Purple blobby things make the best pets
September 4, 2015 6:40 AM   Subscribe

My toddler has a set of animal magnets that include a snail, a cow, a beaver/woodchuck thing, a sheep, another sheep, a goat, and... a purple blobby thing. What the hell kind of animal is this?

No other relevant details, I suppose. The magnets came from Aldi. I've included two pictures, the right way up and what could be the other right way up.

AskMe tends to be really good at these mystery object identification questions, but if this magnet really represents no animal known to man, I will accept as a substitute some imaginary animal (and the noise it makes).
posted by lollymccatburglar to Grab Bag (130 answers total) 26 users marked this as a favorite
 
World's Worst Cat? (the whiskers make me think this)
posted by Kitteh at 6:42 AM on September 4, 2015 [4 favorites]


Walrus?
posted by Eddie Mars at 6:43 AM on September 4, 2015 [1 favorite]


A manatee? They're pretty blobby
posted by TheAdamist at 6:47 AM on September 4, 2015 [9 favorites]


Rorschach bird: born near Chernobyl edition.

Seriously, I think it's a bird. It has a beak and sort of a wing.
posted by lollusc at 6:48 AM on September 4, 2015 [5 favorites]


Could you please post an image of the other animals so we can get a sense of the 'style'?
posted by calgirl at 6:48 AM on September 4, 2015 [9 favorites]


Manatee or seal would be my guess (some blobby, smooth thing that swims).

Wtf, a bird??
posted by Halo in reverse at 6:48 AM on September 4, 2015


(On the other hand, it also has a shark fin, so... Hmmm.) can you post pictures of the others in the set so we can get an idea of how the creators stylised the other creatures?
posted by lollusc at 6:49 AM on September 4, 2015


Upon seeing the first picture, I thought it looked like an upside-down cat. But in the second picture, it doesn't look like a right-side-up cat. And what's that red "stripe"?

I agree that seeing the other magnets in the set might provide a clue.
posted by Faint of Butt at 6:58 AM on September 4, 2015 [1 favorite]


Lollusc, don't doubt your first impression. It's definitely a bird. The face is (rather) clearly a bird, which is the diagnostic: round profile, beak, bird eye, it's a stylized hello-kitty-world bird face.

Then the round, arm- stump thing in the center of the body is a wing, the hindblob is a birdtail having something to do with limitations with the magnet factory mold maker, and the "fin" is a little feather sticking up. The blobmakers thought it added jaunty pizzazz, like the little head feather. The weird whiskerish stripe is a bird marking like a cardinalblob.
posted by flourpot at 7:01 AM on September 4, 2015 [2 favorites]


I immediately saw an upside down walrus.
posted by banjonaut at 7:01 AM on September 4, 2015 [2 favorites]


Well those are whiskers so I would guess a fat cat, but before I noticed the whiskers, I thought it was a pig.
posted by AugustWest at 7:04 AM on September 4, 2015


Here is the whole set. I think it's telling that the grey sheep is in a similar Superman-type position. I mean, if I had to guess I'd say it's an evil purple flying Jigglypuff, but I'm not an expert or anything.
posted by lollymccatburglar at 7:05 AM on September 4, 2015 [6 favorites]


It's a cross between a frog and a cat. Definitely not a bird, the pointy beak thing is the leg on the other side.

It seriously looks like a frog with whiskers and a tail.
posted by telepanda at 7:06 AM on September 4, 2015 [2 favorites]


Walrus or seal?
posted by Sweetie Darling at 7:08 AM on September 4, 2015 [2 favorites]


Bird. That's a beak.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 7:09 AM on September 4, 2015 [4 favorites]


If you look at the image this way, it is totally a seal (or sea lion)-type creature, like this one!
posted by Halo in reverse at 7:10 AM on September 4, 2015 [4 favorites]


it looks like a weird cat made by a person who has never encountered a cat irl while sober.
posted by poffin boffin at 7:12 AM on September 4, 2015 [12 favorites]


Agreeing with kitteh: World's Worst Cat?
posted by gudrun at 7:13 AM on September 4, 2015 [1 favorite]


Manatee, purple blob of the sea.
posted by mcduff at 7:13 AM on September 4, 2015 [8 favorites]


Hippo. The raised bit with the black dot is an eye, the red dot is a nostril, the black line is a mouth and it has whiskers, and it has a big belly and its legs are kind of splayed out around it.
posted by corvine at 7:13 AM on September 4, 2015 [8 favorites]


Hippopotamus. For some reason they're often purple in children's toys.
posted by crazycanuck at 7:14 AM on September 4, 2015 [2 favorites]


If it was my kid, I would just give it a name, like George.
posted by sleeping bear at 7:16 AM on September 4, 2015 [7 favorites]


Hippos ain't got cat whiskers, though. I do think the raised bump with the eye on it is important. That's why I was thinking frog before, but there's a much froggier frog already in the set so that's not it.
posted by telepanda at 7:18 AM on September 4, 2015


(those who are saying it is the worst cat are more accurate than they know)
posted by corvine at 7:18 AM on September 4, 2015 [8 favorites]


Seal The "beak" is the other front flipper.
posted by Jane the Brown at 7:24 AM on September 4, 2015


Regardless, whomever designed it should not be allowed to render "animals" in magnet form anymore.
posted by Kitteh at 7:25 AM on September 4, 2015 [16 favorites]


I found the snails on alibaba, and a couple other magnets in a similar style, but no purple blobby thing.
posted by jazon at 7:30 AM on September 4, 2015


Not sure how old your toddler is, but I would have my toddler decide. Kids just know.
posted by AugustWest at 7:37 AM on September 4, 2015 [10 favorites]


I say hippo or manatee. The fact that it has legs, but those legs are splayed out rather than pointed downwards to the ground is what makes me pretty certain it is meant to be a water-dwelling mammal.
posted by meese at 7:40 AM on September 4, 2015 [2 favorites]


People, it has whiskers!
posted by barnone at 7:50 AM on September 4, 2015 [2 favorites]


It looks like a sprawled out cat, with the "beak" being one of its legs from a perspective view.

Designed by someone who has seen The Oatmeal, but not an actual cat.
posted by Chuckles McLaughy du Haha, the depressed clown at 7:54 AM on September 4, 2015 [5 favorites]


Hippo or catfish (because fins and whiskers).
posted by pointystick at 7:55 AM on September 4, 2015


Manatees have whiskers. Oh, the huge manatee!
posted by Too-Ticky at 7:57 AM on September 4, 2015


I want to go with hippo as well, but that may be because my own toddler's wooden puzzle has a purple hippo so obviously hippos are purple.
posted by aabbbiee at 7:59 AM on September 4, 2015 [1 favorite]


(Hippos also have whiskers, though I would not say they're a defining hippo attribute.)
posted by aabbbiee at 8:00 AM on September 4, 2015 [1 favorite]


It's NOT A BEAK. It's a fin or other extremity.
posted by Omnomnom at 8:02 AM on September 4, 2015 [3 favorites]


Either a one-eyed one-one horned flying purple people eater, or it's Totoro, described to someone who can't draw by someone else whose brother might have seen Totoro, once, from a very ropey bootleg. The picture on the right looks like it's a blobby cat-like thing flying superman-style in quarter profile.

Or it's probably a popular Chinese cartoon character, and this thread will be featured on a click-bait site there with the title Watch these Westerners adorably fail to identify beloved character Blobby Cat-like Thing Flying Superman-Style!

(cf. Pleasant Goat, which is a thing. Really.)
posted by scruss at 8:06 AM on September 4, 2015 [2 favorites]


I'm curious what the white one on the top right is too. Notice sheep and goat are already taken.

It is odd because some are very specific - the cow has a cowbell and everything. Definitely a cow. Then you have this blobby thing.

Manatee. I think.
posted by vacapinta at 8:09 AM on September 4, 2015 [4 favorites]


It all depends on whether you see the red dot or the black dot as the eye.

If the red dot is the eye, (and the black dot the ear) then the pointy thing is a beak and this critter is a bird (or maybe a fish).

If the black dot is the eye, (on the raised bump like a frog or cartoon hippo) then the critter has fins or feet or other extremities, like any manahippocat.

In any case, it's clear you get to choose how to see it, OP, and that if you want to go viral you have something just as compellingly perceptually subjective as The Dress on your hands.
posted by flourpot at 8:10 AM on September 4, 2015 [3 favorites]


I vote manatee. That was my gut reaction before looking at other people's answers.
posted by amro at 8:14 AM on September 4, 2015


Another (unlikely) possibility is that it's the bit left over from when the other animals were stamped from the plastic sheet, and it accidentally got a magnet glued to the back of it, poor thing.
posted by scruss at 8:19 AM on September 4, 2015 [3 favorites]


I'm voting for Gengar in profile, wearing cat whiskers as a disguise or something.
posted by DynamiteToast at 8:33 AM on September 4, 2015 [2 favorites]


Definitely intended to be a "sea animal" (at least according to alibaba). My vote is for manatee.
posted by alyxstarr at 8:37 AM on September 4, 2015 [23 favorites]


Walrus for sure. Manatees have a single paddle-like fin, not two rear protuberances.
posted by PorcineWithMe at 8:39 AM on September 4, 2015


I agree with hippo. The purple, the big belly, the whiskers, and the raised eye element are all consistent with common cartoon hippo style.

The legs are all shooting out akimbo, not fins.
posted by a fiendish thingy at 8:40 AM on September 4, 2015 [2 favorites]


I was erring on hippo, but now I'm kinda seeing mouse with the whiskers and such. Probably hippo though because for some reason I've never questioned until today, cartoon hippos are generally rendered as purple.
posted by iivix at 8:40 AM on September 4, 2015


Walrus or seal to my eye - on it's belly lolling.
posted by Lescha at 8:44 AM on September 4, 2015


Manatee was my immediate guess.
posted by dlugoczaj at 8:52 AM on September 4, 2015


(What sounds do manatees make, then?)
posted by dlugoczaj at 8:52 AM on September 4, 2015


Did you keep the packaging?
posted by Billiken at 9:02 AM on September 4, 2015


I see a Macaroni Penguin in mid-swim. The whiskers kind of led me down that path.
posted by JoeZydeco at 9:06 AM on September 4, 2015


Flying cat. With..stubby...tail...dammit! I give up.
posted by pyjammy at 9:12 AM on September 4, 2015 [2 favorites]


My toddler is 2.75 years old and we looked at the group pic. He wondered what the white sheep was also. He says the purple blob is a walrus. I thought manatee at first view. After staring at the blob for a long time I have no opinion. That is not any kind of animal I have ever imagined.
posted by Swisstine at 9:12 AM on September 4, 2015 [1 favorite]


Manatee-ish thing gets my vote. They don't really play around with colors, so I don't think it's a cat.

I'm delighted by this question for some reason.
posted by A Terrible Llama at 9:15 AM on September 4, 2015


Come on, people. It's flying and purple because it's hurtlin' through the cosmos.
posted by thetortoise at 9:17 AM on September 4, 2015 [6 favorites]


Well, apparently alibaba thinks the grey sheep is also some kind of sea animal also.
posted by dlugoczaj at 9:17 AM on September 4, 2015 [11 favorites]


AAAAND they think the goat is a "Bullfight Festival Mascot."

I think what you have is a collection of leftovers. You have the Island of Misfit Toys.
posted by dlugoczaj at 9:20 AM on September 4, 2015 [18 favorites]


I'm team manatee.
posted by gingerbeer at 9:22 AM on September 4, 2015


I think manatee is the best theory so far. That black line is a wide snout plus whiskers, and the legs-up position does suggest floating or flying. Walrus would have tusks and be more upright, like sitting on a beach, I would think.
posted by LobsterMitten at 9:32 AM on September 4, 2015


So you can see roughly the same shape outline in the cows in the set of magnets for sale here. They are upside down in the photo, but they are clearly cows, with their four legs outstretched as their magnificent, bloated cow bodyspheres soar through the air.

I believe your magnet is of a manatee. If you scroll down here to the magnet for sale for the Sydney aquarium (direct link photo of manatee magnet), you can see the lines on the side of the "face" are the mouth wrinkles of the manatee (not whiskers). Ignore that the linked page is titled "3d hippo fridge magnet"--the magnet for sale on that page is clearly a rhino, given the horn. This is what a for-sale-on-alibaba 3d pvc hippo magnet tends to look like. High as hell, but clearly a hippo.
posted by neda at 9:34 AM on September 4, 2015 [1 favorite]


I'm definitely seeing a manatee there. The others feel like too much of a stretch. (A beak? Seriously?)
posted by Aleyn at 9:37 AM on September 4, 2015


That totally looks like a manatee for someone who has not actually seen the back end of a manatee. So I'm going with Team Hippo.
posted by blurker at 9:53 AM on September 4, 2015


Flying hippo.
posted by mefireader at 10:12 AM on September 4, 2015


Since the rest of the animals are so identifiable (and color-appropriate: there is no manatee or seal in the world that's PURPLE) I'm going to go with a fish.
posted by Automocar at 10:19 AM on September 4, 2015


Paramecium?
posted by oulipian at 10:20 AM on September 4, 2015


I'm curious what the white one on the top right is too. Notice sheep and goat are already taken.

Oh my god, you're right, I didn't look at it closely and just thought that there were two sheep, but it is definitely... something else. With creepy soulless black eyes. It's been a long time since I've read Borges' Book of Imaginary Beings, but I might have to dust it off.

I love all of these answers, keep them coming! Perhaps at the end I will tally the answers and the winning animal gets to be the purple blob, because none of them seem to be exactly right.
posted by lollymccatburglar at 10:22 AM on September 4, 2015 [1 favorite]


Top right is a confused alpaca.

The purple thing is an evil flying cat.
posted by Urtylug at 10:30 AM on September 4, 2015 [2 favorites]


Seal. That's a seal. Saw one just like it when we went to Fishermans Warf. Not quite as strikingly colored maybe, but then it wasn't breeding season or anything. The noise I heard it make went a bit like this...

"AAAAAAAWWWWWWHHHHHRRRRGGGGGGGUUUUUHHHHHH! " (Repeated continously for eternity)
posted by WalkerWestridge at 10:33 AM on September 4, 2015 [2 favorites]


It's definitely a seal. My daughter agrees. It's not a manatee. Look at the whiskers, people! Look at the overall shape of the head. Compare pictures of manatees and seals and you'll have to admit it's way more like a seal. (I can't explain the little fin/tail thing, though.)
posted by Redstart at 10:33 AM on September 4, 2015 [2 favorites]


I assumed that the top white one was a ram.
posted by futz at 11:05 AM on September 4, 2015 [1 favorite]


Considering the color and the relative accuracy of the other animals' colors, it has to be an aquatic mammal. I have little confidence in using anatomy to identify it beyond that considering the weird snoutless white sheep thing, but if you insist then it has to be either a sea lion, and the "tail" is its other flipper or a hippo and the "tail" is its tail. None of these answers actually satisfy me, though.

The red stripe or whatever it is is what stumps me. if you consider it as a mouth, it's a fat man weeping tears of joy about his erection.

One thing I will fight somebody about is that it's not a bird. WTF. What is wrong with you.
posted by cmoj at 11:06 AM on September 4, 2015 [6 favorites]


I can't explain the little fin/tail thing, though

Solvent exposure would be my guess.
posted by flabdablet at 11:16 AM on September 4, 2015 [3 favorites]


GUYS GUYS! Look at this! Look at the Fat flying Cow things! Could our purple blob be a mis-colored beastie?
posted by jazon at 11:25 AM on September 4, 2015 [11 favorites]


When a Cat, a Hippo and a Manatee love each other very much, they make a cute photo. This purple abomination, while cute, is obviously no earthly creature. Probably Jovian or Saturnine, given the shape for floating through clouds.
posted by Hactar at 11:34 AM on September 4, 2015 [1 favorite]


I think it's actually a magnetee.
posted by wenestvedt at 11:47 AM on September 4, 2015 [17 favorites]




Probably inappropriate imagery and description for a kids toy. sorry.
posted by DarkForest at 12:11 PM on September 4, 2015


It is most definitely a hover cat.
posted by Mrs. Rattery at 12:36 PM on September 4, 2015 [1 favorite]


Mountain goat, Sulawesi snail, Lamb, Drunk Frog, Sheep (Counting to sleep), Gopher, Gengar, Cow.
posted by moonlight on vermont at 12:53 PM on September 4, 2015


That is a visual representation of a professional illustrator's hopes and dreams flying away, never to be seen again.
posted by lore at 1:01 PM on September 4, 2015 [5 favorites]


Is a pufferfish totally out of the question?
posted by barnone at 1:05 PM on September 4, 2015 [3 favorites]


I can't even believe you guys haven't already agreed it's a WALRUS! The four (horribly designed) extremities are flippers.
posted by Specklet at 1:49 PM on September 4, 2015 [1 favorite]


clearly Space Journey Walrus
posted by daisystomper at 2:08 PM on September 4, 2015 [6 favorites]


A walrus would definitely have tusks.
posted by corvine at 2:20 PM on September 4, 2015


After "Weirdest cat ever", my vote definitely goes to one-eyed, one-horned, flying purple people eater.
posted by freezer cake at 2:49 PM on September 4, 2015 [8 favorites]


What's interesting is that you have two styles of art here; the bighorn goat, frog, sheep and strangely-large beaver have large eyes, the others little pinpoint eyes. Purple blob is a manatee or walrus, badly rendered, very likely defective or just badly designed. I suspect the whole set is actually a combination of two other discount sets, which would also explain why you seem to have two different-looking goats.

