Here’s the fact: stuffed plushies have been around for thousands of years. Children adore these inanimate toys for the friendship, comfort, and joy they bring into their lives. There’s no moment of loneliness when you have a plushie by your side.
And don’t think the craze for stuffed plushies ends once you enter your adult years. Some folks still hold onto their favorite stuffed plushies. In fact, some adults spend hundreds and thousands of dollars on these toys.
So, it’s clear; the love and passion for stuffed plushies isn’t just a fleeting fad. Instead, these soft toys are here to stay. Not only are they sticking around, but they have evolved with time. Just think about it- gone are the days when plushies were mere static figures with stitched smiles.
Modern plushies are more expressive, soft, luxurious, interactive, and creative. And today, we’ll take a deep delve into these modern stuffed plushies.
What’s inside this comprehensive guide?
- About Stuffed Plushies
- Differences between stuffed animals, stuffed plushies, and Squishmallows
- Most popular types of stuffed plushies
- Things To Remember When Choosing A Stuffed Plushie
About Stuffed Plushies
The most common material used in making these toys is modern plush, made from polyester. However, cotton and microfiber are also used. The inside of the toy is filled with soft cloth material, usually cotton and polyester fiber.
Stuffed plushies are available in every color, shape, and design imaginable. From iconic cartoon characters to every possible animal on earth, stuffed plushies can take the form of just about anything. Yes, it’s even possible to find these plushies inspired by everyday things and food items.
Stuffed Animals Vs. Stuffed Plushies Vs. Squishmallows
Here comes the question of the hour – are stuffed animals and stuffed plushies the same? And hold on, what on earth are Squishmallows?
Stuffed animals and stuffed plushies are often used interchangeably to describe soft toys made with fabric and stuffings. And you wouldn’t be wrong to use either of these terms for soft toys as they share many features.
But technically, there are some differences between stuffed animals and stuffed plushies. The first difference is evident from the term itself; stuffed “animals” refer to those toys that resemble an animal, such as teddy bears, pandas, giraffes, cats, etc. Most of these toys are made with fur-like materials to make them appear as close to their inspiration.
On the other hand, stuffed plushies refer to any soft toy made with plush material, irrespective of its size, design, or color. In this sense, you can say all stuffed animals can be called stuffed plushies, but not all stuffed plushies are stuffed animals. It ultimately boils down to the toy’s character and design.
Now, “Squishmallows,” are a whole other story. It is a specific brand of soft toys manufactured by one of the biggest toy companies, Kelly Toys Holdings. We hope this clears the air for you!
Stuffed Plushies: Where Did They Come From?
When discussing the history of plush dolls, most people will think of Margarette Steiff, Richard Steiff, and Morris Michtom. And rightfully so, they’re the prominent people behind introducing the first stuffed toys that led to the creation of modern plushies.
However, the history of soft toys goes way back, with evidence tied to Ancient Egypt. There have been many toys uncovered made of wood and clay. But there were also some softer toys, known as “rag dolls.” These dolls are quite similar to the stuffed toys we know today as they were shaped like dolls and stuffed with any available material like wool or papyrus.
Fast forward to the late 19th century, Germany’s Steiff company under Margarette Steiff is credited with popularizing stuffed animals. The company’s first stuffed toy was an elephant that Margarete sewed for her best friends.
On seeing her talent in sewing stuffed toys, Richard Steiff, Margarette’s nephew, started designing other animals. It led to the creation and selling of the Ithaca Kitty toy, a stuffed plushie shaped like a tabby cat. It was the first patented stuffed toy to hit the market.
Then comes the much-celebrated part of history; the , which skyrocketed the popularity of plush toys. Morris Michtom produced the first teddy bear in 1902 and named it after the 26th US President, Theodore Roosevelt.
Popularity Of Stuffed Plushies
As we mentioned at the beginning of our article, stuffed animals have been around for thousands of years. However, the 90s’ American-made Teddy Bear is what made these toys popular around the world.
Today, children and adults share a new fondness for stuffies; be it for their cute and cuddly nature, or a deeper relationship that they create with these toys based on sentiments of security, love, and nostalgia.
Social media has also played an important role in publicizing these toys. By January 2022, the hashtags #stuffies had nearly 460,000 posts, and #plushies with more than 1.5 million posts on Instagram.
