So I really haven't updated this since September, eh? Well, since then we have added one hundred fifteen critters to our collection with a large helping being Christmas gifts including:

1. the Underwood Badgers
2. the Van Dyke Otters
3. the Pettyfur Guinea Pigs
4. the Nettlefield Goats
5. the Maces Mouse grandparents
6. the Keats Cream Cat grandparents
7. the Tailbury Dog grandparents (from Grandfather at Home Set and Grandmother at Home Set)
8. Uncle Edward Mulberry Raccoon (from the Toymaker's Set)
9. Alex Caramel, Honey Hopscotch, and  a Slydale Santa brother (from the Merry Christmas- Santa and Babies)
12. and three fairies (from the Japanese Drop Fairy Set, Mushroom Fairy Set, and Strawberry Fairy Set)

Shortly after the holiday, we found crazy deals on Calico Critters at Geddie's Toys online, so we added:

1. Patty, Paden, and Penny Guinea Pig (from the Patty and Paden's Double Stroller Ride Set)
2. Susie Silky Cat (from the Let's Go Camping Set)
3. Stacy Bunny and Molly Mouse (from the Molly Mouse and Stacy Bunny Cheerleading Set)
4. Britney Bunny (from the Britney Bunny's Ballet Set)
5. Camryn Caramel Cat (from the Camryn's Country Boutique Set)
6. Melanie Mason Mouse, Laurel Mason Mouse, and Sparkly Huckleberry Dog (from the Melanie and Sparky have a Play Date Set)
7. Rikki and Magnolia Milky Mouse (from the Rikki and Magnolia Shopping Trip Set)
8. the Sugar Bear twins
9. the Milky Mouse twins
10. the Yellow Labrador family

And yesterday Jane and Drake Francis Seadog arrived from the Sylvanian Club in the UK as our club renewel figures gift. I love them so much because now I know that Horatio is happy to have his family around him (and it seem

We also picked up a few accessories sets:

1. Bedside Table and Accessories
2. Shoe Rack
3. School Toilets
4. Drawing Room Set
5. Stable and Pony
6. Baby Jungle Gym

All of the sets have been photographed and inventoried on the collection section of our webpage so enjoy yourself as you look around!

Also in November, I published the first four stories about Orchard's Keep, my Sylvanian village. The stories feature the four boys that you see at the top of my web site: Gromwell Cottontail, Peter Pigglywink, Buster Slydale, and Winton Lambrook. Hopefully, I'll get some more stories written soon, but for you can read what's written on the "A Calico Town" page.

There were many other updates over the last few months too. I know that I just made the International Playthings Calico Critters Checklist current and up-to-date, and I added two more ready-to-play set storybook scans to the "fan information" page. Let's see... I'm not sure what else you'll find, but I bet you you'll enjoy yourselve while you're looking around.

Here's hoping for more Calico fun through 2011!
 
 
I've been pretty relaxed lately with this blog. We've welcomed a gad of new families to our collection and now our village of Orchard's Keep boasts a population of 202 critters! The families that helped this population boom were the Ellwoods elephants, the Pickleweeds hedgehogs, the Beagle dogs, and a few scatters members of some families from ready-to-play sets.

The family that put us over the two hundred mark was the Caramel cat family. So, congratulations, Carter, Carla, Chris, and Camryn for being the 199th, 200th, 201, and 202th members of our village!
 
 
We got our Waddlington duck family! They are a great addition to the collection. The adult figures are amazing, so are their clothing. The babies are cute, but I'm not a fan of the babies since there's not much you can do with them. Also the biographies for the babies make them seem like they're not babies. I'm a fan of the biographies, and when they just don't seem "real" it's a bit upsetting to the collector in me.

Then as a bit of a surprise while shopping yesterday, we found the Persian cat twins from the Calico Critters line. I finally have an American crawling baby boy that is not wearing blue. "Fluffy" is wearing yellow. Now, I do have a problem with the name Fluffy of course. And it doesn't seem like the Persian cat family has a real last name here in the States. It seems that their last name is simply "Persian" much like the dalmatians being the "Dalmatians" and the beagles being the "Beagles."

