Simba (young) – Purring Mattel Plush

Series: The Lion King

Company: Mattel

Year: 1993

Size: 22 cm

Made in: Thailand

Main distribution: Europe / United States of America


The Lion King plush made by Mattel are just one big nostalgia trip. This particular Simba cub can purr when you squeeze it.

The plush is of a decent size, around 22 cm standing. It has a slightly rougher feeling than his laying cousin, and feels hard inside. This is due to the mechanism that’s inside him.

You can squeeze its belly where you can feel a hard, sort of balloon, inside him. This squeezes air up into his head, where a rumbling purring noise will come from.

He has a fabric nose and mouth yet his eyes are of a harder material. Mattel has these buttons for eyes for their Lion King plush that are very iconic and easy to identify, with a glazed orange for the sclera and the iris and pupil painted on top of it.

This Simba also wears a collar with a leaf hanging on it. I’m unsure why as Simba does not have this in the movie. As all Simba in Mattel’s line he has white paws and a white underbelly, again unlike Simba in the movie. As these were made in 1993, and the movie came out in 1994, I wonder with what they had to work with? Perhaps there was a white pawed and white bellied Simba with a collar at some point? I have seen concept art with white muzzles and underbellies…

I don’t have any of its packaging, but I know it came on a green cardboard plateau like the other plush of Mattel. He has three tush tags. The first has the Lion King logo with the word Authentic above it.

The second one has Mattel on it with the year, where it was made and the usual copyrights. The third is a legal label that is required and mentions its materials.

There is also a purring Nala in this set.


The Lion King Mattel plush has got to be my favourites! Although when it comes to Disney I usually prefer the Disney World / Disney Land / Disney Store plush, Mattel is the exception to the rule. There is something nostalgic about them.

Simba’s beautiful eyes and white paws and belly are so iconic of Mattel and the Lion King’s plush range back in the 90’s. I have a weak spot for the white pawed Simba that are out there. The orange used for Simba is also a nice shade (darker than the Disney store ones which are usually very yellow) and seems a closer fit to the movie, which I like a lot.

I never liked the green collar with leaf on them though, and more Simba in the Mattel range have it. I would love to know the story behind it!

As a young child I acquired the purring Nala, but I had never seen a purring Simba of it. A new charity shop had opened up in the neighbourhood and they had this Simba in their window. I immediately bought it. It wasn’t till I was home I realised this one also purrs. I now have a complete set and I feel so lucky!

Again this plush is in a good condition, it has a slight damage on its eye in the corner but otherwise it looks great! And for what I paid I definitely can’t complain.

I’m sure many Disney / Lion King / Simba collectors would love this plush. However, if you want something closer to the movies (no white) and have no nostalgic feelings for this line, you might want to opt for the Disney Store ones instead.


Got any more details / information you think I should add? Or did I get something wrong? Do you own the same plush? Do you agree or disagree with my findings? Let me know in the comments below!

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