The fashion industry has also dipped hands in the toy space. With the ’90s and 2000s fashion comeback, a renewed frenzy for stuffed plushies has come to life. As a result, you can see world-class brands like Louis Vuitton and Marc Jacobs displaying these plush toys on the runway. Even celebrities like Lady Gaga and business tycoon Warren Buffet have jumped on the bandwagon.
You can celebrate this day too by giving some TLC to your pile of stuffed plushies. Or you can buy yourself a new plush pal, or maybe even show them off on your social media handles.
Most Popular Types Of Stuffed Plushies
Below, we have mentioned 5 popular types of stuffed plushies you’re likely to come across. If you consider yourself a true plush fan, add them to your collection today.
Kawaii Japanese Plushies
“Kawaii” means “cute” in Japanese. So, any Japanese-made plush toy that is overwhelmingly cute is referred to as a Kawaii plushie.
This category of plushies is extremely popular among kids, women, and Japanese pop culture fans. The no.1 reason for this is the toys’ cute characters and designs, which often mimic animals, food items like bubble tea and ice cream, popular anime characters like , and whimsical Japanese creatures like .
Stuffed plushies have some roots in Japan. It’s widely acknowledged that Japanese pop culture has played a fair role in pushing stuffed plushies into global popularity. Hence, owning an authentic Kawaii Japanese plushie should be at the top of the list for any true plushie enthusiast.
Giant Stuffed Plushies: Feel The Ultimate Comfort
These stuffed toys double the joy and comfort of owning a plushie. Mind you; these aren’t toys you keep hidden behind closed cabinets or display on shelves. Instead, they will take up a whole lot of space in your bedroom and an even bigger piece of your heart.
We’re not even kidding. While most giant stuffed plushies come at a modest height of 36- 100 inches, some variants have a towering height of up to 7 feet. But the best part is you get your own life-like cuddling partner to give you the warmest and coziest hugs.
Funny Stuffed Plushies: Stuffed With Laughter
Funny plushies are currently on the rise, with more and more companies creating soft toys with a mix of humor. Despite their popularity, these toys have garnered a dedicated fan base. That’s because humor is either a hit or miss.
The good news is there is again a sea of varieties under this broad category. From punchlines stitched into a plush toy to celebrity-lookalike plushies, you can easily find a funny stuffed toy that tickles your funny bone.
The Classic American Teddy Bears
Are you even a stuffed plush enthusiast if you don’t own a teddy bear? We don’t think so. If French Vanilla is the quintessential flavor of coffee, teddies are the timeless essence in the world of stuffed plushies.
Teddy bears are available in various colors, sizes, and designs. Whether you want a classic brown colored teddy, a mini plush bear, or even a pink-colored teddy bear adorned with buttons and ribbons, there’s a teddy bear ready to be picked up by you.
Squeeze The Joy With Squishmallows
It’s no secret; people are obsessed with Squishmallows. Everyone seems interested in these squishy toys, from celebrities like Warren Buffet purchasing the company to popular influencers showcasing their expensive Squishmallow collections on YouTube.
And why not! They’re utterly adorable, cuddly, and nostalgic. More than that, these squeezable toys are made with premium materials like plush and polyester fiber stuffings, making them ultra-soft, luxurious, hypoallergenic, and durable.
5 Things To Remember When Choosing A Stuffed Plushie
Whether you’re buying a stuffed plushie for yourself or a loved one, you should remember the following factors to ensure a safe and satisfying purchase:
1.Stick to plushies filled with hypoallergenic materials like polyester fiber for adults or children with sensitive skin and allergies.
2.Avoid plastic and lose parts when picking a stuffie for a child.
3.Ensure that the size and height of the toy is appropriate for the recipient. It shouldn’t be too big or too small.
4.If you’re buying a plushie as a gift, don’t just pick a random toy. There’s an abundance of plushie varieties distinguished by characters, designs, and colors. So, take the time out to find a plushie that speaks to the recipient’s personality.
5.Always choose quality over budget.
We’d like to end our article with facts and data on Stuffed Plushies. This will prove the popularity of these squishy toys and give you an idea of how big the world of stuffed plushies actually is.
In 2022, the global plush toy and stuffed animal market was valued at $8.3 billion.
This figure is projected to reach a whopping $13.6 billion by 2030.
The retail sales of plush toys in the US amounted to about 1.25 billion US dollars in 2020.
Each year, more than 100 million stuffed animals are sold in the US, mostly teddy bears.