Stuffed toys are toys stuffed with a soft material and sewn from a textile. They have many different names, including plush toys, stuffies and plushies. In some countries (i.e. Great Britain and Australia), stuffed toys are also called soft toys. Plain cloth is generally used for making outer fabric for stuffed toys, as well as plush or terrycloth. Synthetic fiber, cotton, wool, straw are widely used for stuffing such toys. Stuffed toys emerged in Germany at the end of the 19th century. Since then, stuffed toys have been a part of popular culture, which draws the attention of collectors from all around the world.
Stuffed toys have various forms, but the most common ones resemble real animals, mythological and legendary creatures, or characters from famous cartoons. These toys are widely used as comfort objects and for collecting. Stuffed toys are also commonly used as presents for birthday, anniversary, Christmas, graduation, Valentine’s Day and other holidays. Usually stuffed toys are given to kids, but, in fact, they can be presented to anyone.
There are several features that distinguish stuffed toys from other toys, such as softness, flexibility, and the ability to take the form of various animals. The most common forms are bears, cats, dogs, zebras, tigers, elephants, pandas, and other recognizable animals. Stuffed toys are so popular that you can find a stuffed animal-like toy version of almost any type of a movie, book, or TV show character. In some stores, you can also find stuffed toys of famous real and fictional humans.
Stuffed toys have a variety of sizes, from thumb-sized ones to giant ones that are larger than a house. However, the majority of stuffed toys are between several inches tall and a foot tall. Stuffed toys come in an array of colors and textures.
You can find stuffed toys in shops all across the globe. Stores that sell stuffed toys are particularly popular at tourist destinations, near attractions, at airports, fairs, in parks and near common meeting places. Vendors are abundant in places with many children around.
Steiff, a German-based company, was the first to produce stuffed toys in 1880. The company used new technologies to manufacture upholstery, which was used to make stuffed toys. In the United States, the first stuffed animal toy made for mass production was the Ithaca Kitty.
In 1903, the German designer Richard Steiff created a soft stuffed bear that was different from traditional toys of that time, as it was made of plush fabric. In the United States, Morris Michtom, a Russian-born inventor and businessman, produced the first teddy bear. He was inspired by the picture of President Roosevelt with a bear cub. The first soft toy to be patented was Peter Rabbit, a fictional character in children’s stories written by Beatrix Potter.
Stuffed toys are one of the most played-with toys for kids all around the world. The size and softness of toys makes them perfect for toddlers, because it is nearly impossible for them to be injured by a stuffed toy. Nevertheless, children of all ages and teenagers generally play with stuffed toys. The fact that soft toys resemble real animals and fictional characters makes them great for imaginative play, particularly with other children. Sometimes stuffed toys can tear, but you can easily repair damage with a needle and basic sewing skills. Due to the low price of stuffed toys and relatively high demand, children usually have tens of soft toys at the same time. Some families report having hundreds of stuffed toys.