The story behind FAMNIG, a heart-shaped child’s cushion with outstretched arms, was a dramatic one that could have ended very badly. In spring 1997, a co-worker at IKEA discovered that the eyes on the soft toys at Children’s IKEA could come off. At this, all soft toys were immediately removed from the stores. Thankfully no child had got an eye stuck in its throat, but the danger was obvious. IKEA immediately recalled all its soft toys and gave a refund. Production at the supplier company in India was halted, but IKEA wanted to take responsibility for the workers at the factory and carried on working with the company. And one of the first new products made there was FAMNIG, which appeared in the range in 1998 and in the IKEA catalogue in the 2000 edition.
The incident led to an even more structured approach to safety at IKEA, particularly on children’s products. Clearer routines and responsibilities were established, and one of many important measures was that IKEA decided to no longer use plastic eyes on its toys. Embroidered eyes were not only safer, they also turned out to give the toys more character and personality. At the time this was not the norm in the toy industry, but after a while many other companies followed suit.
In 2021 the red cuddly cushion remains in the IKEA range, now under the name FAMNIG HJÄRTA.