Monday Roundtable: The Lifelong Journeys of Our Beloved Childhood Stuffed Animals

Lots of kids have treasured stuffed animal, and hey guess what? We were all kids one time too! This week we’re talking a walk down memory lane to talk about our must beloved stuffed animals, and checking in with where they are now.

Laneia, Executive Editor

Um hello do you have a week and some time off so we can go tour my mom’s attic because YES MA’AM, I sure did have some treasured stuffed animals! They’re still treasured! Honestly I don’t know where to start or how to narrow this down to just one, especially since they’re all fully sentient of course and would heartbroken to learn that I didn’t choose them, but for the sake of this community I’ll go with the stuffed animal that happens to be in my room right now: Strawberry Shortcake.

There was special fabric you could buy in the 80s — and can maybe still buy, who knows — that had the front and back of popular characters printed on it, with a seam allowance and a dotted line around each. You’d cut the two halves out of the fabric, sew them together, stuff them with batting, close it up and BOOM instant soft doll thing, which is perhaps just a pillow, now that I’m thinking about it. Anyway, I don’t know which kind old lady decided to do this for me when I was a small child, but I thank her and I hold her in my heart, because this is the best stuffed thing for cuddling! Cabbage Patch dolls had those hard heads, Pound Puppies were too small and really needed to be sleeping with their mama dog anyway, and have you ever tried sleeping with seven or eight plastic CareBears? Not cozy. This Strawberry Shortcake on the other hand! Pretty cozy! Again, literally a pillow, I’ve realized!

Rachel, Managing Editor

I don’t know the story of how or why I got Lambie; Lambie has just always been present in my life, as far back as I can remember. Lambie’s limbs are technically articulated and you can pose them in different positions, but Lambie is so old and stiff that I feel hesitant doing this. In my childhood we had a pet dog that liked chewing up stuffed animals, which means Lambie has had a few bouts of reconstructive surgery, but is doing great considering I am almost 30 and therefore so is she (I think?) (I feel like 65% confident using she/her pronouns for Lambie, that situation was never really a priority to get thought through). When I was a small child, my mom used to sing a song to me before bedtime, and I would make her sing it twice, once addressed to me and once addressed to Lambie. (The lyrics of the song were, in total, “goodnight [name], goodnight [name], goodnight [name], I hate to say goodnight.”) Inspirationally or perhaps worryingly, I still have Lambie in my adult bed, where I sleep as a grown adult woman!

Heather Hogan, Senior Editor

This is my teddy bear and his name is Teddy and even though there are approximately ten thousand photos of me and him together throughout my life — starting the very day I came home from the hospital — no one seems to know where he came from. Everyone in my family says they wish they could take credit for him, because no one they know has ever loved a stuffed animal so hard or so long, but they can’t. It’s like we arrived in the world together somehow. So Teddy has been with me for the whole time I’ve been me, except for a brief period when I went off to college and he got trapped in a box. When I was five years old I had corretive surgery on my lazy left eye, and I forgot him at my grandmother, Annie B’s, house on the way to the hospital, so she had to call me and pretend to be him long enough to get me to calm down enough to sit still to get sedated. When I was 38 I had endometriosis surgery and I remembered him. Stacy carried him around all day, in and out of waiting rooms and the recovery room. When the surgeon saw him, he said, “And well here is a trusted companion!” And he was right, and Teddy sleeps right on my bed every night, and that will always be true.

Sarah, Marketing & Design Director

Yes! Their name is Grey, and they’re a grey rabbit. Honestly I’m pretty sure this stuffed animal is non-binary because I don’t remember ascribing them a gender! Anyway — I believe I acquired Grey from a family friend who gifted it to me days after I was birthed into this world. I don’t remember being particularly attached to it as a child, but there is a specific instance in which I know I must have felt in some way about them. I was around 6 and on a road trip with my parents when I realized I had left it at the last relatives house — about 30 minutes away. I remember bursting into tears when I realized Grey was missing, but honestly I feel like I was also just a super dramatic child and often wanted car rides to be more entertaining than they were — so. I recently purged my collection of stuff of anything extraneous for my big move out west, and Grey survived the culling. I suppose that even if my feelings for Grey are tepid, they still make me feel some kinda way!

