n.— «The claw machine, a game that gives players one shot to pick up a stuffed animal with a mechanical arm.…In the last few years, his insurance jumped 30 percent and the cost of the prizes—or “plush,” as they’re called in the industry—has increased by as much as a third.» —“The play’s the thing” by Dawn Wotapka Hardesty Long Island Business News (New York) Aug. 25, 2006. (source: Double-Tongued Dictionary)

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  1. The term ‘plush toys’ was very common in the UK while I was there between 19988-1990. It was used almost exclusively where the US would use ‘stuffed animal’. Interestingly, while I was there, I noticed that older teens would keep plush toys as mascots or tokens unabasedly, at an age in the US where it would have be embarassing. This phenomenon looked like it belonged to the kids circa O level test age and was common on TV quiz shows, etc. It was common for plush toys to be left at impromptu memorials such as crash scenes, disasters, etc. (e.g., the death of Princess Di), even by adults.

  2. The term “plush toys” is used in the US, too, but it’s the use of “plush” as a mass noun that makes this particular form worth recording.

  3. Slithy Tove says:

    I think this term is common in the toy industry, although not with the general public. For example, the Teddy Ruxpin-type toy was known as ‘animated talking plush’.

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