Fixed a bug

Sorry for everyone who had the checkout page never finish loading.
We had this issue before but couldn’t find out what caused it.


It’s fixed and we have done serveral changes to make sure to find out very quickly,
if is or something similar ever happens again.

Long version

Due to now having a backup every time we do any change in the shop,
we think this happened every time we create a testshop to try out an update before applying it to the live shop.

Not only did we fix the result.
we added some tests to make sure we after every change we are informed if the issue was created
and we have an hourly check that send us an email whenever any critical log messages are created in the current day.

Fixed a strange bug

That was strange.

We noticed a number of products from all kinds of manufacturers had the wrong Attribute Group.
This ment they were missing attribute values that we are very sure they had in the past.
In fact they MUST have had these attributes when the labels of their storage boxes where printed. So probably at least before the last Eurofurence, when we changed some ordering around.

Attributes line a „storage box number“ of where to find them, A“country of manufacture“.
A „manufacturer sale price“.
Instructions how to reorder them (to not accidentally order the wrong colour,…).

It also ment these products would not show up to be restocked.
Because the Attribute Group they did suddenly have was reserved for invisible products that are options to select when ordering your own toy custom made.
The statistics we use completely ignores these.

We changed these to the right values and found out all the missing information from their labels on storage and our history of past orders with their respective manufacturer.

More sort options

We updates the shop software to offer more option on how to sort the list of products.
So you have an easier time to find what you are looking for.
At the moment only „New Arrivals“ is added but after a while „Best Selling“ and „Most Viewed“ will also be offered.
These take a while to gather enough data.

Improved navigation, filtering and translations

We noticed that visiting the large categories in the shop with a mobile browser can be overwhelming.
So we added headers to the „species/canines“ category to aid in narrowing down the selection if you choose to. In mobile browsers these will be shown below each other instead of a horizontal row.
We have specifically chosen example products that highlight the large variety of different products that can be found.
We also added a number of additional yes/no product attributes to be used in filtering and advanced search.

Another thing we did was to update the general German translation of the shop as many words updated or added in recent updated where missing a translation yet.
Some German and English wording surrounding the use of filters and sorting have been modified to be easier to understand.

fixing 404

In the HTTP log we noticed a number of „404 not found“ errors and fixed them.

Technical background

Turns out that if you visit a link (you don’t have a session yet) to an english category
and the shop automatically switches you to German (because your web browser says that you prefer German to English),
it will look for the English category name on the German server.

We added a number of redirects to fix this for all cases we could find.
there can still be some left over and we will keep our eyes open.

Fixed a strange bug that existed for many, many years

The shop software is really complex.
We don’t write it outself.
It does contain some bugs and that will always be the case to some extend.

The issue

Given that products with their many properties to support filtering, searching, categories, multiple languages, … are complex, we often copy an existing product to create a new one.
Many years ago we noticed an issue with URL redirects of copied products conflicting with the product that was originally copied. Even as both are supposed to have different URLs.

The cause

That visible issue exists for many people and can have dozens of possible reasons.
So finally, after all these years, we stumbled across the reason it existed for us.
Every product has a url_key. That is unique and gets changed automatically by appending „-1“ when copying a product.
It turns out, that a second, invisible property „url_path“ existed. It was not shown or mentioned anywhere at all.
For a limited time in the past, there was a bug.
When copying a product, this invisible property was not changed.
The resulting duplicates created the error messages.
So finally we knew what to look for and could find all affected products with a complex database query. To not risk breaking anything, we fixed every broken product manually in the database instead of deleting the entire table and have it be reindexed automatically.

Happy New Year – changes

Hello everyone,
we have returned from the holidays.
All waiting orders have been shipped. Including what people ordered during New Year.

Bad Wolf

A fresh delivery from Bad Wolf was already waiting for us.
Especially Wolf Cum Lube is back in stock

Horny Ram

With the new year, Horny Ram has updated it’s prices and we had to changed ours accordingly. Some toys did get cheaper but most had their prices raised slightly.

DHL prices lowered

DHL lowered a number of country-specific surcharged and the November+December „peak surcharge“ ends. The energy-surcharge stays stable at 1.25% but with the raised, national price for CO2 emissions we expect the CO2+Maut surcharges to rise at some point this quarter..

Some issues taking new product photos

We’re currently making photos of a new toy.
Strangely the Raspberry Pi we use to automate much of the repetitive process is extremely slow after applying the latest Raspbian updates.

Not sure what is happening.
It seems to be using swap space on the slow SD card for some reason.

Recycling our packaging gets slightly more expensive

We are paying to have the product-packaging and transport packaging we send out and the ones we receive properly recycled.
As everything gets more expensive, these prices(for Germany) are going up in 2024 as well.

Luckily it’s not too much to handle yet.
After all, these prices are for each Tonne of material and we calculate in the realm of just a few Kilogramms per year.