Lola and Sabrina Got a Woody
October 21, 2013 § Leave a comment
Lola and Sabrina received a very exciting package today! This one was from a brand new vendor for us, which I don’t actually do very often. I do a lot of heavy research into the toys I buy, and ask the companies and toy makers a lot of questions before I feel comfortable making a purchase– it’s not every toy company that passes muster (far from it!). But after reading loads of positive reviews about I Got a Woody Bird Toys and consulting my trusted friend at Just Poifect!, my interest was piqued. I was really interested in a bunch of the toys on their site, and knew that they’d be big hits with Lola and Sabrina. The owners of the store were very responsive to my questions and even open to custom tweaks, which is big deal for me (as you all probably know!). So I finally took the plunge! Of course, I asked for everything to be all natural, un-dyed.
What attracted me to the store was the focus on using lots and lots of wood in their toys: most of the toys use wood bases and have a lot of delectable wood parts, which I knew immediately would attract Lola, of course. They have really nice cuts of clean, natural pine wood, lots of barky natural wood rounds, and a new wood that we’ve yet to try: basswood. But even Sabrina can get in on the fun, because they also carry much softer alternatives, including balsa, yucca, and coveted cork. Cork is something that I’d been looking for for ages, but only recently have North American toy makers seemed to embrace this soft wood that is so popular with birds. Now, a few stores have popped up here and there using cork (usually in the wine bottle stopper form) as toy parts, and I’m sure all have found it’s been a big seller.
Here are a few examples of exactly what I mean. These awesome toys incorporate basswood, cork, and balsa for some really great wood chipping action. The first toy on the left is a deconstructed Basswood Stairway to Heaven, that I skewered for Lola. (They sent me the parts; I threw them onto a skewer.) She’s never tried basswood before, and even though it’ll probably be pretty easy for her, I’m sure she’ll have a great time picking the cork out of each piece as well. (She goes nuts for anything embedded in wood.) The other two tiny toys are for Sabrina. One is the Maniac, albeit a very itty bitty version customized for her (she’s fearful of large things), which I am sure she will love to pick at, and second is the Balsa Woody. I actually think the size of the Balsa Woody might intimidate Sabrina still but I’ll introduce it slowly and hopefully she’ll take to it. Now that I’ve seen the Basswood Stairway to Heaven parts in person, though, I’m actually thinking that it’s small enough that she might enjoy the balsa version as well.
I also really liked that the store used wood for a lot of their toy bases. One of the things I’m especially weary of for in the cage, unsupervised toys is the use of long strings or ropes, or other bases that can pose safety issues once the birds destroy the toy parts, revealing long strands of naked cords. This isn’t a concern so much with Sabrina, who is generally pretty gentle with her toys and takes several weeks to get through them, but for a real wood chipper like Lola who can get through a single toy in few hours or less, it’s a worry. That’s why I was really excited to see so many toys with wood bases, like the Basswood Forager and the Jersey Devil. I knew that they would not only be huge hits with Lola, but also be safe toys that I wouldn’t have to worry about leaving in the cage while I’m gone at work or school. The Basswood Forager (also a deconstructed version) is embedded with enticing wood parts that I’m sure will get Lola riled up! The Jersey Devil has really neat pine cones embedded in the side, and the wood base is chock full of delectable natural wood coins and twigs. I love that they left the bark on the bottom end of the toy as well.
Finally, I also ordered some other toys that I knew would be big hits with Lola: the Gumball, the Wacky Woody, and tons of different foot toys. The Gumball I’m sure Lola will adore with its crunchy pine wood and embedded wood pieces, and the Wacky Woody is right up her alley, with tons of snap-able hardwood pieces. Actually, I was really quite amazed at this toy when I took it out of the box– I couldn’t believe how many toy parts there were on it! I will admit that I thought it was a bit pricy when I saw it on the website, but after I saw it in person and realized just how many snap-able wood pieces went into this toy (and how much my hands would hurt after tying all of those knots), I realized it was quite a good investment. More importantly, I think Lola will certainly agree. The foot toys are also fantastic. I ordered a large variety of different types, but I think she will particularly love the flat, square slices of pine with the bunches of embedded beads, and the slides of wood with the bark still on with embedded beads as well.
For those of you feeling bad for Sabrina, don’t you worry– I think she’s the real winner here. Finally, Leslie and Dawn from I Got A Woody were kind enough to custom make these beautiful cork bark perches for my little girl! These are perches I commonly see used in Europe in particular, but they are totally unavailable here. I floated the idea by Leslie and Dawn and they loved it– and came up with these beauties! I purchased two smaller cork perches and two larger, shelf-like perches for Sabrina. I think these are going to be huge hits with her. Not only are they a nice and soft wood with so many natural nooks and crannies that will create a comfortable, non-uniform surface for her little feet, but this cork bark is pick-able, shreddable, and 100% fun for her as well. Plus, it will look fantastic as I continue to transform her cage into the natural oasis that I envision for her.
Here’s another confession: I also thought these were pretty pricy when I first saw the costs. But upon taking them out of the box, they were seriously impressive: they’re actually much, much larger than I’d imagined they’d be, and they are very, very thick. Even with Sabrina’s incessant picking and prodding, I think they’ll last quite a long time. I am even considering giving one to Lola, because they are thick enough (and big enough!) that they might even stand up to her chewing. I would certainly not hesitate to give one of these to a medium or larger bird that is not too destructive. Of course, they are also outfitted with stainless steel hardware.
Here’s the whole order, all together, and I must say I am quite pleased with this beautiful bunch of natural and enriching wood toys. A big thanks to I Got A Woody!