It was a long time ago that Tijn and I visited Amsterdam, our capital city. So last week Saturday we visited Amsterdam again! We both have our favorite shops and thanks with the help from Julie, I found three new favorite shops, three toy shops. I got lots of model animals, even from the new 2017 lines. Lets begin with my first toyshop: Gone with the Wind.
Gone with the Wind is owned by a lovely couple who run the store with great joy. They have Papo, Schleich and CollectA. I always take time to look at their amazing model animals, as they have a wide range. Every time we go to Amsterdam, we visit the store. So we are regular customers I guess XD Of course I found some little treasures there <3 First animal is a fish! A little boxfish from CollectA. I want to expand my aquatic range for a while now, and a yellow boxfish is always welcome <3 It is such a cute little figure <3
When CollectA announced that they where making new lions and tigers, I was so excited! CollectA is known for their amazing and rare species. But their old tigers and lions where... a little outdated. Standing weird between all the new and exciting animals. I already have a shelf full of lions... But I could not say no to the two new CollectA lions when I saw them standing there. And I had the luxury to even choose from different models, as they where standing in a line of more than 5 lions each <3 They are prefect in their own way and I think CollectA did an amazing job, creating their own new lions.They are still standing strong between so many other lions form other brands <3
Next one is an cetacean, what a surprise XD Sometimes I would like to see an animal in hand first, before buying it. And even good walkarounds on STS can not pursue me, unless I see it in real. I was lucky that I found CollectAs Pilot whale there. Also in a line of more than 5 animals from that model <3 It is such a great model! Very robust and strong looking <3
And now for something other than CollectA XD Papo! They have some troubles with distribution. I do not now why or what, but the fact is that not many new 2017 animals have been seen in stores in Europe. They even can not deliver any catalogues to the store here in the Netherlands anymore. Which is such a shame! I love Papo and their style! They are masters in their big cats and I am really looking forward to some of the new 2017 animals, like the ocelot and fennec fox, not to forget the elephant seal! I did bought a pinniped there, the new 2017 seal. His pose is fantastic and his face! Ohmygoodness, his face! It makes me smile from ear to ear, every time I see his face! XD Love this guy <3
Papo 2017 Mandarin duck! I was so excited when I saw this colorful duck in the store! Grabbed him of the shelf immediately XD Love at first sight <3 If you want color in you pond, this is the fella to buy! The patters and colors of a Mandarin duck are hard to set on a model figure, but Papo did a great job <3
Last one is a small gift from the owners of the store <3 So sweet! It was originally trapped inside a bouncing ball. The people who read this blog regularly, will know that I break open the bouncing ball to obtain the little figures in them. They are perfect little 3D figures, ranging from dinosaurs to butterflies <3 I do not think they knew what was planned with the bouncing ball, so if you read this, surprise! XD *hides*
Thank you so much, Gone with the Wind, for the great shopping experience! Till the next visit! If you are Dutch and going to Amsterdam, and looking for a nice toyshop, go visit them <3 Link to their website will be in the link page in the upper right corner of this blog, between ABOUT and CONTACT.
Next are two toy stores that Julie sent me the addresses from. Of course I had to check them out XD First one is called Kleine Eland (Small Moose XD) and is full with the good stuff <3 never been there before, so i was not sure what to expect. But dahm, a big vitrine full of animal models, a few shelves with dinosaurs and a spinning thing FULL of Safari LTD Good Luck Minis <3 Did not knew where to look at first, but after some calming down, I looked more closer. Found some older Safari LTD animals! Next to some Schleich and Papo animals. So lets see the animal that I bought there <3
An other Mandarin duck entered my collection that day. As I found the old Safari LTD mandarin duck! To be honest, i do like the Papo one better. But every animal is unique, so are the models. Being different is not wrong <3 It still has the Mandarin duck look, and it is rocking it! XD Never would have thought to own three Mandarin ducks in my collection one day <3
We stay with the Safari LTD birds, as I found two more birds. They are both 2017 releases and I am very happy to have found them! One is a blue-footed Booby and the other is a Kookaburra. They both look so good! <3 The blue-footed Booby needs to be in every shore/coast display! And the Kookaburra is a typical Australian bird <3 Really happy with both of them <3
My cow herd is growing! Found the Papo Limousine cow. I fell in love with her the moment I saw her. Such a sweet and gentle appearance! <3 Her calf was already on my Wish List, but was not sure about her at first. That changed the moment I saw her standing in the glass vitrine. That is why I prefer to see most models in real/in hand. Hope to find her calf soon <3
Next is an animal that I never though to be buying at first. Safari LTD made a line called: Incredible Creatures. These animals are bigger than their normal line of model animals. Incredible Creatures are mostly reptiles and fishes, but small mammals and birds are also included. I bought the Queen Triggerfish! It is so colorful and its fins are flexible. I think there is some kind of soft cotton on the inside, as I can easily press it in. It is such a beautiful fish! <3
An other animal that I had to see in real, is the Bullyland Oerpherd. An Equus ancestor. I was thinking of buying/searching this little one for quite some time. As prehistoric animals are not my strong point, I was not sure if I would like him or not. But when I saw him, standing in the back, in the shadows of the bigger dinosaurs, I had to take him! He even got his original card! <3 He was the last one on that shelf, so happy I took him home with me. Such an interesting figure! <3
