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The Horndribbles: Monstrous Plushes for Adventure Everywhere

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Monster plushes are in. While stuffed toys go back to the 19th Century, and exploded with the famous “teddy bear” named after President Roosevelt (who preferred “TR” to “teddy”), we are now in an age of innovation. Rather than the same bears over and over again, a new wave of creativity is giving birth to what many might call “monsters.” Leading the charge are the Horndribbles and a world of play like none before.

horndribblesplushCreator Lucas Richards grew up drawing monsters, and he never left character creation behind. As his drawings came to the real world in the form of hand-made plushes, he teamed up with entrepreneur Devon Braun to put their talents and energies together and bring these monsters to life: shaggy, knitting-enthusiast Mosby; long-tailed, athletic Hux; easy-going spike-headed Zapp; and clever, spiky Meeks. Solidly adorable with their various eccentricities, the plushes stand roughly 15” each, making them larger than the typical doll. The creators encourage kids (and adults) to bring the Horndribbles along as they are big and durable enough to join in on all of life’s adventures.

Several startups have formed lines of unique plushes, but none have invested so much in creating the backstory and world for their characters. The Horndribbles live on Horndribble Island, a fanciful amalgamation of environments and funny names like “Waka Forest” and “Namby-Pamby Creek.” It is a land full of adventures, which are recorded in Richards and Braun’s line of books under the pseudonym “Herbert Joel.”

horndribbles coverIn their first book, ZAPP & the Oogah Oogah Nut, the four Horndribble friends are hanging out at the creek when a delicious Oogah Oogah nut floats by. Zapp jumps into the water for a snack, and Hux goes after him as the rushing water begins to sweep them away. The writing is somewhat choppy and the “adventure” proves to be a paper tiger in a hilarious twist, but the story gives a good lesson about helping friends in need. The artistry is what makes the book great: excellent, kid-friendly drawing shows the colorful world of the Horndribbles in action. A second story about a fly-creature also on the water is tucked beside the text, adding a creative level to inspire wonder in a world where adventures often happen alongside us, unseen.

In addition to the books, the Horndribbles offer the Explorers Club, a special organization to keep fans in the know on the evolving world of the Horndribbles for a fee. More than just a fan club, the Explorers Club encourages adventures and, in tune with the name, exploring. Club members are sent a backpack, collapsible water bottle, hand-crank flashlight, and a 5-in-1 survival tool that folds out into binoculars. This is a great opportunity to bring play outdoors as, with Horndribbles at their sides, kids can live out the Horndribble motto: “The World is a Big Playground so keep Exploring!”

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About Jeff Provine

Jeff Provine is a Composition professor, novelist, cartoonist, and traveler of three continents. His latest book is a collection of local ghost legends, Campus Ghosts of Norman, Oklahoma.