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Red Rose Tea has introduced its latest line of Wade ceramic figurines, the Nautical Wonderland Series, which includes the following ocean-inspired items: a conch shell, sailboat, seahorse, ship’s wheel, seagull, mermaid, treasure chest, compass, starfish, diver’s helmet, crab and lighthouse.
“For over 30 years, Red Rose Tea drinkers have collected and shared our figurines, building memories that will last a lifetime,” noted Michele Peters, brand manager for Red Rose Tea, a brand of Little Falls, N.Y.-based Redco Foods Inc. “Our newest series will provide yet another opportunity for children and adult collectors to carry on the tradition.”
Every two to three years, Red Rose Tea rolls out a new series; Nautical Wonderland is the eighth figurine collector series in the company’s history. Since the Calendar Series debuted in 2008, the brand received many theme suggestions from fans across the United States. After these suggestions were narrowed down to three possibilities, subscribers to Tea Readings, the company’s official e-newsletter and fan club, could vote online for the theme they liked best.
In January 2012, Red Rose Tea revealed that a new series would be introduced later the same year, prompting a huge response from fans eager to learn the theme and start collecting the figurines. As a result, the brand began an online campaign through Tea Readings, Facebook and Twitter to share riddles and photo clues on the new theme.
The entire process, from concept and theme selection, to final production and release, takes 12 to 15 months. Once a theme is chosen, Red Rose Tea and Wade decide on the individual pieces that will make up the series. Wade designer Cyril Roberts and managing director Paul Farmer travel from Burslem, England, home of George Wade Pottery, to finalize the selected clay molds and glaze colors with Red Rose Tea representatives
Red Rose Tea first introduced a line of figurines in 1967 in Canada and made them widely available in the United States in 1983. Since the U.S. launch, an estimated 300 million-plus Wade miniatures have been given away in packages of tea and through the company’s mail-in program.
The Nautical Wonderland Series is now available in online purchases of 100-count boxes of Red Rose Tea Original and, starting this month, through in-store purchases. Consumers can also collect the figurines through a mail-in program found on many other Red Rose Tea boxes, by sending a UPC bar code and a completed order form from the box lid. The only cost is for shipping and handling, which is less than the cost of a figurine bought during the series closeout period.
The closeout period for the Calendar Series begins with the launch of the Nautical Wonderland Series and provides collectors with the chance to purchase individual figurines to complete their sets, or buy complete sets as a gift or for personal use. The offer is good while supplies last.
In fall 2012, Red Rose Tea will release details about a limited-edition figurine series under the same Nautical Wonderland theme.