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absolutely adorable

Disney Tsum Tsum photo
Disney Tsum Tsum

Get ready for PIXAR's Inside Out with some adorable new Tsum Tsums

Wear your feelings on your... shelf
Jun 05
// Kristina Pino
This past Tuesday, Disney released a new set of Tsum Tsums as part of their promotions every first Tuesday of the month. Since Inside Out is showing in theaters starting the 19th, this series was a no-brainer. All of Riley's emotions are there: Joy, Anger, Disgust, Fear, and Sadness, along with Bing Bong, Riley's imaginary friend. Are you going to see Inside Out in theaters?  
handmade photo

Give the gift of tiny magical creatures

Valentine's Day is better with unicorns
Jan 22
// Rachael Chambers
The best gifts are handmade. Better gifts are made of unicorns and tiny dragons. Mijbil Creations has you covered on both counts with her hand sculpted miniature creations. Made from clay and layers of acrylic and varnish, th...

Tomopop Review: inki-drop's Tentatrio plushes

Nov 21 // Natalie Kipper
Plush name: Sweetoof, Jellyblub, Ika, and StarwhalPlush maker: inki-dropRetail price: US$24.95 eachAvailable at: inki-drop Let's dive right in! The first of the Tentatrio I looked at was Sweetoof the octopus, measuring four and a half inches tall and six inches wide. His most notable characteristic is his little embroidered tooth sticking out from his mouth. He also has several pink-ish purple spots on his brow of various sizes. Add that to the snaggletooth and Sweetoof gives off a certain preteen vibe (acne and in need of braces). I am not sure if that is intentional, but I found it hilarious all the same. Flip Sweetoof over for a delightful surprise: he's got embroidered suckers! They look so perfect, no loose threads or flaws of any kind. Here's Ika, who I actually consider the weakest link in the Tentatrio chain. I am not saying he isn't cute or well-made. He is definitely both of those things. But he feels like just a recolor rather than of the previously released Gummy Ika. Both toys are even the same height, four inches tall. As you can see, the back is entire bare sans tush tag. The bottom is also a little boring but I will forgive that. The source material, mother nature's lovely squid, is of a simple design and there isn't much to be done about that. Now we come to my favorite member of the Tentatrio, Jellyblub. This little lady jellyfish is just too sweet for words. I just loved her wide-eyed, innocent expression. She measures four inches tall and six and a half inches wide. Details abounds on this toy. The little embroidered white dots on the top of her head add to her youthful look while the peach and pink frills around her lower body resemble a skirt.  But the most adorable piece of Jellyblub's ensemble is, without a doubt, her little fabric bow on the side of her head. It is made of the same minky fabric as her body and looks ever-so-dainty. I love this detail so much! Finally, we come to the Starwhal, measuring four and half inches tall and seven inches long. I had been really excited to get my hands on this one and let me tell you, she did not disappoint. Her facial expression is similar to Jellyblub's, with the big, dark eyes and simple "u" mouth. Her horn has embroidered grooves on it and is moderately stuffed. As you can see, the Starwhal's star pattern is different on each side of her body. The bigger stars have a soft, fuzzy fabric on the inside portion (a different texture than her minky body) while the smaller ones are just embroidered. The variety in the stars' size and shape looks great and you can tell took some effort.   So now you have met the Tentatrio (plus the legendary Starwhal). I loved working with these guys. The designs are adorable and make me smile. If I had my druthers though, I would make them a bit bigger. That way, there is more to hug! [a big thank-you to Shelly Rodriguez of inki-drop for supplying me with these samples!]
Review: Tentatrio photo
With a Starwhal included for good measure
I have been a fan of Shelly Rodriguez for a long, long time. I loved her work way back when her studio was called inki-Jinx rather than inki-drop. There's a little snapshot, right there. Her plush line has grown from the Crab...

Tomopop Review: Hashtag Collectibles' Grumpy Cat puppet

Nov 19 // Natalie Kipper
Toy name: Grumpy Cat puppetToy maker: Hashtag CollectiblesRetail price: US$35Available at: Hashtag Collectibles Meet the Grumpy Cat puppet. It says, "Hello", or it would if I was playing with it and not typing up this review. Uh, let's move on, shall we? The tag hangs on the puppet's right ear. The simple design, with just a Grumpy Cat's face and the toy's name on a matte black background helped to focus on the toy itself, and not be distracting should you choose to leave the tag on.  The puppet measures 10 inches tall, 6 inches wide, and 6 inches deep. Its tail adds on about 5 inches to the back. Speaking of the tail, it is lightly stuffed and has a nice curve to the middle of it, almost giving it a "C"-shape. The body is moderately stuffed but not so much that it is difficult to use as a puppet. Here we see were the puppeteer's hand goes when playing with their Grumpy Cat. The lining feels slightly webbed and airy. I was pleased to note that it did not feel scratchy or sweaty, even after having my hand in there for over five minutes of continuous play. I was surprised to discover that the softest part of the Grumpy cat puppet is the blue portion of its eyes. The whole toy is pleasingly soft and snuggly, don't get me wrong, but this tiny area takes it to a whole new level: silky yet fuzzy with just a hint of woolen texture to it. A pure delight. The only issue I had with my Grumpy Cat puppet was what appeared to be a manufacturing flaw in its mouth. One corner opens wider than the other which, unfortunately, makes the toy harder to manipulate in puppet form. I can't imagine that this problem is present in all of the puppets, but it may be something to look for. I could still get the puppet to make the signature scowl rather well. I also made it say phrases like, "I love rainy days", and "Cake makes me happy." It is the little things in life, you know. Despite the one manufacturing flaw in the mouth, I would still recommend Hashtag Collectibles' Grumpy Cat puppet. Mine may not have made the best puppet, but I think it is definitely the cutest piece of Grumpy Cat merchandise made and that, to me, is worth just as much. Plus, she still makes a darn good cuddle buddy. [A big thank-you to Hashtag Collectibles for supplying me with this sample!]
Review: Grumpy Cat puppet photo
The time I made Grumpy Cat say "Yes"
The internet sure does love cats and I can totally understand the sentiment. Lil Bub, Colonel Meow, and of course, Grumpy Cat (also known as Tardar Sauce) never cease to entertain. Being a fan of said kitties as well as a plu...

DCon: inki-drop photo
DCon: inki-drop

DesignerCon 2014: inki-drop

Featuring the Tentatrio plus the majestic Starwhal
Nov 10
// Natalie Kipper
Shelly Rodriguez of inki-drop's booth at this weekend's DesignerCon was colorful, whimsical, and more than a little nautical-themed. My plush-loving eyes immediately focused on the Tentatrio (consisting of Jellyblub, Sweetoof...
Grumpy Cat puppet photo
Grumpy Cat puppet

You can't say 'No' to Hashtag Collectibles' Grumpy Cat puppet

I was a puppet once. It was awful.
Nov 03
// Natalie Kipper
The delightfully disinterested feline, Tardar Sauce the Grumpy Cat, just got her first puppet. I already have high expectations for this toy, given that the company producing it, Hashtag Collectibles, was responsible for my b...
Harvest Moon plush photo
Harvest Moon plush

The Premium edition of Harvest Moon: The Lost Valley comes with a plush Snow Bunny

Only available at Natsume's online store
Oct 07
// Natalie Kipper
Fans of Natsume Inc.'s farming sim series, Harvest Moon, and its spin-offs know that one of the big bonuses for pre-ordering the games are the adorable animal plushes, especially the larger ones in their Premium bundles. Thes...
Martin Hsu's Blacky photo
Martin Hsu's Blacky

Martin Hsu's Dragon Dog Blacky now available online

Available in two different colorways
Sep 19
// Natalie Kipper
After the arduous journey through conception to release at San Diego Comic-Con 2014, Martin Hsu's Dragon Dog Blacky, is available for purchase via the artist's online store. Dragon Boy's canine companion is cur...
New CuteRody Miku photo
New CuteRody Miku

Taito is back with more CuteRody Miku

This time, she's a solar-powered collectible
Sep 02
// Brian Szabelski
Earlier this year, we brought you news of Taito's lethally cute CuteRody Miku plushes. Well, CuteRody Miku is back, and she's looking as adorable as ever. The solar-powered figure basically just sways her head back and forth ...
Fat Chocobo pre-orders photo
Fat Chocobo pre-orders

