Calico Critters were first launched in Japan way back in 1985. They arrived in North America in 1993 and are currently distributed by International Playthings. (They’re known in other countries as Sylvanian families). No matter the name, these small animal collections are enjoying a resurgence with the “iphone generation” of preschoolers and early school age kids.
Unless your heart is stone cold, you have to admit that Calico Critters are seriously cute. Even for a preschool generation that lives on fruit ninjas and can navigate youtube like pros, there’s something appealing to actually holding a Calico Critter in your hand. Our testers also love that they come in families. For kids that like to pretend in miniature (as opposed to whole body pretending) – Calico Critters will say whatever they want them to say. There are no bells and whistles here – which is why they’re probably still so popular.