Popular Children’s Characters
and Their Stuffed Toys
When certain children’s stories were written about individual teddy bears, and other stuffed animals and toys, they became very popular.
When toymakers realised this, they knew this was another form of merchandise which had great potential. They knew that the popularity of the toys would make them very easy to sell. Thus individual toys were then made to match the story. Take a look at some of the more well-known ones.
In Toy Story, we find an old-fashioned wooden cowboy named Woody, and also a modern action figure toy space ranger, named Buzz Lightyear. They belong to Andy, along with other toys, including Mr Potato Head and Rex a dinosaur.
There are adventures caused by rivalry between Woody and Buzz, and some because Buzz believes he is a real space ranger, not a toy. From this movie there were not only the Toy Story Plush toys of Woody, Jesse, Buzz, Rex, Slinky, Lotso Bear which are owned and loved by children around the world including a plush of Mr Potato Head, but also a plush space cruiser.
Of course these toys also came in hard toys, such as Buzz, who children find unending pleasure with.
In the first movie, the ogre rescued a princess who turned into an ogre. The film was a huge success and several of the characters were turned into well loved stuffed plush toys.
There were four Shrek movies of recent years which had great success. Shrek, Shrek 2, Shrek the Third, and Shrek Forever After.
The movie ‘Ice Age’ bought some prehistoric animals to our stuffed toy collections. There is Scrat the squirrel, who wants to store his acorn, and Sid the sloth. Manny the woolly mammoth and Diego the saber-toothed tiger are also available as stuffed toys.
Of course this was a huge hit with the children and adults alike and 3 movies were made.
The animated movie ‘Madagascar’ brought other animals to our screens and then to our stuffed animal collections. We have four friends as main characters, Marty the Zebra, Alex the lion, a lovely hippo called Gloria and Melman the giraffe. And too we can’t forget the penguins.
One night, Sully a big monster with a reputation for collecting the most screams, accidentally transports Boo, a little girl, to the world of the monsters.
He and his friend have to try to keep the little girl hidden from the other monsters. The favorite toys from the movie are Sully, his friend Mike Wazowski, who has only one eye, and Boo, the little girl.
Yet another film that produced popular toys, is the movie “The Lion King”. Simba’s father, Mafusa is King. Scar is Simba’s uncle, who manages to manipulate events so that Mafusa is killed and Simba gets the blame.
Simba leaves the pride and is befriended by Timon a meerkat and Pumbaa a warthog. Nala is Simba’s lion friend from childhood. The stuffed toys of these characters included Simba both as a golden cub and also as an adult with a red mane. They were and are still extremely popular. Hence three movies were produced bringing much joy to children around the globe.
Lilo and Stitch, an animated Disney movie, has a little girl who adopts an escaped alien experiment as a pet, thinking that it is a puppy. From this movie we had not only the stuffed toys of the little girl, Lilo, and her alien companion, Stitch, but also a plush space cruiser.
Tthis movie was a huge hit with children and adults all over the globe. Hence 4 movies were made as well as a series.
Lilo and Stitch, Lilo and Stitch 2 - Stitch Has a Glitch, Stitch! The Movie, Leroy and Stitch.
Finding Nemo, yet another animated movie, brought us a story about how love gave courage to Marlin, a clownfish, who was fearful after most of his family were killed by a barracuda. He has to look after his only son Nemo, who is adventurous, and gets caught by a scuba diver. Despite being scared of the open sea, Marlin goes in search of Nemo.
The characters of Marlin and Nemo were much loved by all and now there are many plush toys based on these characters.
The movie featured friendly sharks, so that the delightful stuffed toys from this movie included plush sharks.
A pig seems an unlikely hero for a story, but Babe becomes one in the movie ‘Babe’. It tells the story of a pig who lives with Fly, a sheepdog and her puppies.
There is a sheep name Ma, who warns him about ‘wolves’, which is what she calls dogs. Babe and learns to herd sheep. The stuffed toys from this movie were popular, and sometimes children were heard talking to their stuffed pigs, using Farmer Hoggett’s line “That’ll do, pig, that’ll do”.
