David Horvath speaking about Ugly Dolls


This semester our Toy Design Department had a visit from David Horvath, creator of the famous Ugly Doll brand. He told the students how it all began and was introduced in 2001. David and co-creator Sun-Min-Kim were art students together and were separated when she had to move away when her student visa expired. David wrote her a letter with a cartoon of his character. In it he expressed his desire for them to be together again and pursue their dream of telling stories through toys and books that celebrate the things that make us unique. Sun-Min was inspired to sew a doll of the character and sent it to David. He showed it to his friend, Eric Nakamura, owner of the Giant Robot store, who ordered some for his shop and they sold quickly.  The popularity grew for the dolls and the brand emerged, beginning in specialty stores, and emerging as a worldwide brand of characters, books and stories. His story of how he and Sun-Min have maintained ownership of the brand and have never compromised the essence and integrity of their original designs was truly inspiring to the students.