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I love taking my little boy to our local charity shop because they sell some really lovely toys and puzzles etc which are always 4 for £1.99 regardless of the brand/size/condition and we have got loads of bargains over the past few months since we started going there.
'''Choosing this toy'''
Kai likes to choose by himself the things that he likes out of the big buckets that are absolutely crammed full of a huge variety of toys and a while ago - around six weeks ago, he pulled out this little teddy. He had a brief look at it and then continued searching around in the buckets and when it came to paying for the items he'd chosen he still had it in his hand and wouldn't let go so we ended up buying it! I wasn't sure if he'd play with it as he didn't really show any excitement towards this particular toy and didn't comment on it, he just seemed to enjoy holding it.
This teddy despite being from a charity shop was in really good condition when we bought it with the tag still attached to its ear and as we got this as part of the 4 for £1.99 deal it only worked out at about 50p so I am quite happy we found this as it's a really cute little toy. The retail price for this toy is around £5 which I think is expensive for such a small toy.
'''The toy - design, quality, durability, in play, our opinion etc'''
The first thing I'll mention is that this toy is small - much smaller than an average sized teddy as it is only 4 inches long and it is small enough to sit in the palm of my hand but obviously the small size is an advantage to my little one as he doesn't have to lug it around and he doesn't struggle with it. The toy when we first bought it came with a little tag attached to its ear with the branding on it, however my son is only two so I cut the tag off just to be on the safe side.
The toy is part of the blue nose range which is made by the same manufacturers that make tatty Teddy's so I think that this probably contributes to the price. There are a lot of different animals in this range including a hamster and all sorts really but the one that we have is Alaska the husky which is of course a husky dog. Kai has seen husky dogs as a family member of mine has got two of them. Kai knows that this toy is a dog but he doesn't associate it with my aunties dogs as to a small child the colour markings (grey and white) obviously don't make them associate it with a particular breed of dog.
The dog has a little blue, plastic nose, black beedy eyes and small rounded ears. The mouth of the dog is a bit of a blank canvas which leaves it looking very expressionless which is a change as almost all of Kai's other toys have big shiny smiles, so in my opinion it is not the friendliest looking toy expression wise but as it is nice and soft and fluffy and designed to look like a dog it still appeals to my child. There's also some classic tatty teddy stitching detailing on the stomach and eye brow areas of the toy which show that it is part of the tatty teddy collection. The dog has a raised texture of fur which creates a different sort of texture to the rest of it and it also has a stubby little tail.
The toy is a soft plush toy and when we first bought it was beautifully soft with an almost silky kind of feel to it. It has survived a couple of washes now though after it has had various things spilt on it and the texture has definitely changed quite dramatically from feeling fluffy and soft to having a more matted feel to it although it is still fairly soft. It doesn't look tatty apart from the small stains on the head of the toy which refuse to come out, but it does look slightly different to how it looked when we first bought it - it doesn't look new.
This doesn't bother Kai though, so it isn't really a problem! The toy has got a beanbag in the bottom of it. When toys have beanbags in them they tend to be easier to position and sit up on a shelf but this one doesn't really sit properly so I have to lay it on the floor or shelf or wherever I'm putting it and I've noticed that Kai has tried to put it in a sitting position a few times for it just to slide down onto its back, but he's never seemed as frustrated by this as he does with some of his other toys.
Although this toy doesn't always catch Kai's attention and can be left ignored and unnoticed amongst his other teddies for a day or two, when he does decide he wants to play with it he will keep hold of it for a while and include it in some of his games, he has got plenty of play out of this and he still likes it six weeks on, so it was definitely worth the money.
All in all, this is a cute little toy however there is no way that I would have paid the full price for it as I feel that a fiver for such a small and basic toy is very over-priced. It isn't the most durable toy as it doesn't wash too well and the texture of the toy changed after a couple of washes. I am going to give the toy 4 out of 5 stars but I had I paid the full price I would be giving it 3 out of 5 stars because I think I'd have felt let down but seeing as I only paid 50p I'm not going to let a few disadvantages effect my overall rating too much!
This range of teddy's is made by the tatty teddy company who are better known for there me to you bears and ornaments but rather than aiming at an older market they have aimed at the infant and toddler market with there blue nosed friends range.
In the collection there is;
milkshake the cow
bells the reindeer
cotton socks the sheep
shelly the turtle
splodge the dalmation
thomas the hippo
sugar cube the donkey
echo the bat
dilly the duck
truffles the pig
patch the dog
ledgend the unicorn
blinky the panda
coco the monkey
kitty wink the cat
konker the hedgehog
tiny the mouse
jack the moose to name just a few as there are loads more in the collection too but I would be here all day if I listed them all. The one thing they have in common is they all have a blue nose.
