Does your kid really need a $59 stuffed panda or tiger that miraculously transforms into a hoodie? Technically, no. But I guarantee it’s going to be a hit on Christmas morning. A new startup, Cubcoats, has just released a collection of eight adorable animals—from Kali the Kitty to Pimm the Puppy—that quickly become hoodies with the pull of the zip. (They’re designed to fit children aged 2 to 5.)
It’s a fun trick for kids to watch, but it’s also a clever concept because, if my 2-year-old is in any way reflective of the toddler set, we’re constantly losing outerwear, but we haven’t lost a single stuffed animal yet. Once my child forms an attachment to a teddy bear, she tends to remember it more than some boring old hoodie. These toy/hoodie combos will be particularly useful when traveling, and I could see them as a fixture in the car, so that parents will always have an extra layer on hand.
Cubcoats is trying to create a larger imaginary world around these products. On the brand’s website, parents can download an e-book that introduces kids to each of the characters in the Cubcoat family, since each animal has a unique virtue–the bear’s strength is leadership, while the bunny’s strength is bravery. These toys aren’t cheap, but in the world of kids’ Christmas presents, this one seems more functional and long-lasting than say, this year’s hottest toy, a $15 robotic finger monkey that farts on command.