A few years ago I saw a cute, retro-looking stuffed animal in a local gift shop. Her tag said she was Lucy the Lamb, a "Dream Pet," so when I got home I looked up the origins of the brand.
In 1957, a toy company called R. Dakin & Co. was searching for a way to protect their miniature trains when shipping them overseas. Instead of using boring packaging materials, they began producing small stuffed animals made of velveteen and sawdust to put in their boxes. In time, these Dream Pets became more popular than the trains! (Some call them the precursor to Beanie Babies.) By the end of the 1970s, there were over 200 collectible characters.
I love them all, with their interesting colored coats, long eyelashes, and decidedly geometric, mid-century feel. I wish I had my own collection of Dream Pets!
Image source: the dream pets flickr group.