The Brooks Laich plush doll went on sale at Thursday’s practice at Verizon Center. (Ben Sumner)

About a year ago, the creators of the Alex Ovechkin plush doll and RGIII mask set out to create a product driven by fan funding. With business booming from sales of merchandise featuring NFL, MLB, NBA and NHL stars, Bleacher Creatures wanted to give more obscure players a chance at having their likenesses immortalized. With virtually any pro athlete to choose from, the company used Washington Capitals utility man Brooks Laich as its guinea pig. The only requirement was that Bleacher Creatures raise enough money to cover the factory minimums for the product.

The drive fell short, by a lot, and the future of the Brooks Laich plush doll looked grim.

Having already signed Laich through the 2016-17 season, the Capitals organization swooped in, ensured the doll’s creation, and will sell the figure exclusively at Verizon Center.

“What do you do with it?” Laich asked Capitals Outsider’s Taylor Lewis last year after being informed there was even a possibility the doll would be made. “I can give one to my niece.”

The doll will be part of Bleacher Creatures’s new 10-inch line, smaller than the original 14-inch dolls. With the Ovechkin doll already dominating the table at tea parties, those who don’t want the smaller Laich doll to feel inferior can also purchase the new 10-inch Ovi. The smaller dolls will also save folks money and will be easier to carry around Verizon Center.

Ben Sumner works in the Post’s IT department and writes for Capitals Outsider.