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View Full Version : How old is too old to have stuffed animals?


CatherineZeta
01-18-2011, 02:55 PM
I am 21, and while I do not have a huge collection, I do have around ten inanimate creatures strewn around my bedroom. They are not of the cutesy teddy bear variety, they're mostly wild animals (and an Ewok!). I've gotten rid of a lot of my other stuffed animals, and some I gave to my cat. I don't cuddle with them, they're mostly under my bed or in weird places like my laundry pile (I discuss in another thread that I am not good at keeping my bedroom tidy- I do clean it for guests though).

So my question is....do you think there is an age limit for having stuffed creatures or does it depend on how the individual displays or doesn't display them? Is it two completely different things in your mind for a grown woman to have a bunch of stuffed animals on her bed vs. most of them in a box in the closet and maybe one animal she's particularly fond of (either for sentimental reasons or because of the specific animal- i.e. a stuffed leopard because she's interested in wildlife conservation) on display? Also, does gender play any role in your opinion?

I didn't do a poll because I figured this is the kind of thing that probably has many gray areas.

Disheavel
01-18-2011, 03:17 PM
12. Seriously.

I'm going to have to say that by the time I was in college, woman that still had stuffed animals used them in order to make themselves appear younger and innocent in a wink-wink kind of way. So I guess you can have them as long as you want, but every guy is going to read something into it.

Silver Tyger
01-18-2011, 03:25 PM
Never. I have two plush panda bears in my room. One was my first toy, the other is from probably the 70s. They are just on a table with some other stuff.

But I may not be a good example since as soon as I have my own place, I'm going to have my toys displayed (by toys I mean, action figures, plushies, playsets, etc.) Of course, my mom has her trolls all over the house, so...

A pile of stuffed toys on the bed definitely gives a specific impression though.

Gary T
01-18-2011, 03:25 PM
Never too old, once you're old enough not to care whether you're too old.

I was in my thirties or forties when I started accumulating some Opus and Cartman stuffed toys. I liked the characters. I thought the toys were cute and fun. I also have a thing for Donald Duck. And I'm male.

You like 'em? Keep 'em. That bothers someone, or they jump to a wrong conclusion? Screw 'em -- that's their problem.

Anaamika
01-18-2011, 03:27 PM
I don't care what people think of me; I keep mine. However, they are stored. But I would not love someone who didn't retain at least a little childishness in their heart, so the guys that find them appalling can just move right along, please.

kambuckta
01-18-2011, 03:27 PM
I sell stuffed toys for a charity, and the vast majority of buyers are people of (ahem) middle-age or older.

Last year I called a gentleman who was in his late eighties. He had been supporting the charity for many, many years and in fact had bought over thirty of our teddy-bears. So I asked whether he had given the toys away to family and friends as gifts, and he laughed.

"Bugger off", he said, "they're MY teddies. You might think I'm a mad old codger, but nobody gets their hands on my bears until I'm six-foot under".

So maybe you're never too old.

:D

CatherineZeta
01-18-2011, 03:30 PM
12. Seriously.

I'm going to have to say that by the time I was in college, woman that still had stuffed animals used them in order to make themselves appear younger and innocent in a wink-wink kind of way. So I guess you can have them as long as you want, but every guy is going to read something into it.

That has honestly never occurred to me and kind of creeps me out. I hope not all guys think this about women, and a guy who would be into that sort of role play (if he happened to see a stuffed animal in my room) would not appeal to me at all...our date would end promptly.

Freudian Slit
01-18-2011, 03:34 PM
12. Seriously.

I'm going to have to say that by the time I was in college, woman that still had stuffed animals used them in order to make themselves appear younger and innocent in a wink-wink kind of way. So I guess you can have them as long as you want, but every guy is going to read something into it.

As in Furries or as in....uh, maybe I don't want to know what.

Count me in as another "FROM MY COLD DEAD HANDS" supporter of stuffies.

Duke
01-18-2011, 03:40 PM
12. Seriously.

