Thursday, 6 March 2008

Of romance and Uglydolls

Rooster adores Uglydolls and informed me this morning that she surfs the Uglydolls site. However, the cute ‘lil cuddly toys are not available in Malaysia.

“I want to buy them but they’re not sold in Malaysia. Not sure about China; I haven't seen (any) so I go drool at the website every now and then,” says K-popped!’s resident artist over GTalk.

Why are we writing about Uglydolls? Well, it’s because Uglydolls are K-popped! too since the series of plush toys is birthed from the romance between an American and Korean!

Ugly is IN: Uglydolls creators (and husband and wife team) David Horvath (left)
and Kim Sun-min

Believe it or not, the Uglydolls story started with a love letter David Horvath wrote to his then girlfriend Kim Sun-min.

The couple met at Parsons School of Design back in 1997, but Kim returned to Korea after graduating in 2001. Horvath pursued his dream to create toys better than Barbie and Power Rangers, but all his ideas were shot down by the toy manufacturers.

Frustrated and discouraged, Horvath wrote a letter to Kim and drew an illustration of a character with an angry expression, a prominent underbite and an ill-fitting apron. Kim sewed up a plush version of the character as a Christmas gift for Horvath. And the rest, as they say, is history.

That first doll Kim made? It was none other than Wage, who is described as a wage earner like you and me. He works at a local Super Mart, but the people at Super Mart don't realise it! Ha ha ha, I feel a kinship with Wage.

I'm first!: Wage, the hard worker

Horvath and Kim – who are now married with a baby girl – have so far created 26 characters. And the dolls have been massed-produced in China since 2003.

Like Wage, each character has a story of its own. For instance Cinko hates water, Peaco is very shy and Ice-Bat turns everything he touches into ice.

The husband-and-wife team are currently living in Yongin, Gyeonggi Province. Apart from churning out six new Uglydoll characters every year, the couple are also working on illustrations for children’s books and animations!

Welcome to Ugly Town: Screencapture of Uglydolls website

Check out their absolutely cute site at:

To Rooster and K-popped! readers, do you have a fav Uglydoll?

Source & Pic credit:
Digital Chosunilbo

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Rooster said...

Babo is my favourite! I dunno, he just makes me laugh when I look at him.

Liz said...

Ah I see. Babo (바보) means "Fool" in Korean. And apparently, his best friend is Wage :-). Also, Babo is the second doll made.

Joe said...

Oh.. what is uglydoll??????? I've never heard of this thing... am I living in a different world.....?

Anonymous said...

huhuhu..i felt sooo left out.. thank god i had joe..
joe, i guess we hv to go back to earth.. =)

polynasian said...

Oh I want to get those dolls. I remember seeing Barnes and Noble had them. My daughter favorite book from them is Bossy Bear. I want a Bossy Bear.

meiruo_chan said...

oh...that's not ugly. they're cute to me. but well, the name is unique itself. Wah...finally I've been able to surf kpopped. I'm away to Redang for a couple of weeks.

cymb said...

these Uglydolls remind me of Dooodolls... a slight resemblance, no?

Clammy said...

My ex-girlfriend had these things. When I first saw them, I was like.. what the heck is that!? And she went on about how a korean made them and that they are cute and not ugly. I guess if you look at them long enough, they do kinda get cuter.

Anonymous said...

I like Moxy, Icebat and Poe. XD

they look squishable.

Orchid said...

@cymb I agree...these Uglydolls remind me of Doodolls. Just like Joe, i've not heard about them before. First time when i read this article.

I like Jeero. hahaha...
They have a very cool website!

@meiruo_chan Ah i see you were away...was wondering why you were so quiet!

Anonymous said...

No wonder why I always saw the Uglydolls on the illustration floor at my school Parsons...I didn't know they went to my school! I love them too!

aal said...

u can get them across the causeway (got sg friends? ask them!) or HK- i've seen them being sold in the markets there.


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