Since their debut in Mexico some years back, Distroller‘s Neonate Babies have been the cornerstone of a growing international toy brand. Among them, the Nerlies — space babies characterized by a small body and a big, round head — along with Espongie, Zygotie, and the recently arrived MikroNerlitos, make up the four species of Neonate Babies that have traveled to Earth from their home planet of Neonatopia in search of loving Neo-parents (kids), who will give them a forever home. Nurse Tania is their biggest champion here on Earth, standing by at Distroller World to offer up care tips for newly adopted Babies.
This fall, the Nerlies experienced a “neovolution” with the debut of New Generation Nerlies (aka Nerlie Gen2), updated versions of the most popular characters. Barry Watts, Navarie, Bosini, Fidgets, Itzyboop, Lloyd, N’antsy, and Susiking have been redesigned with fresh facial features and other distinct body characteristics that are explained in Neonate lore as having been caused by the explosion of an uninhabited planet near Neonatopia. Like the original Nerlies that inspired them, they’re huggable, posable, and collectible.
The boxes that Nerlies come in serve as special incubators, and even they’ve received an upgrade. The cardboard carriers warn that there’s a “live baby inside” and come with a magic towel and cosmic sprinkles that kids can use for their Nerlie’s first Neo-ceremonial bath — a new tradition added for Gen2. Accessories include an umbilical cord, a diaper, Neo-poo, a Drippity Drop Tube, a birth certificate with a picture, a nursery card, a vaccination form, and a tooth. Each doll also includes a pet NeoTick.
One of the most fascinating elements of the Neonate Babies experience is something that struck me when I first reviewed the earlier Nerlies nearly two years ago: Like the Cabbage Patch Kids a few decades before them, there is an adoption factor, but these really encourage children to nurture these creatures. There’s a teaching element that encourages a routine to make sure that they’re properly fed and dressed, and that their medical needs — from vaccinations to prevent illness to treatment when they are sick — are met. This remains true with the New Generation.
Neonate Babies are available exclusively through Distroller USA’s online store, or at Distroller World experiential retail locations in San Diego, Houston, and Glendale, California. It does seem that their popularity is opening some new doors, however. This month, Learning Express in Lake Zurich, Illinois, became the first retailer in the U.S. to officially sell Distroller USA products outside of the company stores. It’s a test program, but all signs point to big things from Neonatopia in the months and years ahead!