The plush toy has become a hit in Russia: on social networks they complain that it is hard to get it, and dealers raise prices twice.
At the beginning of 2018 memes with a shark from IKEA appeared in the Western Internet, which became popular due to the calm expression of the face. By the end of the year, the popularity of a plush toy reached Russia: in social networks they post photos with it and consult where to get it, and dealers pick up sharks in lots and sell twice as expensive.
Popularity in social networks
I learned about the plush shark from IKEA (the real name is “Flea”) relatively recently: judging by the posts on Instagram or Picaba , users were interested in memes with a toy describing any state of the host. However, they soon began to be interested in where to get the same for themselves – this is how the hashtag of #kulazikei appeared , by which you can find dozens of photos with a plush celebrity.
The shark even had its own Russian accounts on Instagram. They work on the same principle: they put a plush toy in the everyday situation.
By the end of the summer of 2018, several stories appeared on Twitter from users who bought or planned to buy a shark from IKEA. They talked about queues in stores and trips to the other end of the city for a plush toy.
Приехали в Икею купить АКУЛУ. Выяснилось, что АКУЛ привозят каждое утро, но их разбирают буквально ЗА ЧАС. Консультант сказал, что чуть ли не В ОЧЕРЕДИ ЗА АКУЛОЙ надо стоять.
— Тот самый Мартин (@martin_camera) October 20, 2018
Знаете эту плюшевую акулу Блохэй из инетов? Завтра на окнах между парами я еду покупать себе такую
И потом на шестую пару с акулой поеду
Фак е pic.twitter.com/lXyJWnX4sH
— wolpė (@sir_wolpe) September 26, 2018
СМОТРИТЕ КОГО Я КУПИИИИИЛ!!!! ГОСПОДИ КАКАЯ ПРЕКРАСНАЯ АКУЛА ИЗ ИКЕИ. ИКЕЯ ГОСПОДИ ХРОНИ ТЕБЯ.
Назвал его Влавид. pic.twitter.com/yTuBUSoPyf
— Шершень в каблуках (@polin_delfin) July 23, 2018
Facebook also complained about the shortage of plush sharks : allegedly IKEA’s toy was quickly bought by fans and second-hand dealers, and new lots were imported for too long. Some even asked friends to find a shark, and someone even went abroad for her.
On the shark straight some excitement. In my IKEA for a week, 500 pieces bought out. I do not know where this popularity is coming from. Whether the discount is 500 rubles, (999 rubles instead of 1.5 thousand rubles), or people ******* [crazy].
A friend has been hunting for a shark for several weeks, last week she finally snatched herself one. He says that she was told that they were taken out of production, and from there both the hype and the shortage. I have no proofs, but I remember that they were already taken off once from production, they did not sell for about a year. Then came again.
She is not mine, but still we are together. This is me about the shark. The whole point of the trip is Vilnius – we needed a shark as a kapets. And also come to Vilnius to go to a restaurant of Ukrainian cuisine and eat borscht.
Crazy demand for sharks
In early October, the user “Picabu” published a photo of the buyer in IKEA with a dozen plush sharks. According to him, he found several ads on Avito, where toys were sold twice as expensive: 2,000 rubles instead of 999 rubles in the store.
As of October 23, the toy cannot be bought in the IKEA online store in Russia: it appears in the search, but the ad itself is closed. The company explained on Twitter that the shark was not removed from production, but it quickly ends due to high demand. Approximate shipments of the new batch are scheduled for October 27.
we edited two IKEA stores in Moscow to buy a shark: there were no toys in the Mega Belaya Dacha shopping center, but several pieces were found in the Mega shopping center in Khimki. A sales assistant in one of the stores explained that the queues for sharks are lined up in the morning and, as a rule, buyers take at least two sharks. According to him, the store does not know about the dealers and does not intend to impose restrictions on the number of identical goods . The Russian press service of IKEA did not respond to a request for comment by us
Shark dealers are easiest to find in social networks: IKEA’s product deliverycommunities are popular on VKontakte , claiming that plush toys still exist.we found such groups in Stavropol, Bryansk, Kursk, Lipetsk and Nizhny Novgorod. Similar communities can be found in Faebsuk – as a rule, they are disguised as IKEA profiles, but do not have a verification checkmark.
Avito, at the request of , studied the number of announcements for the resale of plush sharks for fall 2018. The maximum price for a toy was in September – more than 2000 rubles at a price of 999 rubles in the store. At the same time, the demand for flea increased 16 times.
The Yula ad site also provided with statistics on shark demand from IKEA. The peak of search queries for 2018 fell in October, and specifically from 15 to 21. The number of searches with the words “Shark Ikea” or “Shark from Ikea” for two weeks increased by 2.4 times compared with the same period.
Compared with January 2018, the number of ads with a shark in October increased by more than 15 times. The maximum price was also set for the second month of autumn – more than 2,000 rubles for one piece, although as early as October the extreme price was only 1,310 rubles.
Reason for popularity
The shark from IKEA appeared in world sales in 2014. According to the authors of the WikiFour encyclopedia, the reason for the popularity of plush fish is an apathetic face and eyes that look empty and uninterested. Like almost all toys of the Swedish store, it is made by hand, so each copy is slightly different in shape and content. Because of this, it is convenient to sleep with a toy or to sit in an embrace behind a laptop.
But real fame came to Blohei after she became a meme . The shark was put at the desk, sent to a barbecue, taken to the cinema – a toy with an expressive face became the personification of the expression “This is me in any situation.”
In 2015, IKEA removed the shark from the sale – it caused a wave of discontent among fans. They wrote a petition explaining their love for a plush toy: “Few people love sharks because they are portrayed as bloodthirsty killers. This toy allowed to acquaint children with sharks from the other side, thanks to which they would start to treat them more positively ”. In 2016, the shark returned to sale in stores around the world, and in 2017 for the first time began to be sold in Russia.