I fancy myself a plushie connoisseur and enjoy sampling soft toys from all across the globe. One country I have found to have extraordinary plushes (besides Japan) is Germany, home of Steiff. But I am not here to talk about Steiff bears and their friends. Nope. I am here to discuss a lesser known series with a noble purpose, Parapluesch. They have taken it upon themselves to offer therapy to plushes that have had tough lives off the toy shelves. Parapluesch created The Asylum and enlisted the aid of kind-hearted stuffed animal lovers to rehabilitate these poor souls (click the image in the bottom-right corner of this page to enter The Asylum flash game).
I have 4 of the 6 six patients in the series. Hit the jump to check out my collection!
The first patient I ever purchased was Kroko, the schizophrenic crocodile plush. He was one of the first plushes available to treat in The Asylum program and I fell in love with him instantly. Kroko is nearly 16 inches long but not terribly wide. He's is really super soft, made with a fuzzy boa fabric.
I can't exactly remember when I bought him but it was quite a while ago. The manufacturer of these plushes, Sigikid, used to put these button things on their toys but the more recent Parapluesch do not have the Sigikid marks on them.
According to his patient chart, Kroko's security item is his blue pillow. You can give him therapy and coax him into removing it (via velcro) or you could be a big meanie and just remove sans therapy to his shock and horror.
The second plush I received was Dub, an stressed turtle battling depression. I just love his tired, baggy eyes. He is 7 inches tall with PVC pellets in his bottom holding him upright.
Part of Dub's therapy is to have him "come out his shell." I guess they meant that literally because, through a small amount of manipulation, Dub exits his plush shell and is in his birthday suit. I am not sure what good this does him, but it is rather comical and you get a view of his cute little tail. So it's all good.
Next, we come to Dolly the sheep. What is her problem? She thinks she is a wolf. She believes this so strongly that we too can see her in her "wolf's clothing."
Dolly can take the form of a wolf by unzipping her stomach and pulling the wolf body out. You then stuff Dolly's true form inside the wolf body and zip the stomach back up. The wolf body is kind of hard to fit inside the sheep one and makes Dolly look a bit bloated, in my opinion, so I tend to leave her in wolf-form.
The final plush in that I own from this series is Lilo, an autistic hippo. He is about 7 and a half inches tall. I really appreciate the symbolism in this plush. The puzzle pieces (the logo for the Autism Speaks) and the zippered mouth (showing the progress in autism care) are both nice touches.
The two remaining plushes in the set are Dr. Wood the raven and Sly the snake with a rattle complex. One day, I hope to have a complete set but for now, I am extremely pleased with the plush patients that I own. They are extremely well-made and have a unique backstory that I have not seen duplicated. If you love quirky plushes, I highly recommend you check them out. Or even just play the flash game (bottom-right corner of this page) if you are stuck inside on a rainy day!
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