Cats vs. Pickles Huggers Kitty Dog | Source: Cepia

To put it mildly, 2020 was a year filled with surprises, but they weren’t all bad!

One big surprise arrived last summer when a new sensation started gaining steam thanks to a series of colorful YouTube videos that put a unique spin on a concept born from meme culture and viral videos: Cats vs. Pickles. At its core, the story evolved from this urban legend that cats are just naturally afraid of pickles. In reality, cats may have an instinctive reaction to pickles that mistakes them for snakes. But for the sake of the hit YouTube series and the companion plush toy line it supports, the idea is far cuter: Pickles love cats, but the cats don’t love them back.

By last holiday season, Cats vs. Pickles could be found on kid’s wish lists — and in the Toy Insider‘s Holiday Gift Guide — but finding the 4-inch, collectible beanbag plush characters in the wild was easier said than done. Demand was high and Cats vs. Pickles were selling out at independent toy stores and major retailers, including Walmart and Amazon. Kids (and some grownups) couldn’t get enough and Cepia ramped-up production to get Cats vs. Pickles into the hands of the masses.

Now, having conquered the 4-inch scale, Cats vs. Pickles are going bigger! Along with a Jumbo line of 10-inch plush, Cats vs. Pickles Huggers take the cuteness to a whole new level with a collection of six, adorable characters that stand approximately 20 inches tall and 8 inches wide.

Source: Cepia LLC

Related: Bring the Cats Vs. Pickles Phenomenon Home with Collectible Beanbag Plush

The first wave of Huggers includes Water-Meow-Lon, Starla, Kitty Dog, Pepper, Candi Nana, and Big Dill. Personally, I’m a big fan of the latter and Big Dill tends to hang out in my office when I’m able to pry him away from the clutches of my kids. I also dig Kitty Dog, which just might make you crave a Vienna Beef (#NoKetchup) if that’s your thing. Huggers live up to their name by being the perfect size for maximum snuggles — like a body pillow, but kid-size.

We like the Huggers so much that they’re included in Going Viral, one of this year’s early toy trends. They’re cute, collectible, and they provide something that we don’t have enough of sometimes: comfort.

And, if you hadn’t heard of Cats vs. Pickles yet, your kids probably have. As of this writing, videos on the Cats vs. Pickles YouTube channel have been viewed more than 105 million times!

About the author

James Zahn

James Zahn

James Zahn, AKA The Rock Father, is Editor-in-Chief of The Toy Book, a Senior Editor at The Toy Insider and The Pop Insider, and Editor of The Toy Report, The Toy Book‘s weekly industry newsletter. As a pop culture and toy industry expert, Zahn has appeared as a panelist and guest at events including Comic-Con International: San Diego (SDCC) Wizard World Chicago, and the ASTRA Marketplace & Academy. Zahn has more than 30 years of experience in the entertainment, retail, and publishing industries, and is frequently called upon to offer expert commentary for publications such as Forbes, Marketwatch, the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, USA Today, Reuters, the Washington Post, and more. James has appeared on History Channel’s Modern Marvels, was interviewed by Larry King and Anderson Cooper, and has been seen on Yahoo! Finance, CNN, CNBC, FOX Business, NBC, ABC, CBS, WGN, The CW, and more. Zahn joined the Adventure Media & Events family in 2016, initially serving as a member of the Parent Advisory Board after penning articles for the Netflix Stream Team, Fandango Family, PBS KIDS, Sprout Parents (now Universal Kids), PopSugar, and Chicago Parent. He eventually joined the company full time as a Senior Editor and moved up the ranks to Deputy Editor and Editor-in-Chief.