Round up the Squaredy Cats

I have a 3.5 year old boy who likes to sing, dance, tell stories and jokes and watch TV.  He also likes to play with Giggles.

Giggles is one of many fun, unique, empowering and soft, soft, soft Squaredy Cats!  Squaredy Cats are square-shaped plush toys created by Kurt Marquart and Elaine de la Mata, the husband and wife team that make up Monkey Doodle Dandy.  In the "About Us" section of their website, you will see the following:

Monkey Doodle Dandy is the collaborative effort of Kurt Marquart and Elaine de la Mata. Working in a small studio in Brooklyn, NY, Monkey Doodle Dandy does work for everyone from toy & game companies to web & print publishers to corporations of all sizes in need of our creative services.

Receiving the box from Monkey Doodle Dandy was a treat, before we had even opened it.  On the box was a colorful return address label with many of the Squaredy Cats pictured.  Pulling back the box to reveal the contents inside was a feast for our eyes.  Brightly colored tissue paper in yellow and orange surrounded one yellow cat named Giggles.  She has one eye larger than the other and an ice cream cone that’s landed upside down on her head.  Oopsy…Giggles!

Embroidered into the right side of this fun cat are the words, “not squared to ACT SILLY.”  Each cat in their line is created to appeal to a certain taste or personality trait as well as speak to one’s own inner mantra.  For example, Midnight is “not squared of the DARK” and Zanie is “not squared to be UNIQUE.”  Preteen girls and preschool boys and girls are enjoying their brightly colored, soft-textured creativity.

Along with Giggles came a handful of Squaredy Cat postcards, pins and stickers that my son ogled and squealed over for days.  I took the pins away since he’s too young for those but he’ll get to enjoy them in a few years.

I am impressed not only with the creative duo’s original concept, design and clever expressions but in the way my son lights up when he sees Giggles.  For some reason, he calls it Wiggles, although he acknowledges that its “real” name is Giggles.  “His name is Giggles, but I call him Wiggles.”  Apparently, it’s also a “he.”

Once a week, my son spends the day with his cousin who is only 2 months older than he is, and just this morning, he said, “I’m taking Wiggles with me to show my cousin!”  Over 8 weeks later and he’s still dazzled by its magic.

Squaredy Cats are distributed by Kids Preferred and can be found in independent toy stores including Georgia’s Gifts:  They’re also found at FAO Schwarz as well as online-only at Build a Bear and Toys R Us.  If you cannot find them in your local store, you should ask your retailer to order them.  They have a tremendous following on Facebook which began before the first ones were available for in-store purchase!

For anyone looking for a gift for that next birthday party, these are safe collectibles that are sure to be as big as Cabbage Patch Kids, Beanie Babies and Tickle Me Elmo; only these will have the staying power of Barbie Dolls and Hot Wheels cars, which will never fade.  I’ve already saved a few friends who had no idea what they were getting a nephew for the holidays or a colleague’s daughter for her birthday.  Visit the Squaredy Cats website at

Monkey Doodle Dandy have other collectibles in store for us so keep your eyes out for Squarey Monsters, GirlMonsters and Wudjadoo.




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