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New Zealand: A Short Survey of Dunedin

A penguin colony?

Jenya and I are going to Dunedin to relax. We’re not going to go whole hog to experience all of the attractions available. Instead, we’re going to see the penguins and the beach.

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Penguinate now on Etsy

Pear Penguin in sweater

The Penguinate shop can now be found on Etsy! We decided to open up our Etsy shop to give people an opportunity to find us. Currently, we have Pear Penguin available for adoption there, we have 2020 calendars for digital download, and our Flat Friends: Penguins are waiting for new homes.

While you can also get Pear Penguin and our downloadable 2020 calendars from us at, our Flat Friends: Penguins are available exclusively at Etsy. So, if you need an ornament, gift card accompaniment, tag addition to your present, champagne or wine bottle friend, or book mark, check out our Flat Friends. They come in two sizes!

Thank you so much for being a part of our penguin community. We hope to have some exciting news in the next year. It’ll come a lot sooner of we get more people on our Patreon.

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New Zealand: A Short Survey of New Zealand Penguins

marching penguins

Penguins are funny creatures. As my wife says they often look like they are running to hug you. My second favorite penguins are from the movie “Mary Poppins, and that’s where I got the idea as a penguin for my creativity mascot. Those penguins deliver fun, service and a dance-off with Dick Van Dyke before it was a thing. (Who would win in a dance off: the Mary Poppins penguins or Starlord?) From there, it was a short step to our stuffed penguins.

There is only a small group of penguins in the Galapagos Islands that live north of the equator in the wild. All of the other wild penguins in the world live south of the equator. Of the 18 or 19 species penguins in the world, New Zealand is home to three: the korora, the hoiho, and the tawaki. Knowing that, we, of course, are going to schedule some time to try to find some penguins in the wild. (We hear they are smelly, but we don’t care. They just look like fun to hang around near!)

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Three Benefits of Our Stuffed Penguin Plush Toys

Waving stuffed penguins

Life is too serious. Our penguins help to lighten things up and provide laughter and joy to prevent the darkness from closing in. As a soft and squishy companion, our stuffed penguin plush toys provide a pleasing and calming tactile experience.

Talk out Your Problems

When you’re faced with a problem and you have no one else to go to, a stuffed penguin can listen to what you need to say. The mere act of verbalizing a problem is often enough to see it in the light that it deserves.

When you talk out a problem, even to a stuffed penguin, you are giving yourself the opportunity to state the problem I a way that you can understand it. Too often, people let a problem roam the mind where the imagination grabs it and allows it to grow out of control.

Giving voice to your fears allows you to get a handle on them. When you can label the problem, you can begin to understand it. Our penguins act as your confidante giving you a way to talk to someone without receiving judgement from that person. The essential part of this act gives you emotional and psychological protection, you may not otherwise experience. Our penguins always understand you.

Express Your Emotions

Our penguins reflect your inner emotions. Each face is unique and created so that your personality shines through them. Because of their innate cuteness, they help to make the emotions softer, so that you can deal with them better. Introverts can use our penguins as the starting point for their social media interactions or as a way to express themselves to friends and family when it would be too painful or difficult otherwise.

Boost Your Creativity

Our stuffed penguin plush toys bring out the child in you. They allow you to practice using your imagination and telling stories. When you exercise your abilities to be childlike, you are practicing for creativity. Every interaction with a stuffed penguin will help you grow your creativity. Take photos with it, tell its story, and find its personality. You will find joy, friendship, travel and penguins in your imagination.

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The Journey to Better Marketing: Competitive Advantage

marching penguins

Every business needs to have a competitive advantage. This is something that the business does that others do not, or it is something that the business talks about that others do not. It needs to be a positive benefit, communicated with a few well-selected words, and something that people will relate only to you.

So, what is our competitive advantage? Our penguins are unique from the norm; have you seen another white penguin on the market? They’re rare in the wild, too. Our penguins are also unique from each other. No two penguins look exactly the same because their eyes are hand-embroidered. Their height fluctuates within a half-inch because they are hand-sewn. How much stuffing gets used for different penguins is variable as well. Our penguins are also rare. They are handmade. We only have one maker, so supply is limited. For collectors, the rarity and uniqueness are benefits.

Nathaniel and Eudora Atwater, Steampunk Penguins
Nathaniel and Eudora Atwater, Steampunk Penguins

A second competitive advantage is that we can make penguins in costumes that can’t be found anywhere else. If someone wants a particular style of penguin or costume, Jenya can make it. We’ve done steampunk penguins as a special order.

A third advantage is our Penguin Passports. Our penguins are travelers. You can take them with you and use them for Instagram photos and fun while you travel. The passports reveal their names and their likes. These names are never the same.

This information is adapted from the 2005 version of “Guerrilla Marketing in 30 Days.” Get an updated version of “Guerrilla Marketing in 30 Days.”

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Get a Stuffed Penguin Friend for Your Next Encounter

marching penguins

Do you long for companionship? Do you want to look into another’s face and see your feelings reflected there? Do you need another to be there for candlelight dinners with a selfie and for Instagram posts? Do you like warm hugs? Do you love penguins?

