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?
You were able to get the fish! It looks great on your bracelet!
I’ve noticed pandora’s trend, that while making the newer charms more detailed and charming ( pun intended!), they are less dramatic and bulky than the old charms. I think they think the oxidizing makes it less light and cute, so they use it less. Their style is changing to very dainty, bright, eye-catching charms. This trend also accounts for the somewhat overly sparkly use of cz, I think.
Just my opinion…
Hi Lisa! Thank you :D I was so happy to finally track one down!
I agree… this is all just part of all the other stylistic changes they’ve been making. It’s not as far away from the original Pandora beads as all the sparkle and pavé though. :)
Hi Ellie. This koala charm is quite adorable. I got the older koala dangle a couple of years ago–just before it retired–so I really don’t have a need for this one–especially since it would be difficult for me to get. It looks like you have a nice haul from the Fall collection so far! Thanks for sharing your very first charm; the elephant is very cute and classic. I love the koala styled with the giraffe, and it would look great with the addition of the elephant as well. I don’t really have many charms with oxidation on them, so it’s hard for me to speak on that. I do like the the shininess of the newer silver charms, but they can be prone to more scratching.
Hi Joanne! The koala dangle is adorable, too. :D I was sad to see that one get retired.
Thanks, I have done pretty well for fall 2016 so far! I was going to try and cut down on the number of new beads I got, seeing as I’ve been collecting older beads like there’s no tomorrow haha, but that resolution seems to have been abandoned somewhere along the way. ^^
That’s a good point about the newer charms being more prone to scratching – that’s an inevitable consequence, I guess, but one I hadn’t thought of!
Interesting what you and Jahndra have said about the oxidizing. I was taken aback when I saw the cute owls charm this fall, at how shiny it was and thought it would look better with more oxidizing so you can see the details. But Pandora must know what their customers want, so more people must like the shine! Your koala is very cute!
I got the Charming Owls in the US spend & save promo, but it’s still in the post currently – but I will definitely take a look at it when it arrives. I’ve heard a few people say the same about that particular charm, and that it’s surprisingly light, which is another common thing with new Pandora silvers.
Thanks Martha! :D I’m very pleased with the koala, and that I managed to find him on holiday in the end.
Hi Ellie, the koala is so cute, I love your styling! It’s definitely in my wish list, I’m planning to travel Australia for holidays next year, and hope to find it and the Opera House. In some charms the oxidized effect look good, but in the photos the koala look beautiful just it is. You know, Ah, I had notice that the origami crane can be purchased in France, so I took a look in their website and effectively there was on it!! Thanks for your lovely review, I can’t wait for next one.
I was at the Opera House last week and noticed that their gift Shop sells a limited selection of Pandora charms including the Opera House dangle.
That’s a good news, Lozzie! I really want it, I hope I can get one in holidays!!
Hi Priscilla! Yay, thank you! Oh that will be an exciting trip. I feel like Pandora collectors have a whole different aspect of travelling to enjoy… the beads that might be available in that particular region haha. I would love to go to the US & Asia in terms of picking up hard to find Pandora charms lol.
Thanks for commenting, so glad you enjoyed the review! <3 More are coming!
You got the fish! That is great. :) That fish is such a cool charm! I wish they would make more charms based on fairy tales and not make them region specific.
I did! And it’s even nicer in person. It sits so nicely on a bracelet :D I was surprised to see them making such a cool and original charm a country exclusive also… but there is something kind of fun about having a fairytale bead hard to find and elusive. It seems appropriate somehow! ^^
Hi Ellie! Glad to know you got the cutie fish alongside the koala and the origami crane charms. The koala and origami crane charms are available here back home so I have no problem getting them. But the cutie fish charm, I really wish I can have it too. And oh the pudsey bear charm which I also like to have. I really like the styling you did and thank you again for this post. ?
Hi Emy! Ah, you’re lucky to be able to get these no problem! :) I was so thrilled to find this one just out and about on holiday. The fish was much harder to track down!
