Stuffed Animals

Perhaps the most familiar toy for infants and young children (and teenage girls) is a stuffed animal. Whether the stuffed animals are dogs or teddy bears, they are usually one of the first gifts given to a newborn. Stuffed animals, whether cats, dogs, bears, or giraffes, are synonymous with babies and cuddly things. Stuffed toys, in their various incarnations, have been the toy of choice for little children for countless years.

Gund, For Discerning Stuffed Toy Buyers

When we think of top quality, huggable, plush toys, whether it is a stuffed dog or a unique teddy bear, the name we most often think of is Gund. Their motto, "The World's Most Huggable...since 1898" is true to this day. Who of us hasn't embraced a wonderful Gund toy and held it close, enjoying the amazing softness and plush feeling that seems to be found only in Gund stuffed animals? Gund, founded by Adolph Gund in Norwalk, Connecticut in 1898, was one of the first companies to design and produce teddy bears in the early 1900s. Today, owning a Gund stuffed animal is almost a status symbol and they appeal to people of all ages - to play with and to collect.

Build-A-Bear for Yourself

In recent times, within the past 15 years, another teddy bear phenomenon has taken place. An idea born in the mind of a 10-year-old girl named Katie, took root when she and Maxine Clark were out shopping for a teddy bear and were unable to find what they really wanted. Katie suggested it was possible to make their own bears, and Build-a-Bear was born. With over 400 stores worldwide since 1997, and just over 70 million hand-made bears traveling the world, built by everyday people, Build-a-Bear has created a unique and fun niche for itself. Creating and building your own bear makes it special and one-of-a-kind - different from the bulk stuffed animals available in stores, or stuffed animals sold wholesale and looking exactly alike.

Some of the Top Plush Toys for 2010

Aside from these two remarkable companies, there are several other plush pets that can lay claim to the title of the hottest selling stuffed toys for 2010. The top three stuffed animals according to consumer popularity begin with Fisher Price's Sing-A-Ma-Jigs. These quirky, small plush critters sing, and when they do, their little mouths form an "O". They come in bright colors of red, yellow, pink, purple, orange, and light blue. They're a great gift for 3-6 year old children. A new convertible toy for kids three and up is My Pillow Pet. Pillow Pets come equipped with Velcro fasteners that allow for the stuffed animal to convert to a soft pillow and then back to an animal to play with. Cute hippos, unicorns, ladybugs, bees, and puppies become cozy pillows for a child. The third on the top 10 list is Fur Real Go Go My Walkin' Pup. This one is for preschoolers, four-years-old and older. They've already been established over the past few years as a favorite kids toy, especially due to their realistic properties. The 2010 version is particularly adorable. The little white pup walks, barks and wags his tail - as lifelike as you can get without being real. Finally, when it comes to large stuffed animals, there is only one that's made the grade. Melissa & Doug Giant Giraffe tops the list of large stuffed animals for 2010 and is one of the giant toys made by this company. The giraffe stands almost five feet tall and works best for little kids three years and up.

Stuffed Animals for Infants and Toddlers

When it comes to infant and toddler stuffed animals, the Dance Star Mickey from Fisher Price, for little ones 18 months to 6 years old, is a clincher. This Mickey really comes to life when he sings and dances. A delight to little eyes and ears. Also from Fisher Price is the Laugh and Learn Learning Puppy, created especially for infants and toddlers. This learning toy helps babies learn their letters and numbers and sings some of the babies' favorite songs.

In view of the fact that choosing the top three, five, or ten stuffed toys is just the very tip of a whopping iceberg, start with this list and go from here. There are more stuffed pets than you can count out there, and it seems they'll be a popular choice for a long time to come.

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