Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
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This is information gathered together from a number of sources. If you find any errors, please let us know. The best way to find info on a certain subject is to do a word find on your browser (usually on the menu under "Edit").
Some list of pieces (limited editions, GCC pieces, etc.) will have a link to the List of Special Pieces page or List of Known Variations page. Hit the "Back" button on your browser to return to this page.
DISCLAIMER: We have make every effort to gather accurate information, but mistakes are inevitable. If you see anything that you think is wrong, please let us know. We'll be happy to check it out as best as we can.
Go to questions concerning the following areas:
|Catalog of Pieces|
|List of Known Variations|
Who's the creator of Charming Tails?
Dean Griff is the designer of Charming Tails. He does the original drawing and approves the finished piece. Dean Griff worked for Roman before going to Silvestri and Fitz and Floyd. Dean has also designed pieces for Roman, called the "Woodland Winds", as well as a series of 15 designs called "Woodland Wishes". However, only 3 of the 15 Woodland Wishes were ever released.
How are pieces produced?
Dean offered a collector the following explanation of how pieces are produced. Dean draws and names a piece, and the drawing goes to a sculptor in China to be sculpted out of clay. Then a mold is made and a piece cast. It is painted and sent back for approval or changes. Originally Dean did drawings of all angles of the piece. He got himself a little tangled in deadlines at one point and sent just one view and the name. After he sent it, he started having second thoughts. He had pictured Sidney the Snail in a specific spot on the back of the piece, and it wasn't visible in the view he had drawn. When the piece came back for approval, there was Sidney on the back right where Dean had pictured him!
Does Dean Griff have a favorite Charming Tails piece?
Dean Griff says Reach for the Stars is his favorite piece.
Why is the name Silvestri on some
boxes if the line is produced by Fitz and Floyd?
Charming Tails was first introduced by Silvestri for Christmas 1992. Initially, the line was called the "Woodland Collection" and later changed to "Charming Tails." All the early (pre-1996) pieces will carry the Silvestri name.
Silvestri developed some difficulties and filed bankruptcy in 1996. In 1997, Fitz & Floyd purchased the assets of Silvestri. At this time, the markings went from "Silvestri" to "FFSC, Inc." (Fitz & Floyd - Silvestri Company, Inc.).
Since then, Fitz & Floyd subsequently sold Silvestri without Charming Tails being a part of the transaction. Charming Tails is now its own division within Fitz and Floyd.
How did Charming Tails get its start?
The line was first issued for Christmas 1992. It was originally called the Woodland Collection and was made up of 12 pieces. These 12 pieces were among the most successful ornaments of that Holiday season. The name Charming Tails was not used until 1994 when it became the official name of the line as we know it.
Earlier, Dean Griff used to hand-painted Christmas ornaments for some friends. While attending a Christmas party, someone from Silvestri noticed the ornaments and asked him to submit some designs. Obviously they liked them because the result was the creation of the line we know and love today.
What pieces were included in the original Woodland Collection line?
Charming Tails was originally called the Woodland Collection in 1992 and was made up of 12 pieces:
- The Drifters (A & B)
- Catching ZZZ's (called Belle and Maxine Catchin' ZZZ's or Mouse and Bird on Leaf Ornament)
- Mice in Leaf Sleigh
- Chickadees on Ball
- Rabbit on Glass Ball/Holly
- Mouse on Glass Ball/Holly
- Fresh Fruit/Binkey (called Animals in Fruit)
- Fresh Fruit/Mackenzie (called Animals in Fruit)
- Fresh Fruit/Belle (called Animals in Fruit)
- Chicks with Bead Garland
- Mouse on Lighted Candleholder Ornament (08300) (not designed by Dean Griff or considered Charming Tails; removed from the Charming Tails line when Silvestri was sold)
There is some debate about the 12th piece. It could be Rocking Mice Musical.
How do I join the Charming Tails club?
