Despite (or, perhaps because of) the fear that was instilled in beach goers following the 1975 release of Jaws, great white shark toys were and still are just as popular as ever. Great white sharks fall into one of those categories, (like other ‘things that go bump in the night’), in which we are inherently afraid but just can’t get enough.
The public was forever given the image of man eater when it came to great white sharks after both Peter Benchley’s novel Jaws and the adapted film version (of the same name) were released. The tagline was don’t go in the water, which only served in heightening the ‘hysteria.’ Great white sharks in particular, tap into one of our most primal human fears: what unseen creature lies in wait just below the surface of the water, out there, beyond the beach? Both the book and the film were about a small fictional, vacation town called Amity, that is terrorized by a great white shark at the very start of the summer season. What further feeds our fear, especially when watching the movie, is that we never see the shark until well over an hour into the action. There are a few glimpses – albeit brief – here and there and a soundtrack that gets the heart racing all that much more whenever the shark is about to enter the scene. But, the suspense is so well played and the shark so completely terrifying that by the time its finally viewed in all its enormous glory, you are appropriately terrified and vow to never go in the ocean again. While you may be frightened, even horrified at the possibility of encountering a great white shark on your next beach vacation, you can rest assured that of the small amount of recorded great white attacks there are on humans, most, if not all, took place because of mistaken identity.
The beauty of the great white shark toy is that no matter how much you fear the fish yet still find yourself drawn to everything about it, the plush animal will never leave you with that same kind of terror. In the very comfort of your own home, you can admire the great white shark toy up close and personal without the fear that you will ever be ‘attacked.’ And, given children are even less afraid of the things that should really scare them, they will be even more enamored if the great white shark toy is meant for them.
Angeline Hope is a collector of big stuffed toys. You can view a selection of big stuffed toys including shark stuffed toys at MyBigPlush.