Social media users everywhere shookt at news of IKEA shark plushie being discontinued

No greater tragedy other than the possibility of real sharks going extinct.

Lean Jinghui | October 06, 2021, 02:35 PM

Follow us on Telegram for the latest updates: https://t.me/mothershipsg

Recently, a certain group of social media users went into full meltdown.

Not from the recent snafu with Facebook/Instagram/WhatsApp vs Twitter/Telegram/Everything else, but over a popular stuffed shark plushie from IKEA.

Blåhaj, the toy shark. 

Discontinued from April 2022

According to Insider, social media went into disarray following a Sep. 26 tweet from Ikea UK Support, which stated that the toy shark is not available at the moment "due to supply issues".

The tweet added, "It may only be available for a short period of time as it is set to be discontinued from April 2022."

The latter half of the tweet sent many users into a tailspin. Dismayed at the unexpected news, fans campaigned for Blåhaj's return. 

Outrage

On Twitter, some users took to vocally expressing their frustration in response to the tweet, while others, concerned, questioned if Blåhaj would be discontinued in their countries as well. 

On Chinese microblogging platform Weibo, the blowback was massive, with over 300 million views for the hashtag #宜家网红玩具面临停产 (translated to #PopularIKEAToyToCeaseDevelopment).

One user quipped that they "couldn't live without it", while others posted pictures of the plush toy, saying they wanted to commemorate it before it goes "extinct".

Screenshot via Weibo

Some users also celebrated the fact that they managed to purchase the plushie before it goes out of stock.

Image via Weibo

Image via Weibo

On Reddit, a sub-reddit thread was even created, titled r/savetheblahaj.

A petition was created on Change.org, to call for IKEA to continue selling the plush toy. It has nearly 5,000 signatures at the point of writing.

Regional issue?

According to Twitter replies from IKEA, it appears that the intention to pull Blåhaj the shark from shelves could be regional. 

A tweet from IKEA USA on Sep. 27 confirmed that the branch has no plans to stop manufacturing the toy.

In Asia, while Blåhaj the shark is currently out of stock in Singapore, Hong Kong and Taiwan, it is still available in countries including Malaysia, South Korea and Japan. 

It is not listed on IKEA China's website.

Via Ikea Singapore

For now, it is not clear if the discontinuation affects most countries in Asia.

Gained popularity in 2019

For the uninitiated, Blåhaj (pronounced Blaha), first came into the spotlight in 2019.

Meaning "Blue shark" in Swedish, the one-metre big toy shark plushie became wildly popular after photos of Blåhaj doing human things circulated on social media. 

In response to Mothership's queries, IKEA Singapore confirmed on Oct. 7 that Blåhaj is "still in range" and will not be discontinued in Singapore. 

Follow and listen to our podcast here

Top image via @IKEAsame Twitter