Friday, August 26, 2011

Captivating Cats Figurine review

Last year, I wrote a post about an offer I received in the mail from Willabee & Ward for a Captivating Cat Figurine. This year, I received another offer and I decided to promptly take them up on it, after all the mailing clearly stated the free figurine was only being held for 10 days.

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.

Stunning design
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.

Intricate crafting
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.


  1. I think that's a very define detail piece !
    and I think the artist will be so happy, if he or she knew you are happy with their skilled : )
    Thanks for sharing. that's very nice

  2. I also got that in the mail; it was a little different though. Today, I got the other two...and It was $30...I didn't know it would be that much, so I am sending it back. haha. They better not make me pay that much for two tiny cat figurines...

  3. Just letting you know that they are still having that "10 day" offer. I am getting the figurines for my future mother-in-law, as she collects pieces like this and usually pays $30 for one. I figure this makes me a great daughter and we can all save a little money. My main hang-up is that I have not yet received the wooden shadow box that was "to arrive around the third shipment of figurines." I have recently received the 4th shipment, which is to be my last, and will be calling in the morning to figure out where the shadow box is.

  4. How funny that I ran across this in a search for these figurines. My neighbor came over one day with a cute little shelf and asked me if I wanted it. I'm like, OK, sure, I can find a use for it. Then she came over with 3 figurines. It made me curious about the collection. All I can say is, I'm glad I didn't pay for them! Waaaay overpriced from what I can see fro mass-produced, made in China figurines. And, BTW, the "wood" shadow box? It's neither wood (plastic made to look like wood), nor a shadow box (it's an open frame). Heck, it was free, and the kitties are cute, so it'sall good. : )

  5. Thank you for the "heads up" about this company. I found your article while searching for their website. I received an offer in the mail for some cute enamel-looking bracelets and thought they would make a great Xmas gift for my sister. I wanted to check them out on-line, but the more I think about it, the more I am determined to tell them to take me off their mailing list as I don't know how I got on it in the first place. I have been trying to make an effort, whenever possible, to purchase things that are Made in America, so I doubt the products this company sells fall into that category. While I may not be able to buy everything made in the good'ole USA, I can however limit my purchases to ones that are of superior quality, which certainly doesn't apply after looking after your pictures.
    I really enjoyed the pictures of your cats. We have 3 rescue kitties who have help fill the void after our daughters moved out. Thanks again-from California.

  6. Thanks for the "heads up" on this company. Recently I received an offer in the mail for some cute bracelets and thought they would make a great Xmas gift for my sister. I wanted to check them out on-line when I came across your comments. While the bracelets look good, I have also tried to curtail my purchase of items made in other countries and instead supporting American products even if they cost a little more.
    I really like your cat photos. We have 3 rescue kitties who have help fill the void when our two daughters left home. Oliver reminds me of our Tabitha who really fits the name. She is full of energy, curious and a constant source of new antics. Ben our orange tabby was taken from his mom too early and is a bet insure and tentative, but has recently started to come out of his shell. Gus our oldest is a grey tabby with a white tuxedo and very, very mellow.
    Thanks for sharing-from California.

  7. Thanks for posting the pics of the figures. As to price I can see that $12.95 each is cheap for real fired porcelain figurine. Look at some of the junk resin sculpture on the market for $45 +. China is where these things are made now days...the factories do not exist in the USA. Willabee and Ward is just another division of The Danbury Mint. They have been producing collectibles since 1970. I have been a customer since 1998 and their customer service has always been fantastic. They mail brochures but never telemarket...they are not a pushy company and the formula works as they are still in business.

    Danbury Mint still has their 22kt gold ornaments made in USA. Another tradition since 1976.


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