The price to join the club this year is $29.50.
You can join through the club itself:
The Leaf and Acorn Club
P.O. Box 78218
St. Louis, MO 63178-8218
Also, many Charming Tails Dealers now offer instant membership kits.
What is included in the Leaf and Acorn Club membership kits?
When you join the Leaf and Acorn Club, you receive the You Are My Shining Star piece and the club membership packet. The membership kit contains:
- four issues of the Squashville Gazette to be mailed out quarterly
- a pin of Nap Time
- a membership card with your name, member number, and date joined
- the opportunity to purchase special pieces (vouchers for members only pieces are mailed to you)
- the 1999 catalog
- a canvas tote bag
Go to the Leaf and Acorn Club Items page to get more information on items that have been available from the club in the past.
How did the Charming Tails club get its start?
The Charming Tails club was originally called the Acorn Society. It was begun at the International Collectible Exposition in Rosemont in 1996. It was created to test collector interest, and obviously it was a big success. The kit they gave to members included:
- an Acorn Society canvas tote bag
- Hot Doggin' hand signed by Dean Griff
- a cloisonne pin
- a decal
- an Acorn Society pen
- a certificate of membership
Its successor, the current Leaf and Acorn Club, was then begun in 1997.
Where is the Fitz and Floyd outlet store?
Yes, there is a Fitz and Floyd outlet store! It's in Dallas at 4240 Alpha Rd. The phone number is (972) 458-1471. The hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday. I've heard they have only a few retired pieces.
Why haven't any more charity pieces been released?
A portion of the sales of You Are Not Alone went to AIDS service organizations.
During the time Silvestri was in bankruptcy, they could not release any charity pieces. By law a company in bankruptcy cannot make charitable donations.
Wishing You Well was released in 1999 and it benefited the Candlelighters Childhood Cancer Foundation. It continued as the Charity piece in 2000.
The 2001, the Charity Piece was "You're Berry Special" (#89/122). Proceeds from the sales of this piece went to benefit "The Arc of the United States", a national organization of and for people with mental retardation.
For 2002, Fitz & Floyd is donating a portion of the proceeds from the sale of "Wish Upon a Star" (#83/112) to the Lupus Research Institute.
Will Fitz and Floyd come out with more new houses?
The Squashville village was suspended in 1999 and retired in 2000. At the Edison International Collectible Exposition in 1998, the comment was made that something special was planned to take the village's place. We now know that this was Teeny Tiny Tails.
However, in 2002, Fitz & Floyd brought back the popular buildings with "Holly-Day House" (#87/128), although this piece is not in the same scale as the previously released buildings.
What are Teeny Tiny Tails?
In 1998, Fitz and Floyd released a line of "mini" Charming Tails. The theme is the "Squashville County Fair." We have pictures of the Teeny Tiny Tails. They were released at the Rosemont International Collectible Exposition in 1998.
What are the three-foot figures?
Fitz and Floyd has made some three-foot statues of Mackenzie and Maxine. They were shown at the Edison and Rosemont events in 1998. These special resin figures weigh 100 lbs. and sell for $250 each plus postage. They are each individually made and come in a styrofoam case with a cardboard box. Your retailer may be able to order them for you. Check out photos of Mackenzie and Maxine.
Do Fitz and Floyd offer lapel pins or other jewelry?
Fitz and Floyd introduced the first lapel pin as a bonus piece with the 1997 Leaf & Acorn Club Membership Kit. Since they, they have offered collectors a number of pins, both through the Leaf & Acorn Club, in sets and as individual pins.
At the Rosemont International Gift and Collectibles Exposition in 2002, it was announced that earrings will be offered soon. These earrings feature Maxine hanging by her tail.
What Charming Tails textiles have been released?
