Jenya has put many of her stuffed penguins on Etsy. Because each of these penguins is one of a kind, it’s important that you adopt your favorite quickly. Jenya puts so much time and love into these penguins; they are hand-crafted with hand-embroidered eyes. The fabric is soft and huggable, and every penguin has its own personality. For every penguin adopted, we make a donation to the Royal Albatross Centre in New Zealand for their work with little penguins and other birds.
If you want something for stress relief, Jenya’s Roly Poly Penguins are just the thing. Hand-knit from the softest yarns, these penguins are cute, and happy for you to squeeze them. The tactile experience will help you feel calmer.
All of these penguins come with their own names, likes and dislikes spelled out on a penguin passport. There are limited number available for the holidays. Adopt one today.
“There Are No Penguins in Alaska” is a coloring book that includes several animals that are in Alaska. The ending will leave you with a chuckle. It is available on eReader, though we do not recommend coloring on your eReader. Shad also has a very limited number of IRL coloring books (around 30 are left from the first printing).
Shad wrote “Polly Penguin Wants to Fly” as a book his mother could read to her grandchildren. Newly hatched Polly Penguin is amazed at the birds she sees flying overhead. She wants to fly. But penguins can’t fly, can they? This book is available on eReader, in paperback on Amazon, and directly from Shad (if you want an autograph). One dollar from each copy sold, regardless of format goes to Tiritiri Matangi Island for their work with little penguins and other New Zealand wildlife.
Penguin Flat Friends
Only three flat friends are available for adoption. These felt penguins are about two inches tall and two dimensional. They were hand-crafted by Jenya out of felt. They make great ornaments, bookmarks, and decorations. Get them before they are gone.
Sometime between 1985 and 1990, I collected Garbage Pail Kids. These cards were funny and gross, which made them a bit taboo. My sister had a Cabbage Patch Doll, so that made these cards a must have for my teenage self. To be fair, I’m guessing she enjoyed the stickers as much as I did though I don’t ever remember asking her.
When I started collecting Disney pins, there were so many of them and so much variety that it was difficult to choose which ones to buy. I had a seriously limited budget (still do), and very little space to devote to them. So, I needed to limit myself, and I knew I needed to choose one subject to focus on.
The Fall 2003 issue of “The ‘E’ Ticket” featured a profile of Disney collector Richard Kraft, who had a collection of Disneyana (Disney memorabilia) that any Disneyland fan would envy. It included a Frontierland canoe, a Bog Thunder Ranch sign, and an assortment of Ferdinand the Bull items. Overall, he had 10,000 items in his collection, and many of them were big ticket.
My wife and I have been trying to outfit our apartment on the cheap while still keeping it homey and having some of our favorite items around to provide happy energy. This has meant multiple trips to the dollar store for strange, new snacks, bathroom accessories, and penguins!
According to the research Mary Holm presents in her book “Rich Enough?” (affiliate link) experiences contribute more to people’s happiness than things. While there is an initial spike in happiness with a new thing, it quickly wears off as the thing is incorporated into life and loses its luster. When a new edition of the thing comes out, people become dissatisfied and unhappy with the edition they have. (Think iPhones or shoes where new editions are released every year just to keep sales up for the companies behind those products.) Experiences, on the other hand, allow one to savor the moment while being in it and then to relive those moments for future happiness.
On one of the streets parallel to the main street in Valletta, there was a Panini shop. Panini is the name of an Italian sticker company (not to be confused with the sandwich). When I was growing up, they did sticker albums and collectible stickers for the Disney Company. I decided I wanted to see what was in this shop that could sustain an entire business, and it was all the Panini stickers, mostly focused on soccer, you could ever want. Then I saw the Panini 2003 Mickey and Donald figure collection with stickers. I bought a couple to see what they were like and decided I needed the entire collection.
Each pack contained one figure and five stickers. There are 24 figures in the collection and 228 stickers. Since the store didn’t have any sticker packs by themselves, I decided that I probably wasn’t going to get the entire collection. The figures were more interesting to me anyway.
Buying the Collection
Every week I set aside a certain amount of money to go get a couple of packs. I don’t remember what that figure was, but I’m sure it was somewhere around four or five. As I got closer to completing the set, I may have purchased more or fewer depending on where I was and what I believed the supply at the store to be. This collection was from 2003, I doubted I would run across it randomly anywhere else in the world. It was an only-in-Malta kind of thing.
One week I went in and bought the rest of the box. I thought that was it. When I opened the packages inside the box, I didn’t have a complete set. I looked on the Internet for the pieces I was missing, and they wanted more money than I was willing to pay. (Plus, it doesn’t have the excitement of surprise or the bonus stickers.) I went back to the store and didn’t see what I wanted. I decided to ask. The person behind the counter brought out another box. When it came to the end, the last character I needed to complete my Panini 2003 Mickey and Donald figure collection was Mickey Mouse.
Some collections just happen because you like a product and they offer a prize or something a little extra with it. Kids love McDonald’s and the Happy Meal toy is the bonus. (To be fair, many adults also enjoy McDonald’s even though they know it’s not the healthiest food, and I loved when they had Disney tie-ins, like the Christmas 101 Dalmatians [affiliate link] in the late 1990s.) Cereals often have their own collectibles. In Russia, Dodo Pizza, which can also be found in Mississippi and Tennessee of all places, offers a hospitality packet with each pizza ordered. Inside the packet are a couple of napkins, one or two toothpicks, and a sticker. It’s great for people who collect toothpicks… and stickers from Dodo Pizza.
There are several reasons why you may an incomplete collection. For many collectors, the thrill of the hunt is more engaging than the simple acquisition. Baseball cards and their ilk, McDonald’s Toys, Lego Mini-Figs and Kinder Eggs are among those who use the “chaser” mentality to sell more of their products (though McDonald’s has provided other options for completing sets). When you buy a pack, you have no idea what’s inside. These Justice League Spinners from Kinder Egg are one of the collections I wasn’t able to complete.
I started an eraser collection in junior high because they gave us certificates worth cash at the student-run store. They had so many different kinds of erasers: dinosaurs, robots, spaceships… I’ll have to dig them out of my stuff when I get back to Oregon to truly see what was available. I’d get a certificate, go to the store and get an eraser or two. We got to choose, so there was no reason to get doubles. I stopped doing much with my eraser collection when we moved away from California. Oregon’s middle school didn’t have a store where I could get free items – at least, I don’t remember it having one, maybe I wasn’t good enough to get free certificates.