Last doll we had was a GI Joe. He was cool. Till we put a firecracker under his helmet and lit the fuse. Then he was ugly.
Nowadays Uglydolls are hot, selling at national chainstores and specialty retailers for $20 apiece. They’re at Nordstrom, Urban Outfitters, and Barney’s of New York. They’ve been featured at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles.
There’s a cute story behind Uglydolls (of course). Company founders Sun-Min Kim and David Horvath were dating. Sun-Min had to go back to Korea. Every time Horvath mailed her a letter (letter? Did this guy not have e-mail?) he drew the same funny-looking creature at the bottom. Sun-Min sewed it into a doll and sent it to him. Horvath told her to make more, he took them to the Giant Robot store in L.A. and they sold out in one day.
Six years later, there are now over 25 Uglydolls. There’s fat Big Toe, pathetic Wedgehead, and Wage, the homely supermarket checkout girl. (Hmm…she sounds familiar.)
So what’s the appeal? “Teenage girls like them because they’re cute things to take to sleepovers and don’t look too ‘girly,'” says one Tulsa retailer who carries Uglydolls. “Boys love them because they can carry a woobie thing without being made fun of.” (Woobie? Remind us not to visit Tulsa.)
So maybe the days of the Beanie Baby are over. Right now, everyone wants an Uglydoll. Even Paris Hilton has one.
See? When you’re successful, you can still get the hot chick, even if you’re ugly.