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Tomopop Review: GIANTmicrobes' Tick, Hay Fever and Chagas plushes

3:00 PM on 04.25.2011 // Brian Szabelski

Of the many kinds of plushes we post here on Tomopop, it's not very often we get to dip into the realm of science when discussing them. But of course, that's exactly where we're going when it refers to GIANTmicrobes, the Connecticut-based company that makes plushes out of pathogens. Having been going strong for several years, GIANTmicrobes have greatly expanded their line to include more than 90 different plushes.

The newest additions to the GIANTmicrobes family are these three little fellows: Hay Fever, Tick and Chagas. Each of the 5" to 7" plushes looks cuddly, but is the quality of these plushes of as high quality as the adorableness?

Hit the jump and see if these little guys are ready to infect your collection with some cuteness!

Figure Name: Hay Fever, Tick and Chagas
Figure Maker: GIANTmicrobes
Retail/List Price: US$8.95 each
Available at: GIANTmicrobes

No boxes, so we'll jump right into the reviewing! Let's start off with Hay Fever. This little microbe and I have a little bit of a history (I have recurring spring allergies that make my nose run that may be pollen-related, but I dunno), but in this plush form, I think I can handle it!

To begin with, the design of the plush closely matches that of actual grass pollen, including the little mouth-like part at the bottom. The only real difference are those big ol' eyes in the middle of it, as real pollen doesn't have eyes.

Hay Fever is made from a very fuzzy fabric that just might cause you to sneeze if you put it near your nose. Seriously, don't do that. But I can tell you that it feels very soft yet sturdy. As for the stitching ... well, as you can see, the lines where the stitching is are visible, but the actual stitching itself is hidden inside the seams. That gives Hay Fever a very clean look while keeping the thread from being exposed to wear and tear from the outside world.

Each GIANTmicrobe has a large tag that comes with it as well. On the outside is both the name and a picture of what the plush's inspiration really looks like (usually enlarged several hundred or thousand times) ...

... while the inside contains facts about the microbe in question. See? You learn something new every with every plush. Isn't science fun?

The only real issue I could find with Hay Fever was on the bottom. It allows it to sit really well with a flatter bottom, but it looks a little odd with all the fabric being pulled in so tight like that. Thankfully, this is on the bottom of the plush, so you shouldn't have to worry about it being in your face too much. Unless you display your plushes upside down.




Here's the face of Chagas. Now, some of you with good eyes might notice something here. "Hey, those eyes are different. What gives?" Well, it's not some factory screw-up; that's how it's designed. The reason? Well, one of chagas' symptoms is a swelling around the eye, causing the area around it to look reddened ... just like in the plush. Very clever.

The stitching on one part of this plush was a bit visible in one small spot, and as you can see, it's nothing too fancy. It holds the little fin piece in place well, but I wouldn't tug on it too much.

Finally, we move onto the Tick plush. A real tick and not the superhero, of course (sorry, no SPOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOON! this time, guys). The tick plush is the biggest of the three, in large part because of those long legs. It also looks substantially cuddlier than a real tick. Trust me, I grew up with these little buggers hiding out in the tall grass and woods behind the house. It's why I stopped venturing back there.

The fabric on the body is soft and fleece-like, but this little guy's not too snuggleable because he's a bit on the flatter side. Again, nice work on making the stitching look invisible from the GIANTmicrobes team, and the plush itself feels rather sturdy.

My one fault, though, is that the eyes on my tick plush are off-center. You can see above that one eye is higher up and further from the center than the other. In all likelihood, this is just a one-off production issue, but it's worth pointing out because it kept distracting me throughout the photo shoot.

The one big plus that the Tick plush has that the others don't is that its legs are poseable. There's a metal wire inside each of the legs (and not a thin one, either) that allows you to pose each leg in a number of positions. The legs hold in place after posing as well, so you don't have to worry about them drooping once you've got it all set up. The lower legs are sewn to the body, so the most you'll be able to do with those is move them up and down, but you can still do some cool stuff with the tick's legs ...

For example, here's our friend, Monorail Tick. Always on time, that little dude.

If you have a friend who's into science (specifically biology) or a younger child who might be interested and want to learn a thing or two, these would make excellent gifts. They're just the right size to sit on a desk or a shelf, and they've been designed with a good amount of detail and care for plushes of their size. For everyone else, it's going to come down to whether or not you like any of these three personally. The quality is definitely there should you choose to pick one up, though, and I would definitely recommend them should you be on the fence about them. 

Besides, they're better than having to deal with the real thing, wouldn't you agree?

[Thanks to GIANTmicrobes for providing review samples!]

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Brian Szabelski, Editor-in-Chief
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Brian Szabelski is Tomopop's Editor-in-Chief, stuck with an ever-growing collection of figures and toys. When he's not posting on Tomopop, he can usually be found working on any number of project... more   |   staff directory

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