On this page you’ll find more information about the design decisions that Happy Worker makes together with our clients to design custom stuffed animals & custom plushies.
Happy Worker manufactures retail quality custom plush toys. Each order of stuffed toys we make are designed and fabricated from scratch to best suit our client’s needs – as well as those of their fans and collectors. We’re passionate about great design and getting all the little details right.
First, the right concept & plush character is chosen. In some cases clients come to Happy Worker with finished designs. We’ll convert the character into the most authentic plush version for a sewn fabric toy. Other times our clients may have just a general feel for the character or in some cases no idea at all but a business problem to solve – and our creative teams will collaborate to co-conceive, develop and illustrate the character designs, working from rough concepts to finished designs.
Original plush toys can be designed from an existing brand character or mascot, or created from the ground up to bring an entirely new idea to life. People, animals, unique creatures, mascots and product replicas are perhaps the most common things to be created as stuffed toys – but there’s no reason to limit creativity.
Happy Worker enjoys pushing new boundaries in plush design, and there are few limits when it comes to conceptualization of plush pieces - all sorts of people, things and strange critters can be fashioned into well executed custom stuffed toys, and all styles and types of plush can be created from mini plush and finger puppets to plush with sound chips and giant plush.
Custom plushies can be created for ages 0 to 100. Or, hopefully in the future as medicine advances, ages 0 to 200. Different ages and recipients look for different things in their plush. Children want to play, hug, uncover, and spend time with a plush-sized friend. Grownups enjoy plush toy hugs too, but their custom stuffed animals also become office toys and designer art pieces to collect and display.
Before we begin designing your stuffed toy, we’ll ask who the plushies are intended for. This is more than just their age - we’ll ask who they are, what they like to do, and how they’ll use them. Then we’ll incorporate this both into the design goals, and into plush toy product safety.
To get the best final custom stuffed animals we follow the old saying: ‘measure twice and cut once’. So before we begin making toys first we make a plan.
At the beginning of each project we’ll draft a Toy Design & Development Plan. This includes a detailed project schedule with all the nitty-gritty steps and review stages. Together we’ll cheerily handle each step – and then, of course, we’ll happily deliver high quality plush toys and great stuffed animals.
An introduction to Happy Worker’s Toy Creation & Manufacturing Process.
Once the character is determined it’s time to decide what plush toy format will best bring the character to real toy life. Often occurring in sync with the concept development, a number of creative toy decisions are made including size, branding, seam locations and materials.
Happy Worker’s toy experts will recommend the best plush design to suit the custom plush’s purpose, audience and business goals. Once all the decisions are made a Happy Worker illustrator will create final plush toy “control artwork”, or blueprint designs that will be used for toy prototyping.
Stuffed toys can be designed from a miniature size as small as an inch or two (5 – 10 cm) to giant jumbo sized creatures standing 3 feet (1 m) or taller.
If your plush creation is meant for business clients, desk-friendly sizes for corporate plush toys are commonly 8 –10 inches (20 – 25 cm) tall and 4 - 5 inches (10 – 13 cm) wide. Plush over 12 inches (30 cm) tall usually have a larger footprint, and are not be as suitable for easy “desk top” or office display.
Depending on the materials and fabrics selected, branding and logos can be applied almost anywhere on the surface of the stuffed toy through various methods. These include:
Common plush fabrics include faux polyester fur of different lengths, nylon, felt, cotton and other natural fibers, knits, blends, and specialty fabrics. During material selection, Happy Worker will send a collection of fabric swatches showing our recommended materials. Please let us know if you have special fabrics in mind that recipients and fans will relate to, recognize, or connect to your brand.
A variety of stuffing materials can be employed to fill up the plush, including beans i.e. plastic pellets, cotton and synthetic fibers. Happy Worker’s “Action Plush” construction also contains a hidden component: a wire skeleton that allows the plush and its extremities to pose, flex and bend.
Plush toys are created by sewing fabric parts and other components together into a unified finished piece. Stitching and sewn seams are a visible and necessary part of plush toy construction. However, like mold lines on custom plastic action figures, seams add to – and can even detract from – the desired final toy design, and thus need to be planned and considered before prototyping begins.
If the plush toy character has eyes, we can create them with different methods and materials such as:
The most popular plush toy packaging is a simple “hang tag” – a branded card with a character back story or product information that hangs from the plush toy’s ear or hand by a cord, chain or plastic tie. Many stuffed toys have no other packaging, other than simple clear plastic polybags for shipping protection.
However, several other packaging styles exist that are well suited to the stuffed animal format. These include originally designed gift boxes and window boxes that provide a larger canvas for branding, graphics and copy, while protecting the toy and displaying it attractively.
All originally designed plush will be equipped with fabric tags sewn into a seam, often along backside, bottom or leg of a plush character. These in-seam or tush tags offer branding opportunities while providing required regulatory information.
To learn more, receive a quote and begin making your custom stuffed toys now please contact Happy Worker and we’ll be very happy to help:
To learn more, receive a quote and begin making your custom plush now please contact Happy Worker and we’ll be very happy to help: