IKEA dolls are so ugly, in fact, they are all intentional

 IKEA dolls are so ugly, in fact, they are all intentional

At first glance, the colorful color matching seems to be a mudslide in the simple and cold Nordic style furniture -- the Northeast cotton padded jacket is not so fancy.

Some people ask in Zhihu: IKEA, which takes simplicity is virtue as the standard and raises a large number of designers, why are dolls so ugly?

Why are IKEA dolls so ugly?

IKEAs plush toys look ugly. Dont the designers know?

Yes, designers may not really know.

Some of the ugly IKEA plush toys are made by professional designers.

For example, Anne Herden, a specially trained designer who graduated from the HDK School of design and crafts at the University of Gothenburg, has designed plush toys for IKEA for many years.

IKEA in India presents plush toys designed by designers

Before designing plush toys, designer Annie would read a lot of books and movies for inspiration. She then sketches from different angles to ensure that the plush toy has a common sense look.

IKEAs plush toys are all made in factories in Asia. The factory makes samples according to the designers drawings and sends them back. Annie herself modified the details of the sample with needle and thread and then fed it back to the factory. This goes back and forth until both parties are satisfied with the details [1].

Therefore, it is not that the designer is not distracted, but that her design has a strong personal aesthetic style.

Her handiwork is like this [6]:

Ordinary people may be dissuaded by high saturation colors, bright colors, crooked graphics and scrawled lines.

This level is comparable to my graffiti in primary school. You might make complaints about this. But for IKEAs designers, its an affirmation.

Children need company most. This is what IKEAs designers want to express behind these plush toys.

Simple and lovely lines and lively color matching, in their view, the most attractive to children. As for the aesthetics of adults, it is not considered by designers.

However, the plush toys of these professional designers are still only ugly. If you take off IKEAs logo and throw it into a plush toy store, you may be inundated by mediocrity every minute.

In this matter, the children said: it has been imitated and never surpassed - IKEAs ugly and distinctive plush toys are actually made by children all over the world [4].

In Yirongs large-scale game, childrens dream is to draw their own toys. It comes from a lets play for change campaign launched by IKEA [4].

Childrens own design of plush toys is collectively known as the sagoskat series. This Swedish word translates to mythical treasure..

For example, youll find that the little feet of the new plush toy rainbow boy in 2019 are a little darker than the middle color. Whats at the end of the rainbow? A 5-year-old Chinese girl will tell you that there are rainbow pink socks. Because she was worried about freezing the feet of rainbow, she insisted on painting socks for rainbow.

Why cant anyone refuse IKEAs plush toys

These plush toys are only available in limited quantities from the beginning of November to the end of December each year. For each sale, IKEA donates 1 euro to save the children and the United Nations Childrens Fund.

From 2003 to 2015, the campaign has donated 88 million euros to help 12 million children in 46 countries and regions receive better education [5]. In other words, such plush toys may have sold at least 88 million around the world.

Those plush toys in the childrens area have become the love of many adults.

Life is like a spring. If you pull too hard, the spring will break. So, playing games, relaxing and having fun is just to restore and calibrate the spring. In IKEAs 2017 play report, an adult interviewed said so [7].

Its not that adults cant refuse IKEA plush toys, but that they cant refuse the healing feeling brought by IKEA plush toys.

The intention of IKEA plush toys is reflected in the details.

The development cycle of 2-3 years is quite common in IKEA [2].

Ikea will update nearly 10000 products every year, more than 3000 new products. Every new product, from design to model making, to production and sales forecast, then to printing Home Guide, and finally to store sales, should be honest and orderly, and go through a set of strict processes [3].

IKEA is a popular place for couples to date

The R & D and design members shall complete the defense, and the board members shall decide whether it can graduate smoothly [3].

Even if there is an occasional miss, it will be quickly cross out of IKEAs product matrix. For example, IKEAs AMIRAL locker has made IKEA founder Ingvar a good Tucao: Ive never seen such a thing as a train in the East Germany! finally, the AMIRAL cabinet was dragged away [3] only after a short year in IKEA. It was make complaints about the IKEAs [3].

Plush toys are no exception.

If you observe carefully enough, you will find that there are so many IKEA plush toys, expression almost no repetition.

The design manuscript of gosig golden dog plush toy, a new product of 2008, has been designed in several versions by eyes alone. Its designer Annie has always stressed the importance of the eyes in giving character.

Anne Herdens gosig golden dog plush toy eye part manuscript / @ anniehulden

In 2018, the blue shark broai, launched by IKEAs Swedish headquarters designer, has become a must-have artifact for young social animals and salted fish all over the world because of its expressions of no life to love and despondency.

In addition, IKEA never uses buttons or glass beads as the eyes of plush toys, but embroiders them with silk thread. In this way, there will be no hidden danger of beads falling off and being eaten by children by mistake, and the appearance of toys will not be affected.

