Thursday, March 31, 2011

Jolly Elsa Jolly Elsa is here

Jolly Elsa arrived at NICI-Mania! Jolly Elsa is indeed a jolly NICI sheep. Elsa totally mesmerized us with her jubilant look which is refreshing and vivifying.

Jolly Elsa is also a playful sheep, she's already so mirthful playing with our smaller NICI soft toys upon her arrival! Elsa is a very unique NICI sheep, let's go through some of her special features!

Jolly Elsa special feature 1: Cute butterfly on her head!

Jolly Elsa special feature 2: Lovely pink ears flipping outwards!

Jolly Elsa special feature 3: Petite pink skirt slightly covering her rabbit like sheep tail!

Jolly Elsa special feature 4: A pink belly button beneath her petite skirt!
opps! Jolly Elsa *shy*

Jolly Elsa special feature 5: Arms bending at an angle, different from all NICI Jolly Mah sheep so far.

Jolly Elsa is smaller sized than other similar 35cm NICI plush. Her whole body is thinner than Jolly Liselle. The overall plush on her body is also not as thick as others, we'll show you an in depth picture of Jolly Elsa's plush below..

NICI Germany did it again, the quality of their soft toys are still not getting better. Look at the patch of baldness circled in red. Thats the same thing which happened to last year's winter series Jolly Svenja. We were really lucky that this baldness is considered mild, we have seen another Jolly Elsa at CNS Centrepoint with much worse bald issues. When will NICI really look into their manufacturing plant in China regarding the quality control of recent soft toys..

Since Jolly Elsa's arrival at NICI-Mania, she has been the only NICI sheep to ever come close to dethroning Jolly Rosa from our cutest sheep crown. Maybe its her pink color ears or the cute butterfly on her head, there's something special about Jolly Elsa, just like Rosa.

After so much we said about Jolly Elsa, have you wondered what happened to Gustav? Gustav is also a very special NICI sheep, its the first time a mountain goat plush appeared in NICI. Gustav will be joining Elsa soon we promise! For now, Elsa is gonna take pictures with other NICI soft toys..

Jolly Elsa felt that her pictures might look too plain, so we gave her some flowers to pose with and Jolly Rosa got a ukulele. Liselle who initially wasn't bothered, is now envious that those two other sheep got something, so we gave her....

a guitar!! While NICI pug and Frederic Fox joined in with the photo session, Jolly Liselle was so busy trying to find a nice position to pose with the guitar behind everyone.

There goes busy Jolly Liselle again..

And finally Liselle got a nice pose she's satisfied with!

Jolly Elsa has another special feature we forgot to mention: Pink nostrils just like Jolly Rosa! And the queen of NICI-Mania looks down upon her contender Jolly Elsa who is the newest threat to her throne.

Here are some Elsa & Gustav merchandise..the pillow and mugs are extremely cute! We'd love to get the Jolly Elsa nylon shopping bag!

Jolly Elsa's NICI card has something interesting on it..anyone knows what has this interesting animal holding an alarm clock got to do with Jolly Elsa & Gustav?

If you wanna get Jolly Elsa, we highly recommend the 35cm size. It was love at first sight with Jolly Elsa when we saw her at CNS Plaza Singapura. We have seen them all and she is the best looking 35cm Jolly Elsa in Singapore. Surprisingly, all the 50cm Jolly Elsa did not look cute. 25cm Elsa had thin and disoriented face. 80cm and 120cm Jolly Elsa on the other hand are awesomely cute!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

NICI Zebra Asian Home Gourmet

NICI Zebra is the official endorser for Asian Home Gourmet Thai Red Curry spice paste. Of course not, why would Asian Home Gourmet ask a NICI Zebra plush toy to endorse a curry spice paste. Well perhaps in the future they will *blink blink* we really don't mind! Story goes..

NICI Zebra had curry chicken with us during the weekend. It was a haphazard meal as we did not plan to take any pictures of NICI Zebra while cooking this lazy meal. We were passing by the supermarket and saw a packet of Asian Home Gourmet Thai red curry spice paste, then it suddenly struck us that we had potatoes and some chicken thigh in our fridge, and also coincidentally a packet of coconut milk in stock. The coincidence never ends do they.

