How can you not love a doll called OX™, Big Toe™ or Babo™? It's not a complicated design
or idea, but those simple faces and bright colors certainly appeals to both
youngsters and adults. Uglydolls™ from the Pretty Ugly company really don't live up to their name, but it certainly makes one take notice and perhaps feel like they need just a little love.
It all started with little character drawings of Wage™
at the bottom of letters David Horvath sent to his college sweetheart Sun-Min Kim. She had returned to her native Korea after graduating from school.
Kim translated that character into a surprise plush gift for Horvath. After he showed it to a friend who owned a store, Horvath asked her to sew a few more. They sold out in one day! And that was just the beginning.
More characters were created to populate the Uglyverse, "a universe where UGLY means
unique and special"*. At the beginning Kim made the dolls, but it soon became too much to handle. After 18 months of sewing 1500 dolls, a factory was found near her home in Korea to make the dolls. The dolls are now made in China.
New York City Toy Fair:
David Horvath and Sun-Min Kim decided to try their luck at the Toy Fair in New York City, eventually
winning the coveted Specialty Toy of the Year
Uglydolls™ have appeared on numerous TV shows, at Comic Cons, they've been seen in movies and
created quite a stir when Sasha Obama went to school with an Uglydoll keychain on her first day of school in DC.
Each doll has a story:
Each doll and design is created by the couple and has a story go with it. With at least some of the names/characters
having personal meanings to the couple. e.g. Wage™ the character that started it all meant that Hovarth would make enough money to bring Kim back to the United States from her native Korea.
$6 to $1000:
Products range in price from just a few bucks for the small Uglydoll™ clip ons to
$495. for a Swarovski® watch or $1000. for a crystal encrusted iPad case. The classic dolls, in the 14" size sell for $20.
There are action figures, t-shirts seen on the coolest folks, books, calendars, and ceramic items including
my favorite -- cookie jars!
Uglydolls™ can be found in specialty toy stores and also can be ordered online directly
from the company's website.
They are not a "pretty" cute, but are cute in their own primitive way, with a personality that goes with their simple facial expressions. It's easy to fall in love with them!
If you're a fan of Uglydolls™, aren't you glad they sent each other real mailed letters instead of emails?