In 2002 Super Mario Sunshine introduced Bowser’s son, Bowser Jr, into the Super Mario antagonist lineup. He often gets confused with the Koopa Kids due to their similar appearance. While Koopa Kids did appear in earlier games, they look much more like Bowser and only fulfill the role of minions or extras in party games. Meanwhile, Bowser Jr has his own identifying traits, like the bib he sometimes wears over his mouth and is much more active in main games. The most emotional moments we ever see out of Bowser are when he’s interacting with his son.
He’s a mischievous child who will aid his father in their attempts to take over the Mushroom Kingdom or fulfill his own schemes to capture Peach. Since he is much smaller than his father, he doesn’t rely on imposing size but rather on mechanics to challenge Mario and his friends. He’ll often fly around in his Junior Clown Car or wield bob-ombs and paintbrushes to attack.
Bowser Jr is popular with kids because there aren’t many children in the Super Mario games. His mischievous shenanigans make kids laugh, and they can often relate to wanting to do something big and important to get attention from their parents. Not only is he a fun character, but he’s relatable too.
My Top Picks
These three plushes, I feel, are the most accurate interpretations of Bowser Jr. they stand out from the other official plushies because of the attention and care put into their creation. They don’t look squished and couldn’t be mistaken for a cheap knock-off.
#01 Bowser Jr, All-Star Collection
The Super Mario All-Star collection is an ongoing series of Super Mario plushies continuously providing high-quality toys. Due to the recency of the production, beginning in 2017, the variety of characters, and the excellent design, these are the most prominent Super Mario plushes on the market.
This is by far the best of all the Bowser Jr plushes that depict his normal design. Many plushes of characters with complex designs often make the features look squished or out of place. This one ensures his mouth is the correct shape and that his eyes and eyebrows are where they should be.
- Size: 8 inches
- Price: $32
- Made from durable material.
- Well-proportioned and looks exactly like Boser Jr in the games.
- Stands up on his own.
- The bib is too small to cover his face.
#02 Bowser Jr, Super Mario Sunshine
Super Mario Sunshine features Mario trying to clean up the paint spread by a shadow version of himself. At the end of the game, it is revealed that Shadow Mario is a disguised Bowser Jr. The design in this game changes his bib from a drawn imitation of his father’s snarling mouth to a blue doodle of Mario’s nose and mustache.
The plush depicts Bowser Jr from this specific game by giving him the special blue bib and the giant paintbrush he uses to cause chaos.
- Size: 8 inches
- Price: $30
- The bib can hang around his neck or cover his mouth without being too loose or tight.
- The paintbrush is tipped with a fun swirl of colors.
- His face is well designed to look like the game.
- The paintbrush is missing some of the intimidating details from the game.
- His torso is a bit too long.
#03 Fluffy Bowser Jr
This is another Bowser Jr plush that depicts his normal design, and while the quality isn’t quite as high as the All-Star collection, it has features that make it stand out. It isn’t made of the same material as the other official plushies; this one adds some fluff. Admittedly, this doesn’t entirely make sense. Bowser Jr is reptilian, so he doesn’t have fur. However, I think the cuteness and softness can give this plush a pass.
There’s also a surprising amount of attention to the bib. In most plushes, the mouth is printed on the bib. However, here the snarling mouth is embroidered on it. Underneath the stitching is a scribbled print that goes outside the lines, just like a child’s drawing. The stitching and sprawling colors make the bib stand out and look a little intimidating.
- Size: 6 inches
- Price: $8
- Very soft and fun to touch.
- Not as expensive as the other plushes.
- The stitching on the bib makes it look more dynamic.
- Material isn’t as durable.
- Stitching on the hands to differentiate fingers is lost in the fluff.
#04 Dry Bowser Jr
This plush was very close to making it onto the list of my top picks. Ultimately I decided to leave it off because it’s debatable whether it’s the same character. Consider this the top of the second tier of Bowser Jr plushies because it is still a quality plush that should be recognized.
Dry Bowser Jr isn’t actually a character found in any Mario games. The toy is made to match the Dry Bowser plush. The dry variations of the characters are meant to look like skeletal, undead versions of the antagonists. However, these soft plushies look less like skeletons and more like angry gray dragons.
- Size: 7 inches
- Price: $15
- It is a fun and unique variation of the character.
- Being mostly gray makes the red of his eyes and the orange of his spikes stand out.
- Pinching on the legs is the only attempt to create the look of bones. This makes his legs look weirdly skinny.
- The mouth is open, and the stuffing causes it to bulge. This all makes his snout look weird.
- The bib and body are the same color, so they blend together.
#05 Bowser Jr, Plush Doll
There isn’t much special about this plush that makes it stand out. While not the highest quality, it still looks good and stands up to a Nintendo level of quality. What made me notice it was the difference in proportions. Most plushes are made to look as close to the game designs as possible. This one goes for a cuter, chibi look. The head is much larger compared to the rest of the body, and there isn’t as much detail put into his arms and legs.
