Coots and Biddys

Coots and Biddys are the comic artistic creations of Mike Dowdall, art director of Westland Giftware. More than just a sideline for Dowdall, they are a result of many years of studying people and a lifelong desire to make a living as an artist.

As a young child, Dowdall was attracted to art and, after a stint in Vietnam, he first studied at an art school and then set out to fulfill his lifelong dream. Among other artistic endeavors, Dowdall wrote seven books featuring these colorful characters that are now collectible figurines.

So what are Biddys and Coots? Well, as figurines, the Coots came first. Coots are caricatures of elderly men — lively gregarious seniors engaged in all the activities we’d expect of them and so much more. They’re bowling, golfing, motorcycling, fishing, or just dressing outlandishly.

They’re in your face and they don’t back down. In his gently teasing way as an artist, Dowdall expresses his respect for their unconventional approach to life and admiration for their spunk. It started with Coots and senior women, Biddys, came later.

Not surprisingly, Biddys have many of the same attributes as Coots. Biddys have the same pride of accomplishment and take it or leave it attitude, and they’re just as colorful. Though Dowdall describes them as “women with big hats and little dogs,” these women are also motorcycle mamas, bowling divas, cool Grandmas, yoga queens and more — they do it with style and they do it with attitude. “I’ve still got it,” and “aging ain’t for sissies” are not just meaningless phrases neither to Coots nor to Biddys.

Dowdall has struck a special chord with his creations — in a population of retiring baby boomers where grey power is set to take over, Coots and Biddys have a guaranteed place in the hearts of thousands. This artist has his finger on the pulse of the baby boomer generation and his keen eye has deciphered the things that make them tick.

He’s poured this wisdom into a host of 6-inch figurines made of solid resin, and produced a winning line for Westland Giftware. Best of all, his creations are offered at a price that just about any Biddy, Coot, or other collector can afford.

Most of the Coots and Biddys are priced between $14 and $16 US. Some are available for a little less while figurines featuring couples sell for between $23 and $28 US. The place to shop for them is on the internet. Westland Gifts has its own internet store, but lots of other internet sites carry these collectibles as well, so it’s a good idea to shop around.

You’ll soon find out where there are sales and what is available on the secondary market on sites like eBay. You’ll even find some of Dowdall’s books about the Biddys and Coots on Amazon.com. And you’ll be able to find out about new figurines quickly once they are released.

It only seems right, in the age of grey power, that the Coots and Biddys are seriously online and making a splash in cyberspace!

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