Sunday, April 29, 2012

Calico Critters vs. Li'l Woodzeez Comparison Review

I have always secretly wanted to buy a Calico Critters set.  Given my reckless abandon in buying dolls of all kinds, it's a bit strange that I have never taken the plunge and ordered some of these enticing woodland fuzzies for myself.  When I fell in love with the Tickle Your Taste Buds Bakery and had my first introduction to the Li'l Woodzees, I knew there would be a comparison review at some point in my near future.  That time has come.

Calico Critters are articulated, flocked plastic woodland creatures with human attributes.  Li'l Woodzeez are essentially a less expensive version of the same idea.  Both lines have characters who come with roughly sketched-out personalities and/or occupations.  Calico Critters live in Cloverleaf Corners, Li'l Woodzeez live in Honeysuckle Hollow.  Here's a picture of them:

Calico-Critters-Woodzeez-Review
Calico Critters Furbanks Squirrel Family (L) and Li'l Woodzeez Waterwaggles Beaver Family (R)
Calico Critters pre-date the Li'l Woodzeez by a significant amount of time.  Calico Critters first appeared in 1985 under the name Sylvanian Families.  These early toys were sold worldwide by the Japanese company, Epoch.  In 1993, International Playthings took over the distribution of these toys in North America and changed the name to Calico Critters.  It is my understanding that in all continents outside of North America, the toys are still called Sylvanian Families (that link will take you to the Sylvanian Families website--different from the Calico Critters site).  Calico Critters are sold through a large variety of stores, including directly from International Playthings.  Around here, I see them at independently owned higher-end toy stores, and also at Toys R Us.  I stumbled across this site, which has a wonderful collection of photos of the different sets through the years.  Definitely worth a look.

Calico Critters Furbanks Squirrel Family
Li'l Woodzeez are made by Battat and are a much more recent addition to the market.  I believe these toys made their debut in 2010.  Li'l Woodzeez can be found at Target and on Amazon.

Li'l Woodzeez Waterwaggles Beaver Family
I think my pent-up repression from denying myself these cute characters for so many years came back to bite me.  I ended up buying two of each brand of critter family--you know, because bigger data sets are always more accurate.  I bought my Li'l Woodzeez sets at Target for $9.99 each.  I traveled to an independent toy shop in Freeport to purchase the Calico Critters, and paid $21.99 for each set.  I tried to select a basic family and a unique family from each line.  I will do a comparison between the basic families--a Li'l Woodzeez beaver family and the Calico Critters squirrel (chipmunk) family in this post and then I'll show you the more creative characters later.

First, here's the Calico Critters set.  The box is a simple cardboard window box.  It has a nice scene from Cloverleaf Corners on the back:

Do you see the horse?  He's really cute. I almost bought him.
A wonderful feature of the packaging is that the plastic window is not attached to the cardboard in any way.   If you open the box and slide the cardboard insert out, the plastic just comes off.  I am surprised by how awesome this simple feature is:


The only mildly annoying thing is that each Critter is wired onto the cardboard background.  On the other hand, even with my cruddy old classroom scissors, four snips was all it too to release those 4 ties.


It is very easy to get these little guys out, and as a bonus, the plastic and cardboard are already separated for easy recycling.

The first thing I noticed about this group was their clothes.  Not only are the outfits bright and cheery (and clearly well-made) but the family coordinates as a unit without being too matchy:  


Here's the mother, Emma, who is a modest actress:

Actress is not what leaps to mind when I see a squirrel in this dress.
Emma has shiny black teddy bear eyes:


She's wearing a floral collared dress with an attached lace-lined apron.  There's a small velcro closure in the back, and her big tail sticks out underneath the velcro.


The details on the Calico Critter's clothing are remarkable for outfits this tiny.  The collar on Emma's dress is two layers of fabric sewn together with the hem inside, and the little puff sleeves are even gathered with elastic.  The only flaw?  The velcro on this dress is pretty weak and has a hard time staying closed.


The father, Kenneth, is an actor and director.  He likes ordering people around:

Hey!  Do what I say or I'll unload my cheeks on you!
The subtle facial features make for a very friendly, versatile face.  Even though this is a squirrel pretending to be a human, he's not silly or caricatured:

I like that there is no paint around the mouth and nose.
He's wearing a two piece outfit that consists of a checkered button-down shirt and forest green overalls.  The shirt doesn't really open in front, but the buttons are real.  The shirt opens and closes with velcro in back.  The overalls don't close in back at all, but rather have a slit that is open to accommodate the tail. Notice that the pants actually have little pleats in front!


