Toys were a part of our playtime when we were children. They gave us hours of entertainment and kept us intrigued. Even until today in this era of digital technology, toys remain an indispensable part of a child’s life. A toy series that is becoming a favourite amongst children today known as Shopkins. Each plastic figure in the toy has a cutesy face and unique name. The toy line officially began in 2014 in Australia. As it grew in popularity, Shopkins eventually expanded into a popular web series on YouTube as well as trading cards that are designated for kids.
Shopkins was designed and developed by Moose Toys in Melbourne. Moose Toys co-chief Paul Solomon credits his mother, Jacqui Tobias who also happens to be the director of the toy developer’s girls’ products, for the idea behind Shopkins. Prior to Shopkins, Moose Toys had made a name for themselves with its line of Trash Pack collectible figurines. However, as the Trash Pack toy series was geared towards boys, the company did not have products to cater to the girls’ segment of the market. Hence, Shopkins was created as a similar product line targeting girls. As the toy series grew popular, it appealed to both genders.
Shopkins Hong Kong’s characters are primarily home appliance, kitchenware, and food items, the type of toys that will attract both boys and girls to play. In fact, its Shopkins-themed webtoon series will be approaching its third year of broadcast on YouTube as it is now in its eighth season. This is a testimony of how popular the toy series has grown to be.
The Shopkins figurines are roughly 1 inch in height and 1 inch in width, each having its own face and name. The toys are distributed in brightly-coloured packaging with bubble letters as an effort to appeal to children. Shopkins are based on grocery items such as a sweet apple named Apple Blossom, a chocolate bar named Cheeky Chocolate, and a chocolate chip cookie named Kooky Cookie. As there are hundreds of Shopkins available in Shopkins World, they are organised into categories such as Sweets, Bakery, et cetera.
In many occasions, Shopkins have become more than just toys as they have evolved into collectible items. This is because Moose Toys classifies the Shopkins by degree of rarity, namely Common, Exclusive, Limited Edition, Rare, Special Edition, and Ultra Rare.
As mentioned briefly above, Moose Toys started producing Shopkins-themed webisodes on a YouTube channel called “Shopkins World” to promote Shopkins to a wider audience. Since its inception in August 2014, the web series has been running for eight seasons and has featured more than 50 Shopkins and 10 Shoppies. The webisodes were an excellent way to introduce the various characters in the Shopkins product line to audiences and to create a connection between the characters and the viewers. Their fun storyline has also managed to spark interest about Shopkins.
Moose Toys had also launched a series of children’s books that revolve around the Shopkins characters. One of the best sellers is the book entitled Shopkins: Welcome to Shopville. This adorable storybook introduces readers to the wonderful world of Shopkins and all the exciting adventures that its main characters Apple Blossom, Cheeky Chocolate, Kooky Cookie, and their friends encounter every day in the grocery store.
Shopkins Collector Cards
Moose Toys also released a Shopkins trading card set in 2015. The Shopkins Collector Cards are trading cards with Shopkins-related items on them. There are currently three series of collector cards to collect. The first features characters from Season One and Season Two, the second has characters from Season Two and Season Three, while the third portrays characters from Season Four. These cards are available in foil packs with seven cards in each, or a pack with three foil packs in it, giving you 21 cards per pack.
There are generally four types of cards that you can collect – Common, Colour-Me-In, Glitter, and Pop-Up-and-Glow.
- Common - There are 90 cards in this category. Most of the cards contain individual pictures of Shopkins on them or they could also have multiple Shopkins elements depicted on them (for those in the Limited-Edition collection). These cards are normal and do not contain any special features.
- Colour-Me-In - There are 10 cards in this category. Like the common cards, these cards have pictures of Shopkins on them. However, as its name suggests, they are not coloured in which allows collectors to colour them in by themselves.
- Glitter - This category consists of 15 cards, each with a glittery Shopkin picture on them which makes them stand out compared to the other cards in terms of look and feel.
- Pop-Up-and-Glow - There are 15 cards in this category but unlike the other Shopkin-themed trading cards, the pictures on these cards can be popped up to make them “stand up”. Furthermore, they can also glow in the dark.
Moose Toys has also released a new movie called Shopkins Chef Club. The movie was released via DVD on 25 October 2016 by Universal Pictures Home Entertainment. The movies managed to garner rave reviews and became an instant fan favourite.