Cuddly Collectible Plush for Children of All Ages
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September 2003 | Vol. II - No. 9

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Cuddly Collectible Plush for Children of All Ages

Gund Bears
Stuffed animals often are a child's first friends. Some even become lifelong buddies who follow grown children to college dorms and later to nurseries for their own children.

A leader in stuffed bear manufacturing, Gund (ToyDirectory) continues to offer a wide range of plush bears. Huggins ($15-$25), a super-soft cuddler, comes in cream and brown in 12-inch and 17-inch sizes.

Aurora's Mother Pig

Aurora's Orangutan

Aurora's White Owl

Fiesta's Hedgehogs

Fiesta's Iguana

Purrfection's Elephant

Fuzzy Town's Baby Lions

Wild Republic's Pomeranian

Wild Republic's Orange Tabby

North Amercian Bear’s Guy Bear™

But bears are not the only animals in the collectible plush toy market. All manner of beasts are available, including bison, donkeys, opossums, manta rays, sea turtles, manatees and dinosaurs. An attention to detail makes these creatures vividly lifelike, and very collectible.

Aurora (ToyShow) offers a wide range of animals from different habitats. In their farm line, a 14-inch Mother Pig is available with three attached piglets ($28), as well as an 11-inch Lamb ($14.49), a 12-inch Cow ($15.49) and a 15-inch Clydesdale Draft Horse ($22.49). Aurora’s jungle animals, like a 12-inch Orangutan ($54), look realistic but still have an air of whimsy, as do their line of birds, including a 9-inch White Owl ($11.49).

Fiesta (ToyShow) also mixes realism with playfulness in their line of jungle and farm animals. They make unusual animals, like Hedgehogs (8-inch high, $8) and a line of desert animals, including a 16-inch Iguana ($10-$12), a 19-inch Armadillo ($15-$18) and a 10-inch Camel ($18.49).

Bestever (ToyShow) has two new lines that depart from the norm of plush designs. Leggz are cartoonish animals made in neon "eye lash" plush with poseable legs, allowing them to stand in unique poses or even wrap around a bedpost, available in heights from 48 to 14 inches. Funny Feet have a design which gives familiar animals a unique “bell-bottom” look. Available in heights from 7.5-18 inches.

Purrfection (ToyShow) and Incredible Petables (ToyShow) also have large menageries of creatures for the animal lover. Purrfection makes a 21-inch Elephant ($39.99), a 24-inch Manatee ($19.99), a 14-inch Sea Turtle ($12.99) and a cute 14-inch Baby Calf ($19.99). Among Incredible Petables’ diverse line includes a 12-inch Longhorn Steer, a 19-inch Dolphin and an 11-inch Mountain Goat, each for $22.49.

Wild Republic (ToyShow) stakes its reputation on creating extremely lifelike plush animals. It produces an array of realistic birds, like the adorable 5-inch Tufted Titmouse ($7.99). Douglas Cuddle Toys (ToyDirectory) manufactures plush dogs and cats in a variety of breeds with realistic facial expressions that mark them as individual as anyone’s real pet. Most major breeds are available, including Beagles and Collies, but they also carry exotic breeds like a 11-inch Pomeranian ($24), a 17-inch Maltese ($18) and a 16-inch Bichon Frise ($17). Their cat line has a number of domestic shorthaired breeds, including a fluffy16-inch Orange Tabby ($17). They also make horses and llamas.

For pure whimsy, Fuzzy Town (ToyShow) offers stuffed jungle cats with personality, like a pair of Baby Lions, a 10-inch version for $15.49 and a 14-inch model for $19.99.

For those who desire a more rough and tumble teddy, North Amercian Bear’s Guy Bear™ at a hefty 25 inches tall, has the look of a real black bear—minus the buffalo check bow—and is machine-washable (in case of salsa spills).

Preferred Plush’s new Jungle Interactive animals ($12.50 each) stand 9.5 inches tall and can form a singing trio: Lion, Tiger and Leopard, or each can perform a solo rendition of “The Lion Sleeps Tonight.” Up to 16 members can form a virtual plush choir.

Writer's Bio: The mother of two grown children (an artist and a musician), writer Janie Franz once was a radio announcer and did booking for a rock band.


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