Collectible soft toys have become a worldwide sensation, captivating children and toy collectors alike. With their vibrant colours, intricate designs, and captivating characters, these cuddly companions have skyrocketed in popularity. This article will explore the phenomenon behind the rise of collectible soft toys and their appeal to young collectors.
Steiff bears have enjoyed enduring popularity throughout their rich history, captivating generations of collectors and teddy bear enthusiasts worldwide. Founded in 1880 by Margarete Steiff, the German company began producing its iconic stuffed animals, including the beloved Steiff bears. These meticulously crafted bears quickly gained recognition for their exceptional quality and attention to detail.
Steiff’s commitment to using the finest materials, such as mohair and luxurious fabrics, contributed to the bears’ irresistible charm and huggability. Over the years, Steiff Bears became highly sought after, adored for their timeless design and the legacy of craftsmanship associated with the brand.
The company proudly claims to be the inventor of the teddy bear, as they introduced the first-ever teddy bear in 1902. Inspired by Theodore Roosevelt sparing the life of a bear cub, Margarete Steiff and her nephew Richard Steiff designed and produced the iconic ‘Bear 55 PB’ with jointed limbs and a humpback design. This groundbreaking creation solidified the teddy bear’s place in history and laid the foundation for the global phenomenon that teddy bears have become today.
Jellycat, the beloved brand known for its irresistibly soft and huggable plush toys, has taken the toy world by storm, gaining immense popularity among children and adults alike. With their endearing designs, luxurious textures, and undeniable charm, Jellycat plush toys have become a staple in nurseries, playrooms, and even among collectors.
From their iconic Bashful bunnies to quirky characters like Amuseables, Jellycat toys have captured the hearts of millions worldwide. The brand’s commitment to exceptional craftsmanship, attention to detail, and a diverse range of whimsical creatures has solidified its reputation as a leader in the soft toy industry.
A possible reason that the popularity of these has rocketed is due to their presence on TikTok. Recently, people all over the world have been making videos, showing off their collections with #jellycat, which has reached nearly 434 million posts on the platform. Although Jellycats have been around for over 35 years, their popularity among collectors has begun to soar in recent times, and the constant release of new collections means that fans are consistently engaged with new products.
Squishmallows rose to unprecedented popularity in the early 2020s, captivating the hearts of people worldwide. These irresistibly soft, cuddly plush toys burst onto the scene, quickly becoming a sensation. The Squishmallows’ unique charm and huggable design resonated with people of all ages, from children to adults. Social media platforms served as a catalyst, as enthusiasts passionately shared their collections and heartwarming stories, sparking a viral trend.
The interest with children may also have developed from the variety of popular YouTubers creating content about the plushies. Sensations such as ‘Froggycrossing’ release regular videos showcasing their collections, with this creator, in particular, wracking up around 500k views per video. A popular trend on YouTube is ‘squishmallow hunting,’ where people search for rare teddies from the brand, which reflects the desirability of the product and influences children to want to search for them too.
Another popular kids’ soft toy is the famous Beanie Babies. While Jellycats and Squishmallows have really taken off in recent years, in 1995, Beanie Babies burst onto the scene and swiftly became a global sensation, captivating collectors and enthusiasts alike. These adorable, bean-filled plush toys took the world by storm, captivating hearts with their vibrant designs and endearing personalities.
What set Beanie Babies apart was their innovative integration with the emerging internet culture. They were noted as the world’s first internet sensation, as collectors flocked to online forums and websites to trade, discuss, and hunt for rare Beanie Babies.
The allure of Beanie Babies extended beyond their cuddly appeal; they were also seen as a unique investment opportunity. Certain Beanie Babies gained extraordinary value in the secondary market, creating a frenzy among collectors who hoped to strike it rich. This novel blend of playfulness and potential financial gain fueled the popularity of Beanie Babies, turning them into a cultural phenomenon that defined the 1990s.