Since the first R. John Wright mouse in 2002, we have designed over 50 more mice. Each mouse design is different and many of them feature unique accessories. The total RJW mice produced totals over 10,000 which may explain why we began making cats! We love all our mice but of course we have personal favorites. Here are my top 5:
1. The Mouse Tailor
This Beatrix Potter piece was our first mouse and holds a special place in my heart. We initially planned on making the mouse out of felt and we sculpted the mouse with fur detail which would show up during the molding process. But Susan kept thinking of a beloved stuffed animal she had as a child of a sleeping kitten. The toy was covered with real rabbit hair which made it irresistible to pet! She wanted our mice to have that same tactile quality which only fur can give. So we rose to the challenge of making the mouse out of mohair plush instead. The techniques we learned established the look and feel of all the RJW mice to follow.
2. Annamarie & Fritz
These 2 mice are favorites for several reasons. The design is based on the charming art of Racey Helps (1913-1970) an English children's author and illustrator. His books were written in a simple style and feature immensely charming woodland creatures and birds. This "Winter" pair is the first in the "Mouse Seasons" series and they are named after our children's real-life honorary Grandparents - Annamarie and Fritz Zobel - German immigrants who knew everything about toys and Christmas.
3. Lady & Gentleman
This set of elegant mice are also from our Beatrix Potter series. They are pictured in Beatrix Potter's favorite book 'The Tailor of Gloucester.' We are especially proud of the clothing on this pair. The Lady mouse's dress features a custom-printed miniature pattern and she wears the tiniest blue silk high heel slippers on her feet. The Gentleman's jacket and tri-corn hat includes incredibly tiny gold braid trim. The mice pose very well and capture perfectly the stance of the mice in the original illustration.
4. Wizard of Oz
This set is one of our most ambitious in the entire mouse collection. As with all our mice, it is essential to keep the mouse from being overwhelmed with costuming. This was especially true here as we set out to outfit each mouse in the well-known movie costumes. In such a project what is not included becomes as important as what is included. There were many challenges along the way - such as weaving the tiny rectangular basket for Dorothy and figuring out the making of the tiniest Ruby Slippers.
5. The House that Mouse Built
This pair was made for a ticketed breakout event at our convention this year. It was inspired by the amazing rustic 'Mouse Houses' made in the scale of our mice by the local Dollhouse & Toy Musem of Vermont. What I like about this set is that the clothing is kept to a minimum but there is no feeling that anything has been left out. Mr. Mouse'swork apron features tiny tools and Mrs. Mouse holds a darling mouse baby. Life is good!
6. (Honorable Mention) The Fairy Tale Mice
I can't resist including these mice as they are also among my top favorites. Each character has been portrayed perfectly without becoming too fussy. Even without titles it is apparent which classic fairy tale each is based on. As with the Oz collection there were unique challenges to overcome along the way such as Cinderella's tiny glass slippers or Hansel & Gretel's tiny gingerbread cookies. Now we are thinking of coming out with a 2nd Fairy Tale series. If you have any suggested stories you'd like us to include please let us know!