I’m about to do
something I wouldn’t normally do, and share bit of drama concerning another
company. I’ve been trying to keep this professional(ish) but recent happenings
have pushed me to want to talk publicly about it and to make folks aware of
what has been going on.
So you folks might remember I began making Otocinclus
plushies in around November 2016, and they were a big hit! I can’t remember the
exact inspiration that brought me to making suction cup mouthed plushies, but
it was certainly influenced by their name “suckermouth catfish” as
well as other plushies I’d seen online. Little did I know, this would be the
beginning of DRAMA™.
In January 2017 I posted some photos of my Otos in some
local fish groups and was snapped up by a local aquatics shop called New
Concept Aquatics (who are now my business partners, woo!). I gave them some examples
of my work including a suction cup Oto… who was promptly snatched up by a
writer for The Practical Fishkeeping Magazine, UK and was featured in the April
issue! Exciting Stuff!
… However, throughout all this the owner of the company
called Green Pleco, who produces suction-cup mouthed Pleco soft toys, got in
contact with me. They claimed to hold a patent for “soft toys in the shape
of fish with suction cups for mouths” since 2013, demanded I limit
production to 25 a year or pay them royalties for each one sold.
Which would be fair, I suppose, if they actually had a
patent for this. I stopped producing Otos whilst I negotiated with them. They
were not able to give me a patent number. They’re based in the US, and I am in
the UK so even if they did the patent would probably not even exist over here.
At the same time I was doing whole bunch of patent searches
and research, including getting some help from friends and some trainee patent
lawyers on Reddit who couldn’t find this mysterious patent either.
Another hole in this story is that there’s loads of examples
with soft toys with suction cups attached “in the wild” already prior
to 2013, including Plecos! Here’s some examples I could find easily by the
plush artist I admire, Whittykitty:
I actually contacted
Whittykitty and it turns out they’d been contacted by Green Pleco too, despite
their Plecos being made in 2011, before Green Pleco even started making
plushies! Their advice was to just ignore them, and after all this research I
I contacted Green Pleco stating pretty much all this, and after
being unable to come to an agreement they said they’d put me in touch with
their lawyer, which never happened.
I was ready to move on with my life, and Green Pleco had
faded into nothing more than a joke (I’m sorry, you can’t do X because I have X patented). One day I stumbled over to
Green Pleco’s page again, only to see…
Now, this could be some kind of magical coincidence that
Green Pleco has suddenly branched out into a totally different style of printed
fabric, but it does look extremely similar to the plush fish I’ve been
producing recently. HMMMMM.
Oh, look, apparently these are patented too.
Here’s my Corydoras sterbai for comparison:
I’m pretty annoyed, but the purpose behind this post (other than for me to publically vent my rage) is
mostly to let you guys know I have nothing to do with the plushies Green Pleco
are producing; they’re using their own artwork and patterns and are nothing to
do with me.
There’s nothing I can do in this situation, because unlike GP I’m
not claiming to own a patent to “soft toy fish with digital designs
printed on fabric” that I don’t have.
It doesn’t mean to say I can’t be a little bitter about
this, though. Bastards.
So fun fact about that Jake that my grandma cut out and put on that cheesecake… for the past couple weeks she’s been showing up at my house and like… weirdly Inspecting all of the Jakes that I have around the house and moving them around and stuff. It turns out she was trying to find a Jake that would be suitable to put on top of my cake so she stole at least four potential candidates and eventually just cut out a Jake face from the cover of an extra Adventure Time Madlibs I had lying around. That explains a lot though, because I was really curious why she suddenly developed an intense interest in Jake LOL
I'd like to request the boys cuddling and warming up their female s/o during the cold winter? :)
Ooooh yaas! I need to write some fluff because I feel rather sad today (no clue why but I just do - probably because I like sad tunes XD) and I’m feeling rather chilly myself! I’m really sorry for the wait though XD
Gladio is quite the cuddle bug don’t you think? He may not look it, but he is a massive softy at heart. And how did you find this out? Well, Insomnia winter is… pretty bad. Especially on the outskirts next to the sea, which is where you lived. And five degrees celsius felt like minus five. It wasn’t pleasant.
