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|Product type||Plush toys|
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 January 2001 and Uglydolls were awarded the Specialty Toy of the Year award by the Toy Industry Association in 2006.
Origin of the brand
The name of the brand is UGLYDOLL with no 's'. It 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.
The brand is distinguished by its definition of the word "ugly." In the "uglyverse," "ugly" means unique and special, something that we should be celebrating, something that makes us different, and never hiding the "twists or turns" which make us who we are, both inside and out. 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..
Appearances in popular culture
- A girl is shown holding an 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 film 2005 film Zathura: A Space Adventure, as is 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 were seen in the store, and they were animated to dance near the end of the film.
- An Ice Bat was seen twice in the 2007 Disney film Enchanted, sitting with other stuffed toys in the bedroom.
- On her first day of school in 2009, Sasha Obama, U.S. President Barack Obama's daughter, wore a Babo's Bird keychain on her backpack.
- A Coldy-Holdy Ice Bat is seen in FAO Schwarz in the 2011 film The Smurfs.
- A Wippy Uglydoll was seen in the January 23, 2013 Get Fuzzy comic strip.
In May 2011, it was announced that Illumination Entertainment had acquired the rights to Uglydolls to make an animated feature film. Four years later, in 2015, Variety magazine reported that an animated film based on Uglydolls would be the first project produced by STX Entertainment's new "family and animation" division named STX Family. On March 28, 2017, Robert Rodriguez signed on to direct and produce the film, with a release date set for May 10, 2019. The film will be produced by Troublemaker Studios and OddLot Entertainment, with animation being provided by Reel FX Creative Studios. The film will feature the voices and an original song from rapper Pitbull.
- "Uglydolls Win Specialty Toy of the Year" plasticandplush.com; February 18, 2006
- Toy Industry Association 2006 Award Winning Products and Nominees List of awards. Retrieved July 2012.
- "uglydoll - Everything2.com". everything2.com. Retrieved September 16, 2016.
- "Sasha Obama Gives Uglydoll Her Special Sassy Seal of Approval" brandfreak.com; January 14, 2009
- Fleming, Mike (May 26, 2011). "Chris Meledandri's Illumination To Turn Uglydoll Into Animated Film". Deadline.com. Retrieved May 28, 2011.
- Lang, Brent (May 28, 2015). "STX Entertainment Plans Uglydoll Film, Launches Family Division (EXCLUSIVE)". Variety. Retrieved May 28, 2015.
- Khatchatourian, Maane (March 28, 2017). "Robert Rodriguez to Direct 'Ugly Dolls' Animated Film for STX". Variety. Retrieved March 29, 2017.
- "Why Hollywood Can't Stop Making Films About Lego, Emojis, And Angry Birds". Cartoon Brew. August 14, 2017. Retrieved October 20, 2017.
- Dave McNary (March 13, 2018). "Pitbull Joining STX's Animated UglyDolls Movie". Variety. Retrieved March 18, 2018.