Kawaii Plushies: What Are They And Why Are They So Popular?

Kawaii plushies have become incredibly popular with little kids (and retro kids too) over the past five years in the UK. Don't worry if you don't know what 'kawaii' even means – we're here to explain. Within Japanese culture, the term 'kawaii' refers to a quality of cuteness and can be translated best as ‘cute’, ‘adorable’ or ‘lovable’. It is the cultural and aesthetic context of kawaii to Japan that differentiates kawaii from what defines cute in the Western context. Kawaii can refer to not just a cute item, but also clothing, food, behaviour, appearance, personality and entertainment. The most prominent examples of kawaii that you will know of are Hello Kitty and Pokémon.

So Retro Kids, What Do We Mean By Plushies?

So, with the kawaii part explained, what do we mean by 'plushies'? Plushies are actually a North American word for what the UK generally calls cuddly or soft toys, and would include things like the Kawaii dog plush. Cuddly toys have long offered children comfort and security in times of stress or tiredness, even protecting them from the monsters that, in their imagination, lurk under the bed! Even in these days where kids regard their tablets and smartphones as being as essential almost as breathing, there's still a need for these traditional cuddly toys in a child’s life and their bedroom. Looking back, the first mass-produced, commercially-available stuffed toy was the Ithaca Kitty whose production ran from 1892 until the first World War. This was based on the design of an American cat with seven toes on each of his front paws by the name of Caesar Grimalkin. Mr Grimalkin, however, was a bit of a prima donna. He would barely sit still long enough for his owner to develop their plush portrait and in the end, they took him into a studio to be filmed instead! The Ithaca Kitty would go onto take America by storm. Meanwhile, in early 20th century Britain, Beatrix Potter's Peter Rabbit character became the first cuddly toy to be patented. Today, cuddly toys are still just as popular as they have ever been; but we've now started to see toys that weren't previously available in Western culture. Amigurumi and kawaii pillows or plushies from Japan, especially kawaii animal plushies, are now thought to be among the most popular soft toys for kids.

What Makes A Stuffed Bear Or A Kawaii Cat Plush Toy So Special?

As outlined above, there's more to cuddly toys than just acting as protectors and comforters to children in times of crisis. Psychological studies have found that upwards 70% of children become emotionally attached to their cuddly toys, as they believe these inanimate objects possess a sort of life-force or soul. It's interesting that researchers found, however, that this phenomenon was exclusive to children in the Western world, as Western children tend to sleep apart from their parents from a young age. So essentially, the cuddly toy is a replacement for the comfort offered by a parent's presence; and they act as lovely companions to children too. Kawaii cuddly toys are especially great for this reason. Not only are they snuggly and incredibly cute, they are made with the softest of fibres too. However, despite kawaii becoming so popular in cuddly toy form over the past few years, it can still be difficult to find a good shop selling kawaii plush toys. As safety standards differ from country to country, it’s vital to ensure that the ones you buy comply with European regulations, for example. But don't worry: we're here to point you in the right direction. At Retro Kids, we specialise in selling cute, kitsch and traditional toys that are a far cry from the modern gadgets of today. Amongst our collection of kawaii stuffed toys, you will find kawaii food plushies and animal plushies – such as adorable kawaii cat plush toys.

Get Lovely Kawaii Plushies At Retro Kids Today!

When Retro Kids discovered the quality of kawaii, we were smitten by its cuteness. From that point on, we felt a desire to introduce kawaii accessories – such as kawaii plushies, necklaces, rugs, cushions and more – to kids in the UK. Oh, and we've found that those big retro kids (like us) love them too! To see our full range of kawaii products, as well as our other traditional toys and accessories, just visit us at https://www.retrokids.com today. If you'd like to chat about any of our products, including how they they’ve been manufactured from an ethical or environmental standpoint, we're happy to help. You can call us on 0333 3583 228 or email info@retrokids.com.