Today’s post brings a new Pandora AW16 review, with a closer look at the adorable, chubby Koala charm from the Pandora Pre-Autumn 2016 collection! This launched in certain regions back at the end of July, and I snapped him up while on holiday in Europe this summer. :D He’s a plain silver design – and in some ways refreshingly like old school Pandora. However, the Koala also has his ‘new Pandora’ quirks, which I thought were worth exploring.
I do have Autumn 2016 reviews proper coming up, too – I have clocked up a rather impressive tally of charms from the new collection, now, and I will be reviewing them. I just wanted to get this one out there, too, as it’s a super cute offering and deserves some attention. ^^
To give you an idea of whats coming up for reviews, here are some shots from my Instagram of my other Autumn picks:
And – yes! The elusive Russian-exclusive Fairytale Fish:
Pandora Koala Charm Review
The koala is much cuter than the stock image suggest in person – it’s a more realistic depiction than previous animal charms and less stylised in some ways, but it’s still pretty adorable. I love the shading on the ears, which have a dash of oxidised detailing and some feathered marks. His little feet are very cute, too. I think I’d have preferred the eyes shaded in properly, as they look a bit vacant as they are – but that’s nit picking!
The hallmarks are neatly stamped underneath the charm – there aren’t any other details on the base, really. Often with older Pandora charms, you’ll get little fur marks or pawprints or claws, but while the charm is quite sculpted, there aren’t any ‘hidden’ cute details like that.
This bead is not available in a number of regions, including North America and the UK – but I was so excited to find one when I was holiday in Europe this summer. The store I went to hadn’t actually received any of the rest of the Pre-Autumn collection for whatever reason, but as I was on my way out, I suddenly noticed this particular bead (the only bead that I wanted from the collection) nestled on a bracelet styling just by the door. It was the only bead they’d received so far from Pre-Autumn – serendipity!!
The back of the charm is super shiny and not particularly detailed, aside from the little tail at the base. Which brings me on to my next point about new Pandora silver beads – they are often much shinier than previous designs, and features less oxidised detail.
You might be able to see what I’m talking about in this comparison between the original Pandora African Elephant charm (my very first charm!) and this new Koala bear. The Koala is more delicate and detailed, but smaller and less substantial. It’s also a lot shinier and less oxidised in its detailing. It can be so hard to pick out these kinds of details in photos, and a lot these things you might not notice until you actually have the charm in your hand.
My fellow blogger Jahndra from MyXpressions wrote a very interesting article on the subject not long ago, wherein she discusses how Pandora have started oxidising their charms much less recently. This includes both new and older designs!
So, for this review, I’m having a final, summery fling with warm colours and tropical stylings before autumn really beds in. The teal and the red muranos are maybe not colours that you’d immediately think to put together, but they actually work surprisingly well for something really clean and fun and tropical.
Another bright, colour-clash mini styling features the Coral Looking Glass murano and the pink Honeysuckle leather bracelet. This also shows off the difference between older and newer style Pandora animal beads quite well. The newer beads are much more detailed, but lighter and shinier.
Finally, this is the bracelet on which I wear my koala. It’s an eclectic mix of bright Sea Glass colours, with teal and pink shades styled together. I love it for the summer months, and I feel like the darker oxidised chain really sets off all the vibrant colour and makes it look more dramatic. I recently added the Dreamcatcher safety chain to this bracelet, which was one of my UK sale haul purchases this summer! :)
The Koala is definitely a highlight of the Pre-Autumn 2016 collection for me, and certainly stands out amongst all the hearts and friendship beads. Its plain silver design also makes it an easy to one style, even though I went for some fun, bright stylings for my review. The level of detailing is realistic and there are dashes of oxidation to bring out various features; at the same time, I do miss the older-style Pandora animals as well, which, while simpler in design, nevertheless had a character of their own.
It’s also a little frustrating that a lot of the quirkier, plain-silver charms don’t make it to all regions at the moment – the majority of my AW16 purchases have been country-exclusives so far! It seems like the UK and North American markets are a little less willing to take a chance on the more interesting beads.
Did you track this charm down, or is it on your list to get?