The outfit doesn't scream "director" to me.  More "Little House on the Prairie."  That's part of the wholesome appeal of these toys, though, I guess.  This shirt is fantastic: 

The dark brown buttons are awesome.
The lack of closure in the back of the boys' outfits seems careless, but it actually makes getting these clothes on and off very easy.  

All of the edges are nicely finished.
The little boy, Douglas, is a dreamer:

I'm not the only one.
He's wearing cute little checkered overalls with orange buttons.  Again, his pants stay open in the back so that his tail can stick out.


Being shirtless with overalls that are slightly too big is a really appealing look for a little guy, I think.  The loose fit also makes the outfit easy to get on and off.

I love the orange buttons!
The little girl, Greta, is a practical, down-to-earth perfectionist.  Her name doesn't match the other names.  Douglas, Emma and Kenneth seem Scottish or at least British while Greta is decidedly German.  They need some help from the Monster High naming team.

*Update: I received a very helpful email from Andrew offering the explanation that since both of the parents in this family are actors, the kids are named after film legends Douglas Fairbanks and Greta Garbo.  It's very subtle and clever and I feel silly to have missed it!  Thank you, Andrew.

Grear?  Gwen?
She's wearing a bright green floral sundress with little red buttons.  Her dress doesn't close around the tail very well, you have to squish it up against her body and fasten the dress on top of it.


Greta's dress has little beads instead of buttons:


The seams on the inside of the kids' outfits look a bit messy, with lots of lose strings and unraveling edges.  My suspicion is that for something so small, seams like this are difficult to avoid.  All of the edges are hemmed, and so I think the clothes will hold up well despite the messy appearance.


The two adult characters have the exact same body.  Without their clothes, you can't tell them apart.  This is true to real life--there are no superficial physical differences between male and female chipmunks (except in some species the females are larger).

Actually, Kenneth has a bum leg and leans a bit to one side,
so I know which one is him.
The animals have 5 points of articulation--neck, shoulders and hips.  They have hands shaped so that they can grip small objects:


The tail is made out of a nice, thick fake fur.  It has a string running through it that goes inside the body and must be secured in there somehow.  It can move around, but seems pretty securely anchored.  Kenneth has a tail that stands up, Emma's tail is droopy.  I think this is a manufacturing difference, not something that is meant to be a distinction between the two characters.

Does he look a little angry from this side?
With maybe an evil glint in his eye?
She's angry too, but perhaps a little less so.
 The squirrels can sit pretty easily...


...although Kenneth's leaning leg makes it hard for him to sit upright:

Whoa!
Kenneth also has some lose articulation in his left arm, but it's not a big deal.

Both adults can hold simple walking poses on their own:


The two kids have the exact same body, too.  In fact, without the four of them posed together for perspective, it's hard to tell which are the kids and which are the adults!  Here are the two kids:

The March of the Chipmunks.
Their heads are proportionally larger than the parents' heads, but otherwise, they seem very similar.

***

On to the Woodzeez!  Here's the back of the box, describing how the Waterwaggles family owns a launderette:


The Woodzeez packaging is a bit tricky.  They are mounted in a plastic shell that is enclosed within a cardboard display.  The package is open in front so you can pet the animals and see how soft they are.  I got this contraption open by cutting the cardboard along the front so I could see what was going on inside.


After that, I could just rip out the plastic that was holding the animals.  They don't come out of that plastic shell easily, though.  Each beaver is held in there with a plastic harness that is held together with a plastic tie:


After I freed the beavers from their harnesses (not easy to get in there and snip those plastic ties...) I still had to rip the plastic that was holding the book and the mother beaver's hat off the back of the cardboard.  Here's everything removed from the package:


It's not the worst packaging ever, but in direct comparison to the Calico Critter's box, it was a hassle.  I didn't want to have to open any more of those.

The Li'l Woodzeez come with a small paperback book:


I love books, especially books for kids, and so I am glad this set comes with a book.  It is a simple book with drawings that I wish were more bright and colorful (it's kind-of like a cereal box book), but it's a great accessory.


