According to the official Shopkinsworld.com website, the Moose Toys company, located in Melbourne, Australia, came up with the Shopkins idea. It was, in fact, the company owner’s mother who created the collectible figurines, especially for a girl audience. The small, plastic figures represented various items found in a grocery store. Each of the personalities had a cute name and appearance.
Along the way, new avenues opened for those who loved the adorable figurines in the forms of a YouTube channel featuring the Shopkins characters and trading cards. Naturally, the figures became irresistible for collecting, especially when the company categorized the characters and cards as rare, ultra rare, special edition and limited edition.
Although the Shopkin characters were designed to fill a market for girls that was empty following the company’s launch of the Trash Pack figures aimed at boys, Shopkins collectibles appealed to kids in general. The toys were a solid hit.
Measuring approximately 1″ x 1″, each character has a unique name and represents an item found in the grocery. The figures receive further organization into sections of the supermarket, such as Bakery or Candy. In an article for the Winnipeg Free Press, written by Erin Lebar, Kelly Main, head of the marketing department at the Asper School of Business, University of Manitoba, suggests that the anthropomorphization of the characters seems to draw purchasers in through some as yet unidentified signal.
The other magnetism of these toys is their collectibility, which has been a favorite pastime of children and adults throughout the ages. Retailers say the affordable price point and the variety styles and sets are inviting to parents and children alike. Shopkins come in sets of 2, 5, 12, 15, 20 and larger with a price range of approximately $7 to $90, depending on the article.
Some of the other Shopkins products that kids love include:
- a microphone stand with lights and a selfie stick
- a Dancing Water Light Up Karaoke System
- Happy Home Pool and Sun Deck Playset
- Shopkins Stamper Markers
- Shopkins Bean Stuffed Figure
- a Shopkins Bike
- Shopkins Dolls
- Shopkins Party Theme Packs
Children also flock to Shopkins books, videos, and even a movie. Jacqui Tobias, the inventor of the Shopkins Collection, was nominated for the Chicago Toy and Game Group Excellence in Toy Design Award in 2015. Shopkins was awarded the 2015 Toy of the Year award by Go! Games and Toys and the 2016 Licensed Character of the Year at the LIMA International Licensing Award ceremony.
A Wall Street Journal article, dated Dec. 7, 2016, and written by Paul Ziobro, applauded Shopkins and two other tiny collectible manufacturers for creating a product that not only attracts customers during the Christmas shopping season but throughout the year, as well. The Journal reported that Shopkins, along with similar products, reached sales of $142 million through September of 2016.
Still just a fraction of the overall US toy sales number of approximately $25 billion, the small toy collectibles continue to sell in increasing numbers. Shopkins’ expansion of its licensing to other manufacturers, its playsets and dolls have earned the company over $1 billion in sales since Shopkins’ inception.
Another feature of the Shopkins’ philosophy is that the characters all have a back story to make them more interesting and engaging. Bread Head, for example, is “independent and confident,” but can be a “chatterbox.” D’Lish Donut is very sweet but has a competitive side. “She’s always trying for a perfect hole in one.”
Kids can follow Shopkins on Instagram, where ideas for parties, crafts, do-it-yourself projects, and costume ideas abound. They can also find wallpapers, posters, and activities on the Shopkinsworld.com Activities page. Boys and girls can watch short videos on the website, too. There are even Shopkins Coloring Pages that you can download and color.
Shopkins and Moose Toys has had a terrific ride so far with its innovative and appealing toys, and the future looks to be extremely bright, as well.