My stepson once remarked that the age of 12 is when you start getting all offended by being caught with kids' stuff like stuffed animals or watching cartoons or etc. But, he says, the age of 15 is when you start realizing that you don't care what other people think catching you with kids' stuff. I think there is a lot of truth to that.

don't ask
01-18-2011, 03:40 PM
Do you also drink chocolate milk in restaurants?

elfkin477
01-18-2011, 03:53 PM
Hey, I gave stuffed Grinches to two men in their 60s this Christmas, and they were both pleased. I think I'll throw in with the "never too old" crowd.

InterestedObserver
01-18-2011, 04:15 PM
I still have a few stuffed critters from my childhood (in a bag somewhere), including a rag doll my Grandmother made for me when I was 4 and who has a place of honor in my room..no glass display case or anything, just flopped on the armchair sort of thing. She's not one of those creepy dolls I can't tolerate..very benign and with stiched eyes that don't follow you everywhere :D

I wish I still had the big stuffed turtle pillow I loved so much...used to use it as a pillow to lay on my belly and watch t.v. and sleep with it like a body pillow...it fell apart by the time I was 7 or so. :(

I also have a stuffed butterfly Beanie-Baby my daughter gave me that "lives" on my bedroom bookshelf. I love it 'cause SHE loved it and ME enough to gift me with it. :)

Overall, I have a disdain for stuffed animals and actively discourage them. (My DD just bought 2 Beanie-Baby bears at the thrift store and I allowed it, but grudingly) :rolleyes: They're small.

We keep several with special meaning (the Smokey Bear one my son got at the 150th STB celebration at Timberline Lodge, the "Liberty" bear my daughter got with her birth year stitched on the foot, the Cabbage Patch doll ("Curtis") my son dragged around for a yr or so, the muslin rabbit and bear my son painted when he was 2, the doll with the lazy eye named Peggy whose hair I cut to the scalp when I was 4, the weird-ass-I-have-no-idea-if-it's-supposed-to-be-a-racoon-or-what thing with the bald spot from where I used to suck on it (EWWW!), etc...

Now, someone who still buys them and displays them (like all those middle-aged or senior women who collected Beanie-Babies or 20-something girls who cover their shelves and bed with stuffed animals they have deep, meaningful relationships with....um, NO. :dubious:

But I guess, if it makes you happy, if it gets you through the night, what's the harm? I was a kid who used to get out of bed and gather up my stuffed critters and dolls, speaking to them the whole time, because I felt sorry for them being left on the floor. I outgrew that, but by God, don't fuck with that rag-doll on my armchair. ;)

InterestedObserver
01-18-2011, 04:22 PM
ETA I wish I still had the little stuffed Piglet which was my 1st Christmas gift (when I was 10 days old) and which I had until I was 6 or so. I tossed it in a move, considering it just a no-longer-cool stuffed critter. Now...I feel a bit differently. Wish it was in my small collection of old "friends". :(

Same for the little wind-up sheep that played Brahm's lullaby I had about as long.

I admit I try to save a few select such critters for my kids, even when they throw them out/don't want them. They may later. At the least, *I* may.

Hell, I read the Velveteen Rabbit. :D

MsWhatsit
01-18-2011, 04:25 PM
My stuffed Bun-Bun (yes, THAT (http://cache.gawker.com/assets/images/io9/2009/10/bunbun.gif) Bun-Bun) has a place of prominence on a shelf in our living room. Insert obligatory "cold dead hands" comment here.

tr0psn4j
01-18-2011, 04:33 PM
There is no "too old." If you think the pleasure the dolls give you is greater than any of the displeasure the people who might make fun of you would give, then go for it.


Trope,
The Chocolate Milk Guy (http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?t=592498)

Flutterby
01-18-2011, 04:36 PM
No one is too old. I have a few in my bedroom, they end up somewhere in the covers or on the floor most of the time, I also have a couple in the car that ride along with me and the rest I want to keep stay in my toy box that Dad made for me.

