It’s hard to believe, but it was a little over 50 years ago that the term “tribble” entered the American lexicon. Now, most people of a certain age, as well as many people who adore science-fiction screenplays, know that a tribble is a round ball of twittering and vibrating fur that invaded the starship Enterprise. These at-first-adorable houseguests are a precursor to the horror-film “Gremlins,” which also begin life as cute and sweet-natured before becoming overbearing and domineering. No wonder that the fan-favorite “Star Trek” episode was called “The Trouble with Tribbles,” because that’s what these furry folks brought with them—loads of trouble, mayhem, and laughter! It also explains why “Star Trek” has continued to be a vehicle that begs to be made into different collectible figures, plush toys, and even teddy bears.
For us arctophiles, teddy bears are members of the family. It doesn’t matter if they are so tiny they can be cradled in the palms of our hands, or so huge that they dominate one-third of a king-size bed. The physical size of the bear doesn’t matter; its ability to touch us emotionally and sentimentally is what counts. Teddy bears are our “spirit animals,” and Zwergnase knows that there is a definite marriage between mohair and mental connections, plush and psychic telepathy. They make bears that bridge the gap between children’s playthings and playful children themselves.
The soft-art category is a fascinating one, because it encompasses so much potential. At Toy Fair 2018, there certainly were tons of plush possibilities. And if variety is the spice of life, then this year’s gathering at Javits Center was a zesty and tasty Italian super buffet.