Discount kids toys often get sold even with significant defects, on the principle that "kids don't care" which is true enough. If you keep Blobby Kinda-Walrus long enough, he can become a beloved family item, and you can quiz visitors to vote on what he is.
posted by emjaybee at 2:57 PM on September 4, 2015 [3 favorites]


The more I look at Fat Flying Cows the more I think it's that base with a weird paint job.
posted by jazon at 3:51 PM on September 4, 2015 [2 favorites]


This is like the Cow Tools of children's magnets. Did Gary Larson draw that last one, perchance?
posted by fifteen schnitzengruben is my limit at 4:05 PM on September 4, 2015 [4 favorites]


Cat-walrus.
posted by kitten magic at 4:38 PM on September 4, 2015


Okay, I asked my seven-year-old. She said seal/sea lion. She said it can't be a walrus because there aren't tusks. I'm not sure if she knows manatees exist.

She absolutely loved the idea that a bunch of grown ups were working hard to figure this out.
posted by A Terrible Llama at 4:42 PM on September 4, 2015 [9 favorites]


But what is the red slash about? I tried interpreting it as a mouth, but that didn't work so well.

The other red dot, well that could be an eye, or maybe a nostril, or possibly a mole.

But the red slash, if it's not a mouth, what is it? some kind of stripe? Or is the poor purple animal suffering from a bad cut?

I don't think any idea is possible until it adequately addresses the slash.
posted by nat at 5:14 PM on September 4, 2015


Okay, new theory. This theory dispenses with intention in favor of production.

Purple manatee is a sport* of semi-beaver thing.

*Not a horticulturist, but best as I can tell, a random half-assed offshoot of an original plant that is sometimes awesome enough to cultivate and reproduce and sometimes better off just buried under sand. Not looking at you, manatee-beaver thing.
posted by A Terrible Llama at 5:34 PM on September 4, 2015


In short, they've made a catatee.
posted by A Terrible Llama at 5:37 PM on September 4, 2015 [2 favorites]


The red dot is clearly the nose. I interpret the red slash as a stripe, put there just to make it more colorful and perhaps also to delineate the head/body boundary.

Also, I want everybody to stop saying "walrus!" As multiple people have pointed out, walruses have tusks! There are no tusks here!
posted by Redstart at 5:58 PM on September 4, 2015 [1 favorite]


I vote bird. My mother in law votes haggis.
posted by yarntheory at 7:11 PM on September 4, 2015 [3 favorites]


Also, the gray sheep is clearly doing all the emotional labor in the gray/ white sheep relationship. It is probably scared of being called a black sheep. Poor sheep.
posted by yarntheory at 7:13 PM on September 4, 2015 [2 favorites]


I'm intrigued and repulsed that the first related question below is "What is this animal organ/fetus/embryo my cat brought in?"
posted by QuakerMel at 7:25 PM on September 4, 2015 [1 favorite]


Wait, I may have found its momma here (large image warning)
posted by hank at 8:09 PM on September 4, 2015


okay wait i want to change my vote to haggis
posted by poffin boffin at 8:49 PM on September 4, 2015 [3 favorites]


I was on team bird until I realized that the black dot must be an eye and the red dot a nose. Now I think walrus and the pointy bit at the "front" is supposed to be a tusk. Overall I'd say its a "factory second."
posted by ob1quixote at 9:19 PM on September 4, 2015


I'm guessing it's either an error, with the details of one animal being printed on another, or somebody at a cheap-ass magnet company grabbed a little purple blob from some Latvian children's cartoon and tossed it into the pack without another thought.