I'm very happy with the latest seven critters added to our collection nonetheless.
 
 
We just had another successful order from Sylvanian City US, but it will mostly likely be our last one. They are know longer allowed to ship Flair Sylvanian Families products from the US store. They will continue to sell Calico Critters. Here's hoping they have good prices because I'd like to continue working with them.

1. The Keats Cat Family- They are available in the States as the "Buttercup" family, but I needed to have the Keats because they have literary names. My wife and I really like this family. With their brown ears and cream faces, they are pretty cute.

2. The Hazelnut Dormouse Family- We almost didn't order them, but since we were doing possibly our last order from this site, I looked through the shop again and decided that they were worth ordering. Boy, am I glad. They instantly stole a top place on my favorites list. There very cute and the mother's dress is differently fun.

3. The McWalkies Terrier Family- When I saw them in person through the plastic of the box, I was worried. They looked silly, but when my wife opened them up and pulled the brother figure out, they were pretty sweet. The Terrier family is one of my picks to be released in the Calico Critters line, but I wanted the Sylvanian Families set because even if the Terrier family manages to make its way to the States, there will mostly likely be a pick change: the father will not be wearing a kilt. I had to have that kilt.

4. Rainbow Nursery Figure Set- I wanted the Blackberry baby. That's the only reason we bought this set. Well, we also wanted the Apple-Blossom baby because we were getting Christopher Apple-Blossom in this order, and having the baby grey squirrel will make him the first "single father" in our collection. They are cute, but I really wish they had names. I think in our collection the Apple-Blossom, Blackberry, and Honeybear babies will be boys and the Chantilly baby will be a girl.

5. Village Shoe Shop- We went back and forth on ordering this one. Ultimately, we did, and I really like it. It's small but fun, and it will be nice that the critters have another shopping option. Thus far it's mostly food or toys in our collection. I do wish the shoebox lids were better designed to stay together.

6. Street Market- I really wanted to built up our shopping district and felt that this set would help most since it includes two "plays" for critters to work at and visit. It includes a load of fun accessories. It's a very nice set.

7. Father at Home- This is another set that I think may be making it way towards the States, but I'm not sure so we ordered it to be on the safe side. I think this was my mother's favorite set when I showed them to her. The couch does look very "comfy," and I'm loving the potted plant.

8. Day at the Seaside Set- We wanted to fill out the Farthing Dog family, and this is the set to get the father and brother. I love their matching trucks; very nice. The deck chair is pretty well done also. I love the thermos/flask and the navy blue plates and teacups are great additions to our collection too.

9. Hamburger Wagon- Gordon Doughty is awesome. The wagon is pretty great too. I was skeptical thinking that it would look like a bizarre Transformer when it was all opened up, but I think it looks rather decent when the roof is flipped open. The food accessories are great. It's a really nice playset.

10. Water Mill Bakery- This is the set. I love this set. I have wanted this set since we started collecting in November 2009. I don't think that any set could have made me happier. Christopher Apple-Blossom is possibly one of the greatest figures ever (I do believe this single dad is going to marry single mom Shannon Snow-Warren so she can be Shannon Snow-Warren-Apple-Blossom.). The build structure is beautiful and the accessories are amazing. I am a sucker for the bakery bags. So simple, but so perfect. All of the breads are well detailed. The simplest surprises were the flower pieces that go into the waterside outside of the bakery. Great details.

11. Courtyard Restaurant- We wanted a second "house," and I wanted to build up our shopping district. This building met both requires so it ultimately seemed like the best choice. It was long debated though between me and my wife. When she felt comfortable ordering it, I was nervous. When I was comfortable, she was nervous. I think our apprehension came from our daughter only being nine-months old (today!) so we still have three more years until she's playing with this collection. They are going to come out with gads of more houses. What if we like one of those better? But again, we finally ordered it. We love it. It's really a nice size. We wanted something smaller than the Deluxe Village House but still large enough to fit some good amount of furniture in. This house will definitely meet that criteria. It came with nice tables and chairs. The food accessories are fun. And the "surprise" figures we got were the Timbertop mother, older brother, older sister, and brother; Rose, Birch, Ivy, and Bud. I'm glad we finally got an older brother and older sister.

