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January 2004 | Vol. III - No. 1
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Planet Rascals Gets Wild

Planet Rascals (ToyDirectory) has come out with a series of soft plush toys based on real animals that live in a zoo or animal sanctuary, including Jean the Chimpanzee, Jill the Leopard, Kobar the Koala, Leo the Lion, Rachel the Kangaroo and Timbo the Elephant.

Packed in a box stamped with “Real-Live Rascal” and “air” holes, each wild animal replica comes with a CD-ROM filled with educational games, trivia questions, pictures and more. With a friendly, knowledgeable zookeeper called “Mr. B,” children can learn about their new friends.

A percentage of the purchase price is donated to the zoo or sanctuary where the real animal lives, helping to ensure that it continues to live a long and healthy life. When consumers purchase a Planet Rascals toy, they can send off for an adoption certificate in their name.

Kitty´tudes™ Are the Cat’s Meow

Kitty´tudes™ by Bestever, Inc. (ToyDirectory) are the hot 12-inch cat doll creations designed and licensed by well-known stylist Virginia Hein. Making their debut at the International Toy Fair in New York, Kitty´tudes™ are the most recent innovative product line offered by Bestever Inc. Soft sculptured Kitty´tudes™—including Camille, Cassandra, Cleo, Cassidy, Coco and Courtney—are dressed from head to paw in today´s coolest clothing. They can stand alone and are equipped to strike any pose. Their fashion forward garments are removable and interchangeable. New fashion accessories and even more outstanding outfits are on the design tables now. Watch for additional Kitty´tudes™ to join the group later in the year.

Aurora Toys Proud of new Plush Line

Aurora World, Inc. has a new line of funny and retro toys, including Gumby and Pokey, as well as Rocky and Bullwinkle. Aurora hopes this new collection helps bring back fond memories for parents and presents all new plush characters for their kids. Strumpet the Pig and Hokey the Hippo are additions to Aurora’s popular adorable and fun “Rough Bunch” line. Dudes and Googles are extensions of Aurora’s popular, adorable and fun “Rough Bunch” line for 2003. They have colorful horns, humorous facial expressions, vibrant iridescent colors and high pile plush. Dudes include Giggles, Flatcher and Belcher. One of the most recognizable puppets of all time, Lamp Chop is a huge favorite thanks to Aurora World Inc., which manufacturers the cuddly little lamb. The newest additions include the Lamb Chop Body Puppet and the Lamb Chop Backpack.

Bestever Inc. Wants You To Get Cuddly

For moms with infants, Bestever Inc. (ToyDirectory) has created Cuddle Buddy, a security blanket that can be used to change babies or place in the car seat. The machine washable blanket comes rolled for easy retail display complete with “j hook” at the top for hanging. Five plush styles include Pink Piggy, Black and White Cow with Horns, and three teddy bears in an assortment of pastel colors.

Preferred Plush Introduces Pudgy Paws

Available in 2004 in twenty styles and two sizes, the Pudgy Paws line consists of Zoo, Farm, Dino, Jungle, and Pet Collections. They will be offered exclusively at select specialty retail gift shops nationwide. Space-efficient Power Wing and Tower display options are also available with minimum purchase. For those attending the Toy Fair, the Pudgy Paws Bulldog will be featured on Toy Fair´s official show bags.

Gund Launches Flopadoodles Line of Plush Characters

Flopadoodles by Gund (ToyDirectory) are a line of floppy soft characters with distinctive European styling and coloring. All 12 characters feature long limbs with oversized hands and feet, including Cagney the Lion, Corey the Giraffe, Corbin the Mouse, Jaden the Zebra, Fiddle the Cow, Emmit the Pig, Griffin the Elephant, Gipper the Frog, Brock the Teddy Bear, Bunky the Bunny, Avery the Dog and Kaden the Kitten.

A Cat in the Microwave?

It’s not common practice, but a new unique gift idea that is catching on. Warm Whiskers, by Kits ‘n Kaboodle, Inc., are microwaveable, buckwheat and lavender-filled plush animals for use as hot packs. After a minute or two in the microwave, the plush animals give aromatic warmth that lasts about an hour. The clever cat and dog neck wraps are shaped to rest on the neck and shoulders.

Hermie Plush Toys

Tommy Nelson is releasing mini-plush toys from the Hermie brand, based on the best-selling Christian children’s animated series, Hermie: A Common Caterpillar and the soon-to-be-released Flo: The Lyin´ Fly video. They include Hermie, Wormie, Flo the Fly, Lucy the Ladybug and Stringo the Water Beetle.

Happy Dog Toys

Happy Dog Toys (ToyShow) introduce their innovative new line of characters fashioned around a custom tennis ball called Tennis Buddys. They come in three sizes of six different animal plush designs: Lion, Monkey, Alligator, Elephant, Dog, and Horse.


BLOCK-IT-POCKET GROUP is introducing LUCKY-Balls, a line of 4-inch plush billiard ball beanies that commemorate a hero from different sports or occupations. There are 16 different beanie toy heroes in all.

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