Fast! What is the difference between Squishmallows and Skoosherz?

Time is over. Don’t worry if you can’t find an answer. The companies behind the colorful plush toys are in a court battle this week over what really differentiates the toys from each other.

Kelly Toys, which said it launched Squishmallows plush toys in 2016, filed a lawsuit Monday against Build-A-Bear over its Skoosherz line, which launched last month in anticipation of Valentine’s Day. Build-A-Bear filed its own lawsuit against Kelly Toys.

Instead of “creating its own unique concepts and product lines,” the lawsuit filed by Kelly Toys in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California reads, Build-A-Bear built a similar product when , the lawsuit adds, “decided that it would be easier to simply copy, imitate and profit from the popularity and goodwill of Squishmallows.”

Kelly Toys argues in its lawsuit that Build-A-Bear imitated Squishmallows plush toys “in hopes of confusing consumers into purchasing its products instead of Squishmallows.”

In a lawsuit against Kelly Toys in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri, Build-A-Bear argued Monday that its line did not infringe any trademarks.

Kelly Toys argued that the Build-A-Bear line has many similarities to Squishmallows toys, including “fanciful depictions with animal/character shapes; simplified Asian style Kawaii faces; embroidered facial features; distinctive and non-monochromatic coloration; and exterior with a velvety texture similar to velvet.”

The company has alleged violation of the Lanham Act, that protects the commercial image, the legal concept that refers to the appearance of a product that makes it unique from other products.

The company also notes that Build-A-Bear has moved away from its original mission of helping people build their own toys. Instead, the lawsuit claims, Build-A-Bear has copied Kelly Toys’ plush toys without the license or other authorization to do so, and even uses one of the same suppliers that makes Kelly Toys’ product.

The line’s name Build-A-Bear was also chosen, the company claimed, to confuse consumers who are actually looking for Squishmallows, which are often called “Squish.”

Jazwares, the parent company of Kelly Toys controlled by Berkshire Hathaway, said in a statement from the law firm representing it, Hueston Hennigan LLP, that “Build-A-Bear has gone to great lengths to copy the distinctive look, feel and appearance . and tactile design of Squishmallows to capitalize on the global success of Squishmallows in a shameless and intentional way.”

Build-A-Bear, founded in St. Louis, argued in its complaint that the features Kelly Toys claimed to be part of its trade dress were not consistent across the entire line of Squishmallows products.

The company said it started by helping buyers build their own toys, but explained that it has sold stuffed toys that had previously been stuffed for years. The new toys are not knockoffs of Squishmallows, the company argued, but knockoffs of some of its own original and popular plush toys. His Skoosherz Pink Axolotl is based on his original Pink Axolotl, for example.

The company also argued that many plush toys existed before Squishmallows entered the market, and many had the features that Kelly Toys said were its trade dress, including a line of Squishable stuffed animals launched in 2008 and Yummy World products from Kidrobot. launched in 2015.

Attorneys for Build-A-Bear did not immediately respond to a request for comment Wednesday.

Marshmallows gained popularity during the coronavirus pandemic. Videos about the toys have been viewed more than 11 billion times on TikTok and fans have posted about the toys more than 11 million times on Instagram, according to Kelly Toys’ complaint.

The company counts among its fan base Lady Gaga and Kim Kardashian, who have posted about the toys on their social media accounts.

“Squishmallows sales increased more than 300 percent in 2022 alone, with sales skyrocketing to more than $200 million worldwide,” the complaint reads.