Review: ‘How to Train Your Dragon’ Meatlug from Build-a-Bear Workshop

Build-A-Bear recently released an online-exclusive Meatlug plush from ‘How to Train Your Dragon.’ Here is what I thought of her!

Over the last few years, Build-a-Bear Workshop has released many of the friendly dragons from  How to Train Your Dragon. They started with Toothless, and at different times also had Stormfly, Hookfang, and Barf and Belch. Out of that list, one is noticeably missing and that is my girl, Meatlug. Build-a-Bear Workshop finally remedied the situation, however, by releasing her (albeit as an online exclusive). As soon as I heard about it, I went right onto their online store and ordered myself one.

The unstuffed version of Build-a-Bear Workshop's Meatlug plush, from "How to Train Your Dragon"

I prefer my plushes slightly under-stuffed (and thank goodness that I do – you’ll see why in a bit) so I selected the option that my Meatlug arrived unstuffed, giving me the chance to complete the process in-store and control its amount of fluff. I was assisted by a very nice gentleman in the Westfield Culver City Mall location and together, we arranged for my Meatlug to have a slightly floppy belly, which makes for great cuddling.

A close-up of the now-stuffed Meatlug from "How to Train Your Dragon," an online-exclusive from Build-a-Bear Workshop

A sideview of Meatlug from "How to Train Your Dragon," an online-exclusive from Build-a-Bear Workshop

I daresay, she is quite the cutie! Her underbelly is made of a softer, minky material, which contrasted well with the textured “scale” fabric that covers the majority of Meatlug’s body. I was certainly pleased with the way she turned out.

Build-a-Bear Workshop's dragon saddle accessory from "How to Train Your Dragon"

I wish I could say the same for the dragon saddle.

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The accessory itself is of good quality and fits fine on the other dragons in the series but put it on Meatlug and there are some issues. Well, one issue, really: She is just too large for the saddle. You can get it on her but it pinches some of the stuffing making it look unattractive and not cute (not to mention uncomfortable). And keep in mind, mine was under-stuffed!

To Sum Up…

As a stand-alone toy, I would recommend Meatlug for fans of How to Train Your Dragon. Steer clear of the saddle, though. Maybe some of Build-a-Bear Workshop’s My Little Pony outfits would fit? Or perhaps something not terribly form-fitting from their Promise Pets line?

Meatlug cost $30 and the saddle cost an additional $8.

A Closer Look at the Limited Release Haunted Mansion Plush Set with the Hatbox Ghost and Bat

I unbox them so you don’t have to!

On August 1st, I spotted the Hatbox Ghost as well as the Bat as separate listings on eBay. However, it was clear these were sold directly from the factory in China (the seller’s location and the fact that no Park seemed to have the toys were a giveaway). Regardless, I shared the news on the official Travels with Toys Instagram account.

Today both plushes hit Disneyland and Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom as a box set.

The Hatbox Ghost and a bat from the Haunted Mansion as part of a limited release plush series

The back of the box (starring Madame Leota) containing the Haunted Mansion limited release plush series Hatbox Ghost and Bat

Priced at $49.99 before Annual Passholder discounts, the pair are part of a limited release plush series, according the box.

I am the type of collector who plays with her toys so, of course, I could not wait to break these two out from the confines of their cardboard prison.

The unboxing process begins for the Haunted Mansion Plush Set, featuring the Hatbox Ghost and Bat

I loved all the nods to the Disney Parks attraction that were added to the packaging. The most obvious one was Madame Leota’s epitaph (on the back of the box) as seen in the queue at the Magic Kingdom version of the attraction but, upon opening the box, I noticed that the lining had a pattern similar to the wallpaper found in the mansion.

The lining of the Haunted Mansion plush set features the attraction's famous wallpaper

Now, let’s take a look at the plushes!

The Hatbox Ghost

First up is the Hatbox Ghost, a recent addition to the Disneyland Resort version of the attraction and a popular figure in the attraction’s lore.

The Hatbox Ghost, part of the Haunted Mansion limited release plush series

The Hatbox Ghost, part of the Haunted Mansion limited release plush series

The Hatbox Ghost, part of the Haunted Mansion limited release plush series

From the top of his hat to the heel of his shoes, Hattie here measures about 12 inches. He is designed to be posed in a seated position yet he does not have a bean bag bottom. If you set him just right, he doesn’t fall over though.

The detail on the Hatbox Ghost's hatbox from the Haunted Mansion limited release plush series

The glow-in-the-dark element mentioned on the box can be found on the head in Hattie’s hatbox. I did not have a chance to test out the quality of the glow though.

The Bat

The Bat from the Haunted Mansion limited release plush series

 

The Bat is reminiscent of the ones found on the stanchions in the attraction’s queue. It’s wingspan from end to end is about 12 and a half inches long. It is a darling design but this plush cannot remain upright without leaning against something.

The Bat from the Haunted Mansion limited release plush series

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My only real complaint with this guy is that the seam on his back is puckering and doesn’t look very strong. I think I am going to have to be especially careful with this one.

To sum up…

Despite the small quality issue with my new Bat friend, I am beyond pleased with this plush set. I love the designs and frankly, the fact that they exist. And I am super-excited that this is part of a series! What happy haunt are you hoping to see represented? Personally, I am still holding out for a plush of the Grave Keeper’s dog (I just want to give him a hug!). And with next year being the 50th anniversary of the Haunted Mansion at the Disneyland Resort, who knows what will materialize?