Everything seems bigger when you’re a kid. Rooms, yards, playground equipment—it all just seemed so much larger back then. Revisiting childhood places and beloved toys of yesteryear can often be as amusing as it is perplexing, when making the comparison between how you perceived the same thing as a child versus now as an adult. I think that’s one of the things that makes childhood so special: It’s a finite amount of time to see the world from below and feel tiny. One of my great desires as a kid was to have a life-sized stuffed animal. Not a life-sized cat, bird, or bunny. I’m talking a life-sized elephant, lion, bear, camel—something enormous. I just wanted to be able to curl up on it and be engulfed. I’m sure I wasn’t the only kid either. Here are some great, life-sized plush products that will not only make kids feel like they’re up close and personal with nature, but will make an awesome Christmas morning scene under the tree.


Melissa and Doug actually has a “giant stuffed animals” section online, featuring animals including a cheetah, a lion, an elephant, dogs, a penguin, and my favorite: the giraffe. The giraffe stands more than 4 feet tall, towering over kids with realistic markings and authentic facial features. Even as kids get older, this giraffe can transition into a decorative element of a bedroom without taking up much space.

pTRU1-13047308enh-z6The silverback gorilla, from Hansa‘s monkey collection, is a truly life-sized representation of a male gorilla. The gorilla features incredibly realistic details on its face and body, and comes with a “toys that teach” tag with information about the gorilla’s habitat, lifestyle, and stats. The gorilla’s pose is also ideal for kids to sit underneath.


The Jumbo Minky Brown Bear, from This Place is a Zoo, is a 90-inch-tall teddy bear that is just begging to be cuddled. Large enough to hog a queen-sized bed, this bear’s friendly face and soft, pudgy plush body would have been a dream come true for me. Imagine this guy waiting by the tree on Christmas morning!

Life-sized plush is a fun way for kids to feel like they have the closest thing to a real animal, right in their home. Large stuffed animals are the type of toy that kids remember into adulthood, and often remember as being larger than life and enormous. Large plush animals have a long span of appeal to kids, and in my opinion, they are worth the splurge.

For more commentary from Christine, check back often. Views expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Toy Book as a whole. We hope that you will share your comments and feedback below. Until next time!