So instead of going straight home like you would do normally, you decided to meet Gladio at the Kenny Crow dinner in your district of the city, your neck surrounded by your thick scarf, your body enveloped in a warm, fluffy coat and your hands in your pockets. Your nose and ear tips were red, your teeth chattering and your lips begging for some lip balm to be slathered on.
“You look pretty cosy.” Gladio would say when he saw you, box of take out in hand, and he’d press a light kiss to your red nose. “Holly nose.”
“Stop bullying my nose.” You pouted and put one of your hands in his pocket so you could have his warmth rather than the lack of your own. “It’s not nice.”
He only chuckled, continuing his bullyish ways as he escorted you to his place, his kisses simply serving to warm you up with laughter . His place was especially warm though it wasn’t a surprise considering who his family was, and you loved it there.
You took off you scarf, coat and gloved and draped them over the back of the sofa so you wouldn’t forget them later. You settled yourself onto the sofa after Gladio sat down, as you found it impolite to sit before the host. Gladio often said that you could sit before him but..you never did. So he resorted in pulling you down.
Once you had eaten and your food had gone down, you stood so he could stretch out on the sofa and then you sat back down, your butt falling behind his legs and you squeeled in surprise. He simply chuckled and pulled you close, you head nestled in the nape of his neck, and he held you there just talking about nothing in particular.
Prompto was definitely into cuddling - especially in winter. I mean, if he couldn’t hug you or a puppy he was fostering for a while, he’d be hugging blankets and chocobo plushies. Let’s face it though, the only way he could be completely warm would be if he could cuddle you.
Walking home from a date or something together? He’d be hugging you from behind, his face in your neck and he’d have a large coat so he could also encase you in it. But also beware the snowball fights that he’d just have to start. You’d ask him if he wanted you to make something for him, but he’d often decline. Usually because he wouldn’t be all that hungry.All he’d want to do is be with you.
As soon as you got home (either to his or yours), off came the coats and scarfs and hats, on came the christmas songs if it was December and well hello cuddle buddy. Prompto would totally let you play games with himand if he sat down first, he would be your pillow. If you sat down first, you would be his pillow.
Sometimes his family would come on over (they were nice to you and fed you delicious baked goods from their bakery)and there would be a good conversation or two. Some new blankets as well probably (Prompto doesn’t like changing blankets over - he has so many memories of security within them). But most of the time it was just you and him, and sleep overs were common. Mainly because you would both fall asleep. You’d be playing with Prompto’s hair whilst he laid on your lap and he’d just be humming gently. And who knows? Maybe a foster puppy would want to be you cute friend.
Ignis and cuddling was something no one ever thought would go hand in hand. But, alas, that, too, was something you were wrong about with your boyfriend. Because, although rare, he did enjoy cuddles. Though he called them ‘comforting displays of affection’, because the only time he did give you a hug was when he either ran out of coffee, or if he had a stressful day at work - either with an extra large workload, or just a very rare argument with Noct. Those always made him need a good hug.
But in winter, they were very common. These ‘displays of comfort’. And when you asked why, he only smiled boyishly and said that he wasn’t doing them for any true reason other than the fact he was cold. And most of them were from behind whilst you worked on University papers or paper work from work - whichever was due first - and have a book in one hand. He’d ask for your opinion on something - more often then not he’d see if you could help him with learning recipes due to your family originating from all over - Altissia, Niffelheim, Tennebrae - but a lot of recipes were in their home language and you had no knowledge about the translations.