If you’ve answered “Yes” to any of the above questions, consider adopting one or more of our handmade, stuffed penguins. Every penguin is made with love – and you can see it in their eyes and face. When you have a stuffed penguin friend, you always have someone who will go with you wherever you want to go. As long as you have space in your purse or a pocket, you and your adopted penguin are good to go.

Adopt a penguin friend now and experience the joy and comfort of stuffed animals as they transport you back to your childhood.

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The Journey to Better Marketing: Stuffed Animal Companies and What They Offer

Pear Penguin in sweater

Who is our competition? What problems are they solving? What benefits are they offering?

I feel like these questions are really putting us in the position of Scrooge as he struggled against the Ghost of Christmas while trying to bonnet it. If it could be called a struggle when one side puts all his effort and might into overcoming the other, who is utterly unaffected by such exertions. Put me in the 100-yard dash with Usain Bolt, and I still don’t think he would call me competition.

Steiff Teddy Bears and Other Animals

So, is our competition Steiff?

Founded in 1880, Steiff is the world’s premier manufacturer of high-end toys and collectibles. Indeed, Steiff is the only “luxury” toy brand in the marketplace today. Internationally renowned for its exceptional quality, Steiff still utilizes traditional materials and proven manufacturing techniques to create its unique and highly prized products.

Steiff USA website.

Are they the only luxury toy brand in the marketplace as they claim? They use traditional materials and exceptional quality. What are the problems they are solving and benefits they are offering? They are soft, attractively priced, and from the original teddy bear company. Steiff is basically selling entrance into their exclusivity club and the ability of stuffed animals to return adults to the happier days of childhood. (A $1,295 Winnie the Pooh is labeled as for adults only.) They reach the children with animals around $20. Steiff sells nostalgia, collectability, and investment. Your children deserve the best; Steiff proclaims itself the best and has a history and collector base to back that claim. Steiff’s powerful commercial shows a teddy bear protecting a child from the dark.

Gotta Get a Gund

Founded in 1898, Gund had commercials in the 1980s. They were selling love and playfulness. Nowadays, they’re selling comfort, play, magic, heritage, quality, surprise, imagination, and love. Gund’s website sells bravery and love. Their products are huggable, and the company has been around for more than 100 years (like Steiff). Gund has stuffed animals under $10 and focuses more on their animals’ child friendliness vs. Steiff’s collectability, though both talk about how long their toys will last and are selling their heirloom status.

Ty, Inc. and Beanie Babies

Ty is the #1 plush manufacturer in the world (according to their job listings). Their Beanie Babies were so popular that Teenie Beanie Babies were featured in McDonald’s Happy Meals. People collected them throughout the 1990s, with some having thousands in their collection. Ty has capitalized on the lower income markets and built market share through their products appeal to people who don’t have a lot of money to spend on Steiff or even Gund. With a $2 Happy Meal, you get a Beanie Baby! That’s a pretty price point for anyone who’s hungry or has children; it’s also a way to get loyal customers for life. They are offering play and love as part of their Beanie Baby package! They push the collectibles a bit further by offering surprise toys in a series. The toys are hidden in a box, so you don’t know which one you’re going to get.

Stuffed Animals

The common theme for these companies is love. After all, how can you not love a stuffed animal. They make great friends, they are fun to play with, and they provide security to younger people. Being huggable is an important part of being a plushie.

Our Penguins

Our penguins are soft, cuddly, and fun. Their wings move, and they’re handmade, so every one of them is unique. Their expressions change based on how your emotions and how you perceive what they are doing. Even just standing on a shelf, our penguins speak volumes and tell a story that your heart needs to hear. You adopt our penguins; you don’t buy them.

So, our we competitors to these larger companies? We offer something none of them can compete with. Our stuffed animals are handmade with love. My wife makes them. There’s no large factory involved in our basic penguins. If you order one with clothes, those are handmade as well. Only some of the accessories, like buttons, may be purchased. Each animal is different because the eyes are hand-embroidered. Each set of eyes is designed and sewn differently. And the eyes are the window to the soul.

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Pear Penguin comes to Penguinate!

If you haven’t met Pear Penguin, yet, be ready for a dose of cuteness. Pear Penguin loves fall weather, colored leaves, and fresh fruit – (and fish!) Pear made me type that last part. Pear’s puffy belly always looks full, but it’s really Pear’s heart that is full of love for you.

Pear is looking for a forever family. As one of the few plush black and white penguins available for adoption, Pear is sure to add joy and friendship to your life or the life of someone you care about. Once the adoption fees are taken care of, Pear can be shipped worldwide.

Pear has been listening to Patch and taking Patch’s advice to heart. At about 6 and ¾ inches, Pear is the perfect size to take with you wherever you go.

Pear may be our newest penguin, but we have plenty of other penguins waiting for adoption. For every penguin adopted, $1 goes to the Global Penguin Society. Order your penguin today and have it in time for the holidays. (Only good through October 15 and while supplies last.)