Just one look at the contents of the parcel the postie dropped off the other day, courtesy of UKMums.TV (it's a brand new real mums reviews website going live imminently - if you're in the first 2000 to sign up you'll even get a free gift from them!) and I instantly knew that the girls would get extremely excited when they got home from school ! They were about to discover Squinkies, the latest craze to take the United States by storm and, I have absolutely no doubt, shortly to do the same thing on this side of the Atlantic.
So what exactly are Squinkies? Well, basically, each Squinkie is an adorable little character made of squishy soft plastic that comes in an individual bubble. (Maybe the name is a cross between squishy and dinky ?!) You just pop open the little bubble to reveal the cute little Squinkie within, then either add it to your collection or get ready to swap it with your mates if it's one you've already got.
Yes, you read right - get ready for a whole new playground collecting craze ! Sophie and Juliette are still busy swapping SillyBandz on a daily basis at school and begging to spend their pocket money on yet another packet, but I'm sure they'll find space in their pockets for some Squinkies too ! There are already over 800 cute characters to collect in the Squinkies range and countless more in the pipeline. I am constantly astounded by the hours the girls spend tipping out all their SillyBandz and putting them in piles and counting them and working out a complicated exchange rate system ("you can have one glow-in-the dark, smelly or glitter one for two normal ones but Hello Kitties are worth two" !) that even a 9-year-old and a 6-year-old can understand and respect without any tears or tantrums !
Squinkies have understood this and are clearly tapping into the playground swapping mania. They explain : "Hot favourite will be the bubble packs containing 16 Squinkies to create a tiny world of your favourite friends. Each pack contains 12 clear bubbles and four mystery ones adding an element of surprise and there are lots of collections to choose from. Great for collecting and swapping with friends, there are Squinkies babies; kitties, pets and ponies or alternatively combine monkeys, piglets, frogs or turtles to create your own menagerie or zoo." The cute little characters remind me a bit of a smaller version of Littlest Petshops but the girls know they're not allowed to swap those because they cost too much, so these offer a cheaper but equally appealing option at pocket-money prices.