The writeup about the figurine claims, "This is the first in a collection of extraordinary figurines of playful felines. These beautifully crafted figurines are skillfully sculpted of fine quality porcelain. Each figurine is then carefully hand painted by skilled artists."
I promptly mailed my check for $2.95 to cover the shipping and service costs.
When my "free" figurine arrived, my first impression was not good. The packaging was very unimpressive. I was led to believe these figurines were fragile and valuable, yet it arrived in flat box with a large bulge in the middle. The figurine was in a small plastic bag that was wrapped in one layer of bubble wrap. Due to the box being too flat, the cat's ears had poked into the cardboard box. Thankfully, the cat didn't lose it's ears.
With the figurine came a nice letter congratulating me on acquiring my first Captivating Cat Figurine. It goes on to say, "As you examine your first figurine, notice the stunning design...the brilliant hand-painted colors...the intricate crafting." So, as I looked over my figurine, I kept these qualities in mind.
The figurine is small, but not miniture. The size feels appropriate, not overwhelming and not too small to see. It feels solid; it has a nice weight of 0.6 oz.
I'm not sure what to say about this quality. The figurine is of a cat, and the design resembles a cat, so I guess the design is done well. Is it stunning? I'm not sure that's the word I would choose, but the design looks good.
Brilliant hand-painted colors
There is not a lot of color on this figurine. The ears and nose are pink and the eyes are yellow. The remainder of the cat is white and black stripes. The paws are dirty white. The sparse use of color really makes the bit of color stand out. The eyes are small but clearly yellow, like my Rose. The artist must have had really good eyesight and a microscopic brush to be able to paint something that small.
There is a lot of detail packed into this little figurine. The front paws clearly have four toes, the back legs are resting against each other and the tail has a nice authentic curl. The markings on the face have nice detail. Above the cat's right eye there appears to be an off-color abscess. If one of my cats came to me displaying such a lump, I would be quite concerned. In this case, it looks like the porcelain glaze may have pooled just above the eye.
Nothing conveys "intricate crafting" like a "Made in China" sticker. Thankfully, it is easily removed.
The congratulatory letter tells me that I can expect to receive my next shipment of two figurines in approximately four to six weeks. At the time of my third shipment, I will receive a free "luxurious wooden Collector's display to store and proudly display" my collection. There is no mention in the letter or in the accompanying invoice of how much the future figurines will cost me. I'm assuming they are $12.95 each + $2.95 shipping. I'll have to call Willabee & Ward to find out for sure, but if that is true, I'll be canceling my subscription.
I should confess that I'm not overly into figurines or knickknacks, but I'm into cats, and since this was a cat, I thought I would give it a go. In the end, this figurine is actually better than I expected. It looks and feels nice. My main hang-up is the cost. When buying something directly from the "skilled artist" I don't mind paying a lot because it is going to support the creation of wonderful art. To me, this figurine doesn't fit in the category of "wonderful art" nor is it really "captivating". However, the Willabee and Ward figurine does a good job capturing the feline mystique.