Saturday, November 24, 2012

Saturday Gift Post--Of Penguins and Purses.

Last week I was receiving our Melissa and Doug shipment when I came across a box of huge plush penguins. Now if I ordered any plush penguins, it was from their lower priced Princess line. It turns out the box was for Whole Foods. We sent it back to UPS to be redelivered, where spies tell me they are now proudly watching over the wine department.

I had grand dreams for a penguin display, but it's all come to naught. For one thing, almost everything I brought it in is too small to fill up a table. The penguin key chains don't really work outside our jewelry/ornament tree display (only $19.95) while a good selection of what I brought in turned out to be loose cards. The small plush and the penguin stacker toy? Backordered into oblivion, as often happens with gift items.

I understand why reindeer and cardinals have such strong associations with the Christmas season, but this thing about penguins (and polar bears too) seems simply to be a case of appreciating animals from cold climes when it's cold. Try selling a a turkey puppet outside of Thanksgiving! No wonder it was discontinued by Folkmanis, despite it's glorious plumage. Oh, and I should note that I tried to post a photo of a wild turkey hanging out on Downer Avenue, but our neighbor Michael's cell phone refused to send it to us.

The leather keychain is certainly swell, and we've sure sold a lot of wind up fuzzy penguins, but I think the Roost ornament takes the cake.


Having declared 2012 to be the year of the tote/purse, we went back to Benjamin an ordered an assortment of felt bags, varying the assortment from last holiday. Being that we sold out of our leaf clutches in about two hours, we restocked those as well. It turns out the leaf motif also comes in the larger size. I put up some hooks on a pole, and boy did people notice--within a half hour, three different booksellers commented about it.

So what else is coming in? We've got a number of card lines on reorder, tied into of all things, Valentine cards. If you wait to order until January, the good stuff is gone. And we've already received an assortment of M. Cornell wooden heart boxes. Well-priced and beautiful, and I'll post a photo in January when you'll actually be interested.

And finally, I turned around and Hannah said we needed more Melissa and Doug kits. The kits now drive our sales with this vendor, as they are well-stocked not just at Banes and Noble, but also at Whole Foods (as I noted at the beginning of this post). Interestingly enough, WF doesn't stock the kits. I wonder if that's connected?

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