Laura M, Staff Writer

I had a ring tailed lemur from the Burnet Park Zoo in Syracuse! I had three, actually, because after I got the first one, I thought it would be a cool souvenir to get one from every zoo I visited thereafter. The issue I ran into was a) I was a child with no income, and therefore found myself unable to travel the world visiting all the zoos that I wanted; and b) there are a limited number of ring tailed lemur stuffed animal designs. Or there were during the late 90s/early 00s, anyway.

My mother also referred to stuffed animals as “dust magnets” and actively discouraged me from following this particular dream. I assume Ringo and friends have long since been donated.

Kayla Kumari Upadhyaya, Staff Writer

I had various stuffed animals through the years, but none of them were like The One, you know? Instead of a go-to childhood stuffed animal or blanket, I had a go-to childhood…satin robe. My mom had this floral satin robe from Victoria’s Secret that I was absolutely obsessed with from pretty much the moment I could stand up and touch the bottom of it as it hung from the back of her door. It became a weird tactile obsession for me, and pretty soon, it went from being my mom’s robe to being my “Snugly,” as everyone in my family called it. I slept with Snugly, wore it, carried it around. The robe’s sash became known as “travel Snugly,” and I’d bring it on family vacations. I don’t know what ended up happening to it. I assume it tattered and my mom threw it away when I no longer needed it. But a few years ago, I hopped on Etsy to see if I could find a replica by just searching “vintage Victoria’s Secret floral robe” and sure enough I found A CARBON COPY!!!! So now I own one again, but since I’m an adult, I use it as a normal robe.

Archie, Cartoonist

His name was Tootsie a bear created by Tootsie Roll Industries to help sell candy to kids- and I couldn’t stand that candy but really was into that bear. The Tootsie pop he was holding has sense falling off, but overall he’s in great shape for having him since I was five!

He currently resides on my shelf, next to my haunted dolls that I honestly wish MORE people would ask me about.

Alyssa, Comic Artist

My bear, Benjamin!

A nurse gave me Benjamin when I was maybe 7 or so in the hospital for one of many long term stays. Every time I had to have surgery, I’d wake up to Benjamin stitched up in the same exact spot. I once had a portable IV placed in my chest, and Benjamin got one too! I think ultimately Benjamin succumbed to our disease, but my man really got me through the worst of the worst. I don’t think I’ll ever forget him. He was the best.

Erin, Staff Writer

I had two stuffed animal bear friends as a child. Pretty tight crew, I know, but two bears was enough as I also had an imaginary friend who was an adult woman that I had to entertain. I was only one child!

One of the bears was named “Belkie” after the department store from whence he came, Belks, which is a fact that I sadly did not put together until I was an adult. I hated that I couldn’t remove his Santa hat, as it was tragically sewn to his head, but that doesn’t mean I didn’t try on a daily basis.

My other bear was Muffy (lol), or as she was know officially, Muffy Vanderbear. Muffy’s slogan was: “Life is one big dress up.” That was sort of her whole deal. She came in and with a wardrobe closet full of ensembles tailored to the seasons, and while I think the idea was to change her outfits as the year progressed, my approach to her wardrobe changes was less fixed and more fluid, which meant changing her whenever I felt like it. Dressed as a duck in January? Bet. Heavy formal wear in June? You better believe it!

Belkie currently resides in the attic of my parents home, and Muffy was recently gifted to a family friend’s daughter. May her flair live on in her. Also, no I did not get emotional when looking up their pictures, thank you for asking!

Alexis, Staff Writer

SIMBA FROM THE LION KING. The Lion King is my absolute favorite of all time the musical the movie the interpretive dance that I’ve come up with aLL OF IT. I got him when I was little but don’t really remember how or when? Everyone in my life knows what Lion King means to me so it could’ve been anyone who got him for me. Where are they now? Literally eight feet away from me. I thought I lost him when I was little so when I went to Disneyworld, I got one and came home and found the other so now they’re brothers! You didn’t ask but in the picture are (Francis Capernum (the lamb who also came to camp with me), Beemo (who came to Lesbians Who Tech), Trip the Therapy Dog, and the rest Nightmare Fighting Gang)

Valerie Anne, Staff Writer

When I was born, my Nana gave me a Care Bear named is Wishbear who, despite the near-constant coming and going of other fluffy friends over the years, has remained my favorite stuffed animal. I love the pictures of us together when I’m a baby because she’s bigger than me. She has a shooting star on her tummy that I thought was a rainbow for a long time, when she appears in the cartoons, she’s kind and hopeful and sweet. She values the combination of wishing and hard work, and I really respect that about her. My Wishbear has been with me on long vacations when I was little, to college and back, and still sleeps in my bed with me to this very day. She’s a little faded, her curl has stretched out, some of her belly badge threads are coming loose, and she has a few scars from things like a run-in with a radiator, but all in all I think she looks pretty darn good for a well-loved 31-year-old stuffed animal.

Stef Schwartz, Vapid Fluff Editor

My first stuffed animal was a pink bear named Ruthie. I was very into animals and for birthdays etc I would usually just decide I NEEDED a stuffed animal of a kangaroo, or an elephant, or whatever, and I can’t imagine how annoying that was in a world before Amazon. Ruthie stuck around for the long haul despite losing her nose and I believe having at least one eye replaced. She still lives in New Jersey with my parents, where she occasionally keeps my baby niece company.

Vanessa Friedman, Community Editor

My favorite childhood stuffed animal was Popple. Popple was a bear, I think, and very soft. She wasn’t a furry stuffed animal – her fabric was crinkly and delicate, the palest yellow you can imagine, sort of like fresh whipped butter. I’d like to tell you a story about Popple.

When I was four, my parents decided to move our family from South Africa to Canada. My dad moved first, and my mom, my little brother, and I stayed in an apartment for a few weeks before flying over to join him. One night, my mom was giving my brother a bath and I was entertaining myself in the bedroom. There was a lamp on the bedside table, you know, a regular bedside table lamp, and I decided it would be fun to give my stuffed animals a spa treatment. I gathered the small group of them around the lamp and set them up carefully, making sure each one got an equal amount of “sun” via the lamp’s lightbulb and doting on them as I imagined any spa attendant would.

Popple, being my favorite stuffed animal, got the prized spa spot: directly next to the light bulb, delicate crinkly fresh whipped butter yellow fabric pressed against the heat, held in place by the wire frame around the bulb.

Once my stuffed animals were all comfortable at the spa, I disappeared from the room, eager to keep my mom and brother company in the bathroom. Which I did. Until we smelled burning.

Yep, exactly what you were worried might happen, happened. I set Popple on fire. Accidentally! Who knew there was such a thing as too much lightbulb spa for a delicate stuffed animal. Not my 4 year old self! My poor mother. She scooped my little brother from the tub, ran to the bedroom, saved Popple and all our possessions before things got too bad, and managed to not throw her eldest daughter out the window for almost starting a fire while attempting to give her favorite stuffed animal a spa treatment. Uh huh.

I’m almost 30 now and haven’t accidentally set an apartment building on fire yet, in case anyone was wondering. Also, my grandma, who has since passed away, sewed up the wound on Popple’s stomach with this truly hideous neon green fish print fabric, and I had to pretend to be grateful because really, that was a very nice thing to do. So Popple has seen some things now, and has a belly to prove it, and honestly, same.

Carmen, Staff Writer

The Winnie the Pooh photographed here isn’t, technically speaking, “my childhood Winnie the Pooh.” He’s the Winnie I’ve had since college and love dearly (I even got his soft velvet nose replaced at a Doll Hospital when I first moved to New York. The original fell apart in a tragic laundry related incident). His face is squished from all the naps I took with him curled into my side, so now it looks like he’s permanently winking at me. His fur is matted from all the hugs I’ve given him. He has lived with me in four cities over the last decade and he is perfect.

