By Js Kendrick
“What in the hell are Shopkins?” I was asked by a young father. His child was still in the toddler age and he had just heard of them when a relative told him she almost bought them for his daughter as a birthday present.
“Toys, a new fad.” I said simply. I watched him nod and the gears turn as he came up with the next question.
“So what do kids do with them?” Was the next question. I gave him a polite answer, figuring the truth may force him to tell his wife he wanted to send his daughter back where she came from. My poor co-worker, he has no idea what is in store for him.
Shopkins, are a creation of Moose Toys, an Australian company. Shopkins came to market in 2014 and are still being made. There are 8 seasons of Shopkins so far, yes you read that right, Season. According to their website, and if I understood it correctly, there are 1,028 Shopkins thus far*.
That’s a f’ing lie!
Not sure how Moose Toys counts their toys, but oh my sweet jesus! There must be somewhere in the neighborhood of 20 Billion-Zillion of them. Or they multiply in the dark of the toy box, that would explain a lot.
I had to ask my children how they originally found out about Shopkins. They gave me two answers. One is school. From other kids. I found this tidbit of information out when I went to use my daughters pencil’s eraser and couldn’t figure out why it wasn’t working. It was a Shopkin. Seems that certain seasons of Shopkins, by design or accident, have this perfect little hole on the bottom of the toy. Fits on the end of a pencil eraser. Um, they are not erasers. The screams from by daughter as I tried to use her toy as an eraser still, to this day, reverberate in my ears.
Then of course, videos. YouTube, which is the delight, and bane, of every parent. Those YouTube programs that give parents the calm, peace, and quiet that all parents crave, is punctuated by ads for new toys. Your payment for silencing those little mouths. Which that blessed silence will be utterly shattered the next time you hear “I saw that on YouTube!” in the certain shrill only a child can make when they see a toy they must have… because the advertiser told them so. God how I miss the subliminal messages of my youth.
If you want to know what kids do with Shopkins that is an easy answer. Everything! Shopkins are toys, kids play with them, make up little games, have their favorites (Well until the next Season arrives) and invariably fight like hell over them. Argue which one is best, constantly ask you ‘if this was real, would you eat it?’ and lose them. Losing Shopkins is a favorite pastime of children. Hunting for lost Shopkins will become the least favorite pastime of yours.
Absolutely never allow your children to take a bath with them. The phrase “You’ll regret it” will have a new meaning. Along with the plumbers bill.
On a foot pain scale, with One being a stuffed animal, and 9 being a Lego block (I reserve 10 for Barbie’s shoes). The Shopkins rate a 4. They are made of plastic, small little things, but the plastic is not sharp and has a sort of rubber flex to them. It’s more of a ‘Dammit’ than a ‘Holy crap was that a nail?’ sort of feeling.
One thing I have found out about Shopkins, that truly amazes me, is that despite their annoyance to parents, it brings out something in children you would not expect. That unfortunately Shopkin I mistaken for an eraser? My daughter got that from a friend at school. Just gave it to her. Kids trade Shopkins, give them out, suggest them for Birthday gifts and generally, well use them as an act of kindness toward each other. Shopkins have become the great commodity of kindness for children. All desire them, and if they have a double, will gladly hand the double to another.
Before you go out and purchase a couple of Zillion of Shopkins, a little information. They are recommended for children 5 and up. They really are not that expensive. A blind bag, that is a small case with two ‘unknown’ Shopkins, goes for around $3.00 (USD). They’re a popular toy, so they’re a few knock off brands that are not even close to the same quality. Beware of cats running off with them and burying them in the litter box. It happens folks.
Also, it is best to become familiar with Shopkins, because god help you if you put another little plastic toy into the area specifically designated for Shopkins. You will never hear the end of it.
*This is just the theoretical number of Shopkins, not to mention Exclusives, Petkins, Shoppies, Limited Editions…you get the idea.
[KidZond in no way endorses any product. This article is meant for entertainment purposes only. KidZond does not, despite all rumors to the contrary, play with Shopkins late at night when everyone is asleep. This is totally false…unless my wife or errant child, catches me.]
To find out more about Shopkins, ask your child, or visit their Website at: