giftemspreview

Kids all over the world can now unwrap the newest collectible.

Gift ’ems, from Jakks Pacific, are mini surprise dolls from different cities around the world. The entire line was first revealed and debuted at The Toy Insider’s legendary Sweet Suite event last week, where Blogger Bash attendees were able to exclusively see the product for the first time (yay!).

Each Gift ’em comes in its own unique box, and opens to reveal the doll’s name and origin city and country. All kids have to do is remove the top and fold over each face of the box to see what’s inside. The box will also transform to showcase two iconic scenes from the doll’s hometown, a map of the location, and an image of the country flag. The box itself is made out of sturdy plastic with real ribbon bow on top, and comes in fun, bright colors and patterns. My personal favorite is the bright pink box with yellow flowers, and I can’t wait to come across more to see the other playful patterns.

The Gift ’ems themselves are as cute as can be. They stand about an inch tall and feature different hair styles, skin tones, eye colors, and facial expressions. I love that each character is dressed in a themed outfit relevant to her city. For example, Eryn Ireland from Dublin wears a four leaf clover shirt, and Danique Bolt from Kingston sports an ensemble inspired by the country’s flag.

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One of my favorite Gift ’ems features is that you can mix and match all of the characters. Each doll has four main components—head, hair, upper body, and lower body—so kids can pop and swap to create literally thousands of fashion fusions and make their own unique dolls. This is awesome because it also creates the, “Hey, that’s me” factor! I swapped out one of the character’s blonde hair for brunette, and was so excited to create a doll that looked like me with blue eyes and brown hair.

The dolls also have a small hole on the bottom of their shoes so kids can secure them inside of the Gift ’ems box. They can be used as pencil toppers, too!

The collectibility factor is also a major component of this line. Each Gift ’ems character is marked on a rarity scale from common, rare, ultra rare, special edition, and limited edition. Fear not–every doll comes with a collector’s guide, so kids can keep track of who they have and who they’re missing. The dolls are also identified in four categories: day, night, swim, and snow. Gift ’ems in each category are just dressed differently based on the theme, so the swim dolls are in bathing suits and the snow characters are all decked out in winter gear, for example. A whopping 84 mini dolls are available at launch—and I’m hoping that more are on the way!

Gift ’ems isn’t only a new line to partake in the whole collectible craze. They can be used as vehicles to open up a whole new conversation about cultures, diversity, and where kids are from. When I saw the Polish Gift ’ems, I naturally freaked out. (So if anyone finds a Willa Warsaw or Ela Pauleus, you know where to find me.) It’s so special when kids can connect with their toys in a whole new way.

Kids will even learn more about their own cultures, and will be able to identify national flags and landmarksat a young age. When they start growing up and learning geography and history in school, they’ll already be saying things such as, “I know what the Indian flag looks like,” and “I can spot South Africa on a map!”

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There are two really awesome play sets in the line in addition to all of the collectible dolls. Naturally, the Gift ’ems love to travel! Kids can take their dolls on a trip all around the world with the Tour Bus. This double-decker bus has working wheels, doors that open and close, and even comes with an exclusive boy Gift ’ems tour guide. This bus seats 20 dolls. Don’t you just want to jump in a seat and travel with all of them?

815bRHAYgzL._SL1500_Ahhhh, it’s time to relax with this Hotel & Spa Playset! This set also comes with an exclusive lifeguard boy character. The hotel and spa opens and closes for storage, and can hold up to eight Gift ’ems gift boxes. It also comes with a bunch of fun accessories, such as a pool, a slide, chairs, and an umbrella. Plus, it has a handle for easy travel. If you need me, I’ll be at this hotel and spa, specifically mimicking the blonde-haired Gift ’ems sunbathing on the purple lawn chair.

So much more than just a toy, Gift ’ems are a way for kids to connect with their families and friends while learning all about culture, diversity, and unity.