But I got my first Winnie the Pooh when I was nine years old. I saw him at the Disney Store (does any one remember those?) at our local mall. He was huge! At least a third of my childhood height. The first time I saw him my heart did a backflip. I couldn’t explain it, but I knew he was supposed to be mine. I pleaded with my mother who scoffed at the price (large trademarked stuffed animals don’t come cheap) and politely dragged me out of the store. I wouldn’t give up and eventually she relented. I still remember how soft his fur was pressed up against my face for the entire ride home.

I was right, that Winnie the Pooh and I were destined for each other. My grandmother got sick the same winter that he first came home with me. She died in the spring. Everything that year was dark and awful. By the time school let out for summer break, Winnie’s fur was caked and stained from all of my tears. I took him everywhere. He was my best friend. He held all my secrets without me having to same them out loud.

Winnie slept in my bed for ten years after that. He followed me when my family moved from upstate New York to Michigan. When I was eighteen and leaving for college, I simply couldn’t fathom making the leap without him by my side.

My mom thought that a freshman with a vaguely grime covered, worn in, stuffed animal the size of Texas in her dorm bed would be terrible for my social life (she was probably right about that, thanks mom!). The summer after my high school graduation she bought me Winnie the Second, who is pictured here.

Winnie the Second is a bit smaller than his big brother, but just as loved. He became the “unofficial” mascot of my college years — literally all my friends knew him by name. Along the way somewhere he stopped sleeping in my bed, but that’s OK. He’s a part of my heart.

KaeLyn, Staff Writer

My childhood stuffed animal was a little, spotted deer named “Reindeer.” My grandma crocheted him a blue deer sweater he still wears to this day. He lives on a bookshelf with Waffle’s childhood friend, “Teddy” the teddy bear. We were obviously brilliant and creative children who were great at naming things.

Reneice, Staff Writer

Lucky the Ladybug Beanie Baby was my one and only treasured stuffed animal as a child. I was never really into stuffed animals and hated it when people gave them to me, but I’ve always had a deep deep love for lady bugs and when this beanie baby came into my life I attached quickly and fiercely. I didn’t bring her everywhere with me, but I brought her the important places, the places I needed comfort like church which made me feel othered and therapy which made me feel things I didn’t like or understand. Lucky was also the only thing allowed in the operating room with me when I had my heart surgery, her most important escort job of all. My mother couldn’t come with me into surgery but Lucky could and that was enough to keep me calm. I’ve always credited her for the success of that surgery along with the surgeon. Heartbreakingly, I lost Lucky in college and honestly haven’t been the same since. I still miss her pretty often, mostly I miss that she smelled like the Just For Me hair products I used as a child from all the nights I slept with/on her. She helped me be brave as a little girl, then kept me connected to that brave little girl as an adolescent. There’s now nothing in the world that excites me more than spotting ladybugs and thanking them for the gift of their luck.

Molly Priddy, Staff Writer

My best stuffed animal when I was little was a Yum Yum Chuckle Chip Bear, this sort of Care Bear knockoff that had this intoxicating sweet smell and a sparkly nose.

I love it so much, literally almost to its death. It was green, with chocolate chips on its paw pads and belly. I would drag the tuft of hair on the top of its head across my face when I was trying to fall asleep; I just loved that goddamn bear. It lived on my bed, and now, I am unsure where it is, alone and unloved, running on the fumes of memories.

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  1. Once upon a time in middle school I had a generic brown teddy bear I creatively named “Ted” (after the HIMYM character). He was left behind in our cabin after a Greek cruise, and ever since I’ve repressed my malaise.

  2. I had a stuffed pig named, inexplicably, Benjamin Franklin (Benji for short). No one in my family can remember where he came from, and he became my favorite because I started sleeping next to him again in seventh grade because my insomnia. I, to this day, firmly believe that Benji’s presence cured (or at least alleviated) my insomnia.

  3. When I was little, I loved stuffed animals! I have so many, and I refuse to donate any of them because I love all of them. My favorite is a beanie baby kitten named Mattie. She was the leader of a secret group of stuffed animals that protected the world from danger. Sometimes, all of my stuffed animals would get together and have an epic war because I also love The Lord of the Rings, and Mattie would always be the kind, heroic leader. A few of the stuffed animals would tragically lose their lives for her cause, but that would just inspire the rest of the stuffed animals to fight even harder against evil. I had a fun childhood.

