Tag Archives: plush

Peropero Sparkles plushies review

Say hello to Melo, Rue and Cune – the Peropero Sparkles!

Designed by Japanese illustrator Yurie Sekiya, the Peropero Sparkle plushies are surprisingly adorable and, dare we say, KAWAII plushies by the Clever Idiots. If you are a fan of the 80’s, Lisa Frank, Care Bears, Popples, and everything else cute from that era, then the Peropero Sparkles are for you!

Order your own Peropero Sparkle plushies from Amazon at this link here – https://amzn.to/2A7liXE

Check out more from the Clever Idiots at the official Kigurumi Shop website

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Squishmallows – Baby & Spring line Review

It’s time for our second Squishmallow Squish-strazaganza!

In this video, we revisit the Squishmallows by Kelley Toys, and take a look at two of their more recent lines, one for babies with a rattle inside, and the other with new Spring colors and animals! Is this the softest and cuddliest line of plush toys ever made? Quite possibly, and if you are already a member of the #SquishmallowSquad you already know how great these are. If you don’t, it’s time to make you a believer!

Sorry for being late with the Spring animals, that was our fault for a number of reasons that may be explained at a later date, along with some other notes.

If you liked these, why not get yourself a Squishmallow Alpaca? – https://amzn.to/2LxAEt2

Or how about an Owl (one of my favorites) – https://amzn.to/2Lfidu2

Purrhaps a Squishmallow kitty is more your style – https://amzn.to/2O4F7BY

Or one of my new favorites from the baby line, Emma the Elephant – https://amzn.to/2mBSJIg

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New Squishmallows at NY Toy Fair 2018

The squishiest and softest plushies made their NY Toy Fair debut, unveiling over 50 new plush toys for 2018. This includes new holiday Squishmallows for Valentine’s Day, Easter, Christmas, and Halloween, larger and smaller scale plushies, stackable squishmallows, and new animals, including a few highly requested critters.

For all of our NY Toy Fair 2018 video coverage, check out our huge playlist with over 50 videos – http://bit.ly/2CpzFHi

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“Egg Babies” from Wicked Cool Toys – Unboxing & Review

We have an eggs-cellent video for you today, so try not to crack up too hard. This review will turn your day sunnyside up… okay, we are done with the puns. Here is our look at Wicked Cool Toys “Egg Babies” line, a mystery figure line that holds some adorable plushies inside their environmentally-friendly egg casing. Take a look and see if they will be a great stocking stuffer for your kid this holiday season.

NY Toy Fair 2017: Gund – Pusheen, Studio Ghibli, We Bare Bears, Star Trek, DC & TMNT plush bears

In the mood for something softer during NY Toy Fair 2017? Take a look at what is coming down the pipeline from Gund!

This year, Gund is dipping into some more familiar geeky licenses, including plushies from the original Star Trek series, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, DC Comics (including Harley Quinn, Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman), Cartoon Network’s “We Bare Bears” (and yes, you can make a bear stack), and characters from Studio Ghibli movies.

Plus, even more Pusheen madness than you can wag a kitty tail at!

Want to see more of our Toy Fair coverage as it happens? Check out our growing NY Toy Fair 2017 playlist on Youtube, and give us a like and subscribe!

Grumpy Cat Merchandise at NY Toy Fair 2014

The Ganz booth got grumpy with us at NY Toy Fair 2014, and I am not just talking surly booth reps! Bad jokes aside, Ganz unveiled a plethora of Grumpy Cat products at the show this year, from plushes to shirts, kitchenwares and novelties, and plenty more, with a far-from-grumpy booth-rep giving us the walkthrough.

Unfortunately, we missed the main feline of the day, as Grumpy Cat was appearing in this booth earlier in the week, but plenty of photos are floating around online of other lucky Toyfair goer’s who got to meet this kitty.

“I Heart Guts” Creator Wendy Bryan on the insides of internal organ plushies

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To get ahead in the world of toys, it takes originality, determination, and guts. Wendy Bryan may have took those elements a bit too literal, as her plush company, “I Heart Guts“, is all about the innards. What started as a one-time gag grew into a flourishing business based solely around cartoonish internal organs with endearing faces and personalities.

