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Russia seizes massive counterfeit toy haul (VIDEO)

Nearly 1,200 fake Cheburashka plushies were stopped from being smuggled into the country

The Russian Customs Service has foiled an attempt to smuggle a massive haul of counterfeit Cheburashka toys into the country from China, the agency said on Wednesday.

The cargo was intercepted in the city of Ussuriysk in the Russian Far East, and was found in possession of a Chinese national who was traveling by bus. The man drew the attention of the customs agents with his unusually large luggage consisting of seven massive sacks, customs said.

The sacks were found to contain nearly 1,200 plush Cheburashka toys, with the haul weighing around 700 kilograms. Footage released by the service shows customs agents examining the toys and weighing them on large industrial scales. The ‘Cheburashkas’ appear to be flat and flaccid, apparently lacking any stuffing.

The man admitted that he was delivering the plush cargo to a “friend” who intended to sell the toys. The plushies turned out to be illegally manufactured, with the rights owner, Russia’s largest animation studio, Soyuzmultfilm, filing a lawsuit against the smuggler. The plush-runner now faces a fine, the customs service has said.

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Cheburashka was originally created by Soviet writer Eduard Uspensky for his 1965 children’s book ‘Gena the Crocodile and His Friends’. The popular big-eared character appeared in multiple stop-motion animation films, as well as starring in a family blockbuster which was released earlier this year, further fueling his popularity.

April 12, 2023 at 10:59PM

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