Sleeved blanket

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A woman wearing a blue Snuggie.

A sleeved blanket is a unisex body-length blanket with sleeves usually made of fleece or Vellux material. It is similar in design to a bathrobe that is meant to be worn backwards (i.e., with the opening in the back). The product has been marketed by various brands as the Snuggie, Snuggler, Doojo, Toasty Wrap, and Slanket, with varying sizes, colors and qualities of materials but similar basic design.[1] The "Snuggie" brand itself also became a phenomenon of pop culture, outselling other brands and being referenced or imitated by many comedians or TV shows.

Popularity[edit]

In late 2008 and early 2009 the Snuggie brand of sleeved blankets became a pop culture phenomenon,[2][3] sometimes described humorously as a "cult".[2][4][5]

The product became famous after a direct response commercial promoting the product was aired. It was featured on television programs like Today where cast and crew donned Snuggie blankets for a segment which was described as looking like a gospel choir.[6] Others have described mass-snuggie wearing as looking like a Harry Potter convention.[7] The Associated Press likened it to a "monk's ensemble in fleece" and proclaimed it the "ultimate kitsch gift". The Snuggie initially sold singly for $14.95, and later in sets of two for $19.95.[citation needed]

The Slanket was mentioned in an episode of NBC's 30 Rock entitled "The Ones". The product has also been ridiculed as a "backwards robe" or simple reinvention of the coat on radio and television talk shows in the United States.[2] Comparisons have also been made with the Thneed, a highly promoted, amorphous garment in the Dr. Seuss story, The Lorax.[8]

On January 30, 2009, a group organized a pub crawl wearing Snuggies in Cincinnati, Ohio.[9] In the following months they went on to complete over 40 more across the nation. Later, a group organized a Snuggie pub crawl in Chicago to raise money for an African orphanage, which led to similar events throughout the United States.[3][4] An employee at Americans for Tax Reform, a conservative think tank, started a Facebook page called "The Snuggie Cult" and convinced fellow conservatives including Joe the Plumber, Tucker Carlson, and Andrew Breitbart to pose wearing the robes.[10]

The phenomenon resulted in sales of the Snuggie and its rivals that far exceeded their distributors' expectations: more than 4 million Snuggies as of December 2009[11] and 1 million Slankets as of February 2009.[5] The phenomenon has even resulted in variations such as "Snuggie for Dogs"[12] and Snuggie with printed patterns.[13]

Spectators attempting to break the Guinness World Records record for the "largest gathering of people wearing fleece blankets" at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on April 6, 2010.

Australian radio program Labby, Camilla & Stav on B105 tested the claim that one can wear a Snuggie at sporting events, such as a soccer game, a football game or a basketball game. To test this, Labby and Stav wore Snuggies to a State of Origin game. The test was successful. They also dressed a statue of Wally Lewis, which stands in front of Suncorp Stadium, in a Snuggie live on the air. Security guards found it amusing at first but it was removed shortly after.

In the summer of 2009, the Designer Snuggie was released to the public, as well as the Snuggie for Kids and the Snuggie for Dogs.[14] The Snuggie became especially popular during the 2009 Season.

On March 5, 2010, at a Cavaliers game, Snuggie wearers broke a world-record for sleeved blanket wearing. Over 22,500 fans wore custom-made, limited edition Cleveland Cavaliers Snuggie blankets for 5 minutes. A Guinness World Records representative was on hand to present the official World Record certificate to KeyBank, the Cavaliers and Snuggie.[15] However, in just a little over a month the feat was broken during a Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim home game when over 40,000 spectators wore a promotional Hideki Matsui sleeved blanket for five minutes.[16]

Parodies[edit]

Several hundred parodies of the commercial have appeared on YouTube, as well as numerous fan pages on Facebook.[2][17] Mockings of the product and its commercial have also been made by comedians such as Jay Leno,[5] Ellen DeGeneres,[2] Bill Maher, Jon Stewart, Whoopi Goldberg, Tim Burton, Loulogio (in Spain), and on iCarly, as well as website parodies and Lacie and Olivia.[18]

Commercial variations[edit]

The product was first commercialized as the Freedom Blanket.[19]

The Slanket was created by Gary Clegg using a sleeping bag in Maine in 1998 (before the Snuggie). Clegg's mother made him a blanket with a single sleeve for use in his cold dorm room. Clegg later developed that into the Slanket with two sleeves.[20][21]

Little child in a Doojo sleeve blanket.

The Snuggie sleeved blanket product has been sold in the United States, Canada, and Australia. It was marketed primarily through a memorable television commercial.[22] As of January 2009, over 20 million of the product had been sold.[2][11][23]

Germany markets an electric version of the Snuggie that has a control with four temperature settings. The company markets the Snuggie via its website and television commercials along with many other as-seen-on-TV products.

The Doojo sleeved blanket is a German product and its first prototype was created in 2005 by Darko Sulentic. Doojo is patented for all European countries and patent pending in North America conditioned by its particular design of a sleeved blanket with integrated gloves. The product obtained already nine different awards for design and innovation and became extremely popular in Europe. Two additional colorful collections of blankets for babies and kids complete the range.