In 2010, the IKEA store in Beijing is selling Annie Herdens gosig golden dog plush toys

IKEA also emphasizes the softness of the plush toy fabric and the saturation of the filler, making it more comfortable to embrace [1].

If IKEAs plush toys are summed up in three words, they are soft, intimate and suitable for hugging.

IKEAs plush toys and childrens Mini dolls, electric toy cars, mini furniture for house wine are in the same category. The product introduction of the website is the same, come and see our plush toys! All plush toys can give children hugs, comforts and listen, and they like to play and play pranks

A middle-aged woman selects plush toys at IKEA store in Moscow, Russia, on June 9, 2005

IKEAs careful machine is hidden in plush toys

Of course, IKEA is considerate and considerate only to open your wallet.

A former IKEA executive once described his offline store as a dangerous Wonderland in the forest [3].

IKEAs hypermarket is a space streamline design, with a fixed walking route and clear route indicators hanging overhead. This passage twists and turns, no more than 15 meters there is a turn. One small turn after another makes you dazzled, but you dont feel very tired [3] [8].

The passage connects the living room furniture area, storage series, kitchen furniture area, office furniture area, childrens furniture and supplies area in sequence. The exhibition area of plush toys is very close to the exit [8].

The price of plush toys ranges from 9.9 yuan to 199 yuan, and the lowest price usually hangs the price tag of extra large size.

Every IKEA product has a price tag. Some series of ultra low price products also use extra large font size and yellow background to highlight the price

It is IKEAs usual method to implement step pricing in each product. Among the four price levels of high price, medium price, low price and super low price, the super low price is called heart beating price inside IKEA, which is the killer mace of IKEA.

In the 1980s, this kind of low-cost commodity had a strange nickname - watch your back, which was mostly used to establish a certain image of IKEA to the outside world or to bring down competitors with low prices.

In other words, those plush toys priced at 9.9, together with the $1 ice cream and $6 hot dog at IKEAs export, have repeatedly deepened your brand experience of IKEAs products are of high quality and low price.

Will IKEA lose money at such a low price?

IKEA is known for being stingy. IKEA directors travel in economy class. The logistics of goods will never be transported by air, only by land or water. Low logistics cost and high transportation efficiency are important reasons for IKEAs low price.

Even for a coffee cup with a price of 5 kronor, IKEA can do it: 1.5 kronor is used for factory production, 1.5 kronor is used for IKEAs income, and 1.5 kronor is used for tax [3].

Whats more, IKEA doesnt expect to make a major profit from this.

IKEAs hypermarkets can be divided into the hottest zone, the hot zone and the cold zone. From the entrance to the exit, the path of everyone who has been to IKEA is recorded. The most popular areas will be listed as best sellers, which is usually 20%.

There are also 80% of the non salable goods shelves are densely distributed around. These fragmentary small objects are called fillers by IKEA, and there are about 5000-6000 kinds of them [3].

They dont exist to make profits. In fact, the 80% of filler sales will not account for 20% of the total sales [3]. But they can provide a sales situation and atmosphere for best sellers, so you cant help but pick up one and put it in your shopping bag.

Those fragmentary small items provide a sales situation and atmosphere for best-selling products, and the low price is very difficult to let people down

This kind of impulse arises unconsciously. For example, after a certain turn, the best-selling furniture items of the season suddenly jump into your sight. Youre excited, but you dont feel it when you look at the price tag, and you dont buy it. And the plush toys in the easy to reach lockers look good, with a striking price tag of 9.9 yuan. So you put it in your shopping bag.

In this short few minutes, you unconsciously compared, eliminated and selected.

IKEA is sure of your psychology: if customers cant afford a sofa, they can also buy a small doll back for comfort. Although you didnt buy a sofa, every time you see this little IKEA doll on your desk, it always reminds you that the sofa in the store that makes you excited has not been taken home.


[1]Abby,A.(2020).AninterviewwithIkeasofttoydesignerAnnieHulden- whileshenaps.com .

[2] Guo, C., & Huang, J. (2017). IKEA IKEA design. Wuhan: Huazhong University of science and Technology Press

[3] Stenebo, J. (2014). The truth of IKEA. Guilin: Lijiang publishing house




(function(){( window.slotbydup=window .slotbydup||[]).push({id:u5811557,container:ssp_ 5811557, async:true }[7] playreport 2017: asparkoff playeveryday. (2020). [8] Zhao Jingjing. (2010). IKEA shopping mall space planning research [D] (doctoraldissertion, Central South University of forestry science and Technology). Source: Netease Inspur studio editor in charge: Zhang Mengzhen_ NB16454

[8] Zhao Jingjing. (2010). Spatial planning of IKEA shopping mall [D] (doctoraldissertion, Central South University of forestry and Technology)