I think the white animal is a sheep and they didn't care if there was more than one sheep in the pack because cheap. It's a cheap sheep.
posted by Ursula Hitler at 9:25 PM on September 4, 2015 [3 favorites]


I'm changing my vote to catatee. Sounds better than cat-walrus. Also little llama probably knows way more about animals than I do.
posted by kitten magic at 10:17 PM on September 4, 2015


Also, I want everybody to stop saying "walrus!" As multiple people have pointed out, walruses have tusks! There are no tusks here!

minor detail - it's bright purple! ;-)
posted by kitten magic at 10:20 PM on September 4, 2015


That is very obviously a Sumatran Sea Shmoo.
posted by Nerd of the North at 11:17 PM on September 4, 2015 [1 favorite]


It's a hippo. In kid land the only animal that gets to be purple is a hippo!! Elephants are blue, rhinos can be red, black or brown and manatees don't exist. That red stripe is a terrible representation of the neck rolls that hippos have.
posted by saradarlin at 12:33 AM on September 5, 2015


I'm also voting hippo. The picture at the top looks upside-down to me, so I'm assuming that the bottom picture has the right side up. Small dark spot: eye set in protruding socket; small red spot: nostril; blue lines: mouth with whiskers; line connected to the purple oval near the center of the body: lower edge of head; purple oval shape near the center of the body and small purple thingie sticking out to the left: front legs; small pointy purple thingie sticking up: tail; larger purple thingie pointing to the right: one of the hind legs.

(Actually, I have no idea what it is, but seeing it gave me a good and much-needed laugh. Holy hell, that thing is ugly.)
posted by rjs at 1:51 AM on September 5, 2015


I cannot believe that no one has correctly identified it as one of the Elder Gods. Clearly those things you are all saying are whiskers are actually tentacles. As for the noise it makes? Something along the lines of "Ia, ia, Cthulhu wagnaghl fhtagn".

Meanwhile the upper white one is a llama/alpaca.
posted by Athanassiel at 3:37 AM on September 5, 2015 [1 favorite]


Okay, I've thought about this waaaay too much (as I will now demonstrate), and I'm officially going with "hippo" – very, very bad hippo – because:

1. Hippos have both actual little ears that stick up, and also protuberant eye sockets, so going with the second image as the "right side up" view, we see a protuberant eye, or maybe an ear.

2. Hippos have little perky tails, while manatees have distinctively paddle-shaped tails, and seals have distinctively fan-like tails

3. Hippos do have whiskers (all the nominees do), though not as prominent as seal or sea lion, so I don't think the whiskers disqualify a hippo answer

4. Hippos have famously huge mouths compared to the other nominees, and the mouth is quite emphasized on the purple blobby thing

5. Hippos have that neck thing going on, and I think the weird red bit is possibly supposed to be an indication of neck folds.

6. Seals and manatees have flippers, while hippos have legs; the one limb(?) that's quite clear in purple blobby image seems definitely more leggy than flippery

7. a search for "hippo toy" gets more than twice as many results as "seal toy," and "toy manatee" has much, much fewer results

8. Searches show purple and lavender as very common colors for toy hippos. Almost all seal toys are gray or white

And that, ladies and gentlemen, concludes my argument in favor of "hippo." Here's my anatomical guesswork for purple blobby hippo.

For your toddler, OP, A hippo sounds like this. But if you prefer manatee, they sound like this (look under map for player), and seals sound like this.

Good luck in all your future animal magnet adventures!
posted by taz at 3:50 AM on September 5, 2015 [9 favorites]


As soon as I saw the full set I knew it was Super Cat Defender of the Universe. Glad to see another MeFite thought the same.

"Beak" is a paw thrust forward.
Blobby middle paw is paw against side for aerodynamics.
Tail's a tail.
Back paw is back paw(s).
Red marks are her superkitty signs.
posted by MarionnetteFilleDeChaussette at 4:51 AM on September 5, 2015 [1 favorite]


As a veteran of weird toddler animal books, I vote WALRUS.
posted by Cygnet at 8:02 AM on September 5, 2015


Hippo.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 10:09 AM on September 5, 2015


Its a fat purple guy with a comb-over, holding his arms up, who is happy to see you.