Another well-known variant, the "Toasty Wrap", has been sold via infomercials hosted by Montel Williams as a method for saving on heating costs.[24] However, based on the similarities of the Toasty Wrap's advertising to that of Snuggie, brandfreak.com suggests that it is probable that both brands originate with the same manufacturer.[25]

The rock band Weezer released its own Snuggie blanket in November 2009; which is available in solid blue with the name "Weezer" on it in white font. It has been dubbed the "Wuggie".[26]

Other variations are known as the Cuddlee (DealsDirect), and the Dreamie which is sold in discount and variety stores.[27]

It is sometimes marketed as a "comfy blanket".[28]

A blanket called GO-GO Blanket holds the US patent for child-sized sleeved blankets. GO-GO Blanket was created as a travel blanket for children (up to size 5) which complies with federal safety regulations for car seats and strollers.[29] GO-GO Blankets were created in 2007 by a grandmother in New Jersey who wanted to find a solution to keeping children safe and warm in a car seat without bulky winter wear.

There is also an Italian version sold in Europe, Canada, and Japan called the "Kanguru" with a pocket in the middle.[30]

See also[edit]

External links[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ How to tell the difference between a Snuggie and .... Chicago Sun-Times. January 31, 2009. Archived from the original on February 2, 2009. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f Puente, Maria (January 28, 2009). "Snuggie gets a warm embrace from pop culture". USA Today. Retrieved January 28, 2009. 
  3. ^ a b Yaniv, Oren (March 25, 2009). "Revelers ready for New York City Snuggie pub crawl". New York Daily News. 
  4. ^ a b Harmanci, Reyhan (March 29, 2009). "Warming to the cult of Snuggie". San Francisco Chronicle. 
  5. ^ a b c Newman, Andrew Adam (February 26, 2009). "Snuggie Rode Silly Ads to Stardom Over Rivals". New York Times. 
  6. ^ Celizic, Mike (February 4, 2009). "Matt said he'd never wear a Snuggie, but...". Today's Family Blog (NBC News). Retrieved February 8, 2009. 
  7. ^ Halper, Jonah (February 17, 2010). "Snuggie Review". infonotmercial.com. 
  8. ^ Dara Lind (January 12, 2009). You Shall Know Them By Their Slankets. Culture11. 
  9. ^ Snuggie Pub Crawls. snuggiepubcrawls.com
  10. ^ Gavin, Patrick (March 27, 2009). "Conservatives embrace the Snuggie". Politico. 
  11. ^ a b Heher, Ashley M. (December 21, 2009). "The Snuggie could have been an episode of ‘Seinfeld’". New Haven Register. 
  12. ^ "Snuggies go to the dogs". Chicago Sun-Times. September 30, 2009. 
  13. ^ Custom Snuggie. Snuggiehumor.com (November 21, 2010). Retrieved on August 27, 2013.
  14. ^ Ridiculous Snuggie commercial. YouTube
  15. ^ Guinness World Records Comes to Cleveland for Cavaliers Snuggie Night presented by KeyBank. nba.com
  16. ^ Angel fans cozy up to new world record. Orange County Register. April 17, 2010. 
  17. ^ Gavin, Patrick (March 27, 2009). "Conservatives embrace the Snuggie". Politico. Retrieved March 27, 2009. 
  18. ^ Snuggies for Monsters. notthelatimes.com
  19. ^ Snuggie Rode Silly Ads to Stardom Over Rivals. New York Times. February 27, 2009. Retrieved May 23, 2010. 
  20. ^ The Slanket. GadgetSpy. October 19, 2006. Archived from the original on October 13, 2008. 
  21. ^ Feeling chilly? The answer may be the Slanket. RTÉ. November 24, 2008. 
  22. ^ Stephey, M.J. (January 13, 2009). "Suffocating in Snuggies: That Ubiquitous TV Ad". Time magazine. Retrieved January 15, 2009. 
  23. ^ Schmidt, Mackenzie (December 21, 2009). "2009, The Year of the Snuggie: A Handy Timeline From "The WTF Blanket" to Weezer's Wuggies". The Village Voice. 
  24. ^ Clifford, Stephanie (December 21, 2008). "Montel’s Back, and Does He Have a Deal for You". New York Times. Retrieved February 8, 2009. 
  25. ^ "How do Snuggies and Toasty Wraps differ, and should you care?", BrandFreak.com, February 9, 2009
  26. ^ Meet the Wuggie, the Weezer Snuggie. Pitchfork Media. May 26, 2009. 
  27. ^ Cuddlee Blanket with Sleeves. Dealsdirect.com.au. Retrieved on August 27, 2013.
  28. ^ WWE Wrestling Superstar Merchandise, WWE Clothes, Action Figures & More. WWEShop. Retrieved on August 27, 2013.
  29. ^ Securing Your Child. safercar.gov
  30. ^ Kanguru by Lavatelli, coperta in microfibra – Blog. Milanotoday.it. Retrieved on August 27, 2013.