With their Calico village, small Calico Critters toys, and designer Calico Critters house, what is not to love about this fun and imaginative toy? Between the wholesome family values and adorable animal dolls, it is no wonder that these classic toys remain popular even today. Unfortunately, finding the whole Calico Critter family can be difficult, and many parents have had to turn to alternative toy options.
Let’s take a closer look at Calico Critters and compare other similar style toys.
Table of Contents
- What Is a Calico Critter?
- What Toys are Like Calico Critters?
What Is a Calico Critter?
Today the toy is marketed under the Sylvanian Family brand, but the toy was initially called Calico Critters. These toys were developed in Japan but quickly became famous around the world. This toy features tiny animal dolls that could be moved and posed throughout available woodland settings and environments.
The location for the environments exists somewhere in the North American wilderness, leaving children’s imagination free to run wild. The individual dolls are about three inches tall, with the child dolls much shorter.
Although the initial toy line only featured a few animals, several more animals were introduced as the Sylvanian Family grew. Today, it is possible to find cats, bears, fisher cats, koalas, rabbits, and more in the line. Most of the characters are available in family sets, often featuring larger parent and grandparent dolls, with more petite children dolls.
A popular television show has even been created featuring the characters initially designed for Calico Critter.
What Toys are Like Calico Critters?
Calico Critters are popular toys that attract both boys and girls. The animal doll style is appealing to many children who don’t like to play with human dolls. Although Calico Critters are popular, they can be challenging to find and can be pretty expensive.
Luckily, there are several alternative options to Calico Critters that are similar in style and design. Below, let’s take a look at some similar toy options to the Calico Critters.
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While the Calico Critter collection originally featured a small family of calico cats, the company has branched off and has created several other animal families for kids to collect. The Hopscotch Rabbit family features a family of rabbits. Like Calico Critters, it is possible to collect several family members, including the kids, parents, and grandparents.
Kids will have plenty of fun posing these animal dolls throughout their environment, giving kids plenty of opportunities to think and design their own world.
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Another part of the Calico Critter line, the Koala family, is a popular choice for children. Countless children have fallen in love with the entire Koala family set, including the parents, children, and grandparents. The Koalas can be moved and posed throughout various environments, and the Koala toys can easily work with Calico Critters and Hopscotch Rabbit playsets as well.
The Lil Woodzeez play sets are the perfect alternative to the Calico Critter sets. These educational toys feature different animal families for children to play with. Choose from forest-dwelling animals like bears, rabbits, or porcupines.
The animals can be moved and posed throughout different environments, making this plush toy imaginative and fun to play with. The Lil Woodzeez toy line has several different playsets and characters to choose from, making options limitless for children. Plus, this toy comes at a much lower price point than the Calico Critters option, making it extremely attractive to parents.
Expect to pay around $20 for a set of four characters and their included playset.
Lakeshore Learning Tree House
The Lakeshore Learning Tree House is a fun playset for children that encourages them to think independently, creating exciting worlds and different scenarios for their characters to move through. Like the Calico Critters collection, this toy features a large, outdoor setting for the characters to move through. The treehouse has several levels and can be combined with other treehouse accessories to make one giant world.
Unlike the Calico Critters toys, the Lakeshore learning Tree House does not feature animal dolls but rather small human dolls. These dolls come in several characters, which can be moved and posed throughout the playset.
Source: Play Monster
Similar in style and design to the Calico Critters collection is the Fuzzikins family made by PlayMonster. This collection features similar animal toys that live in houses and playsets which encourage interactive and imaginative play. Fuzzikins come in several different animals, including cats and koalas, that can explore different environments.
Choose from a camper set, dollhouse, or even an ice-cream van for these fun characters to explore. These small characters are only a few inches tall and can be posed in different playsets allowing your child’s imagination to run wild. Also, many of the Fuzzikins are offered at a lower price point, making them an attractive option for parents.
While Calico Critter toys are popular options for kids, it can be hard to find this toy for your little ones. Not only are they widely unavailable, but they can also be quite expensive. Luckily, there are many other animal figures and similar style toys for parents to choose from.
Below we examine some commonly asked questions surrounding both Calico Critters and similar toys available to parents.
What animals are Calico Critters?
Although the original characters for Calico Critters were cats, there are several available animals in this toy line. Available critter families include koalas, pandas, bears, rabbits, chipmunks, dogs, mice, and even porcupines. The toy line likes to have various woodland creatures in their play sets to introduce new animals to children.
Where can you buy Calico Critters?
Calico Critters can be purchased at several large retail stores. Many box stores like Target and Walmart regularly feature different animal collections and play sets. Of course, it is also possible to buy this popular toy online at online retailers like Amazon.
Often, prices will be comparable between online retailers and in-person stores.
Calico Critters offer a safe, suitable alternative for kids who prefer animal dolls. Plus, these toys encourage imaginative play, which can help develop higher-level thinking skills as an adult.
Are Calico Critters worth it?
The biggest downside to buying Calico Critters for your child is the high price tag. But, this toy helps kids think imaginatively, allowing them to create their own make-believe worlds. Calico Critters are undoubtedly worth it for the child who does not like to play with traditional human dolls but would rather prefer to play with plush animals.
What age are Calico Critters good for?
Calico Critters are the perfect toy for kids of all ages, but this toy is not recommended for kids who are three and younger due to the small size. The toy can easily grow with children of all ages, allowing them to think creatively about the world they are building and the scenarios they are envisioning with their toys.
Are Calico Critters and Woodzeez the same?
Although these two toys seem really similar and often feature the same animal families, these two toys are not the same. Two different manufacturers make the two toys. However, many parents prefer the Lil Woodzeez toys because they are generally set at a lower price point.
This feature can make collecting large families of animals, and the varied play sets more affordable and achievable.