0

There's a picture of a plush doll that's making the rounds on Twitter:

enter image description here

The tweet wonders whether they are antisemitic caricatures of Jews, which it definitely can be, based on the hats and long noses. However, to my untrained eye, it seems more like a plushie based off a fantastical creature, perhaps from a foreign animated show.

What fantastical creature, if any, is this plushie supposed to be?

9
  • 3
    Are those plague doctor toys?
    – DavidW
    Commented Jan 26, 2023 at 4:53
  • 1
    See the link, or Fuzzy's answer below (same link). All black except for white beaked mask and large black eyeholes.
    – DavidW
    Commented Jan 26, 2023 at 4:57
  • 3
    FWIW, despite the downvotes, I think it was a reasonable question. They certainly look fantastic, and they're common characters in fantasy works due to that distinctive look.
    – FuzzyBoots
    Commented Jan 26, 2023 at 12:41
  • 1
    Huh. I thought I had, but it's not there. DOne.
    – FuzzyBoots
    Commented Jan 26, 2023 at 14:47
  • 1
    Assuming I've never heard about plague doctors before (which I didn't until very recently), I would have never guessed these actually looked like one.
    – Clockwork
    Commented Jan 26, 2023 at 23:46

1 Answer 1

11

As best I can tell, they are not depicting any particular fictional work, but rather the general depiction of a Plague Doctor.

A plague doctor was a physician who treated victims of bubonic plague during epidemics mainly in the 16th and 17th centuries. These physicians were hired by cities to treat infected patients regardless of income, especially the poor that could not afford to pay.

....

Some plague doctors wore a special costume consisting of an ankle-length overcoat and a bird-like beak mask, often filled with sweet or strong-smelling substances (commonly lavender), along with gloves, boots, a wide-brimmed hat, a linen hood, and an outer over-clothing garment.

Image of a 17th century Plague Doctor uniform

Those specifically look like the Squishable brand Plague Doctor doll.

Squishable Plague Doctor doll

We originally intended for this to be a Halloween Squishable, but, well, here we are. This Squishable comes with a glow in the dark lantern! And we also now have a 15" version available for pre-order too!

Medieval plague doctors thought the smelly herbs and flowers they stuffed in their masks would keep them healthy. They didn't. But their impenetrable (and spooky!) leather outfits actually did! That coat was like the hazmat suit of their day. Today we have soap, so unless you particularly like wearing a lot of leather, maybe just wash your hands instead. Actually, wash your hands either way. Now wash them again.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.