What We Did
We began 2015 with the Fairy Tale Mice collection. This series was a chance for us to interpret the characters of well-loved, classic fairy tales as mice! Each of the mice had his/her challenges - either with the mouse itself (mermaid!) or with clothing and the tiny handmade accessories which included crystal slippers, a magic lamp, and miniature gingerbread cookies. There were 6 different fairy tales represented: Little Red Riding Hood, Tom Thumb, Cinderella, Aladdin, Little Mermaid, Hansel & Gretel.
We hadn't done a new addition to our Palmer Cox Brownies collection since 2014's 'Brownie Jockey' so collectors were very happy to see the 'Englishman Brownie' added to the group. He joined his previously-released comrades, the Scotchman and the Irishman to fully represent the British Isles in Brownie Style!
The Apple Blossom Fairies were very complicated to develop as we wanted to have the 2 sisters seated in a flowering branch - just as they appeared in the lovely Mary Cicely Barker illustration. This latest addition to the Flower Fairies collection was eagerly awaited for a few years before we were able to see it finally fully realized in 2015.
Our history with Antoine de Saint Exupery's The Little Prince goes back to the beginning of our first child dolls in the early 1980s. We were excited to design a small 'petite' size of this beloved character. Le Petit Prince and his friend the Desert Fox were mid-year introductions in 2015.
Collectors ask continually for new additions to our ongoing Wizard of Oz collection. All the figures in this series are enormously challenging to design and produce and none so much as the Tin Man. We brought him to life in our studio with great fanfare! And he has already joined the Top Ten club - the 10 favorite dolls of R. John Wright!
Since we are long-time admirers of the original illustrations in the Alice books, we couldn't resist doing a commemorative edition to mark their 150th anniversary in 2015. Alice in Wonderland came holding her flamingo and was produced in a charming new 'cabinet size' for collectors.
Our final 2 productions of 2015 included a hugely popular bear named Digby - a sweet white polar bear cub holding a detailed all-felt poinsettia blossom. Digby sold out in less than 24hrs.
The other 'doll' issue for the Christmas season was the enchanting 'Celestial Musician' from our Hummel series. The doll featured a new downcast face mold as well as a meticulously crafted wood violin made right here in our studio. For many this was the favorite of our pieces made to date based on the art of Sister Maria Innocentia.
Where We Are Going
For 2016 we have a lot of exciting new dolls and animals planned! We are working now on the finishing touches to the Cowardly Lion which will complete the main characters from the Wizard of Oz series. Look for the first photos to appear soon of this wonderful, iconic character.
The Cowboy Brownie is another piece which is eagerly awaited by collectors. He is the most American of all the Brownies and in fact was recommended by none other than President Theodore Roosevelt! Famed author and illustrator Palmer Cox obliged by creating this delightful character and it gives us great pleasure to bring him to life in the felt medium. The Brownie Cowboy will make his appearance early this year.
The adorable Bonzo dog dates from his heyday in the 20's and 30's but is immediately recognizable today. We are thrilled to be producing this droll little character under license. Bonzo will join the RJW menagerie in 2016.
We have been slowly developing the Where the Wild Things Are series in between other projects. It's a big undertaking but we are determined to introduce it this year. Keep your fingers crossed and we will see Max and his fearsome companions before the year is through!
Don't worry, we haven't forgotten the fans of our mice! This year we are happy to announce a new series of costumed mice based the classic motion picture Gone With the Wind! Further details are forthcoming - keep an eye on our Web site for the latest news on this exciting collection.
There are also a few extra surprises in store for 2016. PLUS, in addition to all the above will be the exciting event pieces and souvenirs from our 40th anniversary convention!