In January 1999, Charming Tails textile items were released. They are not made by Fitz and Floyd, but under licensed by the manufacturers, Manual Woodworkers and Weavers. The first release of an afghan, two pillows, and a bell pull were based on the Lazy Days theme. For Christmas 1999, four additional pieces were released, based on "Everybody Sing". These included an afghan, a large pillow, a tapestry bell pull and a small "word" pillow. In 2000, they offered textiles matching the "Moon and Stars" Giftware line, featuring an afghan, a large pillow, a tapestry bell pull and a wall hanging.
ALL textile pieces have now been discontinued.
Go to the Charming Tails textiles page for more information on the pieces and photos of them.
Does the ladybug have a name?
The ladybug's name is Lydia. Fitz and Floyd held a contest last year at a Tampa, Florida, collector's event. Doug Lowery and Candy Fierro had the winning name.
However, many collectors notices a second ladybug making an occasional appearance. Leaf & Acorn Club members voted at the Rosemont International Collectibles Exposition in 2001 and the name picked for Lydia's boyfriend is Lancelot.
Does the snail have a name?
In 1998, Fitz and Floyd held a contest for Leaf and Acorn Club members to name the snail. And it's Sidney! Entries had to be in by June 1, 1998. The winning name was announced at the Rosemont International Collectible Exposition.
What are Rosemont and International Collectibles Expositions?
Rosemont is short for the International Collectible Exposition held in Rosemont, Illinois (on the outskirts of Chicago). The name of the company putting on the event was McRand, but it is now owned by Krause Publications. It's the biggest annual gathering of figurine collectors and artists and a must for any collector who can afford it. Dean Griff does signings there, and Fitz and Floyd usually has special events planned and releases new information. In 1998, a special piece was offered only at Rosemont and Edison, A Collection of Friends. It was limited to 7,500 pieces. I have some highlights from Rosemont in 1998.
Another International Collectible Exposition is held each year and rotates between the east and west coasts. In 1998, it was held in Edison, New Jersey, and in 1999, it was held in Long Beach, California. It is similar to Rosemont, only a little smaller, and is put on by the same people, McRand. A Collection of Friends was also offered there in 1998. I have some highlights from Edison in 1998.
CATALOG OF PIECES
How do I find out what other Charming Tails have been made and which ones are retired?
The catalog lists almost all the Charming Tails pieces, including the retired pieces. You can receive a catalog by contacting stores that sell it or from Fitz and Floyd for $5.00. Their phone number is 1-800-527-9550.
This site also has a list of pieces, a list of sold out and recently retired pieces, and a list of special pieces. I have a few pictures on this site.
Also, Oak Leaf Publishing, the sponsors of this website, offer a Charming Tails Price Guide which is updated annually. For more information, click here.
How many catalogs have there been?
You can receive a current catalog by contacting stores that sell it or from Fitz and Floyd for $5.00. Their phone number is 1-800-527-9550.
There have been catalogs from 1993 to the present. Some of the more recent are Charming Tails catalogs proper. Some of the others are Silvestri catalogs that include Charming Tails.
Go to the Charming Tails Catalogs page for more information and photos of the catalogs. I also have a list of bloopers we've found for each one.
Why are some pieces missing from the catalog?
Fitz and Floyd sold Silvestri except for Charming Tails. This is why some pieces that may have been included in the 1996 catalog were excluded from the 1997 catalog--they were Silvestri, not Charming Tails, and so could no longer be sold.
The following are pieces removed from the line that were NOT created by Dean Griff. Silvestri only included them because they worked well with Charming Tails for display.
- Tree Trunk Display Bases--set of 3 (87/600)
- Mouse on Lighted Candleholder Ornament (08300)(from the original 1993 Woodland Collection catalog)
In 2001, it was discovered that Dean Griff DID design the Pink Columbine Ornament Hanger (89/610) and the Yellow Lily Ornament Hanger (89/611). Originally designed to be produced in resin, Silvestri was having great success with metal giftware and decided to make the two ornament hangers in metal. Nevertheless, they were designed by Dean Griff and are considered part of the Charming Tails line.
