As two wildly successful plush toy manufacturers face off over a copyright dispute, fur may soon fly.
According to Skoosherz, Build-A-Bear Workshop’s new toy Squsihmallows is too similar to its animal figurines on cushions in the shape of eggs.
Though the subject matter is cute, the legal struggle ahead will be more like a pillow fight than a pillow fight.
California is the site of an intellectual property case filed by Jazwares, the company that makes Squishmallows.
In response, however, Build-A-Bear Workshop filed a lawsuit in Missouri, claiming that the Skoosherz—another huggable toy the size of a dinner plate—is just the company’s rendition of a recently popular toy design.
The Skoozherz toys, on the other hand, are “knockoffs,” according to Jazwares, who notes that they are likewise “shaped imaginative renderings” of animals, with “simplified Asian style Kawaii faces” and “velvety velour-like” fabric. Jazwares has been selling Squishmallows since 2017.
The term “kawaii” alludes to the cutesy Japanese culture.
“Build-A-Bear has gone to great lengths to copy the distinct look, feel, and tactile design of Squishmallows to capitalise on Squishmallows’ global success blatantly and intentionally,” Jazwares told in an email.
The initial Squishmallows animal lineup consisted of a fox, a cat, and a frog. During the pandemic, as more people pampered themselves with cosy house furnishings, they gained popularity.
Along with Squishmallows, other celebrities like Kim Kardashian and Lady Gaga contributed to their viral success on TikTok. These days, there are over a thousand variations available.