Fat Chocobo plush waddles into pre-orders

Someone had too many Gysahl Greens
Aug 16
// Natalie Kipper
The time has finally arrived. After whetting our palate with a preview in May, Square Enix's Fat Chocobo plush is up for pre-order. And with that pre-order listing, comes more information on our chubby, feathered friend. The ...
SDCC14:Multiverse Studio photo
SDCC14:Multiverse Studio

SDCC 2014: Multiverse Studio Inc.

Four prototypes I wish I could buy now
Jul 27
// Natalie Kipper
Multiverse-Studio Inc. had a neat corner booth at San Diego Comic-Con. They brought with them the popular Harvest Moon plushes that they debuted at Anime Expo (the chicken/chick combo always brings a smile to my fac...

Tomopop Review: Monster Factory's Margot the Unicorn

Jul 15 // Natalie Kipper
Plush name: Margot the UnicornPlush maker: Monster FactoryRetail price: TBAAvailable at: Kickstarter (then Monster Factory) And here's Margot! From the tip of her horn to her hoof, she stands about 11 and a half inches-tall and is about 10 and a half inches-long, from snout to rump. She is made of a super-soft fleece fabric. Seriously, I can't recall the last time I have come across this type of fabric with such a soft and welcoming texture. Margot has a rather simple design, similar to many of Monster Factory's other creations. The only real embellishments are her eyes, mane, and horn (more on the latter two in a bit). The eyes are made of a leathery material with a hole in the center and another, darker fabric behind it for the pupils. I love the contrast stitching around the whites of the eyes. It adds a kind of whimsical nature to Margot that just makes me want to hug her! Margot's nostrils and mouth are actually just folds in the fabric. Some people may prefer these features be embroidered but I think this design choice works perfectly with Margot. Actually, embroidery would probably take away from the overall style of the plush.  Her unicorn horn is made of off-white and made of the same fabric as the body. I would have preferred the mane slightly less long as the horn doesn't stand out as much as it should at times.  The design of Margot's hooves is simple and fits the overall aesthetic of the plush. I love choice of a faint rose for the hooves' color. I think it adds to the magical feel. Here's a close-up view. As you can see, the pink color is only on the outside of the hooves. The inside-facing part is pure lavender. I don't think this is a problem though an didn't actually notice it until I started taking the photos. Unfortunately, dear Margot is missing a tail. In its place are her tags. If I had to fix/add one this about her, it would be this. I understand the concept of keeping it simple but I do love my plushes to have tails when appropriate. This is, of course, a personal preference, and the lack of a tail doesn't ruin this otherwise lovable plush.   Monster Factory's Margot the Unicorn is an overall treasure. She fits the style the studio is known for while feeling fresh and, well, magical. If the other plushes in The Mythicals line are anywhere near as lovable as this one, I think they have a real hit on their hands.  [A big thank-you to Monster Factory for supplying us with this sample!]
Review: Margot plush photo
Get a sneak peek at the new Mythicals line, coming soon to Kickstarter
In the past, the majority of Monster Factory's plushes have been, well, monsters. In their upcoming Kickstarter venture, the studio is branching out into the realm of mythological critters. Fittingly named "The Mythicals," th...

SDCC exclusives photo
SDCC exclusives

Flat Bonnie's Sparq the Baby Dragon to debut at SDCC

With an exclusive colorway, no less!
Jul 12
// Natalie Kipper
When we first got a glimpse of Flat Bonnie's Sparq the Baby Dragon back in May, he was a nameless prototype, filled with possibilities and cotton. Now, he is on his way to debut at San Diego Comic-Con. And seeing how at SDCC,...
AX 14: inki-Drop photo
AX 14: inki-Drop

Anime Expo 2014: inki-Drop

The Starwhal is spotted in the wild
Jul 07
// Natalie Kipper
Artist Alley at the recent Anime Expo was bursting with handmade goodies and lesser-known gems. One of my favorite booths in that section belonged to Shelly Rodriguez of inki-Drop (formerly inki-Jinx). Not only did Shelly's b...
Disney Tsum Tsum plush photo
Disney Tsum Tsum plush

