In February 2011, a deeply flawed Grinch sparked a media storm in the US. This 9ft tall working model of the famous fabled green tree was produced by a toy company, and made from fibreglass – an artificial material that you find in plane tyres. In a heart-stopping sequence of events, the Grinch began to devour Christmas in the hearts of US shoppers. One furious New York toy buyer described the Grinch as “embarrassing”, “not super-preserving” and “not very funny”. Even children fell in love with the Grinch – a fact that was later revealed to be a deliberate gag by the toy company to prove how lucrative the Christmas market is.
Ten months later, in the height of the 2011 Christmas shopping season, one good old Grinch returned to toy shops across the US. In exactly the same way, it was an adorable and mildly gnarly Grinch that had caused mass hysteria. This time, however, it wasn’t fakery, but an incredibly rare form of unusual growth – huge foam pits growing out of the bottom of the Grinch’s nose and mouth.