Moose Toys, the creators of the Zelfs, have just released their newest offering: Shopkins. :) These fun little collectibles are miniature characterized versions of things you would find in a grocery store or in the makeup department. :) There are lots of them to collect, from fruits and veggies to desserts and breads to makeup and other toiletries.
There are several differently sized playsets and packs of Shopkins to choose from. The easiest and least expensive way to add them to your collection is by purchasing the Shopkins baskets:
The baskets look like miniature shopping baskets. They are sealed in plastic and include two mystery Shopkins. This was $1.99 at Toys R Us ($2.99 at Target). NOTE: Since this post was published, these have gone up to $2.49 at Toys R Us.
Once you've removed the plastic and the cardboard decoration...
...you find two mystery packages waiting inside.
Which ones will they be?
Your Shopkins basket also includes a collector's guide.
It unfolds and contains information about the different Shopkins you can collect.
Here are the two Shopkins I ended up with. They are around an inch high (varying slightly depending on each Shopkin). Also, like the Lil' Zelfs, the Shopkins can be used as pencil toppers. However, some of the slimmer Shopkins, like the toothpaste above, do not have holes in the bottom, presumably because they would be too narrow for a pencil topper.
D'lish Donut. Ultra rare! :)
This one is Scrubs (a tube of toothpaste). She's a common Shopkin.
Let's take a closer look at the collector's guide.
There are different types of Shopkins you can find, from common all the way to Special Edition. They also have different finishes, like Glitter, Frozen, and Metallic. Oldest Gal wanted me to add here that the Glitter Shopkins are the ultra rare ones, the Frozen Shopkins are special edition, and the Metallic Shopkins are limited edition.
One of the most fun things about the collector's guide is that it looks like a shopping list. So as you check off each Shopkin, it's as if you're checking your purchases off of your shopping list. :)
A closer look at the Fruit and Veg category.
My mom was the one who discovered these at Toys R Us. We've since found them at Target as well. Here are some of the Shopkins we've found so far (most of these are my mom's).
Looks like our shopping is complete! ;) The smaller shopping bags came with one of the bigger sets of Shopkins.
After I finished this review, I had a reader ask whether the shopping baskets would work for 18" dolls or not. I realized that getting some photos of a few different doll lines with the Shopkins would make this review more complete. So, here are a few more pics! :)
As you can see from this photo, while the 18 inchers could technically use the shopping basket, it's a little small scale-wise.
The shopping bags would work for a very small purchase. ;)
Because the Shopkins themselves come in a variety of scales, some items work well for the 18" dolls, like Miss Twist the licorice...
...or Ghurty, the yogurt.
But other things, like Pa' Pizza the frozen pizza, are a little small. ;)
The shopping basket works a little bit better for the Hearts For Hearts Girls.
The shopping bag's not a bad size, but because of the rubbery plastic it's made of, it's hard to get the H4H dolls to hold it and look natural.
Scrubs the toothpaste tube isn't a bad size for Consuelo...
...and Sally Shakes is just right for a salt shaker.
Gran Jam would work as a small jar of jam.
I think the best dolls for the shopping baskets are in the 11" to 12" range, such as Barbie, Disney fashion dolls, or LIVs (pictured above). It looks the most natural here (to me, at least). ;)
Daniela's arm is narrow enough that the small shopping bag works well for her, too. I was able to slide the straps up over her arm to make things look more natural (I know I'm using that word a lot, but natural, believable poses and scales are a big plus for me). ;)
This would still be a pretty small pizza...
...but some of the desserts, like Yo-Chi, are just the right size.
So cute! :)
Suds, the bar of soap, would be a rather large bar, but I think she still works for the Barbie-sized dolls.
I also thought I'd try the shopping basket with one of my mini American Girl dolls. This basically works for mini Saige, especially if she's supposed to be a young girl helping her mom with the shopping. :)
The straps of this bag were tough to get over Saige's arm, but I finally succeeded. This little shopping bag is just the right size.
I think Pa' Pizza could work as a very small personal pizza for Saige.
Flutter Cake makes a nice oversized cupcake-type dessert...
... and Wishes makes a great little personal birthday cake.