I discovered this independently! If you assume the red dot is a birth mark -which isn’t unreasonable- it could be a purple Boris Yeltsin.
posted by Going To Maine at 7:57 PM on September 5, 2015


Raccoon. Fat, flying raccoon. The red dot is the eye, the red line is a stripe, and the black line around the eye is its little raccoon mask.
posted by equipoise at 11:58 PM on September 5, 2015


Flying pig
posted by miyabo at 8:40 AM on September 6, 2015


It's a baby ox
posted by the uncomplicated soups of my childhood at 1:04 PM on September 6, 2015


WHAT IS IT? I have neither kids nor a menagerie, but I am burning with curiosity.
posted by eggkeeper at 6:48 PM on September 6, 2015


I guess I'm the only one who kinda sees a narwhal? The little pointy thing on its face is almost a horn!
posted by lunasol at 7:29 PM on September 6, 2015 [1 favorite]


Hippopotamus? Pfffft. It's a seal.

Young ms. flabdablet (10) has spoken.

Case closed.
posted by flabdablet at 1:07 AM on September 8, 2015


Oh, and that white woolly thing in the top right is a woolly dog. Which is why it's wearing a collar, duh.
posted by flabdablet at 1:10 AM on September 8, 2015 [1 favorite]


I just saw it with the perspective shift (so the face is looking at you instead of a profile.) I don't think it's a bird anymore, FWIW. Manatee-ish critter gets my do-over vote.
posted by flourpot at 2:46 AM on September 8, 2015


I'm with Team Mispainted Cow.
posted by salix at 2:58 AM on September 8, 2015


I know I planted my flag in Team Hippo, but it occurred to me that reading it as a manatee might explain the red stripe on top. It is an open wound from where the manatee was sliced by a boat propeller!

(But seriously, I still believe in hippos, or at least something with four legs. The round thing in the middle of the belly is the creature's lefthand leg, but it looks like a circle because of awkward foreshortening.)
posted by a fiendish thingy at 5:40 AM on September 8, 2015


I think Team Hippo cannot win this. The problem is the whiskers. Try "toy hippo" in Google Images and see how many hippos have whiskers. The answer is approximately zero.

I now vote for "sea mammal" which is a mashup of seal/walrus/manatee and is purple.
posted by vacapinta at 6:16 AM on September 8, 2015


If you look at the images I linked to in my original post, you will find that cartoon hippos are portrayed with whiskers quite frequently. I reject your premise TEAM HIPPO 4 LYFE
posted by a fiendish thingy at 6:39 AM on September 8, 2015 [1 favorite]


I’m with Team Mispainted Cow.

It seems likely that the cow is the template shape. I think this is less of a mis-painting and more of an attempt to make a cow into something it is not meant to be, à la Dr. Moreau.
posted by Going To Maine at 7:32 AM on September 8, 2015 [1 favorite]


I have just been idlely watching this thread and now I feel it is imperative to cast my vote for Team Whimsical Purple cat before things get out of control. (Hippo?? Walrus????)
Did anyone suggest this as a question for the Metafilter survey in Meta Talk?
posted by like_neon at 8:51 AM on September 8, 2015


Platypus, anyone?
posted by pantufla_milagrosa at 10:28 AM on September 8, 2015


If you look at the images I linked to in my original post, you will find that cartoon hippos are portrayed with whiskers quite frequently.

Nope, sorry, not buying this. Vacapinta is right. Google image searches for toy hippo or cartoon hippo clearly show that whiskers are rare. Compare to toy seal or cartoon seal.

The prominent whiskers on our purple friend rule out hippo or manatee. (Both have whiskers in real life, of course, but they are not as noticeable as seal whiskers and are seldom included on toy or cartoon versions.) The lack of tusks rules out walrus. (Seriously, stop saying walrus, everyone!) The lack of ears rules out cat. Lack of a beak and the presence of whiskers rule out bird.

Team Seal (or Sea Lion) is obviously the only team that makes sense. (The flippers that look more like legs and the fin/tail thing are clearly the result of using a template originally designed for another animal and should be ignored.)
posted by Redstart at 2:48 PM on September 8, 2015


Did you check for labels? I found a fish this morning in our bathtub that looks remarkably like these guys (less so because I can immediately identify it as a fish) but it has its name in tiny letters on the back, it says 'blue tang', which it turns out, is an actual type of fish.

Mine is from Safari Ltd., made in China. It's one of these.

Close personal relative maybe? It's the same size, and it has that defining facial crease that seems the mark of the artist.
posted by A Terrible Llama at 10:34 AM on September 9, 2015


Damn, I'm sorry, I see you said the manufacturer up top.

Still the resemblance is chilling.
posted by A Terrible Llama at 10:35 AM on September 9, 2015


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