As America's only marsupial species, opossums are having a moment and are finally receiving the love and admiration they deserve! And still, the plush toy options for these pointy-faced beauties have yet to catch up to public demand. What we need is an opossum plush that educates and celebrates the opossum's best features: most notably, a tummy pouch filled with tiny babies (aka seedlings)!
Too often a plush labeled "opossum" has pink ears, three fingers, or—gasp!—no fingers at all! Opossum fingers are one of nature's purest delights. In addition to a seedling-filled pouch, each Starry Surprise will feature anatomically correct black ears, a pink nose, whiskers, and five-fingered hands and four-fingered feet with opposable thumbs. At 14 inches tall, the Starry Surprises are also lifesize and therefore bigger than most opossum plushes available. On top of it all, Starry has requested a glittering, shiny, iridescent tail as the cherry on top (bottom). Although she's missing her tail in real life (which is why she is an educational ambassador), Starry has assured us that if she had a tail, it would be rainbow and blinging. Including a tail, she asserts, adds to the plush's majesty and anatomical correctness.
Starry Surprise will be available for adoption to the public (retailing at $59), and by purchasing a Starry Surprise and/or contributing to the campaign, you'll also support the donation of Starry Surprises to wildlife rescues and nature centers worldwide. Currently, centers that wish to show the opossum's outstanding mothering methods must resort to performing surgery on their stuffed animals and adding their own pouch. Even then, there are no seedlings to fill it with! Together we can put an end to these makeshift substitutes and fill the world with Starry Surprises. Each plush will include educational tags with opossum facts, showcasing the wonders and magic of opossums and taking us one step closer to global opossum appreciation.
Manufacturing a custom plush is a big investment when you're not a major toy company, and factories understandably have minimum order quantities and requirements for safety testing. We have found an amazing factory that is responsibly run and a joy to work with! We even have our carefully designed prototype in-hand and are ready to greenlight production. Our hope now is to appeal to wildlife lovers worldwide to help us gather the funds needed to bring this design and one-for-one concept to life. When you reserve a Starry Surprise, we will pick one of our favorite educational centers/wildlife rehabs to receive an identical plush—or, if you have a favorite organization of your own, we'd love for you to let us know and we'll send the plush to them in your name! Together, we can adopt out Starry Surprises to homes (like yours!) and educational centers worldwide. We are setting our fundraising goal at two weeks, because if we place the manufacturing order within that timeline, we hope to have the plush(es) you reserve in your hands in time for this year's winter holidays.
In crowdfunding this campaign, we're excited that each Starry Surprise will belong to opossum lovers—a tangible expression of your support and tireless advocacy on behalf of these sweet creatures everywhere. The majority of opossums at wildlife rescues are injured (either by accident of on purpose) by people or pets, and raising awareness makes a huge difference in decreasing the occurrence of injured and orphaned opossums. Awareness also increases the likelihood that an individual who does find an animal in need will have the resources and make the effort to get them to a licensed rehabber. Whether you adopt a plush from the first litter, or contribute to the campaign and Sesame and Starry's mission in other ways, we are eternally grateful to you! Thank you!
*PS—this precious kitten is named Yoda, and he is currently awaiting adoption at the Louisiana SPCA! Find information about him and his sibling and an application to bring them into your family by visiting http://bit.ly/yodakitten.
Risks and challenges
We have received the prototype (pictured), and once greenlit, the bulk order has a production and delivery time of 30-40 days. Our goal is to have them as soon as possible, as we would love for adopted plushes to arrive in their new homes for the holiday season. We recognize the unpredictability of production and shipping, however, and remain cautiously optimistic regarding any factors outside our control. In all aspects we can control, timely delivery will be a top priority, along with quality of construction and responsible business practices.
Having secured the factory and materials and gone through the design process over the past year, we are confident that the plushes are ready for manufacturing and adoption out to the public! We are dedicated to this project, and look forward to producing Starry Surprises for years to come.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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