Archive for April, 2007

Recommended Visit: Noah’s Ark at the Skirball

April 29, 2007

Noah’s Ark at the Skirball FRONT

An amazing exhibit will open in Los Angeles in the middle of this summer. The Skirball Cultural Center has transformed its children’s space into a beautiful Noah’s Ark and embraced the relevance of the story across many cultures.

The NY Times has put together a nice profile of the exhibit, the artists, and the architects in “Giving Life to Found Objects, Two by Two.” Some excerpts:

“The zoo of an installation fills the second floor of the Skirball’s south hall. At 75 feet wide and 17 feet tall, the wooden ark will accommodate up to 125 visitors at a time when it opens to the public on June 26.

When Mr. Green walked around the ark during a moment of quiet before a round of focus groups, puppetry rehearsals and operational tests, the animals owned the place. There were more than 300, representing some 150 different species — from a giant tortoise made of a basketball hide to a green anaconda made of upholstery springs. Most come, as you would expect, in pairs. Outside the ark sit pairs of small foam penguins, giraffes and other animals, which kids can load onto a ramp to send into the ark. Inside, animals hang from all levels and sit in its boxy compartments. Deeper into the structure, past a bridge, the wood of the boat looks worn. Time — maybe the 40 days and 40 nights of the Bible — has passed. The rabbits have multiplied.”

The exhibit took six years and $5 million to create. Like Noah’s Pals, the Skirball Cultural Center is focusing on the animals and the importance of wildlife conservation. The exhibit opens on June 26, 2007 and tickets go on sale June 1. It is a must visit for children and adults in Southern California.  (And when you visit, be sure to look for Noah’s Pals at the Audrey’s Museum Store in the Center!)

Click here to see a NY Times video on the exhibit.

Noah’s Ark at the Skirball - Rainbow

Impalas: Stealthy and sly, they graze with grace

April 26, 2007

All of us earn nicknames at one time or another. Impalas, beautiful small-sized reddish antelopes, are sometimes called the “McDonald’s of Africa” for two very good reasons. First, they have a distinctive “M” shaped mark on their behinds like the McDonad’s Golden Arches, as the video below shows. And second, it seems that just about every predator in Africa enjoys eating impalas for breakfast, lunch, and/or dinner.

Impalas have decent evasive skills to make up for their smaller size. They can jump distances over 30 feet and up to 8 feet high. Also, herds have learned to leap in various directions in order to confuse predators. Most of the time, impalas try to avoid being startled and they can thankfully rely on their excellent sense of hearing, sight, and smell. When they feel safe, they like to graze quietly on grasses and woody plants.

Zebra Stripes

April 25, 2007

Zebras are, of course, known for their amazing black and white stripes. There are three species of zebras and each has a distinctive pattern of stripes: the Grévy’s zebra, the mountain zebra, and the plains zebra (also called the Burchell’s zebra).

As we developed our zebras for the Noah’s Pals collection, we decided to recreate the “plains” species. They are known for wide stripes on their bodies that include thinner “shadow” stripes on their hind quarters. They also are unique as their stripes wrap down to the belly. The other two species have bare or white undersides.

The stripes help the zebras in many ways. Because zebras spend a lot of time out in the open grazing, they are vulnerable to predators. Those stripes can serve as a camouflage against grasslands and can also confuse attackers through the shifting patterns of a large herd. The stripes also help extroverted zebras identify with each other. And there’s another good reason to wear stripes… The color and patterns may keep the blood-sucking tsetse fly away!

In the video below, you’ll find two doppelgangers for Zachary + Zoë Zebra (Plains):

Noah’s Pals Fundraising Program now available!

April 23, 2007

Several people have reached out to us to see if we have a fundraising program. Because we want to make our fans happy, the easy answer is ‘yes’ – we have developed a “Noah’s Pals Fundraising Program” to help you raise money for classroom trips, school equipment, and other needs.

The program is designed to be simple for the fundraising leader and the fundraising team. We will provide you with free brochures and order forms. You collect the payments up front and only pay us after the fundraising period is over. There’s no risk to you and you keep half of every dollar sold. We pay for shipping throughout the process too. (And we’ll even offer a free prize program for your top sellers.)

To learn more and sign up, please call us at 866-CABOODLE!

Keepsake Kit Covers for Collecting Cards

April 19, 2007

If you’ve already had a chance to buy Noah’s Pals animal figures, you’ll know that each male + female pair comes with an ID Card. The front of the card provides fun, educational information about the animal including its habitat, geography, and status in the wild (i.e., endangered, vulnerable, or common). The back of the ID Card has a unique ID Code that allows collectors to keep track of their collection. That ID Code also enables us to award our biggest fans with prizes and rewards.

When we attended the Toy Fair two months ago, we created a binder for holding all of the ID Cards. The binder was blank and needed front and back covers.  We decided to scan a pile of our cards.  Below are PDF files of those images — just download and print to create covers for your “Keepsake Kit”!

ID Card Front Cover

ID Card Back Cover

King Cobra: Confident serpents that intimidate their enemies

April 17, 2007

Among our forty pairs of Noah’s Pals, it seems that Chip + Christy Cobra (King) get the most mixed reactions. Of course, some people are not fond of snakes. Others are fascinated by the crawly creatures, especially the King Cobra.

These giants of the forest are the largest venomous snake in the world. They also live the longest. And they get big, very big. If you are one of their enemies, you will not like the fact that they have really good eyesight and will even hunt during the day.

Cobras can “stand” and move in an upright position, as the clip below shows. They are able to lift about a third of their bodies off of the ground. And since King Cobras can grow to 18 feet in length, they can raise up and look a person in the eye.

Can an ostrich ski?

April 14, 2007

I was looking at phrases that people used to discover our blog, and someone typed into their search engine the question “Can an ostrich ski?”

Our blog did not have an answer, but I will now supply one. The answer is ‘no’ — an ostrich can not ski.

Except, of course, in Japanese television commercials…

The resemblence of our Owen Ostrich with the skiing ostrich is strong.

That was part 2 of the series of commercials, which includes a prologue, part 3, and part 4.

A Cat That Likes to Swim

April 13, 2007

The jaguars are one of our favorite feline pairs in the Noah’s Pals collection. (We named the female jaguar after Janet since they are a fashionable animal that likes to go out at night.)

Felines are generally not known to be swimmers, but jaguars enjoy frolicking in ponds and streams in their tropical habitat. But water is not just for swimming… Sometimes jaguars will use their powerful jaws to hold and suffocate prey under water. (Something that Janet does NOT do, just to be clear.)

The YouTube clip below shows a jaguar going for a swim at Woodland Park Zoo in Seattle, WA. If you find yourself there, please be sure to look for our animals in their gift shop!

Elephant’s Ears

April 11, 2007

African elephants are the largest land animal in the world and they also have the biggest ears. Those ears can help you tell the difference between an African and Indian elephant — the African elephant has ears shaped like its continent!

Those ears do more than just listen for lions. Elephants regulate their temperature by flapping their ears, creating a slight breeze. That breeze pulls away heat from a large network of blood vessels that are stretched across the thin skin of the ears. On really hot days, elephants will continually flap, flap, flap their ears.

Males also like to use their ears to get attention and let others know that they are a big, proud mammal. With those big ears, the elephant looks even bigger and stronger.

Download our Coloring Book

April 6, 2007

One of the most popular items on our Noah’s Pals website is our coloring book. It has a big file size at over 3MBs… But that’s okay as it has 43 pages to color!

Click on the picture below to download the PDF.

Noah’s Pals Coloring Book