My little girl received tiny the mouse from a friend of ours for her first birthday last year, this is what the web site says about her
Tiny is a busy little Mouse who hurries around, but will always have time for you. Tiny is a much-loved little Mouse with a little blue nose and patch. This is an addition to the tatty teddy blue nose friend range and is number 35 from the series.
Tiny is lovely and not as tiny as she sounds, tiny is 8 inches tall and retails at £16,99 which is not a price I would have paid for a teddy who doesn't do anything but it was a very welcome gift that my daughter loves, it is very soft to the touch and has a weighted bottom so sits up nicely but not too heavy that she cant carry her around with her.
As with all young children jess has got tiny quite dirty with the amount she carries or drags her around, puts sticky fingers on her etc but she has been through the washer a few times and has come out just as lovely as new each time. These are really cute and I would say they are the perfect gift to buy a new baby or a young child but I wouldn't have paid the price for my own daughter.
Anyone who has read any of my old reviews will have seen that I am a big fan of the Me To You Bear range and I didn't think that anything would take over my love for those cute little bears. Well, how wrong was I? There was a new range of characters released by Carte Blanche in the summer of 2008 called My Blue Nose Friends. As with the Me To You range there is a story attached to the Blue Nose Friends and that is that a tatty teddy was lonely and was dreaming of a wardrobe full of friends. In his daydream, these friends included a cat, hedgehog and a duckling among many other animals.
There are new releases to the collection every season, and some of them will be limited edition so it is definately worth buying those when they are on sale.
There are now over 50 characters in the range and the first five in the collection are:
Patch the dog
Kittywink the cat
Blossom the rabbit
Dilly the duck
Toots the elephant
Since the release of the first there have been many more and almost every animal you can think of! Each character has a distinctive blue nose which is of course where the name of the range comes from.
With each character comes a little story of its own, for example Twiggy the giraffe says " The friendly giraffe who loves to chat....but will never tell your secrets"
The blue nose friends started out as little beany soft toys which stood at around 5 inches tall and retail at £5.00 each. I think that is a great price for such a fab quality little teddy! They are made out of a really soft cuddly fabric which is totally different to the feel of the me to you bears. There are also larger versions of some of the small characters, however I have personally only seen the dog, cat, reindeer and giraffe though there may be more available. These originally were retailing at £15.00 but in Clintons at the moment they are reduced to £10 which is a real bargain.
Since their launch, the Blue Nose Friends range has branched out into ceramic figurines and I so far only have 3 of the small ones but I am lucky to have the large ones that have been released. The first large figurine was a large tatty teddy sitting in his pyjama's surrounded by several of mini blue nose friends. I think this is a really lovely figure and this is reflected in the price tag which is £40.00, but again for something of such good quality it really isn't that much to pay. Other large ones show some of the friends climbing in a toy box, sitting on a large wooden chair and on a grandfather clock.
The range has now spread to partyware, pin badges, keyrings, charms and mini figurines. You will find the whole range of blue nose friends in Clintons which is the main retailer of the collection, and I am happy at the moment as my local card shop is selling off all their stock for half price!! I know my friend has bought me a couple of them for Christmas already and I am hoping that my mum has taken the hint and has also got a couple!
My first figure was the cat which was bought for me by my lovely friend, as she knew I just love cats and it was a present for me as I was helping her out - which I do not for a present! But all the same it was a lovely gift and it started off my collection which is growing but not as quickly as I would like!
I really adore this collection, and I think it will possibly totally replace my me to you collection or at least banish that to somewhere else in the house! I also think that they make lovely presents and I am sure that there is at least one of the figures that will suit every single person!
For more information on this gorgeous range, visit www.carteblanchegreetings.com/mybluenosefriends
Thank you for reading my review :)
'My Blue Nose Friends' launched around 2 of so years ago, by Carte Blanche. It is along the same line as Tatty Teddy, which hence the name 'blue nose' as it was designed for a freind for the lonely bear.
The bears themselves are very loveable and are a nice size measuring about 4" in height, so makes a nice gift for a small child and makes it easy for them to carry around.
The blue nose friends cost £5 each, however as they come out in sets, the original set, which was limited edition is going above and beyond this price on ebay now, so do the limited edition bears.
They sell them in Clintons, also Clintons online and a few independant retailers.
The blue nose friends come out in sets and each sets normally comes out every month or every other month, I have seen as little as 4 to as much as 6 in a set, so the price of a whole set will vary.
Blue nose friends have now also added more lines to their collection, such as the larger 8" teddies and also figurines and pin badges.
The 4" teddies themselves are very cute and in their label there is always something written about who they are or there personality. They are so soft to the touch and really are very cute to look at.
I would definitley reccomend these as birthday present or christmas presents and around the christmas season they tend to bring out more 'winter'style ones.
