CUDDLY TOY THAT’S A MIDDLE-CLASS MUST-HAVE
SMILING from ear to ear, Princess Charlotte squeals at her beloved Fuddlewuddle Puppy, a £17 soft toy by Jellycat. It’s the middle-class British brand delighting both children and adults everywhere. But where does the appeal lie?
Jasper, six, and Roman, four, both have a Jellycat toy. Their mother Eliza Adams, 32, a copywriter from Dorset, says: ‘I think the appeal is in their disproportionately long limbs, and they have friendlier faces than other toys. Jasper has slept with his every night for five years and it’s still intact.’ Created by brothers William and Thomas Gatacre in 1999, and named by Thomas’s son Jack, Jellycat sells more than a million toys a year worldwide, taking £25 million last year.
The bestseller of more than 35 toys in the current range — sold in shops such as Harrods and John Lewis — is Bashful Bunny (£16), which counts Tom Cruise’s daughter Suri among its fans. William claims Jellycat revolutionised the conventional cuddly toy: ‘Soft toys used to look like the animals themselves. We turned that on its head and can create a rabbit in thousands of different ways, by changing the shape, feel, colour, size and materials used.’
And Jellycat isn’t just for kids. Adults who can’t get enough of the brand can join Facebook groups such as Jellycat Addicts to trade favourite toys.