Years later, Mowgli returns to visit the wolf pack, but circumstances cause Bagheera to take Mowgli back to people. Mowgli meets a bear, Baloo, and a man-eating tiger, Shere-Khan.
Of course we can't forget Kaa the Snake. These characters made gorgeous plush toys.
101 Dalmatians by Dodie Smith, is a brilliant childrens story, about a family named Dearly that has a Dalmatian with a litter of 15 puppies.
Their puppies are stolen by a woman, appropriately named Cruella De Vil, who hates animals, but likes to wear their fur. The parent dogs set out to rescue their puppies and find out she has a lot of dogs held captive. They help them all to escape.
The Dearly family buy Cruella’s home and make it into a dog’s home and they end up with 101 Dalmatians. This book was made into an extremely popular Disney movie, and Dalmatian stuffed toy dogs became very much desired.
The Little Mermaid
The little mermaid is a fairytale written by the Danish poet and author Hans Christian Andersen. The The Little Mermaid book was first published in 1837. Since then it has been adapted for theater and film. Disney animated the story. The movie ‘The Little Mermaid’ was born.
The story is based around a mermaid princess, named Ariel, who is curious about humans and human belongings, much to the chagrin of her father and sisters. Flounder is her best friend and often helps her collect human items.
Her father is King Triton, and he entrusts a crab named Sebastian to watch Ariel, and stop her interacting with anything human. A lot of Ariel’s knowledge of humans comes from some inaccurate information from a seagull named Scuttle. She falls in love with a human, Prince Eric. These characters were also produced as soft toys.
The thought of mythical fire-breathing dragons actually existing has fascinated people for a long time. Many a dragon has been represented in the form of stuffed toys. The movie "Pete's Dragon"expands on this theme. Pete is an orphan who runs away from the family who adopted him, and who ill-treat him.
Pete's Dragon Elliott is a green and purple dragon who can become invisible. He helps Pete, but is rather clumsy. Nora, the lighthouse keeper’s daughter has a fiance, Paul, who has been missing. When Paul returns, thanks to Elliott’s help, Pete finally has a loving family, and Elliott goes looking for other troubled youngsters to help. Elliott too became available as a stuffed toy.
The Fox and the Hound
The Fox and The Hound was about a fox named Todd, who was raised for a year by humans, and a young hound called Copper. Copper’s owner is a hunter with other hunting dogs, including his favorite, named Chief. One day when Chief is chasing Todd, he gets killed. His master hunts Todd in order to get revenge.
Disney made the movie “The Fox and the Hound" which is based loosely on the novel, but has a different story line. Both Todd and Copper were much loved cuddly toys.
This is a much loved story by children the world over. Unfortunately finding plush toys for these characters is extremely difficult. A very 'life like' Basset Hound can be a great addition.
Alice In Wonderland
Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, which is shortened to Alice in Wonderland is another classic. The book was written by Lewis Carroll in 1865. It wasn't until it was renamed Through the Looking-Glass that it gained popularity.
It was Adapted for cinema firstly in 1903, and the lastly Tim Burtons creation in 2010 with many inbetween.
The story is of a girl named Alice who falls down a rabbit hole into a fantasy world. This world is full of peculiar and anthropomorphic creatures. I'm sure you've seen the movie or at least your children have. The characters are extensive some of which have been manufactured into Alice in Wonderland fluffy and hard toys.
The Mad Hatter in particular has an enormous following and characters can be very lifelike.
Children Loved Them
Children were always happy to get the next book or comic strip about their favourite stuffed toys, to find out what new adventure was there.
This led to films and television stories about the soft toys, which were also very well received. Now you can buy these stuffed fluffy soft toys for your children as well as the movie and books.
Many children have vast collections of them. Buying them for Christmas, Easter, Birthdays and just for the sake of buying a gift. Make your children or friends and relatives children happy and give them a collection of these Characters and their books and movies.