The quality of plush toys varies greatly, and we’re not just talking about the difference between carnival or crane-operated machine stuffed animals versus exclusive custom plush toy designs.
Even the plush toys sitting on the shelves of major retailers have varying degrees of quality. But other than price, what really differentiates high quality plush toys from the rest?
The difference between low quality and high quality plush toys
Plush toys are meant to be snuggled and hugged. As such, the best materials for high quality plush toys are soft and durable. Consequently, the best plush toys have a soft feel with a smooth pile. In textiles, pile refers to the raised surface of fabric.
Low quality plush toys feel rough, and you can often see the fabric backing.
High quality fabric clearly enhances the value of a plush toy and beats out the cost savings of choosing a cheap and less reliable material.
When it comes to stuffing, the material used and the technique employed influence the overall quality of a plush toy. Stuffing material varies in softness, and lower-grade material has a tendency to clump, resulting in a lumpy feel.
High quality plush toys are evenly stuffed with smooth material.
Low quality plush toys, on the other hand, are often overstuffed. This results in an undesirable, rigid feel.
To test the stuffing of a plush toy, give it a gentle squeeze. It should feel soft and smooth, and bounce back into shape.
When it comes to material used for plush toys, safety is of the utmost concern. High quality plush toy manufacturers contract with independent, fully accredited laboratories that specialize in testing children’s products.
Should you have any questions about safety requirements throughout the design or production process, ask your manufacturer. They should be quick to respond with information regarding procedures for compliance.
4. Overall Design
Materials aside, low quality plush toys often have a generic look, which indicates a lack of forethought in the design process.
Low quality plush toys are also produced without a specific market in mind. Because of this, they may not resonate with your audience.
Conversely, high quality plush toy manufacturers cater to clients’ needs, and address the wants and desires of specific markets. Top-notch design teams strive to create fresh, flexible solutions that are creative and push the boundaries when it comes to materials, designs, and functionality.
5. Product Execution & Quality Assurance
During the manufacturing process, high quality plush toys begin as a hand-sewn sample. The original sample goes through a series of iterations before the product is mass produced. This attention to detail separates high quality plush toys from their low quality counterparts.
The best plush toy manufacturers also have an overseas team to assure quality throughout the manufacturing, packaging, and shipping process.
When it comes to choosing a plush toy for your next project, be cognizant of the factors above, and how they add value to the final product.