I have finally learned to limit myself buying them though. It was tough, and sometimes I still itch for a new one. Last time I gave into that itch was for Richard of LFG. I'm nowhere near as bad as my friend who has HUNDREDS and still buys more..

tr0psn4j
01-18-2011, 04:41 PM
No one is too old. I have a few in my bedroom, they end up somewhere in the covers or on the floor most of the time, I also have a couple in the car that ride along with me and the rest I want to keep stay in my toy box that Dad made for me.

I have finally learned to limit myself buying them though. It was tough, and sometimes I still itch for a new one. Last time I gave into that itch was for Richard of LFG. I'm nowhere near as bad as my friend who has HUNDREDS and still buys more..

What kind of pleasure do you get out of them though?

gwendee
01-18-2011, 04:51 PM
I'm 42. I have a few now. I haven't had them continuously since kid-dom. The ones I'm holding on to include two that were gifts from my son (including one he won at a carnival). I also have a stuffed elephant that used to be his that works better for me as a neck pillow than anything commercially produced for that particular purpose.

My mom is 65 and has a bear in her room that she has had in every place she's ever lived.

Shark Sandwich
01-18-2011, 04:52 PM
Stuffed animals in a girl's dorm? Fine by me.

Stuffed pets in a girl's dorm? Not so much.

Suburban Plankton
01-18-2011, 04:55 PM
How old is too old?

136

If you enjoy having stuffed animals, you should have stuffed animals. Period.

antonio107
01-18-2011, 05:02 PM
I still have a ridiculous amount of my stuffed toys at my mum's house. Since I live on my own now, I've skirted the need to get rid of them. But anyone who sees my bedroom at my mum's would think I'm 6. :D

I don't know. It's a piece of my childhood. How many people have regrets of baseball cards, marbles, old action figures that get pitched away when you're supposed to "grow up?" I have my NES games, my old baseball gloves, and my stuffed toys. I'm keepin' mine, I have no incentive to get rid of them!

Skywatcher
01-18-2011, 05:23 PM
12. Seriously.

I'm going to have to say that by the time I was in college, woman that still had stuffed animals used them in order to make themselves appear younger and innocent in a wink-wink kind of way. So I guess you can have them as long as you want, but every guy is going to read something into it.

As in Furries or as in....uh, maybe I don't want to know what.That would be Plushies (http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?t=516012).

xoferew
01-18-2011, 06:03 PM
I have a bunch of stuffed animals and dolls. Making them is a hobby of mine. Sometimes I follow a pattern in a book but more often I look at a character in a video game or anime and figure out how I can make it. Occasionally I make photo books or online photo stories of one of my dolls fighting with a giant squid or some such. I am also the type, which may horrify you, who takes a little doll on trips and photographs its adventures.

panache45
01-18-2011, 06:07 PM
I'm 65 and have several stuffed critters around the house. I don't interact with them in any way, but I'm not getting rid of them either.

Cat Fight
01-18-2011, 06:15 PM
Porcelain dolls are much freakier than stuffed animals, and action figures still in their packages are more obnoxious.

If you've got a bunch of stuffed animals and are perfectly fine in every other way, it's a quirk, or even particularly adorable if you've secretly got one or two for sentimental reasons and are anything but soft in your everyday life. If you're a hoarder or have an alternate personality that's slightly mentally disabled or permanently 10-years-old, then you've got a problem.

twickster
01-18-2011, 06:27 PM
I'm 56 and sleep with a stuffed bunny. I have another half-dozen on a chair in my bedroom (including my #1 stuffed animal from childhood, and one my mother gave me the Christmas a few months before she died) and one large one -- wearing a pair of overalls and a trucker hat -- on a chair in my living room.

I also have a beanie-baby style lizard draped over my monitor at work.

Wile E
01-18-2011, 06:46 PM
My stuffed Bun-Bun (yes, THAT (http://cache.gawker.com/assets/images/io9/2009/10/bunbun.gif) Bun-Bun) has a place of prominence on a shelf in our living room. Insert obligatory "cold dead hands" comment here.

I have the Holiday BunBun given to me by the comic author. He sits on a shelf with a stuffed Beast of Caerbannog and the Wallace and Grommit Wererabbit; it's sort of a scary rabbit theme but I can't find any more for that collection.

