Sunday 6 May 2012

Shoulder Buddies review

When we were asked if we would like to review Shoulder Buddies, I was really keen to see what all the hype was about. I hadn't actually seen one before but I'd heard all about them as being the latest kids' must-have collectible and playground craze to hit the UK after being a huge hit in the States. Well, I have to admit, my very first impression was that it's a bit over-rated - it's just a small plastic toy with a magnet in the base that you can attach to your shoulder (or shoe, bag, hat, pillow or whatever else you can think of) by putting his little metal disc underneath the material of your shirt (or whatever) to magnetically hold it in place. But then, my inner child kicked in and they really reminded me of the wild haired plastic Trolls (or was it Trollz ?) that were all the rage when I was a kid and that I used to really love collecting.

As well as being different colours and having different coloured hair (that you can style and brush, if you're so minded), each Shoulder Buddy comes with a collector's card which gives you some information about your new little friend and explains the symbol on its tummy. We got the pink one (which Juliette was over the moon about) with the wacky green hair and the flower symbol on its tummy. I love the permanently surprised expression on its face !

But when I started investigating a bit more, I realised that they are more than just cute, collectible plastic toys. They have a slightly more serious, useful side to them because each one has a different life lesson to share with its owner, whether that be personal safety, being a good friend, enjoying nature, etc. The manufacturers explain the concept better than I can ! They say : "Shoulder Buddies come from the ‘Land of Understand’ and go to the School of Smarts so they teach kids some valuable life lessons. Each Shoulder Buddy comes complete with a smarts card, which give some great smart tips – such as Sharing Smarts, Swim Smarts and Health Smarts. Girls get a great new friend and some great advice all at once!" That's actually a really good idea and, as it's a collectible, kids will want to share their new life lessons with their friends which is a great way of getting useful messages across. Not sure why they target girls though - I can see these appealing to kids of both sexes.

There are only eight Shoulder Buddies available in the UK at the moment but there are more than that in the States so I'm sure the collection will get bigger very soon over here too. The Golden Bear website presents the little critters that are already available :

Shari My “sharing smarts” are something you can SHARE!

Stormy I like to share “storm smarts” and safety tips for bad weather.

Diva I love to share my “superstar smarts” so everyone can shine like me!

Splash I like to swim as much as you! Please read my “swim smarts” so you can be safe in the water.

Doc I want to share my “health smarts” with you so you can take good care of yourself

Fetti Hey I’m Fetti and I like to share my “celebration smarts” Here are some fun ways to party….

Flora My “botanical smarts” will help you plant seeds of understanding and care for nature

Harmony Sharing my “unity smarts” is my plan. Here are some great ways to unite our world……

The target age range is 4+ but I think that's a bit young, especially as very small children may swallow the magic coin and won't really understand the life lesson aspect. Both 7-year-old Juliette and 10-year-old Sophie thought it was cool and, as a secondary school teacher, I could even see these taking off as fun accessories to be attached to bag straps for teens. Remember that it has got a magnet in it though, so keep it away from anything like cameras, smartphones and other gadgets that risk being damaged or corrupted. (I wouldn't think the magnet is very strong but it's better to be safe than sorry.)

star rating : 4/5


Disclosure : We received a Shoulder Buddy in order to write the review.

Other reviews you may be interested in :


  1. These look awesome - like a new funky version of trolls (remember them?)

    1. LOL Yes I did, I mentioned them in the review !! ;-)

  2. I hadn't heard of these before, but I'm sure I will soon. Your comment about Trollz (I'm not sure how it was spelt either!) brought back so many memories of those little crazy haired toys!

  3. better not let my daughter see these as she also had a disgusting amount of trolls when she was younger, and likely to want to collect these for her daughter

    1. I'm sure she'll see them soon, they seem to be creating a lot of buzz in the school playground!

  4. first thing i thought about when i saw them was trolls too!


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