Trollbeads Uniques – 2013 Retrospective and 2014 Outlook

trollbeads-uniques-review-2013Trollbeads glass are by far the best on the market, and this is partly due to their ever-rotating selection of uniques or One of a Kind (OOAK) beads.  The uniques constitute a large part of why collectors go crazy for this brand; the thrill of the hunt, the ecstasy of finding your dream bead, and the unquenchable desire to acquire the most popular designs are what keeps us addicts going.  Most of the Trollbeads retailers have been listing their OOAKs on Facebook, and browsing through the pages for new listings has become a routine part of my day.  With the Southeast Trollbeads Gala coming up, I wanted to discuss some rumors surrounding the uniques and rundown a few designs that have been quite popular this year.

trollbeads-uniques-review-2013-small-beautifulThe beginning of this year saw an introduction of the Small & Beautiful uniques, which was the name given by Trollies rather than anything official.  While initially reported that only 800 kits were made of these designs, their continued influx onto the market through the summer made that claim unlikely but at this point they have noticeably left the line.  There was such a frenzy to get the peacock, cherry blossom, turquoise tiger, aqua and pink ridges, and the cream and navy galaxies to name a few.  I bought a couple of these kits and reviewed them through the past several months as their popularity crescendoed and waned (see Trollbeads Small & Beautiful Uniques, Trollbeads Small & Beautiful 2, and Trollbeads Big & Beautiful).

trollbeads-uniques-review-2013-crittersLately, several retailers have confirmed that Trollbeads will no longer be making critter beads, and that once stocks have been depleted, this design won’t be used anymore.  To briefly describe the critter beads – these were one of the rarest designs that Trollbeads offered which included turtles, and rarer still the ladybug or fish.  To get one of these was a holy grail quest but in the spring of 2013, the company released an unrelenting slew of the designs to include new critters, the bees and butterflies.  As always, the increase in supply severely decreased the desirability of these beads and soon turtles, ladybugs, bees were ho-hum.  The butterflies though were still in high demand because they weren’t made in the sheer numbers that the other critters were.  So if these are your cup of tea, getting them sooner rather than later would be prudent.

trollbeads-uniques-review-2013-butterfliesThere are two kinds of butterflies, the vertical butterfly and the sideways butterflies.  The sideways butterflies unique show a chain of butterflies across the beads with circular wings and bright antennae.  The vertical butterflies are truly magnificent, with large outspread and colorful wings along with well-defined bodies and antennae.  These seem to have been sent almost exclusively to the UK and Trollbeads Heaven, a popular site.  Being incredibly scarce, the vertical butterflies were rarely seen no less sold and command top dollar.  Even the vertical butterflies were quite desirable, especially when they first came out since there weren’t that many around.

trollbeads-uniques-review-2013-footprintAnother of the most sought after designs this year were the footprint OOAKs.  These patterns feature a series of footprints across the bead and came in a wide variety of colors: olive, green, dark lime, orange core/lime glass, orange, red core/blue glass, light blue, peach, toffee, purple, teal, and the popular hot pink and black.  These were so popular that retailers were mostly selling them in conjunction with other beads whether that was pairs, triplets, or the entire kit! I generally refuse to buy whole kits to get one bead because you’re basically paying $258 ($43 x 6) for just the one you want. Through some serious stalking of pages and the gracious help of Troll fairies, I was able to get a few of these and will be featuring them in their own separate post.

A few weeks ago, Trollbeads Heaven began posting on their Facebook page that Trollbeads would no longer be offering uniques due to their own low inventory and lack of deliveries.  I’m happy to report that this is completely untrue and in fact, the reason for the low supplies is that the demand is far surpassing how quickly the lampwork glassmakers can produce them.  This was confirmed by Louise Rogers at Trollbeads Gallery who has had a long-time relationship with the Trollbeads family.  She also stated in the blog article that we are in for a treat as the company is ramping up the uniques for next year!  With a sneak peek of the Trollbeads Spring 2013 Collection already on display, 2014 should be another banner year for this brand.

Were any of these popular designs on your wish list?  What do you think of the retirement of the critter beads?  Just a reminder that the Southeast Trollbeads Gala is next Saturday where Trollbead Boutique will have more than 3,000 uniques available to purchase!  I’m sure some of these will make there way onto their Facebook page so give them a “like” to follow their Bead Parties.  🙂

  • Pat Adams

    I would love to collect the butterflies

    • Leann

      Yes, those are the hardest to find! I was super lucky and found one on eBay and another on Facebook. You don’t want to know how much I paid for them :O.

  • Pat Adams

    I found some at Trollbeads Heaven. The ladybugs were 50% off and they had a beautiful red butterfly. I still like your butterfly on the white background. Troll glass beads are the best. I’m waiting for Pandora to get inspired.

    • Leann

      That’s awesome, I’ve had so much trouble trying to order from Trollbeads Heaven. Everytime I look it takes waaaay too long to load. I hope Pandora gets a clue too, TB glass is out of this world! 😀

  • Uila Engel-Blank

    I hate the fact that they are discontinuing the critters. I still haven’t gotten fishes and butterflies. I wanted a butterfly with a white base, but that just never happened, I only saw the ugly ones with the orange base for sale.

    At least I have my bees (5 of them), my turtles (2 of them) and my ladybugs (2 of them as well) and I love all the critters I have, I just wish I had more. *sigh*

    • Leann

      Oh no! Well, even if Trollbeads isn’t making them, I still see plenty of retailers that still have some on hand. I hope you find your butterfly and fish! I’ve got my fingers crossed for you :).