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The Corydon

The Student News Site of Millikan High

The Corydon

Fluffy Friends’ Friendly Fire

Bailey Body
Photo of side-by-side comparison of Build-A-Bear and Squishmallow products.

 Build-A-Bear, launched in 1997, has been loved by many ages. Recently, these stuffed friends have run into legal troubles. The owner of Squishmallows, Jazwares, has made a statement on the matter, and they are not very amused.

 “Defendant, Build-A-Bear, a company worth over 300 million dollars, decided it would be easier to copy, imitate, and profit off of the popularity of Squishmallows, in hopes of confusing consumers into buying its products instead,” said Jazwares. That following Monday, Jan. 15, Squishmallow filed a lawsuit against Build-A-Bear. 

On Jan. 12, 2024, Build-A-Bear released a new line of miniature stuffed animals called Skoosherz, made to match their 15” plushies, they have big black eyes and a cheesy thin smile. They already have four different variants: an axolotl, a frog, a dinosaur, and a bear.

Photo of Squishmallow’s logo. (Bailey Body)

Created in 2016, Squishmallows is a stuffed toy, now rapidly growing in popularity that excites all ages. Squishmallow has multiple different options to choose from, including food, plants, mythical creatures, animals, and bugs, just to name a few. This product aligns with toys like Ty’s Beanie Babies, Webkinz, Douglas Co. and FAO Schwarz, all known as collectible stuffed toy companies. 

Build-A-Bear has been around for more than 25 years compared to Squishmallow’s eight years and has recently grown in popularity due to its new Pokemon and Sanrio line, due to a spike in popularity among their adult consumers. After their recently released line, Skoosherz, came out, customers were angered by this obvious knock-off attempt, not as fooled as Build-A-Bear hoped. 

As stated before, Build-A-Bear’s Skoosherz are a clear jab at Jazware’s Squishmallows, having the same black embroidered eyes and thin smile. Build-A-Bear has decided to shoot back at Jazware’s claims. Scrambling for a defense, they claimed that they did not infringe on Jazware’s trade dress. Essentially, a trade dress is a fancy word for a trademark. Similar to the yellow arch on McDonald’s or Netflix’s red N.  

They noted that their product clearly had the company’s logo displayed on every stuffed toy and was designed to match their original, larger, stuffed toy, supposedly making Squishmallow’s claim invalid. 

In other words, Build-A-Bear’s product and designs are completely separated from the look of Jazware’s, so in turn, they shouldn’t be written up as blatant imitations. 

Along with this, despite their interview with CCN, Build-A-Bear has stated that their goal was not to mislead consumers, and there’s actually no confusion between the two fluffed products.  

“Honestly, I don’t think a whole lot would happen to the brand if they lost the product. It’s more of an ‘oh, that happened,’ then move on with your day type of thing,” said Marshall Orr, a COMPASS freshman. 

Build-A-Bear has lingered throughout the years, and recently, their popularity has surged due to the amount of teen and adult fans increasing. Based on other cases like this one, Skoosherz will most likely face a cease and desist. With the way things are going, that’s where the plushing and shoving will end. 




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Bailey Body
Bailey Body, Staff Reporter
Hi! My name is Bailey Body. I go by any pronouns and I'm a freshman in the QUEST pathway. My role is staff reporter and this is my first year doing journalism as of August 2023. I'm excited about all the writing opportunities I will have this year.

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  • L

    Lauren CantwellApr 26, 2024 at 10:44 am

    On April 8, 2024, Bailey Body wrote an article titled “Fluffy Friends’ Friendly Fire”. Body does a very good job giving an in depth description of the lawsuit. They make it understandable while also making it an interesting read. Body also uses many quotations to show the different perspectives on the matter. Brody also gives the perspective of both companies. Her explanation of each side gave readers the full story rather than an argumentative article that only supports one side of the lawsuit. Embedded in the article, Body uses many adjectives that give the reader a more fun read. The amount of research and thought was evident within the work. The title also made the article pop; it encourages readers to click on the news article. The inclusion of the photos gives a better understanding of the comparison between the two stuffed animals. Without the photos, it would be a little hard to get the full picture of why the lawsuit started in the first place.Overall, I enjoyed the article and Bailey Body did a fantastic job at writing a good story to read.

  • E

    E.TailanianApr 12, 2024 at 10:01 am

    I saw a notification on Canvas on this article and came to check it out. Before I read this article I was previously unaware of this lawsuit, and I find that Body did a great job of bringing those without information up to date. This article does a great job of mentioning why this would be of interest to those of high school age, and why we should be interested in this lawsuit.