I am mumbly-mumbly years old. I also have many other stuffed animals, many still packed away until I can get proper display shelves, some I've had since I was a child (including my first Teddy bear). Also some Looney Toons characters, Marvin the Martian and his dog (I was so happy to find that one), Wile E (of course) the Roadrunner. Then there's a Klingon bear, the Pink Panther, Fluffy from Harry Potter, a couple of the rats from Rattatouille and a Minion (won those in a crane game). Just to name a few. And yes, the cold dead hands thing applies.

Flutterby
01-18-2011, 07:40 PM
What kind of pleasure do you get out of them though?

The ones on my bed? Something to cuddle at night. That or my pillow when not with my snuggle bunny. The ones in my car are meant to be quirky and keep me company on my drive. A penguin in a t-shirt, a bunny my snuggle bunny gave me, a chick that my son won at the fair and for fun, I have a small stuffed bat 'sleeping' from the rearview mirror.

Lots of the ones I've kept have memories attached. Dino, a purple dinosaur I've had for years, a girl doll dressed in a brownie uniform (the old one), a fox that was bought with my friend when we were shopping for her wedding (me, her and her maid of honor all got a different one), several sheep because I like to knit, Richard because.. well he's just awesome!

Something small and fuzzy to make me smile or bring me a happy memory. That's the whole joy of them.

brainstall
01-18-2011, 07:53 PM
Is there such a thing as too old for stuffed animals? I'm 47 and I have no intention of giving up mine. The ones that I will save in a fire are the eeyore my Mom made me when I was a kid (I remember her making him for me), the horse my Dad brought me from a business trip, and a weird stuffed mouse that I think may have been my Mom's when she was child. There's lots of other ones, tucked here and there, and last time I moved, when I packed them all up, I realized I had way too many for an adult, but I don't care.

Most of mine are second hand. Some I buy for my dogs and then decide they are too cute to be ripped apart, some I buy because they have some special appeal - usually the ones that look handmade, or really old, or just like they need to be loved. Velveteen rabbit, anyone???

CatherineZeta
01-18-2011, 08:04 PM
I wouldn't say I get "pleasure," out of them...I just think they're cute and don't want to get rid of them, and my future children would be more than welcome to have them.

I have never drank chocolate milk at a restaurant but I frequently drink it in general.

PandaBear77
01-18-2011, 08:22 PM
I have a bear that my grandfather gave me when I was 2. He died a few months later.

MY bear!


I also got a stuffed panda for Christmas. He is so damned cute!

Rushgeekgirl
01-18-2011, 08:43 PM
12. Seriously.

I'm going to have to say that by the time I was in college, woman that still had stuffed animals used them in order to make themselves appear younger and innocent in a wink-wink kind of way. So I guess you can have them as long as you want, but every guy is going to read something into it.

No, not every guy. Many probably wouldn't even give it a thought unless there were rows of them on the bed or shelves.

My 21 year old daughter fell in love with the panda pillow pets and bought one for herself for Christmas. She has a few panda plushies laying around. From what she said her male friends might tease her but they end up playing with them.
Usually in some slightly naughty way. :)

Roland Orzabal
01-18-2011, 08:48 PM
27 and male. You mock my mouse, you leave my house. I've had that mouse since I was three, and I have no intention of getting rid of it or hiding it in a closet somewhere.

Interestingly enough, though, it rarely comes up; I've gotten far more questions about the Tears For Fears poster than the stuffed animal.

Freudian Slit
01-18-2011, 08:51 PM
Aww, you have a mouse? Is he a mouse sized mouse or more like a teddy bear sized mouse? And does he have a name? Stuffed mice are awesome!

wheresmymind
01-18-2011, 08:54 PM
Yeah, I'm a guy and I wouldn't look into it too far, unless you talked to them or something. I have some things that I've had "forever," so I can understand the sentimental value. Actually I still have an old stuffed animal myself, my cat loves to take naps on it.

missred
01-18-2011, 08:57 PM
I'm 48.

