Q. Are the Uglydolls a backlash against cutesy styles for children?
A. We think the cutesy styles you see ARE the backlash. We see Uglydolls as getting back to what it's all about. To us, Ugly originally meant beautiful, because Ugly means unique and different. Those funny little twists and turns on our inside and outside are to be celebrated, not covered up or corrected. So Uglydolls are the first “beautiful and cute” dolls to come out in a long time. Remember the days when toys were toys, existing as tools to help a child run wild with their imagination, and didn’t always have to be based on something you see on TV? Well, those days are back in Uglytown.
Q. Is there any moral message behind the Uglydolls? Are you making a comment on society’s love for superficiality?
A. Actually, society doesn’t love the superficial. They’ve just been tricked. “Beauty” was created by ad agencies looking to sell products long, long ago. They found a look not found in most (if any) people, and called it “beauty”, but often they were having to achieve that look through dangerous diets or on magazine covers through computer editing and image-enhancing. These ad agencies and media outlets got everyone to want to look “beautiful”, and what do you know? They just happen to sell products that can get you there. Uglydoll is here to give you a nudge, and quietly remind you that you are incredible, and that you are the definition of beauty when you celebrate who you are on the inside and outside.
Q. Who is your favourite character and why?
A. I like Wedgehead because he doesn’t care what others think, and he doesn’t bother wasting his time worrying about what others are doing. He refuses to police others. If someone is parking illegally, he won’t call the cops. But he may remember that nifty parking trick for next time.
Q. What does your daughter Mina think of them?
Our daughter is very into a certain character coming out in 2009. She’s also very much into any of them who have a nose, so that she can make a “smelling” noise.
Q. What are your plans for the future? Are you thinking or doing accompanying picture books or animated stories? World domination, perhaps?
A. There’s no such thing as world domination, so we’ll go with books! We’ve just released the first two Ugly Guides, which are sort of travel guides to the entire Uglydoll universe: the Uglyverse. There are many story books on the way, and some of our favourite plush Uglydolls will be released in 2009. We’ve been waiting to get to these for ages now.
To discover more about the Uglyverse, visit www.uglydolls.co.uk