Saturday, December 15, 2012

Another In A Very Cute Toy Line, The Waterbear Giant Microbes Is Fun!

The Good: Absolutely adorable, Plush, Educational
The Bad: Low playability, Novelty wears off quickly, Comparatively expensive
The Basics: The Waterbear Giant Microbe is a novelty plush that must be one of the most adorable and overpriced stuffed animals.

A few years back, on a trip to Las Vegas for our annual Star Trek convention, I picked my wife up the Bad Breath Giant Microbes plush (reviewed here!). The next year, we went back and she had the desire for more and, as luck would have it, we were right next to the same dealer again! While she picked up many for friends, the one Giant Microbe she kept for herself was the Waterbear. The Waterbear may be even cuter than the Bad Breath and many of the other plush Giant Microbes.

The Giant Microbes are a cute concept and the Waterbear is a great addition to the line.


Giant Microbes are plush toys based on exactly what their name suggests: microscopic organisms or tissues. These stuffed toys are designed to look cute and have an educational tag that details exactly what the microbe the toy is based upon does and how it looks. In the case of the Waterbear (Hypsibius dujardini) Giant Microbes toy, this is a little bright blue furry flea-like plush with two hard plastic eyes embedded in it. It looks virtually identical to the picture of a Waterbear pictured on the tag, both in shape and coloring.

The plush flea stuffed toy is four inches wide, three and a half inches tall and five and three-quarters inches long. The toy has little strings for feet and ribbing on the back to segment the entire organism. The two plastic eyes on the front are all that adorn this toy and it makes the Waterbear microbe look cute and cuddly.

Waterbear as a Giant Microbes toy is composed primarily of polyester fibers.


The Waterbear, essentially being a little stuffed flea, does not have much that it could be accessorized with. Instead, it has a cardboard tag that tells the buyer all about Hypsibius dujardini, how it defies death through hibernation. The tag is actually quite educational and may be a wonderful resource for young children as it uses very simple and direct language (the toy itself is recommended for children three and above).


Waterbear is not the most interesting toy for play. In fact, because it is based on a microbe that is a million times smaller than this plush toy, one might argue that these are a poor choice for play. Lacking any appendages or orifices, there is not much one may do with Waterbear other than set it on a flat surface and let it stare at you. I suppose it can be thrown around, if one removes the tag. But largely, this is just a decorative toy for the novelty and the novelty wears thin pretty quickly.


Giant Microbes toys are a current fad and because they have some educational value, I suspect they will grow in popularity. The Waterbear seems to be fairly common, so this is probably more of a novelty/fun toy as opposed to an investment piece. At the convention at which we purchased it, Hypsibius dujardini was one of the few Giant Microbes that was not selling out. It's almost possible to feel bad for the microbe as a result!


The Waterbear is cute, but not much more. It sits, educates those who read its tag and it would be easy to pass by. But as far as the Giant Microbes line, it is hard to find a cuter plush than the Waterbear!

For other plush reviews, be sure to check out my reviews of:
Scorch The Dragon Beanie Baby
Thumper from Bambi
Koopa Troopa from Super Mario


For easy access to all of my toy reviews, please check out my Toy Review Index Page for an organized listing!

© 2012 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.
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