Mouse in Apple Box (set of 3) (87/525) IS considered Charming Tails according to Dean Griff. It was left out of the catalog because he thought the piece was ugly.
The following are pieces removed from the line that WERE created by Dean Griff. They were mistakenly shipped out in Charming Tails boxes but were not considered Charming Tails pieces. They are actually considered giftware.
- 88/545 Basket of Bunnies
- 88/546 Bunny Rabbit Egg Topper
- 88/555 Yellow Duck Egg Topper
- 88/560 Little Lamb Egg Topper
- 89/411 Bunny/Butterfly Candleholder
Other pieces missing that may be missing from the catalog are the more recent special edition GCC and NALED pieces, members only pieces, and music boxes made for the San Francisco Music Box Company.
Why aren't the music boxes in the catalog?
The music boxes were made by Silvestri for the San Francisco Music Box Company, a chain of music box stores. They were based on existing pieces, just with a music box bottom. The piece number doesn't match the Charming Tails number scheme.
The first three musicals were Reach for the Stars, Spring Flowers, and Thanks for Being There. The music boxes have the gold Silvestri sticker, and SFMBC also places their own gold sticker on the bottom.
One collector was told by the sales clerk that if she keeps the SFMBC sticker on the bottom and the sales receipt showing proof for the remainder of her life as owner, they will replace any piece if it should not work or even if she breaks it.
The main number for SFMBC is 1-800-227-2190. The number for the catalog store is 1-800-635-9064.
How can you tell what year a piece was produced?
2001 2002 2003
The line began in 1992. The very earliest pieces from 1993, 1994, and 1995 have no names on the bottom of the base, with only a small gold adhesive label reading SILVESTRI, China. Some pieces have green felt bottoms. The very oldest pieces come in nondescript brown boxes.
In 1994, an effort was made to mark the product in a more recognizable manner. Figurines manufactured in the Philippines were understamped SILVESTRI across the bottom, such as this one for Pear Taxi. No mention of Charming Tails appeared on this product. (We are aware the next three pictures are missing and are attempting to locate them. Sorry!)
A small amount of product made in late 1995 was marked with the Charming Tails logo, SILVESTRI, and the name of the figurine, such as this one for Testing the Lights:
Pieces from 1996, 1997, 1998, and 1999 have the name of the piece and the piece number. The 1996 pieces have an acorn printed on the bottom, the 1997 pieces have a maple leaf, and the 1998 pieces have a paw print. The 1999 pieces have a pumpkin. The 2000 pieces have a bird. In 2001 it was a four-leaf clover and in 2002 it was a mushroom. Actually - we already know what the 2003 mark is -- it's a teacup!
The "regular run" of pieces are now carrying the year stamp on the bottom. So, you may be able to find different bottom stamps for the same piece. This will probably make the earlier pieces more sought-after.
Felt tabs: In 1998, Fitz and Floyd began putting four green felt tabs on the bottom of pieces so that they grip better.
Name cards: In 1998, along with the four green felt tabs, the pieces came with cardboard name placards with the piece name and number.
Samples: Samples are produced in limited numbers for each piece, and some have been sold as regular pieces. They are marked with the logo only, such as this one for Thanks for Being There:
What are the most sought-after Charming Tails?
Among the rarest of the Charming Tails pieces are Mouse on Bell or Bunny on Bell, Mouse on Rubber Duck waterglobe, Mouse on Cheese waterglobe and Chickadees on Ball. Also, Mouse on Dragonfly is very popular and hard to find.
Can I Keep Him and Wanna Play are two of the most sought-after of the limited editions pieces (editions of 2,500 pieces) as they were the first limited editions and the smallest editions produced. They're selling for about $450 and $125, respectively.
Pieces retired in 1994 and 1995 are very hard to find. Grab them up whenever possible. 1996 pieces are harder but not impossible.