Unlike the Calico Critters, in this family, the two kids are different sizes.  As an aside, you can purchase Calico Critter babies that are tiny like the little beaver, but they are only sold separately (and are devastatingly cute).


Here's the mother, Lulu:


She is wearing a pink checkered dress with a pink polka dot apron that has crude false pockets.  She also comes with a rubbery straw hat that feels funny and has an odd smell.  

Baby got back.
The back of the dress has a velcro closure that accommodates the small beaver tail.  You can see that the quality of the fabric is lower than that used for the Calico Critters.  The dark beaver fur shows through the thin pink material of the dress.  

Also, the print on the dress is not in scale to the size of the character.  Most of the seams are hemmed, but they are a bit messy and lopsided.


Here's Bobby, the father:


I like the idea of a vest over a button down shirt, and this looks pretty nice, but it is very simply done.  The buttons are not real, they're just stitched onto the shirt.  The shirt has a nice pattern that is in scale, but the material is very thin.  The outfit doesn't have any details like a collar, cuffed sleeves or pleats.  There's a small opening in back for the tail:

The white thread is a bit messy-looking.
Bobby's outfit looks a bit Humpty Dumpty to me.  The detail in the fly of the trousers is nice, and the vest looks good from the front, but it doesn't continue around the back:

Tweedle dee.
Tweedle dum
The little girl, Tapper, is wearing a bright pink and blue floral dress with an un-hemmed teal blue collar. 


I wonder how well that collar will hold up?  It looks like it might unravel a bit.


The baby beaver, Tiny, is just wearing a blue diaper:

He's very sweet.
As with the Calico Critters, both of the adults are identical:

The Waddle of the Beavers.
They have 6 points of articulation--neck, shoulders, hips and tail.  The legs are incredibly short, but the animals can still sit really well.  The round body gives them fewer distinct posing options.  Their hands cannot grasp anything:



The bodies on these guys are cute, but I have to say that in contrast to the lithe figures of the Calico Critters, the Woodzeez look pretty round.  There is a lot of fuss over dolls that are too thin, and so it seems only fair to point out that these animals are the opposite.  This is irksome to me as a biology teacher because wild animals are never overweight.  Not that I think children are really emulating their small toy woodland creatures, but perhaps this wasn't the best-chosen human attribute to give these toys.

The big sister looks almost identical to her parents when they aren't posed side-by-side.  Her articulation is exactly the same as the larger animals.  Her teeth are not especially well painted:


She has a defect on the flocking over her left leg.  The flocking is peeling off in this area:


The baby boy also shares the same proportions.  His tiny little legs can even bend so that he sits.  The only significant difference is that this little guy does not have a tail.  Lest you be confused, baby beavers do, in fact, have tails.  Isn't he cute?


Looking at all of the equivalent characters side-by-side, the most striking difference is in the quality of the clothes.  The Calico Critters' clothes are made from much more appealing fabrics, and have little sewn details that give them a more polished overall appearance: 





Another basic difference between the two lines is in the quality of the flocking.   The flocking on the Calico Critters is softer and more dense.  At the store where I purchased my Calico Critters, there were several of the animals out on display for little kids to play with.  The cashier said these had been out for several years, and although there was wear to the flocking, there were no bald patches.  They had the look of a well-loved stuffed animal.  In contrast, even new out of the box, there were defects in the flocked fur of the Woodzeez.  I did a scratch test on the bottom of one of the feet of an animal from each set.  This was to determine how easily the flocking could be removed.  I scratched pretty hard with my fingernail. The squirrel foot took some damage in the form of a permanent disruption to the pattern of the fur, but I could not get the flocking to scrape off:


The fur on the beaver's foot scraped off very easily:


After creating an opening, I could peel the fur off the whole bottom of the foot in a millisecond:


I find the face details to be another notable difference between the two groups of animals.  Both faces are cute, don't get me wrong, but the faces of the Calico Critters are subtle and very nicely accented.  The eyes are sturdy and large and the painted features are sharp and distinct.  The details in the Woodzeez faces are not quite as nice.  The eyes are less substantial and slightly dull.  The paint looks sprayed on and a bit cheap.  



