This article contains content that is written like an advertisement. (May 2018)
Dream Pets are a line of stuffed toys in the form of animals, made from velveteen and filled with willow sawdust. The original Dream Pets were manufactured in Japan in 1957 by toy designers Tochigi Mongi and Tomy on behalf of R. Dakin & Co.. The manufacturer initially used the toys as packing material for a shipment of battery operated toy trains ordered by Dakin, and the company president was quick to realize their potential.
By 1961, responsibility for the designs had been transferred to Dakin's own senior toy designer Virginia Kemp. By the end of 1979 there were over 2,000 different characters.
Dakin merged with The Applause Toy Co. in 1995. Applause Toys re-issued 24 of the original Dream Pets in 2004, but by late 2005, Dakin ceased to operate as an independent company and the names Dakin and Dream Pets were purchased by retail chain Big Lots. By 2011, Big Lots had not produced any further Dream Pets, and later liquidated their remaining inventory. In 2014, the brand was acquired by Paige Jansen-Nichols, who updated the design and reestablished production of Dream Pets.
The book 100 greatest baby boomer toys by Rich Mark lists Dream Pets at 61st place. Dream Pets were the first toys sold by Ty Warner, who later went on to launch the Beanie Babie range of stuffed toys.