Plushie Love

Plushie Love is creating collectible toys of your hardcore heroes

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Hardcore is in one of its most thrilling states right now. Turnstile have entered the mainstream with their blinding, full-throttled anthems, and bands like Scowl and Militarie Gun aren’t far behind. So what if you could own a collectible plushie of your favorite bands? That’s exactly what Sophie and Emma Hendry, the masterminds behind Plushie Love, set out to do.

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After years of designing merch and flyers, as well as playing in bands — Emma is in ​​Phantasia, Krimewatch, and fish narc, whereas Sophie sings in Firewalker — the Hendry siblings are using their talents to make cuddly, one-of-a-kind creations. They aren’t a nostalgia trip as much as valuable, authentic pieces of merch, though, just as collectible as a tee or limited-edition poster. Each plushie is singular in its own right, and many are tour exclusives. The Power Trip plush wears an executioner mask and holds a bloody ax, whereas the Turnstile Snoozle possesses supernatural horns and baby pink fur. Glancing through their collection, you can feel the deep love and appreciation for the scene that raised them. Here, the duo details the inspiration behind their lovable and cute creations.

Copy of PlushyLove 8

David Hoekje

It’s so nice to feel seen by others who fall in the middle of the Venn diagram of hardcore music and stuffed animals. First things first, how did Plushie Love start?

SOPHIE HENDRY: We grew up obsessed with cute things like Furbies, and I don’t think it ever really went away. I had been collecting vintage plushies and living in Olympia for a few years, and Emma had an eclectic collection of cute objects and trinkets at her space in NYC. We started concocting the idea in 2019, during a time when we hadn’t spent much time together, since I moved to the West Coast. We always thought we would start a band together, but it didn’t really happen while living on different coasts and being in other bands. [So] we started Plushie Love as a project we could do together. We set out to invent what we, albeit subjectively, were calling “the most objectively cute” creature on the face of the planet. We viewed it as a scientific study based on research and experiments with proportions. 

EMMA HENDRY: We both had been playing in bands for years and designing merch and flyers. So it was pretty inevitable that our lives in hardcore and punk music would play a role in our plushies. 

What is that intersection of heavy music and plushies all about? It’s super real, however contradictory it seems on the surface. 

EMMA: We don’t go into it with any sort of irony. It’s not so different from buying a T-shirt, just another type of merch you can buy to support bands. We were pleasantly surprised by the demand for plushies by music/plushie fans. I think people enjoy curating their own collections of merch and decor in their rooms as a form of self-expression.

What are your first music memories together? Did you go to a lot of shows growing up?

SOPHIE: First music memories… We grew up in early childhood listening to New Order, the Specials, PIL, Ramones, and Social Distortion, which is what our parents played at home. Throughout high school, we attended all sorts of shows in Massachusetts, in VFWs, basements, skateparks — even the Wise chip factory once. There were lots of hardcore shows at the Christ Church in Medway where we grew up. We didn’t start playing in punk and HC bands until we moved to Boston after high school. 

plushie love


What’s your process of working with a band on an item? Is it collaborative, or is it more like an ode to the artist?

SOPHIE: We always want input from the band — so it’s definitely collaborative. I’ll usually draw something up as a starting point for the conversation, and we edit from there. For the Turnstile plush, they definitely wanted him to have something special and mystical about him, so we gave him some really weird wings and extra curly horns. Kat [Moss] from Scowl asked for stars on its cheeks. I created a flower design as a starting point, and she showed me her current inspiration/mood board for their upcoming record, so we worked on the colors to make him feel more spooky and alien and neon. 

How did you name the Snoozle?

EMMA: We were inspired by retro toy names that were mashups of cute-sounding words — Furby, WuvLuvs, Popples, Chubbles, Puffkins, Wuzzles. We also wanted there to be a thematic element to the name. Since the character in our drawings looked really sleepy, we wanted to start out with the word “snooze.” 

SOPHIE: Emma came up with the word Snoozle, and I was like, “We gotta go with that.”

What’s next?

EMMA: We hope to make more accessories and unique clothing pieces [and] work with more bands, artists, and small stores that we vibe with. Also, we plan on completing our line of 12 birthstone-themed plushies. So far we have Emerald, Amethyst, Pearl, and Ruby.

Plushie Love appears in our Winter 2023 Issue with cover stars Green Day, 070 Shake, Militarie Gun, and Arlo Parks. Head to the AP Shop to grab a copy.