Last additions I found in Kleine Eland are two Good Luck Minis from Safari LTD. They had a whole spinning thing full of GLM <3 I found an orca (who is a baby now <3) and the white kitten (Papo Persian cat is looking after it now <3) Happy with these two, they make such great babies/young ones <3
We also went to Tinkerbell. They only had Schleich model animals, nothing interesting for me at that moment. But hey had a wall full of Herman Teddy stuffed animals! I could not resist to take a peek, while Tijn was looking around as well. I know Herman Teddy plushes can be expensive and we where not done shopping... I looked kind of roughly trough the wall of plushes. And then... then I saw him <3 A Fennec fox, just sitting there, between some random wild animals. The wall was somewhat behind the counter, so I asked politely if I could see him. The moment he was in my hands, I was in LOVE! <3 His smile, his furry fur, he was just perfect for me. "How much is he?" I asked, as I could not find any prize on him. "Oh, let me take a look in the book." I smiled as I held the Fennec tightly, hoping the prize would be reasonable. "He is... 30 euros." For a moment is was completely quiet in my head. 30 euros, I could get maybe 5 or 6 model animals for that amount of money, depending on the size. Then I looked at the Fennec, I smiled again and said that I would take him. Tijn had found some cool dragons and took those with him. He looked at me: "A plush?" I nodded and walked out with a big smile. <3
So that was our little adventure in Amsterdam XD Next is a little haul I did at a toyshop in Groningen, Asbran! They had the new 2017 Papo dachshund <3 It is such a well made dog figure <3 Love him! I also found two bouncing balls with animals that I like. I demolished the bouncing balls to get the animals out, did work perfectly. The little lizard surprised me the most, as it is a perfect 3D lizard on a rock, with such nice detail! <3 Hope to find more bouncing balls <3
We went to a big outside flea market in Buitenpost. So many sellers! I only photographed the animals that are staying with my collection, as I found many more interesting animals. The dinosaur photo is not that good and not in focus. Have sometimes a bit of trouble with the light in my room. The animal photo is a bit better XD I love big flea markets with an outcome like this <3
One animal in particular has his own story, that I want to share, as it is a bit of a rant and I need it out XD So when you walk around on a flea market here (in the Netherlands) you have all different kind of sellers with their own stuff for sale. Most of them use tables, others stall in right on the ground on a rug or something like that. The sellers determine the prices of the items they sell. Sometimes you can haggle a bit, but most sellers do know their stuff. So I walked at one side and saw a woman selling some deer items. Most of them where statues or bronze deer. But then I saw him, an ELC Fallow deer stag! <3 I picked it up to determine his condition, casually looking at it. Good condition, could use some black paint, but that can be done easily. I looked at the woman and asked the price... The woman looked at me and said: "It is 5 euros." I looked at her with some surprise in my eyes, as most animals normally go for not more than 2 or 3 euros for that size on a flea market. Then she said: "It is an Schleich animal" My eyes went big, and I could not longer obtain myself. "No it is not, it is from ELC, Early Learning Center, I am a collector." She did not move a muscle and answered so calm: "It is still 5 euros" I got pissed and I left the deer on the table. I see you thinking, but you got the deer right? Yes. Tijn saw me coming back with no deer in my hands and he asked what happened. He looks at thing differently, because he is not a collector of model animals (He has his own collection of movie, game and anime related things <3) He persuaded me to buy the deer, as he knows me even better than I do <3 I walked back, grabbed the deer, paid 5 euros for it and walked away with rolling eyes.
So what is the problem? The woman is free to ask any amount of money for the deer. Well, you see, here in the Netherlands, Schleich is very big. They have a lot of selling points and Marktplaats is FULL of horses and other Schleich animals. Not that that is a problem.. but... Other brands are getting pushed down, in my opinion. Every person who sees a nice model animal, made out of good quality material with a nice paint job, thinks it is a Schleich (or a Shleich, Sleich, Schleig, Sleig...) And it is driving me nuts! People who are selling on a regular basis, know Schleich animals are not cheap, and try to benefit trough that by selling other brands as Schleich. Do not get me wrong, I love Schleich. They have a different CEO and things change, but I still love my Schleich animals to bits! It is just that every animal is getting Schleich-ified... So because the woman thought the deer was a Schleich, she raised the price. It also frustrates me when things are the other way around. When people sell the hollow plastic, low quality animals as Schleich, and ask way to much for them. No, they are NOT Schleich. Schleich has better quality than that... As a collector, I know my stuff. And I know not every human being knows the difference between a Schleich and a ELC animal. But, people can read, bellies are showing the brand most of the time, so....
Last but not least is a group of AAA and ELC animals that I found on Marktplaats. Two ELC cows, one ELC bull and a ELC calf. ELC ewe and an AAA camel! <3 I need to make more room for these on my AAA/ELC shelf XD I adore the cow family <3 The calf is just so cute! The AAA camel has already two young to care for <3 Also the ELC ewe has a ELC lamb to care for.
This was it for this blog-entry. But my desk is already full with new stuff to show in the next blog-entry *hides*. Like a awesome little trade with Sauroid, a little Masoud package and a fantastic repaint I commissioned trough Instagram <3
Welcome to my blog! Look around and be amazed by the world of animal collections.