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Meet Appa! (and my Cuddly Toy Obsession)

1 March, 2011

A few weeks ago, my partner and I rented a copy of the film The Last Airbender. I was… a bit disappointed. The special effects were good, but the acting wasn’t great, the limited martial arts were filmed badly (for someone who watches a lot of martial arts films, anyway) and the script was frankly terrible. However, undeterred, I decided to watch a few episodes of the original Avatar TV show. Now, this was more like it! Bearing in mind that it is a kids’ show, the scripts were still better – and much funnier – and the fight scenes more interesting. Even better, the character of Appa (and I do consider him a character) had more parts.

Now, Appa in the show is a giant flying bison, ridden by the human characters to travel from place to place. Immediately, I saw what I’d already guessed from the film: Appa is so CUTE! I have a real obsession with cute animals of all shapes and sizes, and I have an equal obsession with cute cuddly toys (when I was little, I never much played with dolls, but I did have half a wardrobe full of stuffed animals – and still do). As I write this, I have a toy leopard and rat on my desk, with two teddies, a reindeer, a penguin and a Moogle on the bookshelf behind me.

So, having seen Appa in the programme, I decided I’d look online for a plushie version of him. This turned out to be harder than I expected. The show hasn’t been on TV for several years and the film didn’t do very well. There were also several versions of the Appa toys, in varying sizes – and wildly varying qualities. Finally though, thanks to an American eBay seller, I found a mint condition, 20″ Appa plushie. I clicked ‘Buy It Now’, I paid, I obsessively checked the tracking information (which only showed the package in the US, so I hadn’t even realised it had left the country) and I waited. And now, finally, the moment I’ve been waiting for: Appa has arrived!

Now for the moment I’m sure you’ve been waiting for (if you’ve read this far): PICTURES!

Here he is, the wonderful Appa. Soft, squishie and just as cute as the original (although he does look a bit gruff in the top photo, but he is a bison so that’s only to be expected). And, as you can see from the second picture, pretty damn huge; he’s sitting on a massive Collins dictionary that I can only just lift with one hand.

The only probably now is where in the house Appa is going to live. I have a lot of cuddly toys and a real lack of shelf space… But such things are always secondary considerations when it comes to cute things. Suffice to say, Appa will find a loving home in my already crowded office, and be one more animal for me to talk to when my plots aren’t working!

  1. 3 March, 2011 5:06 am

    If my daughter sees this, I’ll be having to go buy her one. Have to say he is seriously cute, though, and very accurate to the original. In fact, I might have to go get one anyway.

    • 3 March, 2011 10:17 am

      He is very cute indeed and surprisingly accurate. The same can’t be said for all the Appa toys out there, unfortunately. In my searching, I came across a plastic version with a strange, black, semi-human face, which was actually very creepy!

  2. Thomas Forsdike permalink
    25 March, 2011 6:05 am

    As a fan of anime, though I haven’t watched this series, I have to say this is pretty cool.

    I almost tried the same thing from one of my fav animes, Princess Mononoke, back when I first saw it. I would love to have Yakul, a red elk, or one of the giant wolves, in plush or as a figurine.

    These critters are a good inspiration for me as well.

    • 25 March, 2011 10:46 am

      Yakul is great. I seem to remember a similar creature from the Ghibli version of Earthsea, but I can’t remember what it was called.

      I also love those little white kodama from Princess Mononoke, although I don’t know if I’d want one sitting on my desk, staring at me. They’re cute, but also a bit creepy!

      • Thomas Forsdike permalink
        25 March, 2011 4:37 pm

        lol, I was thinking the same thing. Cute but it’s a somewhat creepy part of the movie. They’d make great bobbleheads.

  3. Emily permalink
    31 May, 2011 7:51 pm

    Oh I really want this Appa plushie! Where on earth did you buy him from?!

    • 2 June, 2011 10:24 am

      Hi Emily,

      My lovely Appa was imported from the US via eBay. They still come up for sale every now and again, but they’re getting quite expensive now. Which is why I took the chance to get one while I still could!

  4. Laura permalink
    11 August, 2011 11:34 pm

    I also have an Appa and I adore him! He is my bed partner substitute when my boyfriend is not here! Sad, I know from a woman of 30! ha ha!

  5. maipura permalink
    14 August, 2012 5:03 am

    waaa… i like appa to… but it’s very difficult to find that toys in here, in Indonesia 🙂

    • 15 August, 2012 1:12 pm

      I think it’s getting difficult to find Appa toys anywhere these days, which is why this one had to be an import from America. Good luck in your search though!

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