Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Leyla's stuffed tiger.

I must preface this assignment. I have not seen this object in any way shape or form-not in person, not  a picture. I have a very short description of the circumstances surrounding the 'life' of this plush tiger from which I can extract when it was purchased and potentially the city in which it was bought. In order to complete this first assignment, I have located a plush tiger which was purchasable in 2001 throughout the United States. This tiger has been a friend to a woman for the last nine years, a gift from relatives when Leyla moved in with them at the age of 16. Best described as her 'favorite' stuffed animal, this tiger has traveled the country and serves the purpose of a well loved companion. 

After searches through Google, Amazon and E-bay, the most commonly available tiger in 2001 seems to be the Ty Beanie Buddies Tiger named India. This is the plush animal I will be describing for the purposes of this assignment, and which most fits the 'small and round' description I have of the tiger. Of course, this is simply an assumption. Having been the recipient of many a stuffed animal over my life time, I know that the most 'commonly available' item is not what is given as a sentimental gift.

"India" is a plush tiger toy produced by Ty Inc, the maker of Beanie Babies, in 2001. First produced in April 2001, the design was subsequently "retired" (Ty's euphemism for ending production) at the end of the year.  It was made in China and cost approximately $11.00 to purchase in 2001. Today the average price on Amazon.com is $15.00, according to this listing. This plush tiger measures 15 inches long, excluding the tail, and about 5 inches wide.  It weighs approximately 11 ounces and is made of man-made materials including a very soft, fuzzy tylon/nylon pelt, polyester stuffing and P.E. pellets acting at the 'beanie' part of the toy, as stated on the toy's fabric tag. For lack of a better term, this animal is 'smushy', having some ability to hold a sitting position, but is still floppy.* The toy has standard tiger coloration and pattern, with an orange pelt with black vertical stripes and white underbelly, muzzle and inner ears. Its eyes and nose are hard plastic. It appears to be a mix of machine and hand stitching.

Like all Ty produced animals, India has a red heart shaped cardboard hang tag from the right ear, which states the animals given name, production details/style number (09406), age recommendation and a small descriptive poem. India's poem states, according to Stashmatic.com, a collecting website, "India the Beanie Baby/is one of only three tiger styles/ever created".

*Fabric and 'feel' descriptions based on the blog writer's  similarly sized Beanie Buddy cat stuffed animal purchased around 2003.

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