Marker’s New Fixation: the Nugget

If there’s one piece of furniture that defines 2020, it’s the Nugget: A $230 children’s couch made of foam cushions that can be arranged into a fort (or a chair, or a tent, or a ball pit, or whatever shape kids can imagine). With kids stuck at home during the pandemic, demand for the Nugget recently reached a fever pitch; a Facebook group devoted to the kiddie couch currently tops 60,000 members. In October, the North Carolina startup that produces the Nugget instituted a weekly lottery system to let parents vie for the chance to buy its limited stock — a process BuzzFeed referred to as “Supreme drops for moms.” Last week, my own sister-in-law sent me a video of my two-year-old nephew happily jumping around his own slate-gray Nugget. “I’ve wanted one since about March,” she told me. “But then Covid hit, and they’ve been sold out.” She (and her mom and her sister) had been entering the lottery weekly since it started, and finally hit the jackpot. Sure, in our day, you just pulled the cushions off the living room sofa and accepted that you would get yelled at by mom. But in a world where school and work and the playground are all under one roof, you can’t really blame parents shelling out for furniture designed to be jumped on.

(Originally published in Marker’s Buy/Sell/Hold newsletter. Sign up for it here.)