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Despite their name, Uglydolls have a surprisingly romantic history. It all began when artists Sun-Min Kim and David Horvath met at Parsons School of Design in New York and fell in love.
When Sun-Min returned home to Korea, they kept in touch by writing love letters to one another. At the end of his letters, David always doodled a little figure. That Christmas, Sun-Min surprised David with a cuddly toy version of his first doodle character, known as Wage.
David was so impressed with the toy that he showed it to his friend Eric Nakamura who owns the LA based Giant Robot. Eric, who thought he was pitching a product, immediately ordered 20 for his store. These Wage Uglydolls flew from the shelves and so began the Uglydoll craze.
Now there’s an entire family of Uglydolls, living in the ‘Uglyverse’ with new characters being born all the time. There is even a range of limited edition Uglydolls to collect.
But what happened to David and Sun-Min? Well, we’re happy to report that, as their business flourished so did their love affair. David and Sun-Min are now happily married with ‘little uglies’ of their own.
According to David and Sun-Min, Ugly means unique. It’s their way of celebrating the quirks and foibles that make us who we are. In the Ugliverse, Ugly means special and different!
And Uglydolls really are special. Each one is handmade, which means that, just like us, they’re never exactly the same. In 2006, Uglydolls won the Speciality Toy of the Year award at the Toy of the Year Awards run by the Toy Industry of America. This prize is awarded to 'the best toy primarily distributed through speciality retailers', which is why you won’t find Uglydolls everywhere.
Uglydolls are very selective creatures and are only available from specialist stockists. But don’t worry, you’ll find a host of Classic Uglydolls and Little Uglys here at Big Fat Balloons. We’ve even clip-on Uglydolls so that you can take your Uglydolls everywhere you go.
These zany characters have certainly captured the hearts and minds of people everywhere. They even have their own A-list fan club, with celebrities including Jack Black, Debra Messing and even the President Obama’s daughter, Sasha, was snapped cuddling her Uglydoll friend.
After all, they say that beauty is in the eye of the beholder and you can’t deny that these Uglydolls are adorably cute and cuddly.