Disney Tsum Tsum plushes make their way from Japan to US

There is even an addicting mobile game
Jul 01
// Natalie Kipper
I had rumors of this day coming but I had no idea it would arrive so quickly! Disney's Tsum Tsum plushes, originally from Japan's Disney Store (I swear, they get all the good stuff), are finally in the United States, both onl...
E3 2014: Natsume photo
E3 2014: Natsume

Get a closer look at the upcoming Harvest Moon plushes

Straight from Natsume's booth at E3 2014
Jun 12
// Natalie Kipper
Many of the booth's at E3 2014 were vast, grand, or high-tech but Natsume's was the only one that I would call homey. The publisher of Harvest Moon had a faux flowers, a barn backdrop, and even a giant cow (he makes his appea...
Tentatrio Plush Pals photo
Tentatrio Plush Pals

Tentatrio Plush Pals need a final push to add Starwhal stretch goal

Only three days left!
Jun 02
// Natalie Kipper
The last time we checked on Inki-Jinx's Kickstarter campaign for her Tentatrio plushes, she had just barely made it to the halfway mark to the US$8,500 goal. Now with three days left on the clock, a solid US$16,563 has been p...
Fat Chocobo plush photo
Fat Chocobo plush

Fat Chocobo plush looks like tons of fun

There is just more to love
May 19
// Natalie Kipper
Building on the hype of Theatrhythm: Curtain Call and the upcoming Static Arts Minis in the game's style, comes another character featured in the game, Fat Chocobo! And, oh my Gysahl Greens, does he make the perfect plus...
WeLoveFine Catbug figure photo
WeLoveFine Catbug figure

Pounce on the pre-order for WeLoveFine's Catbug vinyl figure

Order early and get 10 percent off, for a limited time
May 16
// Natalie Kipper
Bravest Warriors' Catbug gets even more cutesy in his upcoming vinyl figure, now on pre-order exclusively at WeLoveFine. Entitled "Catbug Pounce," the figure captures the majestic ladybug-cat hybrid in mid-flight. You can alm...
Flat Bonnie Baby Dragon photo
Flat Bonnie Baby Dragon

Flat Bonnie conjures up a Baby Dragon plush

And the little cutie needs a name
May 12
// Natalie Kipper
From the magical world of Flat Bonnie's imagination, comes a brand new, darling plush: the Baby Dragon. Images were posted on Flat Bonnie's Facebook page, one a close-up of its face and another in a group shot, to much fanfar...
inki-Jinx Kickstarter photo
inki-Jinx Kickstarter

inki-Jinx launches Tentatrio plush pals Kickstarter

And they are already about half-way there!
May 08
// Natalie Kipper
After her success with the previous Kickstarter for Crabapple plush (reviewed), Shelly Rodriguez of inki-Jinx is going back back to crowd-funding in hopes of bringing three plushes, dubbed the Tentatrio, to adoring fans....
C2E2 2014 Paisley Fawn photo
C2E2 2014 Paisley Fawn

C2E2 2014: Paisley Fawn

Smudges of many a color
May 02
// Natalie Kipper
The majority of Paisley Fawn's C2E2 offerings were different varieties of her signature Smudge plushes. If you aren't acquainted with the creature, you need only look in the gallery to learn of the herd of small, pudgy l...

C2E2 2014: House of Darkly

Apr 28 // Natalie Kipper
C2E2 2014 House of Darkly photo
Pizza, pies, and all sorts of other yummy plush
Seeming to come directly from WonderCon, House of Darkly's roster of kooky and creative plushes may give you a few seconds of deja vu. But once you get a closer look, you'll notice that artist Anne Kirn had plenty of surprise...

WonderCon 2014: Flat Bonnie

Apr 25 // Natalie Kipper
WonderCon 14 Flat Bonnie photo
Flatties a plenty
Stumbling upon Flat Bonnie's delightful booth at WonderCon was akin to falling down Alice's rabbit hole, but this time Wonderland was populated solely by flat plushes of adorable animals. The booth had a carpet made up to loo...