 Here are the two families trying out the wonderful Tickle Your Taste Buds Bakery:


I love his expression.

Calico-Critters-Woodzeez-Review

Calico-Critters-Woodzeez-Review

Calico-Critters-Woodzeez-Review
Douglas is eyeing the D-Lightful Designs cake...
Calico-Critters-Woodzeez-Review

Oh--and look who is almost in scale with this bakery!  The little Ty girl:

Calico-Critters-Woodzeez-Review

Here's a lineup for size comparisons:

Calico-Critters-Woodzeez-Review

Bottom line? The Calico Critters are pretty great.  They have soft, sturdy bodies with durable flocking. They have beautiful clothes with carefully chosen fabrics and hand-sewn details.  The Calico Critters also have simple but sweetly expressive faces.  The mix of squirrel features and anthropomorphic qualities is well balanced--they are cute without being silly.  I can see these toys appealing to kids who love dolls and dollhouses, but also to kids who just love animals.  I should have bought these for my eldest son when he was three because he would have come up with the most wonderful, imaginative games for them.  They are definitely not just for little girls.  The only manufacturing defects I could find were in Kenneth's leaning leg and loose arm and Emma's droopy tail.  Of these, Kenneth's leg is the only thing that inhibited my play in any way.

The Li'l Woodzeez are endearing, with their bucktoothed smiles and expressive whiskers.  Their faces are comical and caricatured.  I like that the two kids are different sizes--the baby brother is precious.  The clothes are acceptable, but look crudely made in comparison to the Calico Critter outfits.  The flocking is soft, but seems to come off easily.  The faces are appealing, but the spray-painted accents look a bit cheap and some of the painted teeth have flaws.  The rounded body type of the Woodzeez gives them fewer posing options.   My biggest concern with these toys is their durability.  Both the flocking and the un-hemmed elements of the clothing make me worry that they will not stand up well to significant play.

It isn't at all surprising to me that the Calico Critters are nicer than the Li'l Woodzeez--they cost twice as much.  The question is, is the difference in quality accurately represented by the difference in price?  I would have to say yes.  The Calico Critters seem about twice as nice as their less expensive counterparts.  This suggests that both are an excellent buy.  However, because of my reservations about the long term durability of the Woodzeez, I have to strongly recommend spending the extra $10 and getting Calico Critters instead.  No matter how inexpensive a toy is, if it breaks or falls apart too soon, it is essentially worthless.  In my head, I picture these two scenarios: on the one hand I see a child being horrified and saddened on the day when her favorite Woodzee suddenly loses a big patch of fur...and on the other hand I picture a set of well-loved Calico Critters being passed along to a delighted younger sibling or a cousin for many more years of play.  Easy choice.

Calico Critters:
Age Level
3 and up
Value
The $20 price tag is fair considering the high-quality miniature clothing and the durability of the animals.
Quality
Great quality.  The clothes are hand-sewn with finished edges and excellent details.  The flocked characters are nicely designed and seem to hold up over time.
Packaging
Very good.  Mostly cardboard with an unattached plastic window.  4 wire ties to cut.  Easy to recycle.
Collectable?
The size, quality and variety of this line will make them appealing to adult collectors.
Versatility
The pleasant faces and anthropomorphic bodies of these toys make them great for dollhouse play.  They can also stand alone as cute little animal figures for any kind of imaginary play or just companionship.  They could even act as stuffed animal toys for larger dolls like MiM.
Overall
Recommended.  I wish I had bought these for my children when they were younger.


Li'l Woodzeez:
Age Level
3 and up
Value
The quality is about half as good as the Calico Critters, so the $10 price seems fair.
Quality
Dubious quality.  The animals are very cute and fun right out of the box, but I worry how the clothes and flocking will hold up over time.
Packaging
Not awful, but the plastic shell and individual plastic harnesses on all of the animals are difficult to remove and the accessories sealed in plastic at the back are a pain to get out.
Collectable?
No.  The quality is not high enough for these to be collectable.
Versatility
Almost as versatile as the Calico Critters, although I feel the facial features and body style are bit caricatured and this makes them slightly less versatile overall.
Overall
Wouldn't recommend over Calico Critters.  It’s not that they aren’t cute, but long term durability is a real concern, especially if you are buying them for a small child.

