Pros: Cute, portable, fun!
Cons: SOOOOO easy to lose the hamsters!
The Teeniest Tiniest pets are a relatively new animal in the Littlest Pet Shop kingdom. My daughter and I stumbled across them in Walmart just two weeks before Christmas last year and it was love at first sight. Don't all little girls love miniature toys? I had, of course, already grossly exceeded my Christmas budget and I could not afford to buy any more toys for my daughter, I said as I tossed the toy into the shopping cart. I REALLY do not need to buy any more toys, I mumbled to myself as I stood in the six-mile long checkout line. And I most certainly do NOT want to wrap any more presents from Santa Claus, I swore as I wrapped this toy at 3:00 AM Christmas morning. The lies we tell ourselves to get through the holiday season!
The Teeniest Tiniest Hamsters are, as indicated, teeny and tiny. They WILL get lost. You WILL rip the house apart just before bedtime looking for the last hamster when your daughter bemoans the fact that none of the hamsters can sleep unless they're all in the Teeniest Tiniest hamster set all together. Just accept this fact and move on.
The pets are housed in a really ingenious playset. It looks like a jewelry box and has a handle with a clip that you can hang off a backpack. (I don't recommend doing that, because these toys are a lot heavier than they look!) The selling point here, besides the obvious one of "Oooh, Mommy, they're SO CUTE!", is the portability. You can drag a whole playset anywhere you want. Of course, whether you'll do that and risk losing a hamster in the middle of the doctor's office is your call!
The box is light pink with a dark pink top. The top of the box has three clear pink plastic bubbles through which you can see the teeny tiny hamsters. The front of the box has a button with a paw print on it. When you push that button, the lid of the box pops open. As the lid pops open, three play surfaces unfold from the lower half of the box and flatten out to make one big playing surface. When you close the box, the mechanism pushes the playing surface down and folds it simultaneously. Very cool!
The playing surface features six areas as follows:
Left back: molded plastic cabinet, food dish, and gravity feeder, molded plastic hole in floor where you can place a pet
Left front: molded plastic food bowl with apple and molded plastic food bowl with cheese
Center back: hamster ball that really opens and can hold one hamster, slide that you can really slide a pet down, has a hole at the bottom where you can place a pet
Center front: molded plastic garden with a path, flowers, and a hole where you can place a pet
Right back: hamster wheel that really turns and can hold one pet
Right front: corn cob on a spit, hole in floor where you can place a pet
The lid of the box has a decal of a hamster playroom and latch that you pull down. When you pull down the latch, you get access to the three clear plastic bubbles where the hamsters are stored. The hamsters MUST be stored up there and cannot be stored on the bottom half of the toy. If you leave a hamster on the bottom half, they might jam the mechanism when you fold up the toy. Also, be sure that the clip on the handle of the toy is not sticking up, or your play surface will not lie perfectly flat.
The three hamsters that come with this toy are utterly adorable. Each pet measures just 1 centimeter high. That is TINY! One hamster is light brown with a shock of cream fur between his ears. Another hamster is cream with a patch of rusty brown fur on his face. The last hamster is cinnamon brown with a shock of cream fur held by a tiny pink molded plastic bow. All three hamsters have clear plastic circular bases that fit into the holes on the playing surface, allowing you to place the hamsters in the perfect positions for playing and eating. The hamsters are just tiny figurines and have no movable parts.
I expected this toy to make many trips in the car (and to be on my hands and knees searching for tiny hamsters under the driver's seat among the coins, old French fries, and spare pens) but my daughter surprised me with how she has chosen to play with this set. My daughter tends to group all her Littlest Pet Shop toys into "colonies". We thus have a Bunny Colony, a Reptile Colony, a Dog Colony, etc. My daughter decided that the Teeny Tiny hamsters are babies of the hamster LPS toys she already has (thus explaining the Teeny and Tiny parts) and moved the Teeniest Tiniest hamsters to the Hamster Colony. By sheer luck, we have full size figures and hamster equipment that resemble the teeny tiny ones, and the full size figures are the mommies. The mommies show the babies how to be hamsters by demonstrating how to use the full size hamster toys, and then the babies imitate them on the identical teeny tiny equipment. It's sorting of like playing house and Pet Shop at the same time.
I paid $10 for the toy, and while I think the toy has been played with enough to justify the price, a more reasonable price would be $7. If you want any of these sets, I advise waiting on a coupon or sale. That way, you won't be devastated when your kids lose the three pieces that direct all the play!