Why the Ugly Huggy Wuggy Toy is Frighteningly Popular With Your Kids
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Why the Ugly Huggy Wuggy Toy is Frighteningly Popular With Your Kids

Sharp teeth. Bloodshot eyes. Long arms that look like they want to curl around and suffocate you. Perfect gift for little kids, right?

Meet Huggy Wuggy, a viral star from a video game called "Poppy Playtime." According to The New York Times, the plush version of the character is becoming a hot seller not only at stores like Hot Topic, but on the streets of Manhattan and Chinatown, where knockoffs are selling out and kids are crying their eyes out when they don't get the signature blue version of the toy.

Why is this thing so popular? While the game is a hot item on platforms like Steam, Huggy Wuggy has taken on a life (and probably taken several lives) of its own with tons of fan videos across YouTube, TikTok, and other video sites.

Zach Belanger, the head of the company that makes the game, Mob Entertainment, and concept creator of Huggy Wuggy, says he's not even sure exactly what it is. "Is he a monkey? Is he a sock monkey? Is he a bear? He’s a thing, but not really anything. He’s an animal, but not one you’ve ever seen before," he told The Times. Mob Entertainment says about half a million counterfeit products based on the game have been seized and destroyed by customs officials.

With popularity comes moral panic: Schools have been issuing warnings to parents about the character, saying the game is meant for teens, not toddlers. England seems to have been the epicenter of misinformation about the character, linking it to crimes and memes that happened before the game was even released in 2021. We've heard it before with Slender Man and the Momo Challenge, but the difference is this meme is skewing much younger.

If you're a parent of young kids and still have nightmares about the rise of Baby Shark, you should probably start preparing yourself for Huggy Wuggy’s infiltration.

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