The next IKEA stuffed animal was dreamed up by a Collinsville boy

By Dori Olmos for

COLLINSVILLE, Ill. — He winged it and won. A St. Louis area kid’s doodle is being turned into a real-life toy for millions of children to enjoy all over the world. And local shoppers can get one soon at IKEA stores.

Nick, an 11-year-old boy from Collinsville, Illinois, was one of five winners in this year’s Soft Toy Drawing Competition put on by IKEA. His drawing of a bird beat out 66,000 other sketches that were submitted from all over the world. He’s also the only winner in the U.S. and the first one from America since 2017.

Nick’s drawing features a gray and black bird that has its tongue hanging out. Nick told IKEA that he hopes his creation helps comfort kids and spark their imaginations.

Nick said he would tell his bird, “You have been chosen to be a special plush for a special person. I would tell him to take care of the kids and be a great cuddler, and then the kids can feed him rocks.”

Every year IKEA chooses several drawings through its contest, allowing children to dream up toys designed by kids for kids. The stuffed animals are then sold in stores all over the world in the SAGOSKATT line of items.

The five winning designs for 2021 are:

  1. “Bird” designed by Nick, 11 years old, USA
  2. “Sandwich friends” designed by Audrey, 9 years old, Canada
  3. “Cat” designed by Liepa, 8 years old, Lithuania
  4. “Fried egg” designed by Zosia, 7 years old, Poland
  5. “Mermaid dog” designed by Savva, 9 years old, Russia

Read more here.

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