Thank you, I’m so glad you enjoyed it <3 <3
Wow! Isn´t it cute!!! I love smaller pieces ´cause my wrists are so tiny and lately I have been a bit frustrated that Pandora seemed to be making bigger ones ( the droplets with cz´s), so I´m delighted to hear that the pretty koala is again comfortable for me to wear. I had not considered it so far but who knows. Oh! and the fairy tale fish is just gorgeous. I didn´t paid much attention to it at first as it was region- exclusive and I´m not planning a travel to Russia in a near future but it really look so beautiful. I wish too, that they were making more fairy tale pieces. On the other hand the fairy tale bloom is in my wishlist and maybe the origami crane (I´ve still not decided about this one) so I cNNOT WAIT FOR MORE REVIEWS. Thank you!!!
Oh, sounds like these smaller silver beads are perfect for you then :) I think a lot of the newer silver character beads are on a smaller scale! The fairytale fish is beyond adorable, especially in person. They seem to be dialling back on the fairytale beads in general for some reason :( they’re retiring most of the other fairy tale two-tone beads in North America, which I just don’t get. When the first pre-release images came out for those beads, I was just in heaven, I thought they were so lovely. And now they’re being retired! :S
Oh good I’m glad to hear you’re excited for more reviews:D I have already started working on my next ones. I hope you enjoy them too!
Sorry for the use of capital letters. I just presssed the taste without realising and click to send it too fast :(
Aha we need an edit button don’t we? I have looked into it in the past but it seemed a bit complicated to add and I don’t really have the technical know-how!
I am so pleased you got the fish charm. Looks gorgeous on your bracelet on insta. Can’t wait for your review.
Thanks so much Lozzie! I was over the moon to track this one down :D a review will be forthcoming!
I have a question, on a retired charm on the rue la la website, the poppy silver and enamel charm. Does anyone know if it is fuscia or a true red?
It is fuschia.
Thank you for the reply. I considered getting one. Maybe. I haven’t seen this charm anywhere else. I know it’s retired. I have seen plenty of other retired ones on people but not this one.
I have one and it’s beautiful. It has tones of red to it and can be styled with either color. I style as a pop of red and it blends well!
Hi Ashley! I hear that it can be more red, but the ones I’ve seen lean more forwards a pinky-red fuchsia. I am sure Martha is right too when she says that you can bring out either a redder or a pinker tone depending on what you put it with! :)
I have one that I got on RueLaLa in the last sale and it is very red. It is transparent red, but almost exactly the same color as the opaque red enamel on the Disney White Rabbit charm.
A lovely review. Glad you’ve managed to get some of the charms, that you wanted, that weren’t available in the UK. I can’t believe you managed to get the fish, I bet you were so pleased.
It’s a shame there isn’t more detail on the koala. The fish looks lovely, lots of detail. Look forward to more reviews.
Thanks so much Sarah! I had to do some proper Pandora sleuthing to be able to get my hands on all the country exclusives I wanted this time aha. I was beyond thrilled to get the fish – and it is so gorgeous and cute in person, even more so than in the stock image I think! I will have to have a think about how best to photograph it. :D
Thanks again Sarah, glad you enjoyed it!
He so cute and detailed I didn’t really notice it before this.
He is a cutie! ^^
Congrats on getting a hold of the fairytale fish! I look forward to your review. It is quite a large charm compared to the splish splash fish. I love the new Koala. I have the dangle version on my travel bracelet but the new version would work just as well. The plain silver really looks amazing against the bright colours. The leather bracelet design is my favorite,
The feet or hind paws are well done. I see what you mean about the vacant eyes, a little oxidizing would have given more dimension . Still a cute addition to the Pandora Animal Kingdom!
Thanks Ellie, I really enjoy your reviews and Pandora info!
Thanks Lisa! It’s a large charm, but it’s not as big as you might think. Unfortunately I don’t have the splish splash to compare it to. The koala is a cutie, too, even with his slightly vacant eyes haha. I love plain silvers on the leathers, too, especially for fun summer designs!
Thanks for commenting! <3 I always enjoy reading your thoughts too. P.S. I have seen your email, sorry for not replying sooner - I have a bit of an inbox backlog but will get to sorting it this week. <3
Love all of your styling Ellie wish I could afford to keep up with you. Lol. The Tanger outlets here in The US had a major Vault sale. Retired rings and charms were discounted up to 80% off with an additional 30- 50% off of that. I scored two toned rings with diamonds for as little as $25. Needless to say with deep discounts like that it causes me to focus on scoring these items. Beginning 0ct 6th some of the newly retired pieces should hit the Pandora outlet and they will be an additional 25% off. Thanks for posting?