Calico-Critters-Woodzeez-Review

34 comments:

  1. OK, now I want some! :)
    Got my niece Sylvanian Family members, years ago. Then, you could buy them individually at ToysRUs. As my budget was about $3 per kid, I know I didn't spend much.

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    1. I think that's a perfect and wonderful gift for a niece! I wish you could still buy them individually. Wait 'till you see the hedgehogs--those are amazing. I'll try to post pictures soon. :)

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  2. These are all so cute, it would be hard to decide, but I think I'd have to get the new Meerkat set :)

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    1. Oh, my goodness!! The meerkats make me laugh with their wide eyes and little open mouths!! They are wonderful. Excellent choice. :)

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  3. I think it was a little harsh from your review that in the summary box for the Woodzeez you said "not recommended". While they might be less recommendable ("passable" might be a better description) than the Calico Critters, from the pictures you had of the both of them side by side, they look cute together and would add diversity to a village of little fuzzies. I think the Woodzeez would be perfect for animals that are known to look a little chubby (even tho they are not actually overweight and the extra roundness usually is there for a reason like to keep them warm in the harsh winter). The only thing I am not crazy about is both of the lines tend to look like they are stuck in the 1800's fashion-wise. During the 80's and 90's there were plenty of similar animals that at least had current fashions (tho they look so dated now lol) so why can't there be something like that now?

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    1. Perhaps a little harsh. I’ll admit that it’s usually not a good idea to make absolute rulings like "good" or "bad" because things are often more complex than that. With a comparison review, though, I wanted to recommend one toy over the other--as though I was advising someone who had to decide between the two.

      I hope the full review explains some of the nuances in that judgment. I definitely think the Woodzeez are cute, and I love the idea of a less expensive alternative to the Calico Critters. However, during my time with my Woodzeez, I found that any defects in the flocking (either from the factory or from my own actions) could easily be turned into big bald patches. The flocking just peels right off with no resistance. It’s hard for me to recommend a toy that can be so easily damaged.

      I totally agree that a range in style of outfits would be fun! Maybe the fictional towns, Cloverleaf Common and Honeysuckle Hollow are meant to be set back in time? Still, you have a great idea because I think some kids might respond better to more modern characters and modern themes. Maybe there could be a choice of modern city animals or old fashioned ones...Cloverleaf Commons meets Clovatropolis? :)

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    2. My daughter has all of the woodzeez family sets and accessories..... The fur on all of the families has stayed intact and looks the same as when we bought them over a year ago!!! Both of my girls plays with these multiple times a week! I think, unless you are purposely trying to scrape the hair off of them, these animals hold up quite nicely!

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  4. Hello from Spain: I love this collection of Li'l Woodzeez Waterwaggles Beaver Family. It is also one of my favorites toys. They are very cute. Keep in touch

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  5. I'm a bit biased towards Calico Critters because I grew up with them, but the Woodzeez are kind of cute.

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  6. Yes, Calico Critters are better quality, but I find Lil Woodzeez a lot cuter. The raccoon, skunk and owl families are adorable. I hadn't thought about durability, but I wonder how many kids today are likely to pass on their toys. If the toys are loved, owners tend to keep them, out of nostalgia. I suspect the Woodzeez line was resurrected because of increased adult collector interest on Flickr, where durability is not such an issue...also prob because of the economy. You get a lot for $10 with Woodzeez. I have heard mothers opt for cheaper 18 inch doll lines rather than American Girl dolls because their kids could have more of them and still be happy. Sometimes the cheapest toys bring out for kids the most fun: hula hoop, raggedy ann, kick the can...

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    1. That's an interesting point. I used to collect model horses (had over 100 of them) and the only ones I decided to keep as an adult are the broken, scuffed-up ones! They have personality. :) In that case, though, they were well made toys that got a ton of use. I am just cautious about a poorly made toy that might wear out before it has a chance to become a favorite.

      Still, the Woodzeez are, indeed, cheerful little fellows at a great price, and I am glad to hear that there's a strong community of collectors out there who are enjoying them so much!

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  7. I love the inticacies of the woodzeez sets although to rough play wood is always better over plastic. my son is special and the smaller and detailed the better for him, we do a lot of mixing and matching for ex he uses the boy squinkies with the squinkies dollhouse. he loves the woodzeez "playsets" and enjoys the plastic furniture more then the wooden but we buy calico corners families.