Today is our daughter's nine-month birthday. I have to go wake her up now (bummer for her) so she can go to the doctor for her nine-month check-up (double bummer). Happy birthday, Sweet!
 
 
I won the Petite Bear Family and Petite Bear Twins on eBay Thursday evening, and they arrived to me on Saturday morning. After a long Saturday and then an illness that is still lingering, my wife and I finally opened our new goodies last night. What a wonderful family!  Great green clothes and a fun story for each family member. I love them. I almost didn't purchase them because we have a makeshift Petite family made up with figures from ready-to-play sets, but I really wanted a boy Petite so I gave in.

We also got two more Disney pins: Pluto and Goofy (past and present) each showing dedication to D23. D23 is the first official fan community (club) for Disney fans.

And we added some narrow gauge engines to our Thomas and Friends Wooden Railway collection. I honestly think that I may like the narrow gauge engine characters more than the main Thomas engines so this was a pretty exciting buy for me. We also picked up a few cars and a coach: the recycling cars and old slow coach.

All of the collections have been updated across this web site.
 
 
I've also posted a comparison of the two Calico Critters kitchen sets: Kozy Kitchen Set (CC2257) and Deluxe Kitchen Set (CC2267). These two sets are available in the UK as Kozy Kitchen and Cottage Kitchen (a verison with updated colors is called Country Kitchen). The comparison includes side-by-side pictures comparing similar items.

I awarded points to the items that I feel are better. I thought that the final score would be close, but not as close as it was. Of course, the results are only my opinion and I'd love to hear your opinions. What do you think? Which kitchen is better?

Find the comparison of the two kitchens on the "Fan Information" page (click the actual words as a link) of this web site under "Essays" section.
 
 
I've posted a comparison of the two Calico Critters bathroom sets: Master Bathroom Set (CC2256) and Deluxe Bathroom Set (CC2480). These two sets are available in the UK as Blue Bathroom and Cottage Bathroom. The comparison includes side-by-side pictures comparing similar items (such as the two bath tubs or the two sinks).

I awarded points to the items that I feel are better. I thought that the final score would be close, but not as close as it was. Of course, the results are only my opinion and I'd love to hear your opinions. What do you think? Which bathroom is better?

Find the comparison of the two bathrooms on the "Fan Information" page of this web site under "Essays" section.
 
 
I've been thinking about doing this for some time now, and this morning I finally went ahead with it. I have combined the "Fan Stuff" section with the "Fun Stuff" section to create the "Fan Information" section of this web page.

All of the established sections of the old two pages are included on the new page.

Toys R Us was having a sale on Thomas and Friends Wooden Railway engines. If you bought two, you got one free. We added six characters to our collection: Charlie, Fearless Freddie, George, Harold the Helicopter, Sir Topham Hatt's Car, and Smudger. I like Smudge best. Jen really liked George and Harold. We didn't add any of the main characters to our collection yet, but I really like the ones that we did add.
 
 
This was a bit of surprise today. We had a coupon in our e-mail inbox for 20% off any one item at Toys R Us. We talked about what item to get leaning strongly towards something from the Thomas Wooden Railway line, but ultimately we ended up getting the Hopscotch Rabbit Family 20% off. Really nice price, in my opinion.

I love the family. I've read a number of times that the boy Hopscotch rabbits have brown noses and the girls have pink nose, but what a surprise to hold the two different critters in your hands and appreciate the detail in person. Their clothes are amazing too; there are very few loose threads.

I have not been a fan of the idea of Calico Critters in the American Toys R Us market because I was sure that being in bed with a big corporation would result in a lower quality product, but these critters are among the best quality I have in my collection. I'm still nervous about the future of Calico Critters, but I am getting more comfortable with the idea that they are going mainstream.

I have added the family to all of the pages that they should be on: Our Collection and the Family Album.
 
 
We collect Disney pins too. I've been working on a page on the Other Collections section to share this collection. The pictures are not great so I will have to work on taking some new ones, and I will admit that I have some researching to do with some of the information I posted, but the page is ready to be viewed if you are interested.

This collection is probably my favorite because it holds so many vacation memories for me.