There’s a shopping underbelly in Australia.
A black market of items, where shifty dealers do deals right under our noses.
They’re trading tiny plastic toys.
They’re called Shopkins. And they’ve just made their inventor – Moose Toys – millions of real cash money and awards for what’s essentially tiny pieces of plastic with cute faces on them.
Listen to Dee Madigan explain the power of Shopkins to a baffled Andrew Daddo and a weary Holly Wainwright, here:
Every parent with a 4-10 year old will be nodding along, knowing full well this game of trickery. But if you’re like everyone else, shaking your head, baffled at this entire thing, wondering how you too can make a toy and sell 600 million of them, read on.
Because the struggle is real.
What exactly are these things?
Teenie TV, Mary Wishes, and Dippy Avocado. Via Wikipedia. Because of course they have a Wikipedia.
Shopkins are teeny-tiny figures that are mini shopping items. Yep. Kids are losing their minds over groceries.
With cute names like "Frank Furter" and "Kooky Cookie", they are adorable and addictive. The idea is to collect them, and fill up your mini plastic fridge, or kitchen, then swap them with your school mates, until you are the rightful owner of an entire tiny supermarket of your own.
It's not a joke. They're in over 20 countries. They're all over your house. They're under your feet, they're in your vacuum cleaner tube, and now, counterfeit ones are springing up in China which means there is now a black market for a tiny toy supermarket.
What do they do?
But sit there in their plastic cherub rubberyness, and stare at you with their cute eyes.