While Miss Mushy-Moo is a little bit big for Saige, she could make a cute toy or figurine for her collection. ;)
I also thought I'd take some pics with my Ai Doll, Zinnia. (Review still to come!) Again, as long as you look at her as a little girl trying to help with the shopping, this basket works really well. :)
And the bag is perfectly sized. I love how it looks like she's telling us to put something in the bag with her little pointer finger. ;)
Gran Jam would work as a really big jar of jam...
...and Crispy Chip works pretty well for a small bag of chips.
This isn't an extensive look at all kinds of dolls with the Shopkins, but hopefully it gives you a little idea of which dolls work the best with them. :)
So, my overall thoughts? I think the Shopkins are an adorable new line that will be a big hit with kids and collectors. But let's go to my new rating system for some official results. ;)
Pleasing Qualities: 5 out of 5
I think these new little collectibles have a lot going for them. :) They are small, so they're easy to take along in a pocket or a purse (a big plus for my girls). Their size also makes it easy to have a large collection that doesn't take up much space. They have fun, bright colors, are nicely painted, and have cute little faces that are appealing. And, of course, the "blind bag" aspect is always fun. The girls and I always enjoy the surprise of opening a little mystery toy. Those who aren't so into being surprised can purchase one of the larger packs which show all of the Shopkins except one or two. :)
The Shopkins have zero posability. However, this isn't a problem since posability isn't something most collectors will be looking for with this type of a toy. For this reason, I decided not to give them a rating in this category. :)
Playability: 5 out of 5
There are all sorts of ways to use these during playtime. Whether a child wants to set up their own little store, or make up a story about the secret life of fruits and veggies, or use the Shopkins as accessories for larger dolls and toys, I see a lot of potential here. Shopkins could also be used as small rewards for good behavior. (I used Disney Princess Zizzlingers and Squinkies as rewards for my daughters when they were being potty trained. It gave them great motivation.) :) I feel I should note here, however, that due to their small size, the Shopkins are marked ages five and up. If you have a kiddo under five that likes to put things in his or her mouth, this is probably not a toy line you want to introduce yet. ;)
Price: 5 out of 5
I think the Shopkins are reasonably priced. Paying $1.99 to $2.99 for a blind bag item is pretty typical (and in this case, you get two characters). The bigger sets I've seen range from $10 to $15, and the $15 sets include accessories and shelves as well as the Shopkins themselves. The affordable price make them a great choice for younger kiddos or those on a tighter budget.
Thoughts from the Gals: (In which my three daughters share their thoughts about the Shopkins in their own words-notes in parenthesis and italics are from me)
Oldest Gal (age 10): I think Shopkins are very cute. They do a good job making them and coming up with names for them. The sets are very clever and cute as well. I think most of the names are very appropriate for them, like Cheese Kate, who is a piece of cheesecake. I've got the blue Sally Shakes, the yellow Chee Zee, and the yellow and orange Polly Polish, who is an ultra-rare bottle of nail polish. I'm glad that they have an appropriate age limit since they pretty much are a choking hazard. I know my little cousin who is two might think that some of the Shopkins were real food and choke herself. There are some Shopkins that are very cute and are a must-have, such as Cupcake Queen, a limited edition, and of course she is a cupcake. The Shopkins, or so I think, are appropriate for all ages over five. I think I will enjoy collecting them, all gazillion of them! :)
Middle Gal (age 8): I think they're really cute. I really like how the ultra-rare ones don't get glitter everywhere because I don't like getting glitter on myself. Some of them are really cute, some of them are really weird, and some of them are in the middle. I noticed that there are two of each mold, but some of them are different from both molds. For instance, my hot dog has green sauce, the meat part is brown, and the bread is yellow. And the one that it's most like (on the collector's guide) has pink sauce instead of green. Otherwise it's just alike. And my soap bar, which is purple, is just like the purple soap bar on the paper. I also have the Rainbow Bite with the purple top. But personally, I think they're really adorable. (There were several Shopkins that had variations in paint color from their versions on the collector's guide. I don't know if these were mistakes or if they will eventually be fully identifiable...)
Little Gal (age 6): I like Shopkins. I also like how Crispy Chip looks like one of the chips is a half headphone. I like Minnie Muffin and I like the things at the top (the whipped cream at the top of the muffin). It kinda looks like a little beach. I also like how they're pencil toppers. You can have a little friend on your pencil.
For more information on the Shopkins, be sure to check out their website HERE. You can also follow them on Facebook HERE.