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absolutely adorable

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!

WonderCon 2014 photo
With a bonus preview of her Emerald City Comic Con exclusive as well
WonderCon in Anaheim, California is coming up in less than a month and one of the burning questions on attendees' minds is, "what about the exclusives?" Thankfully, House of Darkly has given us the heads-up in regards to...

ThinkGeek Blobfish plush photo
ThinkGeek Blobfish plush

ThinkGeek's blobfish plush is huge, blobby

And it looks like the critter needs a hug
Mar 21
// Natalie Kipper
Under the sea, there are majestic creatures like the blue whale and the bottlenose dolphin... and there is this guy, the blobfish. It doesn't always look as bloated as it does in its plush representation. The pressure change ...

Tomopop Review: Crowded Coop's Imps and Monsters Clarence plush

Mar 16 // Natalie Kipper
Plush name: Imps and Monsters Clarence 12-inch plushPlush maker: Crowded CoopRetail price: US$24.99Available at: Entertainment Earth Before we dive into the Clarence plush itself, I would like to focus on the impressively detailed tag he had attached to his right ear. The thing is hard to miss; being five square inches in size. The front features a beautiful illustration by Justin Hillgrove that just tickles me in all the right ways. The depiction of Clarence and the little brown dudes snuggling just makes me want to give the plush a great big hug. I also noticed the "bite" out of the corner of the tag. Nice touch. The back of the tag talks more about Justin's artistic vision of making frightening creatures appear more friendly. Mission accomplished, as far as I am concerned. It also notes that the front's illustration, entitled "Group Hug," was created in 2010. A larger image of the tag's back can be found in the gallery. Now is the time to get better acquainted with Clarence, and his little furry brown friend (whom I have chosen to name Steve). The description lists the toy as 12-inches tall but that is actually selling him short. The measurement doesn't take little Steve into account, who adds on an extra three inches, giving the sum of the toy more height for your money. His arm span of about 28 inches is equally, if not more, impressive.  To better demonstrate Clarence's massive size, I placed Bandai's S. H. Figuarts Sailor Moon next to him. Rather striking, isn't it? Let's focus on Steve for a second. This smiling fellow is perched smack dab between Clarence's antlers. While I wouldn't recommend it, I did try carrying the plush by holding Steve as a sort of stress test. I am pleased to say the two friends, which are sewn to each from several different angles, remain securely fastened with no signs of damage. I will note that when you hold the toy in that way, the seams securing the two become visible temporarily. Steve's coat is a different texture than his larger companion's. It is a bit silkier. Clarence's feels shorter and has a bit of friction to it (it is still pleasant to pet, though). However, the antlers feel like the same, slightly coarse fabric on both characters.  While at first glance Clarence may appear simple in design, he has also rewards those who look deeper with delightful little details. For starters, his claws are made of a textured, airy fabric. Clarence's toes and nails are the only places this grey material is found on the plush. It is always nice when their is a mix of fabrics in the toy. A more striking detail, however, are Clarences paw prints. I like to think they resemble a tree ring, like the one you would find on the inside of a log's stump. The paw prints are embroidered on different colored fabric of the same variety as the rest of Clarence's fur. The details on Clarence's face, including his smiling eyes, raised eyebrows, and the lines separating his crooked teeth, are embroidered. His lips are of a very smooth, flannel-like fabric. The white teeth are sadly made of felt, making that part feel a tad cheap. At least that is the only spot that utilizes that kind of fabric. His fluffy grey beard, thankfully doesn't shed but it feels coarser than it looks. It isn't terrible, just disappointing.  The same material used for Clarence's beard is also used to make his lovely, lightly stuffed tail. I did notice a little pucker near where the tail meets the rest of Clarence's body, as if the stuffing didn't make it to that part of his rear. I have chosen to believe that it is a form of monster "plumber's crack." Despite a few minor fabric flaws, I am super-pleased with Clarence and his little pal, Steve. I had a great time just taking him out into the garden and shooting pictures with him. And, an extra-bonus I forgot to mention previously is that he really freaking cuddly. I tell you, that monster belly was made for squeezing. Now, onward to the next toy adventure! [ A big thank-you to Entertainment Earth for providing us with this sample! ]
Review: Clarence plush photo
Perhaps the friendliest monster you will ever meet
Crowded Coop's Imps and Monsters line, created by Justin Hillgrove, was one that I had spotted several times in crowded convention halls and online shops, but never really had a chance to get a good look at. The quirky beasts...

Giant Isopod plush photo
Giant Isopod plush

Leave it to Japan to make me want a Giant Isopod plush

I can't explain why this is cute
Feb 24
// Natalie Kipper
All cards on the table, my taste in plushes at times borders on the bizarre but this time, I must not be alone in thinking these Giant Isopod plush toys are absolutely adorable. Why else would Strap-ya be sold out of most of ...

Toy Fair 2014: Lil BUB plush debuts

Feb 17 // Natalie Kipper
Toy Fair: Lil BUB plush photo
I think I just died of cuteness overload
You would have to been actively avoiding adorable feline internet celebrities to not know who Lil BUB is. Much like Grumpy Cat, Lil BUB rose to fame for her unique appearance (she is known for her constantly protruding tongue...

Custom Beargguy photo
Custom Beargguy

Your Beargguy San isn't this adorable

Gunpla has gotten flocked up
Feb 15
// Andres Cerrato
Gunpla is a hobby that can be enjoyed by anyone. Beargguy has had its hand in getting people to be especially creative with their Gunpla and the third edition from Gundam Build Fighters has been no exception. A crop of custom...
CuteRody Miku plushes photo
CuteRody Miku plushes

Taito's CuteRody Miku plushes are lethally adorable

Warning: May contain cute
Feb 03
// Brian Szabelski
I've somehow missed out on the Hatsune Miku x CuteRody plushes that Taito is producing, but my goodness ... they are adorable. Featuring Miku wearing a little hat that resembles the ear of a Rody horse, it's just too cute for...
Pokemon Snorlax cushion photo
Pokemon Snorlax cushion

You gotta catch this Pokemon Snorlax cushion

And you don't even need a PokeFlute
Jan 27
// Natalie Kipper
What Pokemon fan hasn't dreamed of just cuddling up with a Snorlax? I mean, they just look so darn relaxed, not to mention fluffy. The good folks over at Banpresto have seen fit to make that dream a reality for gamers and nap...
Little Moon God plush photo
Little Moon God plush

Little Moon God, Little Sun Goddess plushes now on Etsy

Kaitlin Reid's successful Kickstarter makes it into reality
Jan 15
// Natalie Kipper
Folks may remember way back in the summer of last year when Kaitlin Reid launched a Kickstarter for a plush version of her Little Moon God character. The campaign was so successful that not only did the Little Moon God m...
Duffy the Disney Bear photo
Duffy the Disney Bear

Check out the additions to Duffy's wardrobe coming 2014

Disney Parks Blog previews nine new outfits for the Disney Bear
Dec 30
// Natalie Kipper
Lovers of Duffy the Disney Bear got an early morning surprise today when the Disney Parks Blog unveiled new outfits for the adorable plush. Some of the costumes are made to dress the 17 inch bear while others are sewn on...
Bee and Puppycat photo
Bee and Puppycat

Official Puppycat plush prototype spotted

It even talks!
Dec 09
// Natalie Kipper
Have you seen Natasha Allegri's Bee and Puppycat show on Cartoon Hangover? Really, you should; it is a stroke of genius. After a wonderfully successful Kickstarter for more episodes, what is next for the mysterious ...

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