Alix of Modern Kiddo recently wrote about “Nauga”, the series of cute monster dolls made of Naugahyde synthetic leather fabric (“pleather”) which were created as a promotional advertising item for Naugahyde’s producer, Uniroyal Engineered Products, in the mid-1960s. It was advertising pioneer George Lois and designer Kurt Weihs who conceived and created this popular “mythical species” known as the Nauga.
Back in the day, there was a rumor that Nauga was a real creature and that Uniroyal was collecting their hides to make the dolls. Here’s the official statement on that issue from the Naugahyde website.
Q: With all the cruelty in the world, how can you kill those cute little Naugas just for their hydes?
A: We don’t. Naugas shed their hydes without harm to themselves, making Naugahyde the Cruelty-Free Fabric…
A life-size Nauga with Johnny Carson (1966)