A Beginner’s Guide To Shopkins

Recently, I found myself waiting in a long line with my daughter, to meet a giant talking strawberry.

What would compel someone to do this, you ask?

Shopkins, that’s what.

Now, for the informed readers, you are probably nodding your head, in approval. For the uninformed, however, I feel your confusion.  Truth be told, up until a few months ago, I was one of the ignorant. I had no idea these things existed…….. until J started watching Shopkins videos on YouTube. She then started to go on about how much she wanted them.  At that point, I had to find out just WTF a Shopkin was.

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Because when I wonder about Shopkins, I also want to know about Herpes, too. Thanks, Google.

While I still do not get the appeal, kids seem to really like them. The holiday season is fast approaching, as well, and I’m sure Shopkins are at the top of many a wish list.

If you don’t know a thing about Shopkins, then you gon’ learn today! I’m going to give you a quick beginner’s guide, based on my very limited knowledge!

Let’s get it on, FAQ-style!

 

You waiting to meet someone in an oversized strawberry costume is one of the dumbest things I’ve ever heard.

Well, that’s not very nice. It wasn’t a question, either. Hater.

Fine. What are Shopkins?

Basically, Shopkins are tiny toys. They are miniature, shopping item-themed characters.  Each character has a name, finish and a back-story, which reads like an online dating profile. For example, per their website, Chee Zee enjoys rapping with his BFFs and hanging out in the dairy aisle.

Oh. So what are you supposed to do? Read their profiles, and set them up on blind dates, according to who matches up best?

Uh, I don’t think many kids play with them like that.

Then what do you do with them?

As far as I can tell, you buy them, and then make a video of you opening them up.

What! For real?

Well, that’s one way to use them, yeah. There are other ways, of course. Essentially, you can buy them in different sized sets and packages (ie. Five packs, 10 packs etc).  Each character has their own ‘team’. The teams are based on which section of a store the character would be found in, like the bakery, homewares, shoes etc.

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Here’s a Shopkin.
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Here’s another Shopkin.

They even come with cute little shopping bags, to carry the Shopkins in.

 

Here is a Shopkin.

Some sets include a Shopkins list, which helps to identify/keep track.

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From what I understand, kids enjoy the idea of being able to collect them all. They also seem pretty fun to play with. Grocery shopping comes to life!

Sounds adorable. Explain the videos you mentioned before. Now!

Whoa! Simmer down, please.

Some packs are ‘blind baskets’. You don’t know what you got until you open up the packaging. The element of mystery and surprise is apparently a big selling point. There is also an apparent market for people watching other people opening stuff. YouTube is full of “Unboxing” videos, where people have filmed themselves opening up and revealing their Shopkins. J, for one, can’t get enough of these videos, for some reason, especially the ones with blind baskets.

I’m hip and cool. My toy game’s on fleek. How come I’ve never heard of these before? Are they new?

Your toy game’s on fleek? Who even says that? Anyway, yes, they are pretty new. They were released in June 2014.

I hate battery operated toys. Do they require batteries? Because if they do, I swear to –

Gosh, lemme cut you off right there. Batteries aren’t needed. They’re inanimate little things.

How many Shopkins are there?

As of this writing, there are three “season’s” worth of characters (December 2015 Update- there are now four seasons!). Each season has over 140 characters. Similar to card collecting, some Shopkins are more common and easily obtained than others.

Holy moly! That’s alot! Sounds way too overwhelming. And expensive. If my kid comes across these on YouTube and asks me to get them, should I just smash the computer to pieces, and tell them that Shopkins were a figment of their imagination?

No?

Then how would you recommend starting a collection, you stupid smartypants?

What’s with the name calling? Anyway, I’m not an expert on this. We’ve only bought J a five pack (which went down to a two pack within a week, by the way. They are easy to lose if you’re not careful. I probably ate Waffle Sue for breakfast accidentally, for all I know) and a couple of singles. I’m guessing you get more bang for your buck by buying the larger quantity packages, or the special edition bundles. If you don’t want to tread so deep initially, maybe just stick with occasionally buying the onesie or twosie packs.

You ate one? Are they gluten-free?

I….I wasn’t being serious. They are made of rubber or plastic. Not edible.

Which is harder to find? Cupcake Queen from Season 1 or Roxy Ring from Season 3?

