Collection toys are nothing new and these were something I loved as a kid. Be it the toys from Happy meals (which were so much cooler back in the early 90’s – can you remember the transformer style toys they used to do?) to Pogs and even the Tiny Terrapins in Kinder Eggs. I used to love trying to collect them all. I think the reason why I liked these toys so much is that I didn’t have to logically understand them and I just played with them. Now the Jam-Eater has taken a fancy to Shopkins, I really don’t understand them at all.
A brief explanation to those who haven’t heard of them, Shopkins are basically tiny little versions of, well anything really, with a cute face slapped on, a fancy name like ‘Tina Tomato’ or ‘Fanny the Fungus’ and finally some bright colours added to make kids go crazy for them. No really, kids are going batshit crazy for this stuff to the point 600 million have been sold to date and as with most toys they are stupidly expensive for what they are considering the are the size of a pen lid.
Flo loves them though and they hold her attention for ages which is a great thing, however stand on one of the motherfu**ers and you will be hopping around like an angry pirate for at least 10 minutes – these bad boys are worse than lego! As I mentioned before, I really don’t get the craze, which is on it’s fifth season and it led me for the first time, to actually google what the Jam-Eater was playing with – I then resigned myself to being old and ‘proper out of touch with the kids’. I think this is why I keep mentioning Star Wars, Harry Potter and Gin (okay, maybe not Gin) to Flo so I can understand what she’s playing with.
These toys have spawned the inevitable, copycat and knock off versions. I bought the little one a Num Nom the other day while I was in Tesco as it looked fun and it was packaged in a yoghurt pot, I’m a sucker for packaging what can I say. She ripped it open and she loved the toy inside which was a little stamp which smelt of Vanilla. To be honest it resembled a feeble hand stamp you get to enter dodgy nightclubs. The mistake however was leaving this on her bedside table.
The next morning, I walked in the Jam-Eaters room to find she had gotten rather busy with her stamper over night and she now resembled patient zero in what seemed to be a large scale measles epidemic. Oh, and they use quality ink too – 15 minutes of washing and scrubbing will testify to that! Flo went to nursery an hour later looking like she had 8 minutes in the local subbed shop before we set off.
These toys appear to be her new favourite, however even worse is now she has started paying attention to the adverts in between TV shows now while proudly proclaiming ‘yes, I would like that please Mammy’. Lets just say August isn’t too early to play the ‘Santa card’ is it?