Disclaimer: Just in case the title was unclear, there is swearing in here. I obviously need to wash my mouth out with “Suds”, the Shopkin soap character from Season 1.
Look, first things first. We love Shopkins in this house. I love them. My kids love them. I’m all up in their grill when they’re opening those new blind bags. I keep pestering my kid to choose the 12-pack with the cute little red frying pan. And one of my guilty pleasures is watching Shopkins unboxing videos on YouTube with my four year old (WHY OH WHY CAN’T I LOOK AWAY WHAT IS WRONG WITH MEEEEEEE!?)
The bastard things are adorable and addictive in equal measure. But here’s why they suck:
- They are heavily marketed as “girls” toys
My four year old son adores Shopkins. All the licensed clothing is located in the girl’s section, and it’s all pink – just in case there was any confusion. There are dresses and frilly undies and glitter-sparkled Shopkins sandals with small wedge heels.
The toys themselves are branded with a broad rainbow of hot-pink hues, and recent additions to the range have included little pink and purple-haired dolls. Female dolls. Not male dolls. Because boys couldn’t possibly want to play with Shopkins.
Being the progressive DNGAF parents that we are, we still wholeheartedly encourage this interest anyway, the same way we encouraged four straight years of Dora the fucking Explorer DVDs on endless loop. (And didn’t that chupa las bolas…)
We’re not personally fussed by the bullshit “girls” or “boys” toys divide, but it’s only a matter of time before some strident little Gender Policeperson shames him for playing with **gasp** “GIRL’S TOYS”.
2. They are more expensive per-ounce than pure gold
Shopkins are a scam. They are the perfect example of late-stage capitalism, where you pay a nose-bleeding premium for tiny little mass produced toys.
Two Shopkins will set you back $3.00. A 12 pack will set you back $15.00.
To put it in context, these things are roughly the size of a pellet of possum poo (with smiley face), so you’re not actually getting all that much bang for your buck. Crunch the numbers and you’ll probably find they are more expensive per-ounce than the finest 24 carat rose gold.
Except they are made from tiny blobs of cheap tacky plastic.
And the dog is likely to eat them.
3. They come out with a new fucking season every five minutes
The evil geniuses at Moose Toys come out with a new season of Tiny Plastic Crapkins every other minute. No sooner has your preschooler pestered you to purchase 5000 blind bags in their quest for the Ultra Rare “Maxed-Out Credit Card” Shopkin, and those fuckers have already brought out an entirely new range – just when you thought you’d finally caught up.
There are hundreds of these mofos. Literally. HUNDREDS.
BUT, the inherent and perpetually-frustrating contradiction of Shopkins is that despite there being thousands of the fuckers, no matter how many packets you buy you will keep getting multiples of the same 20 characters over and over again.
The Shopkins criteria for the exclusivity of their inventory goes like this:
COMMON = Every other packet.
RARE = Every 100th packet.
ULTRA RARE = Keep dreaming.
SPECIAL EDITION = Not happening.
LIMITED EDITION = Not even real. On the Shopping List just to fuck with you.
And not only that, the clever pricks have perfected the art of selling you THE SAME SHIT TWICE, but with a different name. Has anyone ever seen Wild Carrot from Season One in the same room as Karen Carrot from Season Six? Think about it…
And then there is the ubiquitous Shopkins-themed merchandising, which makes the Disney marketing team look like a bunch of stoned teenagers at a TAFE brainstorming session. The brand and its characters are splashed across all manner of things: bike helmets, scooters, books, clothing, craft activities, soft toys, trading cards, shoes….
You name it, they’ve slapped a “Once You Shop… You Can’t Stop!” slogan on it.
It’s so meta. Fucking smart arses.
If nothing else, Moose Toys is very clear about their agenda to bleed us dry. And then bleed us dry some more. And when they finally do, those motherfuckers will be first on the scene with their timely release of Shopkins-branded first aid kits.
Blood. E Bandaid and Penny Paracetemol will soothe what ails you (washed down with a bracing glass of Vinnie Vino).
4. They end up in every nook and cranny of my fucking house
These things are worse than sand up your vag after a day at the beach.
5. They make me crave all the shitty foods
This one is personal.
I recently started a low carb way of eating. You know what that means? I have to eliminate 95% of every food ever invented from my diet.
I can eat simple foods such as meat and berries and plants like some stinky fucking early hominid, but I can’t enjoy the fruits of the post-industrial food revolution. Like sponge cakes. And ice cream sundaes. And those hipster food-coma milkshakes that have donuts and Nutella croissants and motherfucking pavlovlas stacked up the straw.
Shopkins are all about sweets in every form possible; like the fantasy buffet for a gaggle of pre-menstrual girls. If Shopkins represented an actual eating regime, Pete Evans would die of abject horror on the spot (but not before writing a sanctimonious Facebook post about it and taking pre-orders for his new “Anti-Shopkins Diet” e-book).
Shopkins = an orgy of sugar. An orgy that I am not invited to.
Fuck you, Cupcake Queen.
Fuck you and the 500 ultra-common cake-themed Shopkins you rode in on.