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REVIEW: Jade Stars – Year of the Horse

Year of the Horse 01

Background

To celebrate 2014 - the Year of the Horse – Mini Magellan has released the first of twelve limited edition plush toys from their book “Jade Stars: The Great Race”. The book is written by Charles Huang and Stacey Hirata and illustrated by Jerome Lu of Hyperactive Monkey. The Year of the Horse plush was designed by Jerome Lu and by Patty Variboa of Fat Rabbit Farm, and makes a great gift for anyone born in the Year of the Horse (1930, 1942, 1954, 1966, 1978, 1990, 2002, 2014).

In the Chinese lunar calendar, a different animal represents each year in a 12-year cycle. People born under a particular year identify with that animal’s personality traits, strengths, weaknesses and compatibility with the other animals.

The Year of the Horse comes seventh in the Chinese zodiac and people born under this sign are talkative, cheerful and love being the life of the party.

Mini Magellan has provided us with the Year of the Horse plush for this review.

Year of the Horse 02

The Facts



Year of the Horse
Series: Jade Stars
Manufacturer: Mini Magellan
Artists: Jerome Lu and Patty Variboa of Fat Rabbit Farm
Material: Plush
Dimensions: 17” tall
Accessories: The Great Race book (sold separately)
Edition Size: “Limited Edition”
Pricing: $59.99

Year of the Horse 04

Tag

The mini hangtag features a pair of horse illustrations on it. On the inside, there’s information about the Year of the Horse as well as the Chinese lunar calendar (similar to what’s printed above).

Jade Stars Book 1

Our Opinion

The Year of the Horse plush is a companion to the Jade Stars: The Great Race book. You don’t need to read the book to enjoy the plush. And you don’t need the plush to enjoy reading the book. But both are being targeted to kids, meaning if you show them that there’s a plush toy to go along with the story, or vice versa, you’ll likely be manipulated into buying the other one.

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Just by coincidence, I was born in the Year of the Horse. I’ll give you a hint…it wasn’t 1930. In addition to the Year of the Horse plush, Mini Magellan has also released the Year of the Snake, Year of the Ram, and Year of the Dragon plush toys. Since you’re likely to be interested in the plush relating to your birth year, it’s nice to see that they’re one-third of the way through the Chinese lunar calendar.

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The piece is very well produced. I didn’t see any issues with stitching, as you can see from several of the up close photos. You can also see that in a house with five dogs, it’s nearly impossible to photograph a plush toy without it picking up an ample amount of dog hair.

Jade Stars Book 2

As far as the pricing, some might find upwards of $50 for a plush toy a little expensive. And pushing $60 is usually reserved for extremely low-run handmade items or very large toys. At 17” tall, the Year of the Horse plush is clearly larger than most of the plush we run into. But I think at $59.99, most people would expect that the book was included.

You can pick one up at the following:

Minimagellan.com: $55.99 (plush) and $17.95 (book)

Year of the Horse Grades

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