That said, I have a shelf with several stuffed toys that have sentimental value. There's a bunny and a bear made for me by one sister when she was in college and didn't have much money to buy Christmas and birthday gifts, so made them. Then there's the rag dolly that my mom made for me one hard candy Christmas (she made one for each of us girls and Dad made beds for them, which my granddaughter now has). There's a bear that my baby sis made for me out of an old, soft pair of my grandfather's striped bib overalls after his passing. It reminds me of both of them.

The only one that gets any practical use is a (stuffed) Sharpei dog that was a stocking stuffer one year. It makes a nice chin rest when I read to fall asleep.

I guess you can count me in the "never" crowd.

Jamaika a jamaikaiaké
01-18-2011, 10:46 PM
I'm 30, male, and I sleep with an elephant. When I received this particular elephant (you see my other elephant was indisposed, and so it was determined that I would benefit from another), I noticed that she looked pretty girly. "What's a good name for a girly elephant?" I thought. Well, you see, my completely insane 8-year-old niece had just told me about her stuffed cat, who was named after her two favorite colors*. And that's how I ended up with Sparkly Rainbows.


Also, there's a turtle in our apartment. His blog. (roccolovesnewjersey.blogspot.com)


*This was the same conversation in which we learned about her invisible hamster named Mr. Guinea Pig.

Maiira
01-19-2011, 12:04 AM
You're never too old. I turn 24...er...two weeks from now. I still have stuffed animals in my room. My childhood ones are packed away in a box, so I don't interact with them or anything, but I'm not about to get rid of them. I also have one of those pillow pets (an elephant named Lumpy) that I sometimes use as a pillow, and a stuffed mouse that I bought from IKEA. The latter was in their "$5 and under" section, and I thought it was cute, so I snatched it up. His name is Mousy and he lives next to my bed.

I also have my old security blanket tucked up in my closet. The first time I didn't sleep with it on a long-term basis (apart from the odd, tearful nights I couldn't find it) was when I went off to college. I was afraid I'd miss it terribly and wouldn't be able to sleep as a result, but it was surprisingly easy to let it go. I'd still sleep with it whenever I went back home, but when my boyfriend moved in with me and I started sleeping in his bedroom, I put it in the closet and it's stayed there ever since. I don't need to sleep with it anymore, but again, I don't want to get rid of it.

I also want one of these. (http://www.squishable.com/) Expensive, yes, but they're just so darn cute! And I notice that they seem to be marketed towards folks my age. :D

Cat Fight
01-19-2011, 12:10 AM
I also want one of these. (http://www.squishable.com/) Expensive, yes, but they're just so darn cute! And I notice that they seem to be marketed towards folks my age. :D

Okay, those are cute. You bring up a good point, that in the spirit of LOLCats and the like there seem to be kids' toys and stuffed animals (as well as action figures) being marketed to full grown adults with lots of money. These (http://www.giantmicrobes.com/) come to mind. 30 is the new 13!

ecseas
01-19-2011, 12:15 AM
my grandfather is 63, and still has his original teddy bear. it sits on his bookcase.
(but I suppose by now it's more of a antique, then a toy.)

Maiira
01-19-2011, 12:15 AM
These (http://www.giantmicrobes.com/) come to mind.

I completely forgot about Giant Microbes! I want one of those too. I actually carry around the rhinovirus one with me at work sometimes. It's great for when I'm talking to little kids about how to avoid getting sick.

Nava
01-19-2011, 03:03 AM
Never.

I didn't get any as a kid, so maybe I'm deprived, but three of my plush dolls (two bears and a Pillsbury Doughboy) are presents from SOs I had thereabouts of 30; I used to have a giant bear I won at the fair when I was in my teens but my mother threw it away. I've bought for myself a Yoda ("there is no try"), a couple of floppy dogs which the niece loves, a Boo (when Monsters came out, several people told me Boo reminded them of me - I'm not complaining, but I think she's cuter); my brothers gave me a red and yellow dragon which is supposed to be for the car.

I should buy a virus or two and keep them handy for the next time I don't know what to give to my sister-in-law, who's an MD and the mother of two little kids.