Well...no, I guess not.

Man, I don’t know. Try one of the many sites dedicated to all things Shopkins.

 

I think you secretly have a weird obsession with Shopkins. Drop the act. Who’s your favorite, Mikey-Boy?

My favorite is Shut Up Juice, who takes people like you to the Smackdown Hotel. Is BFFs with yo’ momma.

Ouch. Who’s the hater now?! I was just joking around. But seriously, is there anything else I should know?

The only other thing would be, if you or your kids do get into this phenomenon, keep an eye out for Shopkins Swap events. At these, you’ll have opportunities to meet other aficionados/collectors and make trades to add to your collection.  A real life Shopkin might appear, as well.

Play your cards right, and one day, you too might able to stand in a long line to meet a giant talking strawberry!

 

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J, with Strawberry Kiss

 

 

 

 

21 Comments

  1. My daughter asked for shopkins for christmas after she had kids at school talk about them. I felt the same way as you. Like wtf? Your article was actually extremely informative!

  2. Thanks for posting this! I bought my daughter 2 packs of Shopkins during my last-minute Christmas shopping, after realizing I had purchased nothing but clothes for her to open. She has so many barbies and other things I didn’t want to just add to the unused toy piles in her bedroom, so I figured I would give these a try and see if she liked them. Of course, after she opened them (LOVED them), and wanted to spend all her Christmas gift cards buying MORE, I needed to get some info on these things stat — so here I am! Thank you!! Any time I searched for Shopkins, all that came up was places to buy, so a little Shopkins “fyi” is exactly what I needed!

    1. Thanks, Christine! I was in the same boat, struggling to find more information on these things, which was why I wrote this. Glad to hear that it waa of some help!

  3. Haha classic read that Mike. You however missed the most mind numbing confusing part of trying to put the cards into a numerical sequence into an album… Sounds pretty simple. Put card 1 into slot 1, card 2 slot 2….. Etc till 130. My 6 year old daughter was having a little difficulty in the higher numbers and as not having the complete set (yet) had to leave gaps and stuff for when she gets the cards. Sounds simple? Yeah that was until I found 2 cards bearing #3 at the very start. I was like WTF? So did the old Dr Google thing and fml if you’re not spot on about the videos of people (adults mainly too) opening up packs of fictional shopping items brought to life… (It was sickening). But no where could I find the explanation to this until the wife told me about season 3, which appears to be independent to s1 & s2 from what I can tell. So went to shopkinsworld.com to find out what cards were s3. Bad move!! Let’s use the card I have, #3 Miss Mushy-moo… On the card it clearly identifies its 3, but on the collectors guide on the website its #6… WTFF???? Then not only that but it’s not 130 over different seasons, its 130 FOR EACH SEASON!!! Is this some sort of sick joke and someone is videoing me for some surprise camera show???? Fair to say I’m getting my daughter into something else. Enjoy

    1. Haha. Appreciate the head’s up on season 3. Luckily my daughter is still young enough that she doesn’t get the collecting/cards thing, and just enjoys playing with her Shopkins (Toys? Being played with by a child? Crazy, I know!)

  4. What if I got a shopkinsworld.com that is not on the list does that automatically make it fake? All the others were the real thing as far as the color and design.

  5. This was brilliant! Laughed my head off! Thank you so much for explaining the world of Shopkins, my 3 year old soon to be 4 year old is asking for Shopkins. Now I feel I am qualified to buy into them with some knowledge.

  6. This was a fun read

    I refused to purchase these when they first came out… now she has over 180 of the little mofos, 73 Commons and the rest Ultra Rares and Exclusives! Every parent knows you pick and choose you battles. Now I am getting ready to sell them, due to her lack of attention for them, we spent over $300 on them, hoping to flip some shopkins into some dollar dollar bills! 🙂

    1. Thanks! Now that was an element that I left out of the post – the resale market. Hopefully you can make some paper off of your $300+ investment!

  7. Can you answer me THIS question??? What are the little clear discs that come with the Shoppies for? Both Peppa Mint and Rainbow Kate came with one and I don’t know if it’s a plate for the shopkins to sit on or if it’s a stand for the Shoppies to use (so they can actually stand up).

    1. I had to check with Shopkins on this. According to them, the clear disks are stands for the dolls, so that they can be displayed more easily.

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