Why are JELLYCAT plush toys so popular?

A silent little toy, how terrifying can its money-making ability be?

You’ve definitely seen its products in malls – JELLYCAT.

In 2022, the company’s revenue reached a staggering 1.3 billion yuan; with a gross profit that’s equally shocking: a full 800 million yuan.

Why are JELLYCAT plush toys so popular (2)
Why are JELLYCAT plush toys so popular (2)

Its ability to open stores is also strong, with over 40 stores in Beijing alone, and coverage in major cities like Shanghai, Guangzhou, and Chengdu.

On e-commerce platforms, popular models of JELLYCAT’s Barcelona bear, Bonnie rabbit, eggplant, and other popular dolls are perennially sold out.

Why is a doll the new top trend in malls?

1 Hunger Marketing

JELLYCAT offers a wide variety of products, with a highly recognizable value anchor – bean eyes, tiny feet, and a smiling expression that makes it memorable at a glance.

The first lie young people tell their parents is “I’m not tired,” and the second is about the price of JELLYCAT.

The cheapest is over a hundred, the most expensive is 7999, with an average price in the thousands, making it a luxury among plush toys.

A small toy costing thousands doesn’t deter young people. This is JELLYCAT’s first contrast.

Expensive yet sellable, it has become a favorite business in malls, with numerous stores nationwide.

It has supported many people, with some students abroad seizing the opportunity to sell JELLYCAT as personal shoppers, earning some pocket money.

Why are JELLYCAT plush toys so popular (3)

JELLYCAT’s high prices are due to the creation of a sense of scarcity.

Its speed of launching new products is astonishing, with almost one new release in the middle and at the end of the year.

To date, JELLYCAT has over 200 products, including plants, food and beverages, sports, everyday items… allowing everyone to find something they like.

New products are launched quickly, and the pace of discontinuation is also fast. Since 2010, JELLYCAT has annually announced on its official website a list of dolls that will be discontinued, amounting to hundreds of models.

This announcement, called “retired designs,” forces many to rush to buy, fearing they won’t be able to purchase them later.

Why are JELLYCAT plush toys so popular (4)
Why are JELLYCAT plush toys so popular (4)

It’s this list that makes many feel compelled to buy, fearing they won’t be able to get them later.

The official also puts a lot of effort into the details, making buyers believe this is not just an ordinary doll. The card that comes with the delivery is also referred to by netizens as a “wake-up guide.”

For many, the first thing after bringing JELLYCAT home is to collect and cut the tags to make an “ID card” or “household register,” as if they’ve bought a pet.

Why are JELLYCAT plush toys so popular (5)
Why are JELLYCAT plush toys so popular (5)

“I can live without children, but I must have JELLYCAT.” Once this idea takes hold, even the most frugal young people won’t feel pain when paying.

Making the ritual feel right, the high price is not a disadvantage but becomes an advantage.

2 Changing Fate Against the Odds

On JELLYCAT, there’s a second contrast:

Its “ugly” appearance captures the hearts of young people who value looks the most.

JELLYCAT, originally founded in London in 1999, was initially positioned as a children’s comfort toy.

The animal series was its first product line, with the Barcelona bear and Bonnie rabbit being JELLYCAT’s best-selling products.

Why are JELLYCAT plush toys so popular (6)
Why are JELLYCAT plush toys so popular (6)

Just the animal series alone has nearly 700 products, including woodland animals, marine animals, pets, insects, and 15 different categories.

What truly changed JELLYCAT’s fate was a decision in 2014 – to shift from making children’s toys to making gifts for all age groups.

The first batch of fruit and vegetable series, perhaps even the parent company didn’t expect, became a phenomenon: the uglier and more ordinary, the more popular.

Toilet paper, boiled eggs, snowballs, tennis balls, diamond rings, rulers… any ordinary item from daily life can be designed into a doll by JELLYCAT.

Why are JELLYCAT plush toys so popular (7)
Why are JELLYCAT plush toys so popular (7)

JELLYCAT sets no limits on design and doesn’t ponder what competitors are doing, acting entirely on instinct.

Many treat JELLYCAT dolls as their “buddies,” accompanying them to class, meals, work, and travel.

More advanced players even dress up the dolls, knitting sweaters, sewing backpacks for them, dressing them as babies in baby clothes waiting to be fed, domineering CEOs in sunglasses, or college students in glasses.

Meanwhile, young people have a “double standard” towards JELLYCAT:

Other toys might be criticized for manufacturing flaws if the details are different, but with JELLYCAT, it becomes proof of personalization.

Every JELLYCAT doll, even of the same model, has subtly different expressions. The size discrepancies and facial asymmetries resulting from hand-sewing are not flaws but souls hiding aloof, cute, or adorable spirits.

These subtle expressions make many young people feel that JELLYCAT looks more and more like themselves, deepening the feeling of “my own child.”

3 Inner Projection

It’s not strange for young people to love dolls, but the magical contrast point of JELLYCAT lies in:

It can even make practical-minded middle-aged men want to buy it.

For example, some keep a JELLYCAT dog to replace the sorrow of a pet’s death.

It can also be bought as a gift, like a plush potted green plant, symbolizing congratulations on wealth and promotion, without worrying about it dying.

Why are JELLYCAT plush toys so popular (8)
Why are JELLYCAT plush toys so popular (8)

Is JELLYCAT useful? In terms of thrill, it can’t compare to games; in terms of emotional venting, it can’t compare to concerts; in terms of IP fame, it can’t compare to Disney.

Reality proves that if you can’t become Disney, changing the approach to become the “Disney of toys” also far exceeds many people’s understanding of its money-making ability.

Why are JELLYCAT plush toys so popular (9)
Why are JELLYCAT plush toys so popular (9)

Why is JELLYCAT specifically popular?

Quality is the foundation, but it also possesses Disney’s killer feature – all-around personalized design around the product, tapping into real vitality.

For example, many of JELLYCAT’s product names contain adjectives, “shy beige rabbit,” “clever ruler,” “silly succulent.”

It also releases animations starring new dolls, full of human care, even shuttlecocks can become actors, performing ballet on stage.

These designs let users feel the creators’ love and sincerity, naturally not to be taken lightly, even if it’s just a toy.

Why are JELLYCAT plush toys so popular (1)
Why are JELLYCAT plush toys so popular (1)

Facing pressure, many see it as a projection of themselves. “I’m small and ordinary, but I can also bring joy and help to others and want to see a bigger world,” said one player.

Just like the popular cotton dolls, loopy, their appearance seems simple and childish, but they are irreplaceable, becoming a unique IP.

As long as it’s fun, that’s enough, proving a point – to attract people, you first need to be by their side.

In addition to JELLYCAT, Shantou in China also has a vast array of plush toys. If you are looking to wholesale plush toys and want to learn more about the various styles available, you can contact Nexatoys.


  • Jack Hogan

    Jack Hogan, founder of NexaToys.com since 2014, is a seasoned professional in the toy industry, having successfully assisted over 10,000 clients in procuring the perfect toys.

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