We first met Wendy and her team at New York Toy Fair 2013, where we took a first-hand look at these adorable guts and saw many making their world debut at the show. Since then, we had a chance to get some one-on-one time with the originator of a very unique brand of plushies to talk to us about the origins of the company and it’s evolution, plans for the future, and some advice for budding toymakers.

NerdNewsToday: How did “I Heart Guts” get started?

Wendy: I Heart Guts was born in a bar. I am a compulsive doodler and first drew these organ characters when I was heartbroken and drunk drawing sad hearts on cocktail napkins. Years later, my husband spied the guts in my sketchbook and loved them, so I figured I’d do something with them. I designed a heart shirt, some buttons and stickers and stuck them up on a website almost as a joke. But soon requests for specific organs came in – pancreas for a diabetic friend, uterus for a pregnant friend, and so on.

Each organ was drawn and added by popular demand. One day, someone who’d received a real kidney wanted to “give back” a plush one to his donor brother and asked why we didn’t make toys? Once we figured out how to make plush organs, the business really took off.

NerdNewsToday: Are you surprised that it has come along so much in the past few years?

Wendy: It is something of a shock to me. I think the guts took on a life of their own because of the personal relationship people have with their own bodies. Everyone has a body, everyone is a walking bag of organs, so everyone is interested in body parts, especially if something goes wrong, or if they work on it, or study it. They say laughter is the best medicine, so I think our products are great for the type of person who can look in the face of illness and laugh.

NerdNewsToday: You attribute part of the launch of the company to your husband suggesting you “do something” with these characters. Is this essentially a family business?

Wendy: Absolutely. My wonderful husband, Codi Lazar, is the backbone of this business. I am the flaky creative type; he can deal with numbers, handle accounting, deal with legal issues, and secure loans, all the boring stuff you need to do to run a company. He has been the I Heart Guts operations manager on the side in addition to his work as a scientist, musician and DJ. But as of this year we are both working on the Guts full time. It’s scary but exciting. Wish us luck. A lot of our growth is due to our amazing distributors at DKE Toys, they wholesale our toys along with hundreds of other small independent toy brands to stores worldwide, mostly small quirky boutiques with a taste for the odd.

NerdNewsToday: When you began, were you hand-making the items?

Wendy: I handmade the original felt organs with help from my mom, who is an excellent seamstress. My husband and I dragged these around to different places and snapped silly photos of them in Tokyo, New York and Los Angeles just for fun. I never sold any handmade organs since my prototyping skills are not so good — the organs looked more like potatoes with arms than the organs I had drawn. When we got into mass-making the plush, I drew up specs and sent them out to actual plush manufacturers, who really brought the organs alive and made them look great.

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NerdNewsToday: What was the evolution of the product line, since the company not only does plush items but stationery, posters, and clothing.

Wendy: We started with button sets, sticker sets and shirts and added characters that way. We add characters and products by popular demand — people are always writing in to say, please make a trachea or please make a placenta. Certain body parts, like the rectum, no one asked for. But we thought it would be funny, and the shape is way cuter than the tube I thought it was, so we added it anyway.

Hopefully our organs can expand into some other areas. We recently collaborated with Tattly to make temporary tattoos and we worked with Chronicle Books for the journal and stationery. We do have a few more exciting collaborations up our sleeves, so stay tuned on our website!

NerdNewsToday: Tell us about some of your inspirations, both in the world of illustration and in the plush business?

Wendy: I am most inspired by Sanrio and San-X characters, Domo Kun, and kawaii Japanese stationery and illustration. Scandinavian design and illustration are also a huge inspiration for clean lines, bold shapes and great colors. I am inspired by Friends With You, Giant Microbes, Ugly Dolls, Particle Zoo, Noferin, Amanda Vissell, Gama-Go, Shawnimals, Jeremyville, and Pee & Poo.

NerdNewsToday: I read that you were always into making things that were simultaneously cute and a bit on the gross side. What were some of the things you had made?

