Knock Knock, purveyors of fine fun goods like mousepad notepads and over-planned checklists, have a new product line: Clump-o-Lumps. Clump-o-Lumps are plush animals, designed by Max Knecht, an industrial design student (now graduate). The best part of the Clump-o-Lumps, and what makes them really fun (aside from their adorable appearance) is that each one can be deconstructed into three parts — head, torso, and rump — thanks to some handy zippers that go around the edges. They’re nice big chunky plastic zippers so kids can handle them, and if you have more than one Clump-o-Lump you can mix and match to create your own wacky creatures.
I was sent a sample of Squid-o the Squid, and it’s pretty impressive. First, it’s a sizable plush animal: about 30″ long including the legs. The surface is very soft fleecy stuff and quite cuddly. (Time will tell if it resists pilling.) I also particularly liked the little bumpy tentacles, and I wonder if the other animals also have nice textural details like that. The centers inside are white and red, like bone and flesh — it’s a fun detail (or perhaps a bit disturbing, depending on your perspective). With only one animal, we can’t do the mix-and-match, but we can make a “two-fer” by pulling out the torso and just zipping the head to the rump. If you have lots of them you can also make a huge totem-pole monster by zipping a lot of torsos together.
My two kids immediately wanted to fight over Squid-o, prompting me to pull a King Solomon. I unzipped the torso from the rump, and gave them each a section, and told them that if they couldn’t figure out a way to share then they’d just get part of a squid to play with. They worked it out. (Still, I’m thinking about getting a second one later … or maybe a third. I like the squid for myself.)
The zipper does get stuck a little bit sometimes, but I can’t tell if it’s because it’s actually catching on the fabric or if it’s just because it’s a little bit rumply and is catching on itself. The kids haven’t had any real issues with it, though. Also, they’ve discovered the ability to hide things inside of Squid-o and have turned that into a guessing game.
There are currently six Clump-o-Lumps: tiger, shark, squid, bee, bird, and frog. Each one is $25, which seems like a fairly reasonable price for a plush toy these days — though it’s the sort of thing you’d likely want more than one for the mix-and-match purposes, which could quickly get pricey.
For more info and to order, visit Knock Knock’s Clump-o-Lump page, where you can see more detailed photos of all the different animals and read the tale of Land-o-Lump. (Note: they’re taking pre-orders now, which will ship on March 15.)