After dinner though you’d sometimes beg if you could snuggle up with him whilst you worked on word puzzles. He’d usually think for a while, contemplating how classified his work was, but ‘no’ was a certain rarity. Though he’d often make sure you didn’t too much on what was going on - not that you did often just in case. He rarely declined because he just enjoyed having you snuggled up to him, under a blanket, crossword book in hand whilst you asked him if he knew the answers. Sometimes you’d be doing riddles or the whole ‘wood cookie’ idea. Sometimes though you’d be texting Noct to try and get information on Ignis - if he was okay or not, nothing too personal or anything, just so you had a faint idea upon his stress levels - you never liked him doing extra after a tough day. But really, all he needed was you. In the winter months he’d stop working earlier so that there was more time to relax with you and simply enjoy your company.
Noctis is always into cuddles, because, as much as he hates to admit, you help him feel so relaxed and all the stress of the day just goes away. So in winter, nothing’s all that different apart from how he cuddles you: similarly to Prompto, there are blankets. Because he gets cold super easily - but he also gets hot pretty quickly so it’s a catch 22. But he prefers soft blankets to shirts anyways so if he gets too hot he’d just strip his top half and chuckle at your face (because you just realised he is actually ripped ).
If you had to get up to get food or a book, he’ just hold you tighter because he doesn’t want you get cold. If you had to go to the bathroom (which was often an excuse you made so you could get what you wanted to) he’d make sure you had his jacket on.
Cuddling in winter was often the time where both of you fell asleep quickly because night came in so much quicker and your body just wanted to sleep that all away. You’d also have fun battling each other in games, or you’d be watching Noctis go through a single player game on his playstation. He’d enjoy being able to hug you and no that he you felt safe, but he’d also enjoy being held be you from time to time.
And winter was the time for the cheesiest christmas films as well, all the while you’d be feeding each other chocolate and popcorn. Just because you could.
What would class 1-A react when they finally see Hero Merch of themselves??? And What kind of Deku merchandise willOchako secretly buy ??
I think they would all really love it! To varying dagrees at least. I mean, they all grew up with some kind of hero merch, so them having merch of their own would feel like they really “hit the big time.”
Izuku would be over the moon. Considering how much All Might stuff he’s bought over the years, the first time he walks into a shop and sees Deku Merch would be amazing. He’d probably call his mom with a picture of a Deku plush with the caption: Mom look at this!! (she’d do the same if she found it first, and becomes the biggest collector of Deku merch in no time at all)
Ochako probably made sure she would get the lion’s share of the royalties from her Uravity stuff. She’d send most of it to her parents along with whatever new thing that gets released. Her parents have a whole shelf of Uravity merch. She herself is really happy with it too! (she also makes sure there are plenty of extra cheap stuff for kids whose parents can’t afford some of the higher end things)
I’m guessing the Iida family has kind of a “line” of toys based on each member of the family, with the same toy company making the toys for a few generations now. Like, when Iida becomes a full fledged hero his parents take him to the office of the company CEO so he could have a bigger say in how his merch is made. He cries a little when a special edition figure of his gets released that includes him posing with the previous Ingenium, his brother.
Bakugou is really smug about his merch…on the inside, like hell is he going to go out and actually say that he’s happy about it. He’s a bit pissed that they’ve made a few plushies of him though. (sqeeze them and a high pitched “die!” or other related Bakugou-isim comes out) He’s a bit cooler with it when a few kids walk up to him with those plushies asking for an autograph.
Kirishima is fucking pumped the first time he sees Red Riot merch. He actually poses for a lot of the figures and posters. Whenever a fan shows up for an autograph while wearing his costume he makes a point of posing with them for a picture too.
Tsuyu just smiles the first time she sees Froppy merch. She buys a few figures for her little brother and a plushie for her little sister, but other wise she’s actually rather chill about it. (then she hears about the body pillows some are making in her image and comes down on them like the wrath of God. The less said about what happens when she hears about the body pillows people are making of her friends, the better)
Aoyama inspects every single piece of Can’t Stop Twinkling Merchendice that comes out, every single one, even some of the racier stuff. Bootleg stuff of his is really easy to spot because it doesn’t shine as brightly as possible. He releases a Japanese-French-Japanese dictionary under his name, barely anyone buys it.