Wendy: One year I laminated slices of head-cheese and sent them out as valentines to all my friends and family. I once made a fetus out of bread dough, baked it and covered it with hair and jam for an experimental art class. It was pretty gross. I wish I had a photo of it, but my fabulous art professor took a giant bite out of its head. I also made a cookie cutter in the shape of the mudflap truck girl and set hundreds of these cookies on fire with a blowtorch. I guess I got my start in plush when I was thirteen and my best friends asked me to make a planet puppet for a presentation about Uranus.

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NerdNewsToday: What were the challenges of starting a business in the toy industry?

Wendy: We learned by making a ton of mistakes. We never set out to be a toy business, and I still don’t really know how well we fit into the traditional toy industry. Most stores that carry the Guts are small funky boutiques and quirky science museums or medical student bookstores, not so much toy stores. Let’s be real – even my own kids would pick out Spiderman or Hello Kitty over a plush lung. We had a booth at Toy Fair for the first time this year, so it took us six years after making our first plush to feel ready to exhibit there.

NerdNewsToday: What’s the most popular character/ organ that you sell?

Wendy: The heart outsells all other organs four to one. You know, love and all that. Some organs turned out to be far more popular than we would have expected. For instance, our second round of plush included the brain, uterus, pancreas and gallbladder. We figured that the gallbladder would be the worst-selling of the bunch, but it turns out there are a half-million cholecystectomies every year! Since you can live without this little bile sac, and the surgery is pretty easy, so folks have a sense of humor about it. The gallbladder is pretty popular.

NerdNewsToday: What are some of the new organs planned for 2013?

Wendy: We just added tooth, eyeball and heart of gold plushes and hope to add lymph node and skin later this year.

NerdNewsToday: What happens when you run out of organs to make plushies from? Or is the plan to use the characters you already have in different ways?

Wendy: We still have a long way to go and new requests come in all the time. Recent requests include the amygdala (part of the brain), diaphragm, and larynx. We’ve had a ton of requests for the adrenal and thymus to be made into plush lately; this immunology lab in Japan studies T-cells, they buy a ton of thymus pins every year and we really want to make the plush just for them. I never thought the glands would be interesting-looking — in my mind they were all just little balloons, but once I really looked, I was amazed by how distinctive their shapes were and also how specialized their functions. But, you’re right, the body is ultimately a finite source for inspiration, so I’m sure we will find new ways to use these characters.

NerdNewsToday: Any advice to budding toymakers out there looking to break into the industry?

Wendy: Number one, start small and cheap. Number two, have a lot of ideas. Three, make your idea original. Four, don’t give up if your first idea doesn’t take off. Five, build your audience. Six, protect your idea. Seven, scrape together money. For more in-depth advice on how to make your own custom plush toys, based on my own personal experience and a few Comic Con panels I moderated on the subject with indie toy world luminaries, read this post on my blog.

NerdNewsToday: Who is your personal favorite organ?

Wendy: It’s impossible for me to choose! I guess if you put my back to the wall I would say the uterus, since it’s where we all got our start. Oh, but I love the heart, too. I can’t pick. Don’t make me pick!

Check out the full inventory of “I Heart Guts” plushies, t-shirts, posters, stationery and more on their official website!

New York Toy Fair 2013: “Monster Factory” Booth

Started in 2003 by three friends from Toronto, Canada, “Monster Factory” line of plushies that started out as a simple fun project for the trio, and turned into a huge business.

Since their creation, the little monsters have appeared in “Rolling Stone” and “People” magazine, and have made appearance on TV’s “Ugly Betty” and “Ramona and Beezus”. Bliss Man, one of the original founders, was at NY Toy Fair 2013 with her line of cuddly little monsters that fit in the palm of your hands.

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Each of the dozen characters have their own unique back story to fit the personality of anyone. The monsters include Booh, Todd, Doyle, Jack, Victor, Pax, Clementine, Colin, Irene, Lois, Kyle, and Bliss’ personal favorite seen above with her, Buddy. These cuties were one of my favorite plushies this year, and are just one part of a very large plush empire that Monster Factory is involved in.

Check out the gallery below for more photos from Monster Factory!

For more info on Monster Factory and their many other plushies, check out their official website!