  4. Molly ?

    I have a teddy called Rosie (all my teddies were called Rosie, but this was Rosie the first) and I apparently got her for my second Christmas or something? I have a first memory of being carried out of the living room and upstairs to bed, and I have a feeling she’s there but it’s vague, as very old memories are. She’s faded now and her nose is also squashed in, but I was and am very careful, so she’s not damaged at all. She’s the only thing I have from my childhood in my current house apart from pictures, and she’s living in my bookcase at the moment. She moved from the UK to the US and now back to Europe with me! Well-travelled bear.

  5. My sister and I used to get a Belkie Bear every year. We were in high school when they started making them so we were over the whole stuffed animal thing, at least officially. They were part of the decorations though.

    I had a stuffed seal called Sammy the Seal. I had him when I was in the hospital when I was 2. It died a quick death, in a manner which I still can’t talk about in detail. Also, I had a stuffed dog that I obviously named Snoopy. He was taped, stitched, sewn, and bound together. I used to crawl under our house with him and play. He got torn up but I didn’t let him go until high school. My sister and I had a little ceremony when I buried him.

  6. Kayla YES!

    I had a piece of burgundy satin fabric when I was little that I loved and carried around and would rub between my fingertips. I eventually made a fancy balldress for my Sindy doll out of it including full length gloves. I don’t have any stuffies, but I do still have my doll in her sultry dress! I guess it’s unsurprising I studied costume after…

    Also now I’m yearning to make myself a fancy dark red dress.

  7. Also I’m just reminded that I wouldn’t name stuffed animals as a kid because it seemed wrong for me to tell them their names. I would play board games with them and give them a name for the duration but tell them it was just for the game and not to worry they could be whoever they wanted to be.

    #onlychild #queerineverysense


    I also have a teddy bear named Teddy who was in my crib when I got home from the hospital and he still lives in my bedroom and he is the best

  9. That was so sweet! ?

    My favourite stuffed animal as a child was a teddy bear hand doll. His name translates to “Little Friend” and my father got him for my fourth birthday, after I’d seen him in a toy store and become completely transfixed a week or two earlier. Since my father was the only one who got the voice right, the teddy became sort of a stand-in for my relationship with my father, and a way of communicating with my father without talking straight at him. Here we are on holiday in 1989:

  10. I didn’t name him, and I don’t know where he came from, but I had a baby koala bear. He was so tiny, even to my tiny self. His stomach had worn out a little so that the stuffing was visible through a hole in the middle of his stomach, so he even had a belly button. I think we get rid of him when we moved to England.

  11. Archie, yikes ! Haunted dolls no kidding. I’m not sure which one is the most disturbing, the quiet one with the mussed hair, staring off just past my shoulder, or the pugilistic one staring me down with those dark circles under her eyes and her red, very red lips. But maybe, the scariest one is the doe-eyed Tootsie, obviously the ringleader.
    Great library btw.

    • Omg Hahahaha this description is perfect! Also! That wooded doll is holding up her open palm which is painted red. WHY. Why.

  12. here with the update that i briefly moved Lambie out of my bed because i had someone over and regretted it SO MUCH, not worth it would not recommend, loyalty to stuffed animals first and always

  13. I had this plastic baby doll, whose blonde hair I’d cut into this short mass that started sticking straight up in a kind of 80’s short do once I took her into the doughboy pool. I named her Spanky, and she had no clothes that I remember, and I loved her so.

    • I own two but the real star is the wooden doll I call Mud Woman, because she’s so dirty. She’s got this stern frown, she’s holding up her open palm-which is painted RED as if holding BLOOD. All my internet searching has been fruitless, I’ve found nothing about frowning wooden dolls. I don’t know if she’s actually haunted, but also how could she not be.

