Popples could have have easily been the Transformers of the plush world, but they never quite fulfilled the promises of converting from one thing into another. You see they were more always more stuffed animal then ball, even when in ball mode. Still they were colorful and pretty damn cute.
They were created by the Those Characters From Cleveland, a subsidiary company of American Greetings, in the in the mid-1980s and were manufactured by Mattel. Like the Care Bears and other fuzzy plush toys they developed a fan base, especially after the addition of the Popples Animated Series.
Playmate’s had recently started selling Popples again, although they are a pale (but still colorful) shadow of their former selves. I have yet to see a commercial for the new Popples, but I cannot imagine them being better then this classic mid-80s one.