Haha, thanks Marsha – I can hardly afford to keep up with me either, lol. ;) Oh wow what amazing deals!! I can’t believe you got some diamond rings so cheaply. I’ve also been hunting down some older charms and rings recently, but nothing priced quite so amazingly. Enjoy! :D :D
Thanks for posting the date that the newly retired pieces will arrive. I’m hoping that means that Rue La La will have a sale with these new pieces soon, as I have a long wish list from this retired batch. I really wish I had a Pandora outlet near me; they sound great!
Very cute koala Ellie! I still like the old style animals but the new ones are cute too, I’d get a new style if they do an animal I don’t have or that I just love a lot :-D I LOVE LOVE your fish! so cute, can’t wait to read your review on this little guy <3
Thanks Natalie! I like both as well, but it’s interesting to note the differences… and I do think there’s something kind of sweet and lovely about the styling of the original animals, too.
Aha thanks Natalie! He is so cute and funny-looking in person, the detailing is just gorgeous.
your bracelets look amazing! I love the fairytale fish charm, how ever did manage to get hold of it?
Thanks Catherine! I actually tried a couple of people without much success (stores only had limited numbers etc) and then someone else I knew from Russia approached me on Instagram and I jumped at the chance to get one. :)
I have a question. Do you know if Pandora already discontinued the mini floating locket charm? I can’t find it in the Dutch e-store any longer and John Greed says it is discontinued :(. Do you know if it is still available in the Pandora stores?
I don’t see it in the US webstore either. I bought one and it’s pretty nice. I wonder if there’s something wrong with it?
Wow, I’m glad I already bought one then! Although, I am a bit concerned there’s something wrong with it then, like that it’s prone to opening up.
Yes, Pandora are saying that some of them are faulty – so definitely worth keeping an eye on them! You don’t want to lose that pretty little heart charm… :(
Hi Mel! Yes, the Floating Locket has been discontinued – for now. I’ve heard from several sources now – there are problems with it coming open accidentally while you’re wearing it. I’m not sure whether it’s getting redesigned or if it’s gone for good yet. :(
The floating locket is a neat little charm! I haven’t opened mine up and don’t plan to (the heart is fine). I’ve had no trouble with mine. I hope it’s not permanently discontinued.
I have only worn mine a couple of times now, and it hasn’t opened up yet. Someone posted on FB that a SA told her it was only a small batch of the lockets that was affected. I was going to take it back, but I love this little charm. so I think I’m going to start wearing it around the house and see if I have any problems with it.
The koala is cute and I’m glad you got one! But I really think his eyes should be like the elephant’s eyes. It’s not nit picking to want darkened eyes! Also, I strongly prefer oxidation, so I hope Pandora’s beads don’t get too shiny.
Enjoyed your review of the adorable Koala. It would have been my only pick from the Pre-Autumn collection had it been offered in the US. I like the Koala styled between your Flower Garden muranos and with the sea glass. The ice cream cone is another country exclusive I would have loved to have for a bracelet, but not offered here.
I did pick up the Starry Sky bracelet from the Pre-Autumn collection during the Spend/Save Event. Such a lovely addition to my collection of
Moments bracelets…probably my favorite. I got the Twinkling Night clips to go with and they are so lovely. The bracelet and the clips are extra shiny with a nice sparkle to them. I’m saving them for the Vintage Night Sky pieces being released with the winter collection.
Congrats on getting the Fairytale Fish! You are so lucky to have a friend in Russia!!! Another country exclusive I would have liked to add to my collection. Now you need the Lock of Longevity to go with. It looks like a perfect match with the amber stones.
Oh, BTW, I picked up the LE Bound By Love during the Spend/Save event thinking ahead to the winter release of the pave’ TT Signature bracelet here in the US. I had picked up the Friendship Flower clips back in the summer, so I should have a nice start for that bracelet. I loved the Bound By Love on your Jasmine bracelet so much that I had to have it!
Thanks for the review and looking forward to more. Hope you have a nice weekend!