Mina is giddy as all hell whenever she sees Pinky stuff. Her most popular items are fake horns and black contacts. Her personal favorite is a squirt gun that colors the water like her acid, she uses it all the time in pranks and such.
Ojiro probably releases a bunch of Tailman brand “Karate lesson” discs and such. As well as Gi and gloves and such. More or less all of his stuff that isn’t figures or plushies (an infamously popular plushie that was just his tail haunts him to this day) are sports equipment. He’s probably the least hyped about it, he’s happy, but mostly he considers it to be purely buissness.
Kaminari has a bunch of stereotypical cool stuff, like skateboards and roller blades and shit. Also he has a bunch of Chargebolt brand shit. Chargebolt shampo, Chargebolt hair dye (to put some charge in your static!™), Chargbolt soda, you name it he’s allowed his name to be put on it.
Kyouka has more music stuff with the Earphone Jack name on it then is probably possible. Like honestly. Obviously the most popular item are ear buds shaped like her Jacks. Some of the other basic stuff, like figures, are kinda embarrassing to her honestly.
Kouda has a punch of pet products with his hero name on it. A lot of pet stores and animal shelters have his image on the front with him surrounded by animals along with the caption, “Animal loved, Anima approved!” Obviously a lot of shady places have this banner up without his premission, which brings out the very rare angry side of him when he finds out.
Sato has a bunch of cooking and baking stuff with the Sugerman logo on it. He’s really happy the first time he gets a letter from a kid who bought one of his easy-bake ovens that said he’s inspired the kid to be a cook.
Shoji is pretty damn happy to see kids running around with a bunch of fake tentacles strapped to them. His figures are actually some of the cooler ones, with really dynamic poses using all of his limbs. Otherwise he’s pretty chill about it.
Sero is kinda miffed that the first piece of merch he has is…a tape dispenser. It takes a long time for him to get any actually shit made of him and when they do finally make some cellophone merch, he ecstatic.
Tokoyami does not like the fact that his most popular item is a plushie of dark shadow. Honestly, there are a bunch of cooler stuff, like figures of him in a fighting pose are posters of him and dark shadow beating down their enemies, and the one thing people buy more then anything else is this 300 yen black bird toy that goes, Ay-o!, when you squeeze it? Some people honestly…
Todoroki only really has figures of him in cool poses. He likes it but he thinks its getting a bit old. The first time he gets a plushie made of him he actually smiles because finally something that isn’t him looking cool!
As for Tooru…gloves, that is literally it. Just gloves and and boots. It really bums her out. She actually almost stopped Tsuyu from getting rid of her body pillows because at least that’s something.
Momo loves every single thing made of her, plushies, figures, you name it. She even buys some of the rarer and expensive stuff for herself because she thinks they did a really good job on it. She put out a few Creati brand study guides for every grade from grade school to senior year in high school that sell like hot cakes.
Grape juice brand grape juice. That’s it. Mineta is outraged, his class is not surprised.
Bonus: There’s a super rare Deku plush of him in his very first costume. Nobody really knows how the people that made it knew how it looked it, since he only wore it once when he fought Bakugou before it got nearly destroyed, but those who were there can tell it is completely accurate.
Ochako has actually bought it right under everyone’s nose. She keeps it somewhere safe where nobody can find it. Every now and again if she’s having a bad day she takes it out and hugs it as she sleeps.
Why can a twenty-something-year-old idol walk through a crowded airport with a stuffed animal but my twenty-something-year-old self can’t even go to bed with my precious teddy bear without getting nagged about growing up
Also how does he look handsome even with a hippo plushie but people just mistake me for ten
Slimey Sassy Boi™
If anyone was to ever go to his house, they would be greeted with nothing but plushies and leather furniture.
Though fabric doesn’t go well with slime, he can’t give up his prized stuffed animals/carnival items just because of his skin.
Speaking of which- when he stands up from sitting, he tends to leave a part on him on there- so anything he touches, it gets wet lol