Waaaaay back in the day (like 6 months ago) I saw Squinkies only on end cap pegs; bubble packs of 16 impossibly small and thoroughly charming critters relegated to the perimeter of toy department aisles. Now when I enter the toy section of my local Target, Squinkies dominate approximately 30 square feet of shelve space…in two different aisles! There are Barbie Squinkies and there are Marvel Superhero Squinkies. There are cars, Cars, cribs and scooters for your Squinkies. A Squinkies Nintendo DS Game with special surprises inside. There are playsets big for your Squinkies small.
In short, there’s a metric ton of Squink in the world right now. And also in my house right now. And the Bear and Mouse couldn’t be happier.
Because really, what kid doesn’t love the tiny? Whether it’s mini-Captain America, lil’ ninja, or a thimble-sized bride and groom, young children fawn over the small stuff. Lucky them. We bigger folk tend to only sweat it.
We had only 16 Squinkies before last week, all of the “girly” variety; princess, kitty, unicorn, squirrel, and so on. It pains me to even type the word girly, but these are the ones sold in the pink aisle. What arrived at OWTK HQ from Blip Toys – maker of Squinkies (and Whimzy Pets) – were the more masculine mini figures; footballers, skateboarders, aliens, astronauts. I applaud Blip for sending these my way for they know I haven’t a lad, but a pair of lasses. I’ve had other toy manufactures who shall remain nameless decline the chance to marry a “boy” toy with a young girl. (that last sentence will, unfortunately, come up in some pretty gross web searches).
Just as they did with the boyish DaGeDar toys, the OWTK girls wasted no time in adapting the Squinkies to their style of play. That is to say they made a gaggle of brutes, monsters, and thuggish dudes rather adorable. Girls rule. The characters were made to line up for rides in the car and spaceship, as well as for rides in the double bubble flight of fancy (a pair of Squinkie capsules put together by the Bear). That was by far the most popular attraction in our own personal Squinkieland. Then all were moved to a hangar-type space made with particle board and a blanket. This was to protect the Squinkies from our feline down on the floor but at one point Tilly the cat (a real one, not a Squinkie) jumped onto the board and when she leaped off it popped all the toys into the air. I captured this, barely, on film below. Hilarious!
Oh, and the gumball machine-inspired Skull Cavern was turned into a carnival goodie dispenser as we played made-up-on-the-spot games like toss the stuffed animals into the bucket and roll the halloween cube. The latter dice game was a huge hit. Here’s what we did:
- Filled the Skull with a variety of Squinkies in clear, green and red plastic bubbles (their original containers).
- Grabbed an old arts-n-crafts-made Halloween decoration featuring a candy corn, a witch’s pot, and a haunted house on three sides, and three sides blank orange.
- Decided that landing on a candy corn got you a Squinkie prize, the witch’s pot meant you had to put one of your Squinkies back into the Skull, and the house forced you to give one of your Squinkies to the player to your right. Orange squares got you plenty of nothin’.
- Squinkies in green capsules were pot protected (didn’t have to toss back if you landed on the witch’s caldron), the red ones house protected meaning you didn’t have to give to your neighbor.
- First one to 7 Squinkies in their collection won.
Yeah, that was just off the top of the Bear’s head. ‘Twas such great fun. We’ve played this game several times already.
If there’s complaint to be made about Squinkies, it’s the abundance of non-recyclable packaging that houses them. The little bubbles are cute and my girls obviously incorporated some of them into their play, but c’mon. The sheer amount of trash Squinkies generate is hella excessive. This issue isn’t exclusive to Squinkies, of course.
Overall, Squinkies provide for hours of imaginative fun with or without the branded accessories. There is so much that can be done with toys of their size (putting them in convertible Hot Wheels cars, for example, or rolling them down DaGeDar race tracks in their capsules…oh we’ve gotta try that one!). If your digs are baby-free (these things are really tiny), you might want to surprise your youngster – boy or girl – with some fresh Squink in their stocking this holiday season. Buying Squinkies also allows to you skip on buying cat toys – the closed capsules are fantastic for your furrier family members!
P.S: Word out of this week’s Time to Play Toy Showcase is that Spongebob Squarepants Squinkies are on the way.
*OWTK received a bounty of Squinkies and their accessories for review consideration. The opinions expressed above are honest and unbiased.