  14. I am secretly incredibly sentimental, and have carefully preserved my most beloved stuffed animal during all ten of the domicile changes we have made together. The stuffed animal is a small bean-bag Snoopy, inherited from my mother, who inherited Snoopy from her mother. In Snoopy’s transition from my mother to myself, Snoopy became a she, and all of Snoopy’s friends were girls, and we all existed in this rural childhood Utopia with no boys at all (*signs*). I hope to someday bequeath Snoopy to my child, along with several of Snoopy’s friends.

  15. These are very sweet! Carmen, I love that your mom caved and bought you the Pooh Bear.

    I had a little stuffed gorilla named Gonzo that my parents bought from a PBS fund raiser after I made a huge fuss over seeing him on the TV. I was so excited and honestly, older than I feel like I should have been. I just like gorillas! I don’t actually think I ever slept with a stuffed animal though. He was just a cool dude!

    Can we talk about dolls too? I liked dolls in some kind of way that now, as an adult, I think was kinda gay.

  16. I still sleep with my favorite teddy bear, Hershel. He’s a family heirloom: my mother got him for Christmas when she was eleven, and passed him down to me when I was in the third grade.

  17. I recall having a few plush early on, but it was more around University time that I really began giving a home to wayward plush. ^_^ I’ve had quite a few, most sadly in storage now, having moved around way too many times, but I’ve managed to keep a few with me regardless, so they’re very well travelled by now: a large beige bunny, who helps make the bed much less lonely, and an adorable reclined red panda. Both come with me pretty much anywhere I’m staying overnight or longer.

    (Oh, I wish I still had the Brer Rabbit I found in one of the Disneyland shops.. about 4-5′ tall, perfectly on-model. Such a cool guy!)

  18. Funny enough even though I loved stuffed animals and had many the one item I kept constantly with me was a blanket. My paternal grandma made it, it was blue and white and had baby animals and my name on it. I took that blanket everywhere, I was like Linus from Peanuts as a kid!

  19. I have a lot of stuffed animal feelings and friends!!! When I was very little it was clear I loved stuffed animals, so they kind of became the go to gift for birthdays and such. I love tigers, so I basically have a family of maybe 25ish tigers and then a few other creature friends. I played with all regularly and they are all SO loved! My tiger family became my chosen family for love and support before I even knew what that meant and why I needed that. This picture is one my dad took while he was making a hilarious and adorable video with some of them while I was away at college and had to leave most of them at my parents house. My tigers have always been there for me <3

    • R>L: Pie, Bosco, Orange Pie, Hersheys, Big Nose, Chico, and Jazzy. These are two of three sets of tiger twins. There’s something magic about having two identical stuffed animals that still somehow have their own individuality.

    • Hey I have a tiger collection too! A few of them are with me but most are at my parents house :)

      • Nice! Tigers are the best! Yeah I have most of mine at this point but a few are still with them. I feel bad about keeping them separated so I’ve been meaning to get the rest.

  20. Fuzzy Bear is a stuffed bear who is the perfect size for cuddling, which is why I stole him from my mother around age 7 and never gave him back, as in he still sleeps on my bed. Ironically, my mother actually stole him from her college roommate. Or possibly was gifted him by her college roommate? She wasn’t entirely sure. Either way I like to think that Fuzzy Bear was just in search of his forever person and then he found me and now he’s happy.

  21. Unfortunately I never had stuff animals. I did have some Annamanic toys, like Slappy the Squirrel riding a motorcycle with Skippy on the side car, that took everywhere with me. I still have them in my room somewhere.

  22. YES I have all the plush animals and still do (I’m 43 hi); and they are my good buddies.

    A few years ago I got the pink octopus from (highly recommended) and named him Blob and he is my current favorite plush for hugging and chatting about our days. I’m an introvert who’s allergic to pets so plush friends are good friends. I have smaller ones (Little Duck, Toby the Dog) for when I travel to job interviews lol.

    Laneia I totally had several of those pillow-type dolls. One was the easter bunny; he had a cute green vest. #gay

  23. I didn’t have stuffed animals. I had beanie babies and a doll one of my more devout relatives gave me for my late baptism when I was about 2. Can’t be sure if it was a commission or coincidence that it looked like me and it’s dress was very close to mine but in the style of an infant instead of toddler. She had those eyes that opened when you picked her up, people found her creepy.