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    1. I am so glad that it is possible to mix and match with these sets--it gives everyone the freedom to customize for their own needs and budget. I agree with your son, Calico Critters families and Woodzeez accessories (because they're so much less expensive) are a perfect combo. I'm glad to hear that he likes the Squinkies, too. I have never seen the boy Squinkies, but I was very interested in the first "girl" ones that came out. Seems like a cute idea--I love the capsule dispenser sets you can get...kinda want one of those for myself. ;)

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  8. O MY GOD, those are the cutest things I've ever seen (apart from my guinea pigs)
    I'm sad you can't buy them here in the Netherlands (well, maybe you can but I've never seen them before)
    I love both sets, although the Woodzeez are from a different quality range, I think they're a great option for people with a small budget.
    I'm going to say something ridicilous now:
    I was sad seeing your photos of the scratched paws of the animals, I know you had to do it for this review but hmm :/
    Those animals are to cute for being treated that way, sorry for this ridicilous comment :)

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    1. Aren't they sweet? Don't think for a second that your comment is ridiculous...or if it is, then so am I!

      Your kind-hearted thoughts made me smile. I'll admit that I felt bad doing the scratch test!! There's something precious about little animals--real or not. :)

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    2. Ahw :)

      I know, I have way too many stuffed animals for a fourteen year old.
      But I just can't let them go, they're always there for you, they listen and comfort you when you're sad.
      I'd never let them go :)

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  9. Love the review. I wish I could see the Lil Woodzeez in person; they are not sold here. Sylvanian Families/Calico Critters are my main collection at the moment. Darn cute flocked animals, stealing my heart and my wallet at the same time.

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  10. Hi, as a mom of a 3 1/2 year old little girl who owns both the Calico Critters and the Li'l Woodzeez I just wanted to comment on your review. I appreciate your side by side comparisons, but I agree as was stated above that you were much too harsh on the Woodzeez. My daughter came to love the Critters because they were always available to play with when we would visit a toy store to get a gift or a special treat. Naturally that meant that when she was old enough we began to buy a set here or there for her to play with. She absolutely loves them and plays with them daily. Her 4th birthday is coming up and she is asking for more sets. Imagine my surprise when we stumbled across the Woodzeez while at Target one day. The expressions on the faces of the animals were fun and happy, the clothing bright colored, and the price---$10---fantastic! My daughter honestly can't tell the difference between Critters and Woodzeez. She plays with them daily--and they are thrown together in a bag when she is done so her baby brother can't get to them. None of her families are losing their flocking after months of play. We love both types. In fact, for her birthday she is getting the Calico Critters Country Treehouse, and we are filling it with the four Li'l Woodzeez furniture sets ($12.99 each!) that are more colorful and up to date then the more expensive Critters furniture sets. Anyway, I appreciate your review, I just wanted to let you know that after months of rough play both sets have held up wonderfully and are equally loved by an almost 4 year old.

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    1. Thank you so much for your input! That is definitely good to know, because I can't put these toys to the "play test" the way I used to when my kids were younger. It could be that some of the sets are more durable than others, or maybe my testing methods were unrealistic? I have the turtle set and the beaver set that I reviewed here, and the turtles have really bad flocking trouble and their shells fall off. I've heard other complaints about this set, too. Maybe this is the only set to avoid? I fully admit that my experience might have been biased by the particular sets I purchased. I see a second chance review in my future because I might have missed the mark with this one and want to give the toys a fair assessment.

      I am delighted to hear that the Woodzeez are holding up well for you and your daughter--it's wonderful to have such an inexpensive alternative to the Calico Critters--you can have a much bigger fuzzy family that way! :)

      Thank you again--these reviews are so much more valuable when people like you take the time to contribute some real life experiences. I hope your daughter has many more years of fun times with her friends!

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  11. I will agree with you--we have had both (just one family of calico critters, which spend all their time naked anyway, even though their clothes are adorable) now. I would rather have the calico critters, but my daughter is receiving ALL the woodzeez as gifts from a family member who likely can't afford calico critters, or they are not available to that person locally. I favor quality over quantity though. The packaging for the Woodzeez about drove us crazy, but my daughter really liked that they come with a little story. Though some parents may want their kids to create the character of the animals themselves.

