WHAT THE FUG? Fugglers Taking Toy Industry By Storm!

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Fugglers. Funny ugly monsters. Despite being a lover of bizarre toys I had never heard of these toys until they randomly came up as a recommendation on Amazon for me. I was instantly drawn to them, not knowing they were actually one of the projected “hot” toys for the 2018 Christmas season. Immediately I noticed two things on Amazon; there were quite a few varieties available and there was no consistency to the pricing. This was an easily recognizable example of price gouging by private sellers.

I immediately felt these would make great gifts but refused to pay the elevated prices. Then, the week before Christmas, I was in my local Wal-Mart and found a huge display that must have just come in featuring the toy I was seeking out. A few had already sold and I grabbed two immediately (at $14.97 apiece they were a lot cheaper than the ones on Amazon going for double and even triple the price). When my mother saw these she expressed interest in getting some for her grandsons and when I went back to this Wal-Mart, just a couple of days later, there were only five left in stock! Luckily they had three varieties as my mother needed 3 different ones.

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These fun, plush dolls come packaged in simple, but very entertaining boxes, warning you against buying them. The first draw is their designs, featuring very realistic looking human-type teeth. The second draw is the boxes they come in. Statements such as “Adopt at your own risk!” and “Open with caution!” adorn the box, adding to the experience of owning one of these creatures. They even warn you on the back to not visit the Fuggler website (visit it HERE), a great marketing gimmick.

In the box, in addition to the Fuggler itself, is the adoption registration certificate. Each Fuggler comes with its own independent number, that you can use to register your new friend online. I am not sure what you get by registering as to date, I have not gotten one thing in my e-mail as promised.

Toy company Spin Master is responsible for these toys now but where did they originate? Believe it or not on Etsy made one at a time by an artist in the United Kingdom known only as Mrs. McGettrick. They were advertised as ‘tooth monster dolls’ or ‘Fugglers’ online and featured glass eyes and pearly white teeth. They sold from anywhere between $67 and $107 each, depending on the amount of work involved with the made-to-order creations. Some people claimed that the toys were made with real teeth, despite Mrs. McGettrick claiming constantly that the teeth were fake. She even had instances of customers sending her baby teeth from their children that they wanted used in the doll they were asking to be made.

According to the original Fuggler site, McGettrick’s unusual online business started in 2010 when she came across a listing for a bag of individual false teeth on eBay one night. The posting made her laugh, and while she wondered what the teeth could possibly be used for, she envisioned a ‘little old lady buying the teeth to add to her home-made teddy bears.’

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McGettrick ended up ordering the teeth with the plan of adding them to second-hand teddy bears she purchased at charity shops. However, when she failed to find what she was looking for, she started making her own dolls from scratch. She said that the first attempts were terrible, but entertainingly so featuring uneven eyes, wonky teeth and obvious stitching. She started posting the dolls on Etsy, and admitted that she was both ‘bewildered and excited’ when she sold her first order. What started as a part-time hobby soon became a lucrative business. Though the hand-made Fugglers are meant for adults, Spin Master’s version are suitable for children 4 and older.

According to Spin Master, there are more than 50 unique Fuggler characters to collect, available in 9 or 12-inch sizes. Rare characters can be discovered by checking for glow-in-the dark teeth and eyes. In addition to Wal-Mart, Fugglers can also be found at Target, GameStop and Hot Topic as well as additional specialty retailers for a target MSRP of $14.99 USD to $24.99 USD.

The line has also expanded beyond the plush dolls. There are now shirts, hats, socks, buttons and even puzzles! This is one hot toy that is definitely not going away!

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~David Albaugh

 

 

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