I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, Trollbeads has the best glass beads on the market and some of my absolute favorites are their critter uniques. The brand promised amazing designs for 2014 and so far they have not disappointed! Exactly a year ago, I posted a Popular Trollbeads Uniques feature on the commonly seen critter beads at that point which included turtles, ladybugs, bees, and fish. Since then, the company has mostly stopped producing those types of animals but instead have expanded on a number of more complicated creatures.
Comparatively, the critters are not as common as other designs, and these beads are much sought after by many collectors so finding them is the hardest part. Some of the new animals are: Octopus, Caterpillar, Starfish, Killer Whale, Frogs (green, purple, orange), Lizards (blue, orange), Dolphin, Teddy Bears (blue, clear), Dragonflies (yellow, clear), and the reappearance of the upright Butterflies. There are also less recognizable species like the Fern Creature and the Dino/Rat/Pig. I previously featured the Octopus, Caterpillar, Starfish, Whale, and Dino in the Trollbeads Small and Beautiful 3 post, but these have since become more available. The “newer” critters are still rather rare and mostly sold in sets by retailers or at a premium on the secondary market.
Starting with the ocean creatures, the Octopus has only come in one type – orange on a blue background, he’s got big eyes and 5 tentacles. The Killer Whale initially appeared as a black whale on a blue core, but they’re now popping up with turquoise and I’ve also seen green glass. The Dolphin is similar to the Killer Whale but is grey also depicted on a dark blue sea and so far he’s been one of the more rare designs. The Starfish is very colorful with an ocean seabed background and the spotted starfish in the foreground.
The garden critters are next up, and these caused a frenzy when they first appeared. The green and orange Frogs are hard to find but the purple Frog is the most elusive. They are highly textured with the frog resting on top of the glass, especially their bulging eyes, and they are reaching towards a dragonfly featured on the other side of the glass. The Lizards have come in orange and blue, and they’re a bit texturized though not as much as the frogs; they splay out lazily across the entire surface of the glass. There’s also a version of the blue lizard that has a red ladybug on the other side which has been scarce.
The Caterpillar only comes in one kind currently, and that’s a long green bug on a black core; he’s a bit cartoonish with eyes and a large red nose. The Dragonflies are horizontal designs with papery black wings spread wide along the width of the glass. They come in two variations, one with yellow glass and one that is clear/bluish. If you’re a Trollbeads fan, then you’ll definitely remember last year’s extremely limited upright butterflies; well they’ve sort of reappeared with a few here and there, but still difficult to acquire. They are not exactly like the previous version with more solid colors and more symmetrical wings so they can still be told apart.
I’m not sure what to make of the Fern Creature, as they look like the regular fern beads except they’ve got eyes. Initially they only came in purple, but now there are many different colors including red, yellow, orange, and green. The Dino/Rat/Pig were also originally made as dark purple on white, and now there are other colors as well. The Teddy Bear may not be technically a critter, but they’re so cute! This is another horizontal design showing 5 brown teddy bears with protruding noses. While these first showed up with a blue background, there is also a white glass version.
Trollbeads is constantly coming out with new uniques though, and this is just a snapshot of what’s currently popular. I’ve even seen a bunny dillo, panda, fly, sideways butterfly (different than before), seahorse, and owl. I’m hoping these will become more available in the near future as some of them I’ve only come across once. Are you an avid collector of critter beads like me? Which one is your favorite animal?