Other pieces that are good to get are the special edition pieces (GCC, NALED, etc.), limited edition pieces, and retired and sold out pieces listed in the catalog. See the List of Special Pieces for a list.
What are special edition pieces?
Pieces marked with "special edition" on the bottom are sold by special GCC stores, NALED stores and some others who offer exclusives. GCC and NALED stores are stores that belong to the respective groups and pay for the privilege. We have some online GCC stores listed here, and online NALED stores listed here.
Other special editions have been produced for McRand, Concepts Direct, G&L Christmas & Gift Barn, and open house events.
Most of these pieces can still be ordered but are rarely seen in stores. Some places have begun raising the price of these.
What are NALED and GCC?
NALED stands for National Association of Limited Edition Dealers, and GCC stands for Gift Creation Concepts. We have some online GCC stores listed here. Visit NALED's web site or visit some online NALED stores.
GCC is a syndicated catalog company that makes catalogs for collectibles stores. Stores purchase catalogs from the company to give to their customers. Stores that subscribe to this service are offered special exclusive pieces. It is very expensive to join this service, and there are about 600 stores in the country.
NALED is a retail trade association. It is like GCC. Retail dealers join/belong to NALED. Members then have to pay to receive exclusive pieces for their stores, along with catalogs they mail to their customers which features these exclusive pieces. Stores can belong to NALED and not get the NALED pieces and catalogs.
GCC sells special edition pieces. NALED also sells exclusives.
Which pieces are GCC exclusives?
GCC stores are stores that belong to GCC and pay for the privilege. We have some online GCC stores listed here.
Special editions for GCC come out twice a year, in May and November. These pieces are not listed in the catalog when they are first released as exclusives to GCC. They appear in the catalog after the fact.
The following pieces are GCC pieces. They have the special edition bottom stamp and are exclusive to GCC stores.
Which pieces are GCC early releases?
GCC pre-released the following pieces, which were later offered to non-GCC stores. These pieces have no special bottom stamp.
Which pieces are NALED exclusives?
NALED stores are stores that belong to NALED and pay for the privilege. We have some online NALED stores listed here.
The following are the only NALED exclusives I could pin down.
Which pieces are NALED early releases?
NALED pre-released the following pieces, which were later offered to non-NALED stores. These pieces have no special bottom stamp.
What pieces have been made available to club members?
In 1997 and 1998, the club membership piece was Thank You. The members only piece was Maxine's Leaf Collection. In 1998, two members only pieces were released, A Growing Friendship and A Warm and Cozy Holiday.
In 1999, the club membership piece is You Are My Shining Star. The members only pieces are Ring around the Rosie and A Snowy Trio.
Check the Leaf and Acorn Club Items page for more information.
How many limited edition pieces have there been?
Why aren't some limited editions numbered?
While All the Trimmings, Steady Wins the Race, and Team Igloo are listed as limited editions, they aren't numbered. They're limited by year of production, and Fitz and Floyd hasn't released a quantity produced on them.
Why are some pieces numbered but not considered limited editions?
Some pieces are numbered but are not limited editions.
Some come only numbered:
- Baby's First Christmas 1994 (10,000)
- Ladybug Express (7,500)
In the first year Silvestri numbered the limited edition pieces, the factory in China made a mistake and began numbering several pieces which were not supposed to be numbered. The mistake was caught, and the later pieces are not numbered. Some collectors will pay more for the numbered pieces than the unnumbered ones. These are:
- High Flying Mackenzie (10,000)
- Mackenzie Snowball (7,500)
- Mackenzie's Bubble Ride (10,000)
Which pieces are sold out?
How many signing pieces have there been?
These are pieces produced especially for events where Dean Griff has appeared to sign pieces. There is a new piece each year. For 1997, you could only get the signing piece at the event. The run was 4,800, and each store only received 300. For 1998, the stores were not limited to the amount of pieces they could get.