WonderCon Tentacle Kitty photo
WonderCon Tentacle Kitty

WonderCon 2014: Tentacle Kitty

Highlights included a first look at the Pirate Kitty prototype
Apr 23
// Natalie Kipper
Tentacle Kitty's booth at WonderCon was the place to be for fans of the universe's cutest tentacle monster and her buddies. The corner booth was lined with art prints and hanging Tentacle Kitty plushes. But, hidden amidst the...
Vamplets Kickstarter photo
Vamplets Kickstarter

Vamplets' Undead Baby Dragon and Bitemares materialize on Kickstarter

And another chance to snag a Ghost Pony!
Apr 23
// Natalie Kipper
Let me start off by saying that I am a huge fan of Gayle Middleton and her Vamplets, a menagerie of creepy-cuties ranging from werewolf babies to vampiric kitties and even a giant cockroach monster-thing (complete with a...
WonderCon 2014 exclusives photo
Attendees can adopt two special edition Shelbuns and a even a Tiger Cub plush
Yukari of Flat Bonnie shared with us some exciting news for WonderCon attendees. That's right; it's the unveiling of her con-exclusive plushes! Flat Bonnie's booth #1570 will have two exclusive toys plus a perfectly prec...

Tomopop Review: Blobfish plush by Hashtag Collectibles

Apr 06 // Natalie Kipper
Plush name: BlobfishPlush maker: Hashtag CollectiblesRetail price: US$39.99Available at: ThinkGeek To get our feet wet, let's talk about the tag. The 3 1/2-inch square is made of a hefty cardboard. The front is minimalistic, simply reading "Blobfish: Endangeredly Adorable" at the top with the phrase "Hashtag Collectibles: Designer Toys, Inspired by the Internet" at the bottom.  The tag's back bares a picture of the Blobfish plush being cuddled by a smiling young woman. In regards to the plush, I can completely understand her grin.   Both the front and back of the tag have a matte finish. Now, without further ado, meet the Blobfish fish. Isn't that face just precious? Its eyes are big, plastic safety eyes. The surface of them is nice and shiny. They reflect the light quite a bit and almost make it look alive (well, a girl can dream, right?). Its lips are made of a different fabric than his main body. Where the body is a slightly shaggy, boa-like fabric, the lips feel more like a thick flannel. They are stuffed firmly but not so much that I would worry about its seams. This plush has quite a memorable profile. Its "nose" is four inches-long and made of the same fluffy material as the rest of its main body. You could actually hold the plush by it (but doing so would be a tad mean, I think). The lips are so plump that they appear to poke up from the Blobfish's "face," adding to the plush's personality. The Blobfish plush is definitely on the larger side of the plush size spectrum. I mean, its body (not counting the nose or fins) measures a freaking 20 inches long. And its tapered cylindrical shape makes it a great cuddle buddy. No, seriously. Forget those body pillows with scantily-clad women on them. Go with the Blobfish. You won't regret it. Its fins are made of the same flannel-like fabric as its lips. They are lightly stuffed and just flop around. The Blobfish's pectoral fins are smaller then its caudal fin (the fish's tail to you landlubbers). You could probably fit both of the side ones into the back one. Fun fact: Blobfish plushes love love love to cosplay. True story. I have photographic evidence! Here is my precious plush trying on my Dejikko cap. Who knew it was a fan of Di Gi Charat? My Bitey Bat hat (made by plush artist, Anna the Red) fit the cutie even better. It sort of looks like the Blobfish is under attack.  Finally, here the plush is kicking it old school-style, rocking the backwards baseball cap. Few people can pull that off nowadays. You go, Blobfish! And there you have it, the one and only Blobfish plush! I really love its simple overall design. The plush may just be a pair of eyes, fluffy body, a giant nose, puffy lips, and a set of fins but each part is done so well. You can't help but fall in love. Head over fins in love, in fact. Sorry, it had to be done. [A big thank-you to ThinkGeek for providing us with sample!]
Review: Blobfish plush photo
Plush collectors will love this denizen of the briny deep
Let's not beat around the proverbial bush; I was dying to have Hashtag Collectibles' Blobfish plush in my life. I posted about it when ThinkGeek first listed it. It was my DO WANT choice for March. When I went to sleep, littl...