    My prime comfort toy was Mystic the Unicorn which I just learned is worth a lot of money. But I can’t focus much on that because of the revelations adult me is having.
    First it was “haha my favourite was a unicorn and I’m bisexual ha” but now it’s I put Mystic in a doll dress to protect their belly fur and could never make up my mind if they had a gender or not.
    So now I’m sort of crying? From unexpected gender feelings.

    I thought it would be how about how I put my baby doll away because puberty made the open mouth of a doll near my chest stressful or how I forcefully weaned myself from cuddling anything to sleep.

    But no it’s unexpected gender feelings about putting a nonbinary unicorn in a dress to protect them.

  24. My favourite out of everything was the limited edition tye dye beanie baby Batty the Bat. My mom bought him for me in October of 1996.

    He has survived multiple moves and an accidental spin in the dryer (his head partially came off, my mom had to sew it back on).

    All of my childhood stuffies are gone but Batty will stay with me forever.

  25. LANEIA. I had that exact same Strawberry Shortcake doll. Though in my case it wasn’t one of my super-faves. But when I saw that picture I was like WHAT.

    I had a teddy bear, Teddy. And a panda. My brother had a smaller panda. I knew he would never take care of it the way it needed, so I stole it. I did give it back…eventually…

    Now I also have a teddy bear designed and made by my mother-in-law. It is very simple and lovely and it makes me smile.

    I also had a Jolly Green Giant – not based on that brand of peas but handmade by someone, maybe my mom? Big bright green dude with circles of black leather for eyes and red stitching for a mouth. Creepy as hell, but I did not think so at the time.

  26. I have a well loved pink plush bear named Pinkie. My grandfather gave it to me for Christmas when I was 5. I am 48 and Pinkie is 43. He sits on the futon in my home office / studio and is still the best. His chest and head are mostly hollow due to a stuffing leak and most of his plush is worn off and his eyes are gone. But he’s still perfect.

    • they aren’t childhood stuffed animals they don’t fit the prompt!!! i got the first koala when i was like 18. i will share a picture of them here anyway if you want. we are a blended family

    • here are the boys, from australia and my mother’s boyfriend and from the houston airport and mika respectively. they are strong and brave and i love them

  27. Well, this was precious.

    I don’t recall having anything that was specifically THE ONE, but I have fond memories of my Simba (we loved performing musical numbers!) and a DOODLE BEAR. Does anyone else remember those? So. Cool. I still have TONS of Beanie Babies at my childhood home. My grandpa even made me a special display case thingy for them.

  28. I have had so many various stuffed friends over the years that this was a joy to read.

    One of my current stuffed friends is a build-a-bear I received for my bday in 2009. Her name is Sookie (yep just like the True Blood character) and I feel like dressing her up was maybe how I got comfortable with the idea of being soft butch? Masculine or unisex clothes are harder to come by in the build-a-bear world but I TRIED, so her wardrobe goes from femme to butch with most of it squarely in the tomboy femme – soft butch range.

  29. I had a stuffed tiger that I named Hobbes because duh. He’d still been at my mom’s house all these years, but she just texted me a few days ago to let me know my brother accidentally destroyed him ☹

  30. oh man i love this topic as a lifelong stuffed animal aficionado. i think there’s still a box or three of my creatures in storage somewhere, but my number one since day one is my stuffed whale, george

    my parents have no clue where he came from, but he’s been around since before i could talk. they called him mr whale, and one day i haughtily informed them that his name was george, and george he has been since! his back has been reupholstered twice now to protect from Aggressive Loving but he’s a chill dude and doesn’t mind. he goes on every trip i take and has pride of place on my bed

    • also all the comments to that twitter journey that weren’t people accusing me of murder / making the same “kazuo ishiguro’s ‘Never Let Me Elmo'” joke were ppl sharing stories about THEIR lovies, and it was great

      my fav was a cabbage patch doll named Baby Lisa

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