The character range of "My Blue Nose Friends" was launched early last year by Carte Blanche Greetings as a pocket money alternative to the ever growing range of Me to You Bears.
There are now over 50 of the little friends in this range, who all stand at around 5 inches tall and cost just £5.00 to purchase. The little critters are really become so sought after that as soon as they hit the stand in Clintons they are gone, so grab them whilst you can!
The characters are every animal you could think of, from Patch the dog, and Shelly the turtle to Coco the monkey and Rocky the lion. They are really cute with their fat little bellys and blue button noses, and make a great addition to any collection.
They are made of soft fabric, and really good quality which is what you expect from the Me To You range. Each character has the distinctive blue nose and black beedy eyes.
At only £5.00 they are a reasonable price, however as there are so many being released the costs can add up. There is also a larger blue nose friend which costs normally £15 each, however at the moment in alot of stores are reduced to £10. As with the Me to you range, there are also other additions including keyrings and ceramic figurines, and also a range of tatty bears holding their blue nose friend.
There is also a large boxed limited edition Tatty bear in his pjs, surrounded by the blue noses. This retails for around £40.00
Since their launch the Blue Nose Friends have made quite an impact to the world of Me to You collectors and one particular 'friend' - Breeze the Butterfly is perhaps the most important one of them all. Although it is number 27 in the series (there are over 50 at the moment with plenty more still to come), however it so sought after and was launched as a Special Edition and would have a limited release date. Breeze originally cost only £5.00 to purchase just like the rest of the range, however it is now that popular that ebay prices easily reach over £100.00 for a 5 inch bear!
Since the overwhelming popularity of Breeze other special editions friends have also been released, with new introductions to the range including Ruby the penguin, Echo the bat, Legend the unicorn and now Stilts the flamingo (which at the moment is going pretty cheap on ebay so get it whilst you can!). If you own any of these dont cut the tags off, keep them wrapped in cotton wool and locked in a safe!
Link to the Blue Nose Friends website where all the characters in the range can be viewed: http://carteblanchegreetings.com/mybluenosefriends/
I would advise that if you are just starting to collect the figures like I am then to purchase them from ebay, as there are some real bargains to be had. I tend to seach for bears under £3 only so that I know I am saving on their original price. Obviously for the older more wanted bears expect to pay a little extra. You can purchase the bears directly from Clintons or other retail stores which sell the range. Every one of mine I have bought so far is off ebay, and usually I can get the brand new ones for around £1.50.
The blue nose friends are a great collectable, and a lovely addition to anybodys collection. One piece of advice is if you are buying these for your kids, dont let them get their grubby little paws on them as one day I think they may be worth quite a bit!!!!
The latest craze sweeping my daughter's school is My Blue Nose Friends. These little adorable collectable soft toys are by Carte Blanche Greetings, and are available to buy from Clintons Cards.
Most people will recognise Tatty Teddy from the Me to You collection of gifts, cards, stationery and more. These Blue Nose Friends are part of the same range of gift but have a whimiscal tale, to tie them into the phenomenon.
And it goes something like this. Tatty Teddy was feeling rather alone in the fact that he was the only teddy with a blue nose. One night, Tatty Teddy fell asleep and began to dream. He dreamt that he found a place where there were many little soft toys just like him, they all had blue noses, and a little trademark 'patch' somewhere just like him. He was overjoyed to find these friends, only to wake up and find it had all been a dream.
If you go online to Carte Blanche you can watch the 'Story so Far', which I think is currently up to the third installment. Tatty Teddy has a number of dreams all involving short adventures with a number of his new Blue Nose Friends. The website is quite cute, there are a number of competitons, and there is a gallery where kids have sent in photo's of their Blue Nose Friends too.
My daughter has only just started collecting these soft toys, and has two so far. A little cute dalmatian (pictured) called Splodge. They each come with their own little blurb, this one is "clumsy dalmatian who is always in a spot of bother but knows you will be there to help him out". The other is Goldie the golden labrador.
There are quite a number to collect, and range from the ordinary to the exotic, from lambs to anteaters, strange I know, but still very cute.
The stand approximately 4 inches tall, and have a bean bag filled body. They are made from a good quality plush fabric and all have a blue nose and a patch. They retail at £5.00 each, which I think is quite reasonable for the quality.
There are quite a number available, last time I looked I think they were on to number 53 in the series, which I know is quite a lot. I don't think I'll fund them all for my daughter, so she'd better start saving her pocket money!
It doesn't stop with the mini soft toys either, you can upgrade to a larger size which stands at 8 inches, they retail at £10.00 each. There are also key rings, charms, pin badges, lanyards and the new mini figurines (a more purse friendly £2.99).
My daughter loves these, and I'm sure your children will too.