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|Product type||Plush toys|
|Owner||Ugly Industries Holdings|
Uglydoll is a brand based upon a series of plush toys, which began as an idea from a long-distance letter between the creators David Horvath and Sun-Min Kim. The Uglydoll line was launched in February 2001 and awarded the Specialty Toy of the Year award by the Toy Industry Association in 2006. The popularity of the toys has led to numerous appearances in pop culture. Over the years, many different named characters have been created.
Origin of the brand
Uglydoll started with a letter Horvath wrote to Kim just after she had to move away due to a student visa expiring, long before they were married. That letter had a cartoon of his character "Wage" at the bottom with the words, "Working hard to make our dreams come true so we can be together again soon" next to it. That dream was to tell stories through books and toys.
As a surprise gift, Kim sewed a doll of Wage and sent it to Horvath in the mail. Horvath showed Wage to his pal Eric Nakamura, owner of the Giant Robot magazine and store, who thought Horvath was pitching him a product and immediately ordered a few more for his shop. Horvath wrote to Kim asking her to sew more, while sending emails with stories about Wage, Babo and Ice-Bat's first ever adventure, soon to become Chilly Chilly Ice-Bat. 
In the "uglyverse", ugly means unique and special, something to be celebrated. Over the years, numerous collaborative art shows and UglyCon(ventions) have been held at Giant Robot, Los Angeles.
The Uglydolls were created in December 2001 and included Babo, Cinko, Ice Bat, Jeero, OX, Target, Tray, Wage, Wedgehead and many more.
In other media
In May 2011, it was announced that Illumination Entertainment had acquired the rights to Uglydolls to make an animated feature film. Chris Meledandri was set to produce, with a screenplay from Larry Stuckey. The original creators, David Horvath and Sun-Min Kim, were set to executive produce. Four years later, in 2015, Variety magazine reported that an animated film based on Uglydolls would be the first family and animation project produced by STXfilms. The movie released on May 3, 2019.
The film features the voices of Kelly Clarkson as Moxy (whose appearance is from the original Ugly Doll named Gorgeous, with Moxy's appearance being completely different), Pitbull as Ugly Dog, and Nick Jonas as Lou. They all perform original songs for the film. Wanda Sykes, Gabriel Iglesias, Blake Shelton, Wang Leehom, Janelle Monáe, and Emma Roberts are also in the cast.. Animation is produced by Reel FX Creative Studios.
In May 2018, Hulu signed a deal with STX Entertainment to produce an Uglydolls animated series. Hulu will also gain SVOD rights to the animated film. The animated series will consist of 26 episodes each season.
Appearances in popular culture
- A girl is shown holding a Jeero doll in the 2004 music video for "Cutt Off" by Kasabian, and another shot shows the doll abandoned on a curb being stepped on by a passerby.
- An IceBat is in several scenes in the 2005 film Zathura: A Space Adventure, Danny himself wears a Wedgehead T-shirt.
- The Korean drama TV series Boys Over Flowers has an Uglydoll accessory that is worn by the main character, Jan-di.
- Uglydoll action figures can be seen in the background on bookshelves in the British comedy show The IT Crowd that began in 2006.
- In the 2007 film Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium, the Uglydolls Wage, Ice Bat, and Tray are seen in the store, and they were animated to dance near the end of the film.
- An Ice Bat is seen twice in the 2007 Disney animated drama film with live-action Enchanted, sitting with other stuffed toys in the bedroom.
- A Coldy-Holdy Ice Bat is seen in FAO Schwarz in the 2011 film The Smurfs.
- A blue Ox Uglydoll was seen in the Smosh episode, MY NEW EMO HAIR!
- A Wippy Uglydoll was seen in the January 23, 2013, Get Fuzzy comic strip.
- "Uglydolls Win Specialty Toy of the Year – Plastic and Plush". www.plasticandplush.com. Retrieved September 26, 2018.
- "Toy Industry Association 2006 Award Winning Products and Nominees. List of awards". toyassociation.org. Retrieved March 22, 2019.
- Gary Ham (January 14, 2019). "Marsham Toy Hour: Season 4 Ep 2 - The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly with David Horvath". Marsham Toy Hour (Podcast). Gary Ham. Event occurs at 0:16:59. Retrieved February 21, 2019.
- "Uglycon 2016". GiantRobotStore. Retrieved September 26, 2018.
- "uglydoll - Everything2.com". everything2.com. Retrieved September 16, 2016.
- Fleming, Mike (May 26, 2011). "Chris Meledandri's Illumination To Turn Uglydoll Into Animated Film". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved May 28, 2011.
- Lang, Brent (May 28, 2015). "STX Entertainment Plans Uglydoll Film, Launches Family Division (EXCLUSIVE)". Variety. Retrieved May 28, 2015.
- Dave McNary (March 13, 2018). "Pitbull Joining STX's Animated UglyDolls Movie". Variety. Retrieved March 18, 2018.
- McNary, Dave (August 29, 2018). "Nick Jonas Joins STX's 'UglyDolls' Movie". Variety.
- "Uglydolls Official Movie Website". Retrieved October 9, 2018.
- "Why Hollywood Can't Stop Making Films About Lego, Emojis, And Angry Birds". Cartoon Brew. August 14, 2017. Retrieved October 20, 2017.
- Musnicky, Sarah (May 23, 2018). "STX's Uglydolls Franchise Gets Animated for Hulu". ComingSoon.net. Retrieved May 23, 2018.