We love curry chicken and we often cook curry chicken but this is one of the few rare occasions we're cooking curry chicken with a ready made spice paste. The usual process of peeling the onions, garlics, chopping up the chili, mixing the curry powders and blending them all together got to us as a tedious task today. Getting a ready made curry spice paste from Asian Home Gourmet saves all the trouble, best of all there's no added MSG, preservatives or artificial coloring! Hey, we already said that our NICI Zebra is not endorsing the Asian Home Gourmet curry spice paste, stop advertising! There you go again!

NICI Zebra, why do we see some red coloring on the four pieces of chicken thigh meat in the bowl? Well we did something to the chicken thigh meat earlier...

NICI Zebra secretly takes us back 20 minutes to show you a picture. We added our own extra curry powder, turmeric powder and chili powder with a tablespoon of salt and a tablespoon of sugar. Marinating the chicken this way lets the curry taste sinks deep into the big piece of meat with the salt and sugar working as meat tenderizers.

The instructions behind the Asian Home Gourmet curry spice paste says we fry the curry paste and also half the pack of coconut milk in medium heat oil. Doesn't that sound very familiar to the Thai Green Curry recipe we done previously? We made chicken oil from the chicken skin that we peeled off from the thigh meat as you can see from the first picture in the separate plate on the right. After that we used that oil to fry the curry paste and coconut milk until it is fragrant and then only put in the chicken. The potatoes come in last after we fry the chicken for a while until it turns a little brown. The Asian Home Gourmet curry spice paste is already salted, you don't need to add any more constituents other than coconut milk.

After which, we will add water enough to cover the ingredients and bring to boil in medium heat all the way for about 15 minutes while adding the remaining of the coconut milk when its almost done.

NICI Zebra presents to you instant Thai red curry chicken! We saved about 15 minutes in preparing but NICI Zebra thinks that our own made curry paste taste better than the ready made Asian Home Gourmet curry spice paste. Not a fair comparison as we add lots of other extra ingredients to our own curry paste, so next time we will show you in detail the real Malaysia style curry chicken recipe. The small plate beside NICI Zebra is the fried chicken skin after we extracted all the oil, its extra crispy and delicious just like a snack!

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Jolly Rosa is Jolly Rosa mini

Jolly Rosa is the cutest sheep in NICI-Mania or perhaps the entire NICI world. Ask our friend Leona from Plueschtierkinder and she'll tell you why we love Jolly Rosa so much ♥♥

Hugo Wolf who is naturally attracted to the gorgeous Jolly Rosa wooed her with all his devotion but Jolly Rosa wasn't an easy girl to get near to. Hugo Wolf tried his best to impress her and in the end..

Jolly Rosa was touched by Hugo Wolf's sincerity and heart of gold. Of course, its also because Hugo Wolf is a dumb cute NICI wolf plush and he's also able to put his hands in his pocket. What a compatible couple. Now they are happily together but there's only one tiny little problem..

Hugo Wolf mini is all alone by himself, he couldn't find his dream girl Jolly Rosa mini but NICI-Mania is a place full of warmth, hence some NICI plush toys came along to see how they can help the despair Hugo Wolf.

Jolly Liselle: Bonjour Hugo~ I'm different from Jolly Rosa but I am also a dark skinned sheep. Do you wanna be my l'amour?

Hugo Wolf: You're too big for me..

Then came Jolly Ben: Hugo Wolf, I am mini Jolly Ben and I heard you are searching for a partner?

Hugo Wolf: You're too small for me..

NICI Pug came by and pats on Hugo Wolf's shoulder: Hey Hugo...

Hugo Wolf: I'm not gay -_-

NICI Pug: What the! I was only asking whether you've seen Mutt..zzz

Hugo Wolf: I GIVE UP!! I'm never gonna meet my dream plush Jolly Rosa mini..right when Hugo Wolf was drowning in his own dismal..a miracle happened!

Hugo Wolf spots a very familiar NICI plush! He wasn't sure if it's the Jolly Rosa mini that he's been dreaming all the time, so he took a closer look to see...

Jolly Rosa special feature number one: Hand in pocket *checked

Jolly Rosa special feature number two: Pink flower on head *checked

Jolly Rosa mini is standing right in front of Hugo Wolf!! Elated by what he found, he moves towards Jolly Rosa and asked her to be his valentine. Of course it wasn't easy at first but in the end, Hugo Wolf's sincerity moved Jolly Rosa's heart after a few months of pursue..