I don't have the pic here and it's very shaky anyway, but on a business trip I stayed in this hotel in England which was an ancient, rambling house (even older than the owners had originally thought, apparently). They had a glass-faced box with a teddy inside and "in case of emergency, break glass". I turned into a pool of goo at the sight, but I eventually got better.


My friend the university professor (very much male, thank you) keeps his handspan-tall, stuffed Darth Vader on his desk at work.

Quartz
01-19-2011, 03:37 AM
I have one plush toy from my childhood and that's it. However, in more prosperous times, I did enjoy buying plush toys for my niece and nephew.

AboutAsWeirdAsYouCanGet
01-19-2011, 04:28 AM
My first girlfriend gave me a racoon named Elmo when I had surgery and was freaking out about it.
That was when I was 16 and I am now 31.

PandaBear77
01-19-2011, 04:32 AM
I also want one of these. (http://www.squishable.com/) Expensive, yes, but they're just so darn cute! And I notice that they seem to be marketed towards folks my age. :D

ZOMG they have baby pandas!!!

firstname
01-19-2011, 04:43 AM
Well having only 10 isn't too bad, I'm a 21 year old male and I probably have 10 stuffed toys around. If they were displayed or you slept with them then it would be weird.

stretch
01-19-2011, 12:59 PM
Never! The grandson thinks that Charlie Dog is his but Santa gave him to me when I was 8 and he stays in my room. I bought a stuffed spider a couple of months ago at Goodwill because he looked strange and lonely (and was only 65 cents). I still have the stuffed young (http://gizmodo.com/5601514/the-triceratops-never-existed-it-was-actually-a-young-version-of-another-dinosaur)* triceratops that my first real boyfriend gave me. And the stuffed koala I got when I was 5. My daughters still have some of their stuffies. You are never too old to have them or take them on adventures!

madmonk28
01-19-2011, 04:19 PM
Put me in the 12 camp, too.

Maastricht
01-19-2011, 04:34 PM
When I was 18, I came home from college and realized my beloved Racoon (my most beloved stuffed toy) had laid in a lonely dark closet ever since my mom had reclaimed my room.

I decided that was no life for him. On the other hand, I didn't want to take him back with me. So I made up some kind of ritual to give his spirit back to purgatory so he could ensoul another beloved toy. The ritual involved cutting off tiny pieces of his fur and burying some, flushing away some, and burning the rest and scattering the ashes. (Yes, I'm weird). I don't know what happened to Racoon afterwards and I didn't care.

So, no stuffed toys here after leaving home. They did arrive again with the birth of my son, though.

Khadaji
01-19-2011, 05:33 PM
I still have my first teddy bear. I am 49.

(OK, it was my only stuffed animal, and it is stuffed in a drawer some where, but I keep it because it amuses me. I got it for my first Christmas.)

Roland Orzabal
01-19-2011, 06:55 PM
Aww, you have a mouse? Is he a mouse sized mouse or more like a teddy bear sized mouse? And does he have a name? Stuffed mice are awesome!Teddy bear sized is about right. Her name is Nibblets, which is the name that was on the tag. I was an unimaginative three-year-old, I guess.

I had plenty of stuffed animals as a kid, the rest of which have all been lost to the sands of time. I have no idea why I grew so attached to this particular one, but whatever the reason, she's been with me through good times and bad (for her just as much as for me; our Jack Russells saw to that)...she's a bit chewed-up and noseless, but well-loved just the same.

Picture. (http://img826.imageshack.us/f/nibblets.jpg/) For those playing at home, go ahead and snigger...I'm secure in my mouse-culinity.

appleciders
01-19-2011, 07:26 PM
Meh. My girlfriend (age 22) has a couple on her bed, and so long as she doesn't mind me using them as pillows, I don't really care.

6ImpossibleThingsB4Breakfast
01-19-2011, 07:42 PM
ANY age is too old to have stuffed animals.

They are living creatures and should be treated with respect.

Desert Nomad
01-19-2011, 07:53 PM
I am nearly 40 and have a stuffed Mike (Monsters Inc.) on my desk and in my other office have a stuffed Octopus from the Aquarium in Atlanta.

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