We used to call them "stuffed animals" or "stuffed toys", but somewhere in recent history, they became known as "plushies". Plushies have been mass produced in the commercial realm (such as the famous Steiff), but they have long been created by hand. In economic hard times people can cut back on their purchasing to save money, but they also tend to want to indulge in small frivolities that make them feel happy and comforted. A small soft creature to hold onto is the perfect thing for anyone. It is like a pet but you don't have to feed it, change its litter box, or get a plushie sitter when you go away.
Historically they were made of natural materials such as mohair, wool, leather, or fabric. Nowadays, there are synthetics such as polar fleece and fake fur to add to the mix.
There are animals, creatures, even inanimate objects made personable by adding eyes and a mouth.
The ones I love the best are the articulated ones that are stiff and stand on their own.
I love how Sleepy King uses vintage fabrics with felt to create these sweet critters.
The printed plushie is beautifully realized in this butterfly by Artgoodies. Vintage lovers may remember printed tabby cats and pug dogs.
Sea creatures become adorable when they are "plushed"as demonstrated by Jaynedanger's octopus.
There are loads of monster plushies. You can buy and Ugly Doll mass produced in a factory, or you can buy this upcycled wool, handmade creature from Sighfoo.
I totally love these woo foxes from Strawberries and Cream.
The plushies from Kodomo are adorable, full of personality, and one of a kind. But the stories that come with them will really melt your heart.
A sweet little cloud with a smiling face like the one from Flufftail can't help but give you a positive outlook!
They are not just for kids, but you can get your kids interested in textiles and fiber arts by giving them small scraps or old socks, sweaters, etc. Help them stitch or draw a face and stuff it. They will love their very own hand made friend.