Just Zip It: Meet the Clump-O-Lumps

Squid-O the Squid

Meet Squid-O the Squid

Every now and again, something really new and imaginative pops up in the world of toys.  (It happens less often than one might think now, thanks to licensing deals that see television characters become toys, and movies become video games, and book characters become snack foods.  But I digress.)

Egyptian rag doll ca. 1st Century AD

Rag Doll from Roman-era Egypt 1stC - 5thC AD (Courtesy British Museum)

Stuffed animals and other soft toys have been around for at least 2000 years, and probably much longer.  For the most part, they would have been home-made, like the Egyptian doll shown at left.  (I’m sure that it looked a lot better when it was new.)  Only in the 19th century did the manufacture of soft toys leave the home and become industrialized, culminating in the late 1880s with the Steiff factory in Germany and their invention of the iconic teddy bear.

This year saw the introduction of a bold new idea in the world of stuffed toys.  Knock Knock, a company well-known for its line of paper giftware (I particularly like the items designated for the Annoying People on one’s list) has brought out a really innovative line of plush animals that they have named the Clump-O-Lumps.  These six creatures are the brainchild of a fellow named Max Knecht, who in fall 2010 was a student of industrial design, and they charmed the good folks at Knock Knock enough to acquire the rights (apparently Max is still involved with production, so there’s a happy ending all round).

Bird-O-Shark-O-Squid-O Hard at Work

Bird-O-Shark-O-Squid-O Hard at Work

The real innovation here is that each individual Clump-O-Lump creature is sectioned around its horizontal axis by two sturdy zippers, so that it may be “divided” into three separate pieces:  head, torso, legs.  Further, (and you saw this coming, didn’t you?) pieces of one Clump-O-Lump can be combined with those of another, leading to glorious mutation and general weirdness all round.  Each Clump-O-Lump is generously sized (Squid-O, for example, is 32″ or about 81cm in length) and squashily filled with soft fiber.  The outer fabric is 100% polyester fleece.  They are all fully compliant with US and Canadian safety regulations.You can meet the whole clan on our website (http://www.scalliwagtoys.ca) or in-store (where you can actually squeeze them — much better.  Still, if you live in Kamloops, the website is better than nothing.)

CAD$29.99.  In stock now.

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