- Size: 7 inches
- Price: $18
- The plush is very cute and good for travel.
- The lower price is closer to what someone would expect when looking for a small plush.
- Comes with a nice travel bag.
- The ties on the bandana are strangely long.
- He isn’t as expressive as some other plushes.
- It can be hard to see his bib beneath his huge head.
#06 Bowser and Bowser Jr with Paintbrush Set
This is another plush that depicts Bowser Jr from the Super Mario Sunshine games. However, this one does not include the Shadow Mario bib and replaces it with the usual snarling mouth bib. It also comes in a set with his dear father, Bowser, and travel bags for each of them.
This plush is made from quality material and has an embroidered bib. Though the colors on the bib cleanly fill the lines, it isn’t as striking as the fluffy plush. The paintbrush is also not as well made as the other Sunshine toy. You can clearly see the stitching, and the colors are separated by clean seams.
The Bowser plush that comes with it isn’t as strong as Junior. They tried to show his more complex and intimidating face, but the seams are too complicated, and the eyes are off place. He looks more like he’s about to sneeze than roaring or snarling.
Their patterns also don’t for their head to sit quite right. Both Bowser and Bowser Jr look like they are constantly staring upward. They look more like goofy, confused sidekicks than intimidating villains.
- Size: Bowser Jr is 8 inches, and Bowser is 10 inches
- Price: $60
- Bowser Jr’s overall design is very pleasing as all the shapes are nice and soft.
- Bowser stands on his own.
- There isn’t the same attention to detail as other plushies.
- Bowser is very well designed and looks strange.
- They are both always looking up.
Other Super Mario Plushies
Part of what makes Bowser Jr fun is how he interacts with the other characters. You can’t have a hyperactive, playful kid without someone for him to play with, even if his games are crimes.
Of course, if you want to expand on a collection that started with Bowser Jr, the next step has to be Bowser. I think of all the characters in the Mushroom Kingdom, this father and son duo are the closest. I might just be a sucker for villains with a soft spot, but I love seeing Bowser have a tender moment with his son.
Many Bowser plushes suffer from a bloated face. His face has many features, and it can be hard to make a pattern to communicate that in plushy form. The All-Star Series Bowser does the best job of making Bowser look like Bowser. The mouth is open but not overstuffed. His snout is well defined, and most importantly, his eyes are in place and focused.
- Size: 10 inches
- Price: $35
- Not distorted in any way.
- Pleasantly round and huggable, despite the spikes.
- The feet are slightly overstuffed.
After his dear father, I think the best pal for Bowser Jr would be his weapon of choice. Bob-ombs aren’t complex characters. They are little bombs of varying sentience that wander around with a vacant expression until they explode. No weapon could be cuter.
The All-Star Collection Bob-omb captures the simple cuteness they have in the games. In essence, he is only a black sphere with legs, a wick, and a wind-up key, but it is just the right kind of simplicity. The colors are striking when combined, and it feels so good to hold this little round guy.
- Size: 6 inches
- Price: $15
- The wick has a black tip like it’s been burnt.
- The whole plush is delightfully simple.
- The wind-up key in the back is a tough felt material that doesn’t match the softness of the rest of the plush.
If you’ve got a villain, why not get a hero for him to fight? Bowser Jr would be bored without someone to plot against. With both, you can have epic battles; unlike in the games, you can decide who prevails. Maybe Bowser Jr deserves a win?
Unsurprisingly the All-Stars collection Mario makes for the highest quality plush plumber. Depicting human faces with plushes is rarely done well, but Mario’s large nose and mustache aid in the design. He doesn’t look strange and keeps to the hero’s simple charms.
- Size: 9.5 inches
- Price: $20
- The colors look bright and fun.
- The embroidered eyes look lively.
- The hair at the back of his head makes it look like he has a mullet.
- The seams on his nose are pretty pronounced.
Super Mario is an absolutely massive franchise. There is no shortage of plushes, both official and look likes. Any character that has made some kind of impact has some sort of plush out there to find. Bowser Jr is no different.
The plushes created for Bowser Jr seem to maintain a certain quality. I’ve seen plenty of messed-up Bowser plushes in my wanderings, even from official brands. But the rounded simplicity of Bowser Jr’s face means it is a bit harder to mess up. He’s consistently cute and consistently cruel.
Question: What is the Difference Between Bowser Jr and Baby Bowser?
Answer: Bowser Jr is Bowser’s son. Baby Bowser is Bowser when he was younger.
Question: What Animal is Bowser Jr?
Answer: Bowser Jr does not directly correspond to any real-life animals. He is a Koopa, like Bowser. However, we can see inspiration from turtles, crocodiles, dragons, and Cappas in their designs.
Question: Is Bowser Jr Good or Evil?
Answer: Bowser Jr is mostly an antagonist in the Mario games. However, we see him teaming up with Mario in Bowser’s Fury to subdue his father. So overall, you could say he’s evil, but I don’t think the line is as clean as we think.