You might find Take Me Home at stores. These were mistakes; the piece was supposed to only be available at the signing, but Fitz and Floyd did distribute the pieces to stores that ordered them after the fact. In 1998, they also released more pieces.
What is the McRand--or Rosemont and Edison--piece?
In 1998, there was a special piece made by McRand, which puts on the International Collectible Expositions in Edison/Long Beach and Rosemont, Illinois. The piece is called A Collection of Friends. It was produced for these two events and was limited to a run of 7,500. Each piece is hand numbered.
Then, in 2000, Dean was again asked to make a special piece for the International Collectible Expositions, held in Long Beach, California and at Rosemont, Illinois. This time, he created Expo Bound, which was limited to 4,000 pieces.
Then, in 2002, Dean designed another Expo special piece, called May I Have Your Autograph. This time, only 3,000 pieces were made.
How many year of production (annual) pieces have been made?
These pieces are either dated or undated and are only produced for one year (limited by year).
Which pieces were released with the pale mice?
Many early pieces came with mice that were very pale (tan) rather than the darker brown color they are now. They are also referred to as "naked." Some people collect both pale and regular mice, with some pale pieces costing more than the regular ones. Many people consider the pale mice ugly, so these pieces are not necessarily more desirable to some collectors. Info on pale mice comes from what collectors have told me; please let me know if you have any info to add.
Was there actually a house called Radish-ing Beauty Salon?
The Radish-ing Beauty Salon is a sample of a piece that was to be produced in 1995. Silvestri decided not to release the house at that time and it is unlikely it will ever be released. There were 36 made. About 25 were accidentally sold in 1998. No more will be sold, however Fitz & Floyd have donated some of the remaining ones to various charities and auctions over the last few years. As of now, 1 was given to Dean Griff (he did not have one for years) and 32 have been released to the public. Fitz & Floyd have indicated they do not plan to release any more of these rare (and highly sought-after) samples.
It is made up of four radishes bunched together with the front radish sliced off in the front for the placement of a wooden door. The steps are made up of radish roots.
Where can I find some really good stores in my area?
You can call Fitz and Floyd to find stores in certain areas: 1-800-527-9550. They'll give you some names and addresses for your city. They won't give you an entire list because then that's their customer list, but it's a good place to start.
Also, you can go to my list of stores. If you know of any stores in your area, please let me know so that I can add them to the list.
Can I order any pieces through the Internet?
There are a good many resources online. Go to my list of stores online.
Where are some other good Internet sites that feature Charming Tails?
Go to my list of sites of interest.
Where can I find a list of secondary market (resale) values?
There is only one price guide currently being published:
- Charming Tails Price Guide from Oak Leaf Publishing
Price guides that have been published in the past include:
- Greenbook Price Guide
- Rosie's Secondary Market Price Guide for Charming Tails
- Collector's Publishing Value Guide
Go to the Price Guides page for more information, photos of the covers, and ordering information.
Also, this site has a buy/sell/trade bulletin board that might give you an idea of what prices people are charging.
Where can I find other collectors who enjoy Charming Tails?
Click here to go to the Charming Tails ICQ chat or my message board. Chats currently are not being held, but keep an eye on the message board. Some people are making an effort to re-start the Chat - probably in September of 2002.
You can also contact other collectors through the Bears 'N Buddies web site (http://www.bearsnbuddies.com), which has a Charming Tails page. The bulletin board there is very active and a great way to meet other collectors. They also have a very active Buy/Sell/Trade page.
Many thanks to Kim, Annie, Kristy, Linda, Larry, Cathy, Beth, Becky, Rona, and everyone else who's helped me collect info or corrected my mistakes. Any mistakes are solely mine.
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Copyright 2005, Oak Leaf Publishing, Inc. All rights reserved. This web site is unofficial and does not intend to infringe on the rights of Fitz and Floyd or Dean Griff, makers of Charming Tails.