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Lions plushie characteristics
While some lion plushies are modeled after female lions or lion cubs, most feature the characteristic brown mane of male lions. This makes these instantly recognizable as lions, and easily distinguished from cat plushies, leopard plushies and tiger plushies.
Other distinctive features of stuffed animal lions are their yellow or brownish fur, and their long tufted tails. The lion is the only member of the cat family to have such a tail, which they use for communication. Though real lions have sharp teeth and long claws, lion plushies are usually designed to be more approachable and cute, exchanging fangs and claws for rounded paws and fluffy muzzles.
Famous Lions (available as stuffed animals)
To this day, Simba still remains the most popular (fictional) lion who had a plushie modeled after him. As the main star of The Lion King (1994) and a supporting character in many other spin-off films and series, Simba has had a wide range of plushies based on him. The success of The Lion Guard (2015-2019) turned the spotlight towards his son Kion and his daughter Kiara, the latter which had already starred in The Lion King II: Simba's Pride (1998). Other lions from The Lion King who are available as plushies are Simba’s father Mufasa, his evil uncle Scar, and his wife Nala. Both Simba and Nala are available as lion cub plushies, and as adults.
Another famous lion still popular on the toy shop shelves is Alex, the flashy African lion from Madagascar (2005). Though Alex was shown to be born in Africa in Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa (2008), he was raised in the zoo and became a world-class entertainer. Aside from Simba, his family, and Alex, there are a multitude of original lion plushies to be found, ranging from cartoony baby cubs to life-size and lifelike male lions.