diorama, plastic animal collection, as a party favor, or gift. Our plastic frigatebird measures 3 7/8 inches from beak to tail.


The magnificent frigatebird (Frigata magnificens) is a long-winged seabird common to the Galapagos Islands. Along with the great frigatebird, (Frigata minor) it can be seen soaring above the land and ocean riding the wind currents, hardly ever flapping its wings. The male frigatebird is distinguished by a remarkable and dramatic red sac below its throat which expands like a balloon when attracting females. The frigates neither dives under the water nor swims. It snares food from the water's surface, preying on small fish and squid. It is also notorious for stealing food from other birds. For this it has been often called a pirate. It has a wingspan of 7 1/2 feet and has a prominent scissor-like forked tail. This makes the frigatebird especially maneuverable. The frigatebird is so much fun to see gliding peacefully in the sky. Fortunately it is numerous and not endangered like many other animals of the region.

Artistic jellyfish is in the news

I thought I'd post this jellyfish from our onine gift shop and have some fun with jellyfish today. There's a new crop circle in England that's quite artistic and includes lots of circles! The image is a jellyfish! And, it's a nice one, too. If you'd like to commemorate this event with a plastic jellyfish of your own, check out the various sizes, colors and prices in Tapir and Friends Wildlife World! We ship anywhere!

Technically, jellyfish are now called "jellies," or "sea jellies," because they aren't real fish. But the name is so memorable, and so ingrained in our language, I hope it never goes away. Anyhoo, we don't want to confuse with something you put on your toast, do we?

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Lowland tapir t-shirt: One happy customer!

The text was simple, the message was heartwarming:

Sent: Wednesday, June 03, 2009 3:01 PM
To: tapir@tapirback.com
Subject: order received

received my order in THREE

tshirt is exactly as described and is in mint condition.

will definitely be shopping for more tapir stuff in the next day or
two. thanks,


Big smiles here. We always love to hear how happy you are with what we've sent you! Thanks for the e-mail, j!

About the t-shirt:

This is the second shirt design drawn by artist Audrey Jakab especially for Tapir and Friends Wildlife World. We love the tapir's beautifully-formed shape! This time Audrey drew a lowland tapir (Tapirus terrestris) in the same "faux woodcut" style as her first one — the Baird's tapir shirt. As with the Baird's shirt, this design is also printed front and center, and is about the same size — 8 x 8 inches.Both of the no-pocket shirts look identical except that the t-shirt is short-sleeved and the sweatshirt is long-sleeved. Of course, the sweatshirt fabric is heavier! The shirts are printed in black on ash-gray, and for once we can say the scan came out very well! You'll get a very good idea of what it looks like from the picture. The small print underneath "T is for Tapir" says "© 2000. A. Jakab" on the left and "Tapir Preservation Fund" on the right. Come look through our terrific selection of shirts.

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