Now they are happily together and some of our kay poh (busybody..oh well, concerned) NICI plush toys gather around to celebrate for them! What a lovely 15cm plush couple aren't they?

Jolly Rosa to Hugo Wolf: Are you sure you're 15cm? You still look really small compared to me, you gotta eat more and grow taller than me okay!
- The END -

Special thanks to Stephanie from NICI-Wildfriends who made Hugo Wolf's dream come true! Loves, from Hugo Wolf & Jolly Rosa

Thursday, March 24, 2011

NICI Panda wallpaper

NICI-Mania is proud to present to all the NICI fans around the world our cute NICI wallpaper for your computer desktop! This is our latest project and we will be making lots of wallpapers from pictures of our NICI plush toys in the future! We will start with NICI Germany’s latest soft toy Panda Fu Bao. Notice the similarity between the panda's picture below with our NICI Panda Soft Toy blog post earlier?

NICI Panda wallpaper - resolution: 1920x1200 | size: 717k

NICI Panda wallpaper preview on 1280x768 widescreen LCD monitor.

We will be continuously updating you with more NICI wallpapers, so stay tuned and don’t be shy to comment below (no registration on any account required) or contact us if you want to make request for wallpapers of your favorite NICI plush toy!

Coming soon..
- Classic NICI Wild Friends's Lion wallpaper
- Hugo Wolf and NICI Plush 12 days of Christmas wallpaper

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

NICI Panda Soft Toy

NICI Panda soft toy finally arrived at NICI-Mania! NICI calls this Panda Fu Bao, a Chinese name. We're guessing Panda Fu Bao is 福宝熊猫 in Chinese. 福 means fortune and 宝 means treasure.

Our NICI Panda is 25cm + 8cm, a panda mummy carrying a baby panda. Fu Bao loves eating bamboo shoots but too bad we don't have any to offer at home. NICI Panda isn't available in Singapore or Malaysia yet but thanks to our friend NICI Wildfriends, Fu Bao gets an early ticket here ^_^

Fu Bao: Don't touch my baby panda! Okay, let you see for a while but handle with care!

As you can see, the smaller 8cm baby panda Fu Bao is not made with good QC but if you're a NICI collector you'll know that this is normal. Smaller soft toys are harder to sew nicely, as what all the people from NICI retailer shop would say.

8cm baby Panda Fu Bao has it's whole back sewed tightly with 25cm mummy Panda. We think its practically impossible to cut them loose without spoiling their plush. A suggestion for NICI Germany.. it would be really great to play if the baby panda is connected to the bigger panda by velcro so that we can take the baby panda off to play!

Velcro! This is what mummy NICI Panda uses to hug baby panda. Velcro usually has a rough side and a soft side but NICI uses a very smooth type of velcro so that it won't prick your hands..

and it also doesn't stick to any plush on the panda except for this other side of the velcro. It is the same type of velcro used on Jolly Sven's Russian ear flaps.

*Updated: The velcro actually sticks tightly with baby Panda's black eye patch and the Panda's nails!! Be careful when playing with the hands..

Interestingly, we like NICI Panda Fu Bao's three fingernails, just like the ones on Jolly Wolf, Hugo Wolf, NICI Lion.

NICI Panda's tail looks very much like Jolly Mah's short 'bunny' tail. One thing nice about Fu Bao is his fat bottom, a 50cm one would be very nice to hug!

NICI Panda is a new addition to NICI Wild Friends group joining NICI Gorilla, NICI Zebra, NICI Lion and many more..We miss the old card where they put a group photo of all the NICI Wild Friends, we love to see that one instead of all the other merchandise of the same soft toy.

The lying 30cm or 50cm NICI Panda looks really cute too! We'd imagine it would be very fat and comfortable to sleep on.

We found it intriguing that NICI decided to put Chinese characters for NICI Panda 熊猫, is it because they are mainly targeting China market?

NICI Raccoon to Fu Bao: Hey Panda, you have some serious black eyes! n_n
Fu Bao callously replies: hey pot..
Rob Raccoon: T.T
Frederic Fox: Those 3 black eyed NICI toys really need some sleep..

More of NICI Panda Fu Bao from our NICI friends:
NICI Panda Fu Bao 50cm from All About NICI
NICI Panda Fu Bao 15cm from Mis peluches NICI