Fluppy Dogs were a line of plush puppies produced by Hasbro. They resembled sheepdogs, dreadlocked Puli dogs, as well as Dougal from The Magic Roundabout. They came in various colours and had bushy fur coats made of wool that made it seem like they'd make fantastic floor mops (hands off, Mum!).
There were five main Fluppies: Stanley (blue), Blink (yellow), Bink (red), Tippi (purple) and Ozzie (green). Each Fluppy had very different characteristics, too: Stanley was the loyal Fluppy and leader of the pack, Ozzie was the cool one, Bink incredibly shy and Tippi the cuddly one. Some came with a walker-like thing that you could use to take them outside with you. They also came with certificates to make it feel like you were actually getting a real dog when you bought it.
There was also a Fluppy Dogs Play-Doh Set to learn how to groom your dogs. It had all the brushes etc, plus a little plastic lid that you placed Play-Doh in until it came out of lots of holes to look like the hair of Fluppy Dogs.
A pilot for a Fluppy Dogs cartoon series was made by Disney in 1986, in which talking Fluppies travelled to different worlds with the help of a magical Fluppy key. They were searching for their home world, and in the process ended up on ours - and more specifically that of 10-year-old Jamie and the little girl next door to him, Claire, when Jamie's mum chooses Stanley from the local dog pound as a pet for her son. When Jamie takes his new puppy for a walk, Stanley manages to break free from the lead and run away to a building site. Jamie follows and gets into danger, forcing Stanley to reveal his Fluppy special powers in order to save his new owner. Stanley tells Jamie all about the other Fluppies in the pound, but the boy only has enough money to save one more of them, Tippi, who ends up living with Claire.
One night, Jamie discovers accidentally, that by scratching Stanley's head, he can make him fly. So they decide to fly to the dog pound to release the remaining Fluppies before the evil, rich collector of exotic animals, Mr Wagstaff traps them.
Reunited, the Fluppies set about using their magical key to get back to their homeland - a lovely place filled with rainbows and magic. But their attempts at going through portals into new dimensions leads to all kinds of troubles. They find themselves in the middle of a flood one time, and another time end up letting a huge creature into Jamie's home, which destroys the house.
Amid the mess, horrid Wagstaff manages to trap the Fluppies for good (oh nooooo!). Until, that is, they come up with a cunning plan. They manage to convince Wagstaff to let Jamie and Claire say one last goodbye, and signal to the two children to scratch them on their heads to activate their magical powers. The sheer force of the Fluppies' powers combined is enough to explode Mr Wagstaff's house in two, and they discover a portal along one wall that luckily leads to their homeland. They all manage to jump through it to safety - but leaving their two teary-eyed young owners behind.
After many days apart, Stanley and co reappear through the portal to say hello again to Jamie and Claire. They also tell the pair that hundreds of other Fluppies have been inspired by their stories and are now using the portal too, experiencing the joys of the human world for themselves.
Just like the wardrobe in CS Lewis' The Lion, The Witch And The Wardrobe, the idea that our homes could play host to some kind of amazing portal between different lands was the stuff of dreams for most kids. I, for one, spent a long while pushing against various walls at home, and carefully tested the back of Mum and Dad's wardrobe. But to no avail!
As for the Fluppies, Fluppy land turned out to be the best place for them, as dire viewing figures meant the pilot programme never got made into a TV series.