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Cryptid Cafe meeples

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Hunting guide for the world’s cutest cryptids

They’re the monsters of our dreams.

Whether they’re real or not, there’s one thing that’s undeniably true about cryptids — they’re monstrously cute.

Or, at least, they are now. Cryptozoological beasts and monsters of legend seem to be trendy at the moment, with this “Cute Cryptids” enamel pin blind buy emerging at Hot Topic, of all places. Pins themselves have become huge collectors’ items in recent years, so it looks like our strange friends really have hit the big time.

Hunting guide for the world's cutest cryptids

If you want to add another dimension to your cryptid collectibles, check out the Cryptkins from the toy and game company with the most appropriate name — Cryptozooic! They’re another blind buy, with creatures like the chupacabra (the real, reptilian one, not a mangy dog!), Loch Ness Monster, and Bigfoot. Series two gets a little more fantastical, providing mythological mavens with Cerberus, a gryphon, and the Kraken!

Hunting guide for the world's cutest cryptids

If you actually do want to game with your friends, and not have to rely on luck to grab them all (cryptozoologists seem to have the worst luck), then Cryptid Cafe from the delightfully named Squatchy Games might be for you. It’s a super light worker placement game, fit for the whole family, that imagines a monstrous clientele being served by Sasquatches — with little serving trays!

Hunting guide for the world's cutest cryptids

In the deluxe, Kickstarter version, you can add on a cryptid server pack of *15* different creatures, including a Jersey devil, Loveland frog, and Mothman. The campaign has sadly ended, but keep an eye on the Kickstarter page to see if late pledges open up.

Cryptid Cafe meeples

Mothman really has become a 50-year-old, overnight success lately. So it’s no surprise he ups the size of those other offerings in his very own, New York Comic Con 2020 exclusive Funko Pop! You’ll have to find it on the aftermarket now, where the prices are pretty scary, but it might be worth it for a vinyl figure that’s both adorable AND amazingly accurate to the original sightings and sketches!

But nothing compares to the brutal cuteness of … the popobowa. A little-known monster that’s more of a social tool, the popobowa is a bat-winged humanoid said to stalk the African island of Zanzibar. It attacks those who don’t conform in a unique way … let’s just say, “from behind.”

Yet somehow, the popobowa found its way into the childrens’ cartoon The Secret Saturdays, and action figures of the thing were actually produced (everyone got wise before they were sent to stores, though, making it an incredibly rare find in the wild). The show imagined it more as a real animal, and even depicted the mother popobowa guarding its eggs in a tree. This version bore little resemblance to what’s reported, besides the wings and single eye. It looked more quadrupedal and was colored bright pink.

And some wonderful person on Etsy made a felt plushie of it.

Hunting guide for the world's cutest cryptids

She no longer has this one, but check out her store for an amazing MONGOLIAN DEATH WORM and more! In fact, just search Etsy for “cryptids” and behold all the creative cuteness that people produce.

Hunting guide for the world's cutest cryptids

Every February, to help celebrate Darwin Day, the Science section of AIPT cranks up the critical thinking for SKEPTICISM MONTH! Skepticism is an approach to evaluating claims that emphasizes evidence and applies the tools of science. Every day this month we’ll be highlighting skepticism in pop culture and skepticism of pop culture.

AIPT Science is co-presented by AIPT and the New York City Skeptics.

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