Tentacle Kitty pre-orders photo
Tentacle Kitty pre-orders

Place your orders for Tentacle Kitty's Pirate Kitty and Little Ones

They need your pre-orders to become a reality
Apr 01
// Natalie Kipper
Today is a very special day. No, not April Fool's Day (well, that too, actually). I mean, that today marks the date that, after much teasing, Tentacle Kitty has put new plushes up for pre-order. And it's a double-feature...

Tomopop Review: inki-Jinx's Crabapple and Gummy Ika

Mar 25 // Natalie Kipper
Plush names: Crabapple and Gummy IkaPlush maker: inki-JinxRetail prices: US$28 and US$19.50, respectivelyAvailable at: inki-Jinx's online store [Crabapple | Gummy Ika] Let's dive right into the first portion of the review with the grumpy lil' Crabapple. This fruit/crustacean hybrid measures 7 inches tall, including his stem, and 12 inches from the tips of his claws. He is a great size to display on your desk or bookshelf. The plush is made of a minky fabric that is super-soft to touch; you seriously just want to rub your hands all over it. His body is stuffed just firmly enough to maintain his shape and still be squishy. His claws and legs, however, are a bit more stiff with stuffing.  The Crabapple's claw and facial details are both embroidered. The embroidery itself is well done, without any defects. The embroidery on the eyes is actually so thick that it causes a bit of a pucker, giving the appearance of eye sockets. I don't know if it was intentional but I wouldn't consider it a mark against the plush. Interestingly, the only detail that isn't embroidered is the veins on the stem's leaf; those appear to be painted on. I don't know the reason for this design choice but they look fine, at least. I didn't even notice it until I felt the different texture on the line. The Crabapple's legs are firmly stuffed. You can squeeze them and they practically squeeze back. They don't prop the plush up but they do stand up a bit. By turning the poor guy on its side, you can get a better feel for how simple his design is. The Crabapple really is a giant square. You can also see that the firmly-stuffed legs maintain their position, not flopping about. The hangtag for the Crabapple may be a detail that many would overlook. But if you check it out, you will be rewarded with a good size image of inki-Jinx's signature squid. It's the little things in life, you know. Let us now move on to the Gummy Ika. While this plush is slightly smaller than its Crabapple friend, standing a teeny 4 inches tall, the mini-squid makes up for its lack of stature with its big personality. Its lovely greenish blue hue reminds me of sea glass. And who would smile back at that cat-like grin? The Gummy Ika only has tentacles on the front of the plush. Six of them, to be exact. The tentacles as well as the two fins atop its head are lightly stuffed. For the most part, the Gummy Ika's embroidery is fine. There is just one flaw: there are little plastic shreds stuck underneath some of the patches. I only noticed the plasticky things on the biggest "dot" and the Gummy Ika's mouth. Thankfully, those bits can be carefully plucked out. Gummy Ika's tush tag is a little less interesting compared to the Crabapple's. Sure, it has all the necessary information there (brand, artist, toy's name, etc.) but it lacks the cute, little squid mascot. Admittedly, the Gummy Ika's tag is proportionately smaller than the one for the Crabapple so I can see space being an issue. Both the Crabapple and Gummy Ika are relatively simple designs. Even so, their personalities shine through. Along with the high production value (even with the Gummy Ika's fixable plastic remnant issue), I can easily recommend the pair. Plush lovers are going to get a kick out them. Same goes for toy fans looking for something out of the ordinary.  [A big thank-you to inki-Jinx for providing us with this sample!]
Review: inki-Jinx plushes photo
Quirky, colorful plushes mix food and sea creatures
Shelly Rodriguez, also known as inki-Jinx, is known for her whimsical, typically aquatic-themed, designs. Her colorful critters have appeared on clothing, jewelry, and even Nintendo 3DS cases. Plushes had to be included, right? Correct! And I was lucky enough to have the chance to review both her Crabapple and Gummy Ika plushes. Read on to see what I thought of them!

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