  • S

    Samantha Pemari MacanlalayApr 11, 2024 at 1:41 pm

    Body writes about the current lawsuit between Build-a-Bear and Jazware’s Squishmallows. She does a good job explaining the situation by clearly stating who is the defendant and what their argument is. Body explains the conflict between the two companies being that Jazware is accusing Build-a-Bear of infringing on the Squishmallows product’s trade dress. She aids the reader on the meaning of this term in a clarifying sentence following her information of the conflict. Another helpful addition to this informative piece was a few examples of other large companies’ trade dresses. She also quotes one student, Marshall Orr, a COMPASS freshman, in order to add the input of Millikan’s community on the situation. The inclusion of Orr’s opinion allows the audience to question what may happen to either of the companies when this conflict is solved. Body ends with the most likely outcome of the situation with the information that has been given to the public. Overall, this piece was very intriguing and informative on how and why this lawsuit is occurring.

  • A

    Amanda ZorickApr 11, 2024 at 11:12 am

    I was interested in reading this article because I have heard that squishmallows are the new Build-A-Bears from our generation so I wanted to know what controversy these large corporations had gotten into. I enjoyed that the companies were introduced before the deep conversation about the controversy continued because I, like many others, know very little about these large companies. I would have liked to see more facts about the products that both companies sell, like the price points and/or a quality comparison, so that I could have made my own opinion on the subject at hand. However, I liked how the opening image shows a comparison of the two companies’ products and how similar they are to each other. I also appreciated that Body put a quote at the beginning of the article that states how much money Build-A-Bear already makes because it really highlights how ridiculous this whole situation is. Great job!

  • A

    Ava ValadezApr 11, 2024 at 9:37 am

    This is a well-written article that reflects on the legal battle between Build-A-Bear and Squishmallow after Build-A-Bear supposedly copied some of Squishmallow’s most iconic designs. One question I have is why Build-A-Bear would need to do this? It clearly did not fool customers and to me, the Skoosherz that Build-A-Bear came up with looks cheap and tacky compared to a Squishmallow. Something that I think would have been interesting to see is if there was any data showing how many customers actually went out and bought a Skoosherz. I think this would have said a lot about the design and whether it was as successful as Build-A-Bear thought it would be. Some of my best memories growing up are going to Build-A-Bear and creating a cute stuffed animal, so this lawsuit is disappointing and somewhat embarrassing. I haven’t gone to Build-A-Bear in years, and was completely unaware that Squishmallow had filed a lawsuit against them, so this article was a fun and interesting read. I enjoy that Body included the quote from Marshall Orr, a COMPASS freshman, saying that the whole Build-A-Bear copying Squishmallow thing could basically just be a forgive and forget because I agree. Though this lawsuit could harm the reputation of Build-A-Bear, I don’t think it’s enough to put them out of business.

  • A

    Amie SotoApr 10, 2024 at 1:09 pm

    On April 8, 2024 Bailey Body wrote an article titled “Fluffy Friends’ Friendly Fire”. This article dives into the legal conflict between two iconic toy brands, Build-A-Bear and Squishmallows, over the introduction of Build-A-Bear’s new line of miniature stuffed animals, Skoosherz. Body effectively captures the essence of the dispute, outlining Squishmallow’s claim that Build-A-Bears Skoosherz violates its trade dress. Bailey carefully presents both sides of the argument, providing insights into Jazzware’s discontent with Build-A-Bear’s alleged attempt to profit on Squishmallow’s popularity.
    Through Body’s thorough reporting, readers gain a comprehensive understanding of the complexities surrounding property rights in the toy industry. This article navigates the legal distinction with clarity, shedding light on Build-A-Bear’s defense, which asserts that Skoosherz does not constitute an obvious imitation of Squishmallows. Moreover, Bailey skillfully incorporates expert opinions and student perspectives, offering a well-rounded analysis of the situation.
    Overall, Bailey Body’s article effectively informs readers about the ongoing legal battle between Build-A-Bear and Squishmallows. Bailey’s research and balanced presentation showcase a high level of professionalism, earning recognition for the insightful coverage of this controversial issue within the toy market.

  • I

    Isabella AlcalaApr 10, 2024 at 11:22 am

    On April 8th, 2024, Bailey Body wrote an article titled “Fluffy Friends Friendly Fire”. I picked this article because before I even had clickled on the article I saw the article name and knew it was going to be a good one. Yes, stuffed animal companies are friends in the houses of the young kids that buy them, but thecompanies themselves. Oh no, they donot get along according to the author of the article Bailey Body. That’s why I enjoyed the title so much.Te start of the company’s drama was by the popular brand “Build-A- Bear ” copying the recently new and popular stuffedanimal brand “Squishmellows’ ‘. Build-A-Bear had copied Squishmellows designs, says Bailey, they made the same stuffed pillow that Squishmellow had been selling but instead put their companies logo on top.
    I really enjoy articles like these, it gives me new information I would have never thought would be going on. I am happy to say Bailey did an excellent job in explaining the history of how the drama started and how the companies managed it. WIthout her well written article that was incchronological order I would never have known. I’m also glad Bailey addedan image comparing the design replicationbetween the brands soI was able to see a visual comparison, and from what I saw therealmost identical.
    In all the article was amazing and was well discrepted. With Bailey Bodys talent to be ablecto do research and pick out information that sticks to the article andkeeps the reader entertained and interested the whole time is special. I dont use stuffed animals or know much about the company’s brands but I do now!