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  12. I felt the need to comment because a couple of other commenters described you as being too harsh on the Woodzeez. I've seen both in person, and I passed on the Woodzeez because, although they are still quite cute, their cuteness was negatively impacted by their lower quality flocking and design. I've only bought one set of adult Calico Critters and one set of baby Calico Critters, but they are absolutely adorable and very nice quality.

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  13. I own the hedgehogs(along with several others I just cannot resist them. I do not have much willpower against anything cut. I loved your 'waddle of the beavers.' comment!

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  14. Thanks for your awesome review. We have had calico critters and woodzez. I do want to say that some children can get the flocking off of calico critters. We bought some bunnies second hand that were in really bad shape! We currently have woodzez bunnies, turtles,squirrel mommy and baby, and owls. We glued the shells to the turtles and the owls are ridiculously cute! We have owned both brands accessories and had a calico critter house. Calico critter houses are tight and hard to play with. The room sets are cute with a million pieces. The plastic is a little brittle and will break if your not careful. I would say woodzez accessories are comparable if not better. We just bought the camper from woodzez for $30. It is adorable and comes with a car! Calico Critters has a camper without a car for $70. So I would say buy some of both. If you have the money to only buy calico critters go for it, but you're missing out if you don't look at woodzez too.

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  15. so glad you put together such a thorough comparison. I just discovered the Woodzeez at Target and was wondering which to get for my daughter for Christmas. Did you do a comparison of the playsets/homes? I would be interested to know how the Woodzeez playsets hold up.

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  16. Hi, im 11 and i live in Australia. I have a request: can you PLEEEAAAAAASSSEEEE review the sylvanian families village store???????? http://www.sylvanianstorekeepers.com/village-store-with-cat-figure

    thanks

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  17. I checked out the woodzee turtle family. Too cute. The tiny baby calico critters are adorable as well, particularly the hedgehogs.

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  18. Are you perhaps going to do a comparison of their playsets as well? I have been sighing dramatically over the CC playsets, but they're kind of pricey for someone who just wants a cute display for her new-gen MLPs (they fit perfectly, btw). Came across a Woodzeez Bakery for a reasonable price and snatched it up, although I keep wondering how different the accessory and play sets are, and if the CC ones are better, have even more pieces, are higher quality, etc... not that I necessarily NEED more pieces- I ended up gluing every d*mn cookie down, as I lose things easier than most.
    The Bakery is fantastic and looks amazing and is so detailed, I quietly scraped the pony accessories into a ziploc and tossed them in storage. Hasbro's attention to detail just can't compare... But I bet Calico Critters can.
    So, what do you think? Is there a playset battle in your blog's future?

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  19. I know this entry is really old, but something occurred today and I wished to say. I re-read this entry this morning it gave me the step I needed to encourage me to buy a Calico Critter set. I really wanted to for a long time but I kept putting it off. But re-reading (which I tend to do with a lot of reviews btw XD) this inspired me to take another look at them when I went to Toys R Us today.

    Anyway I looked and got pretty excited when I saw the squirrels, since I recalled them from this entry. But after I looked over them, I decided to get the Tuxedo Cat family. They're so cute, and I love their kitty tails and how they feel. They remind me so much of my own cats, I couldn't resist. I really want to get them a house/play set or something to go with them the next time, and I hope to expand the family to include the Tuxedo Triplets too :3

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  20. always go for Japanese products

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  21. Great review. I have a question, though. It seems as though on average the Calicos are a smaller scale than the Lil Woodzeez. Is this true and are you able to swap out the playsets and use the playstes for Calicos with Lil Woodzeeze playsets and vice versa?

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  22. So where does Mapletown fall in the history line? I had Mapletown as a child :)

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  23. We purchased the set in summer of 2014 (at a Toys R Us in the southern USA). The outfits had changed. This was fine with us. However, there must be a change in details for the chipmunk family, They can no longer grip small objects. Sad news for my little crew of imagination "professionals". FYI - We purchased Calico Critter Chipmunk family and the gray cat family.

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  24. Calico critters luxury townhome with so many accessories are easily available. Wide range of Calico Critters Toys , families, calico critters houses are there which are so creatively designed. Get some best calico critters set on calicocrittershomes.com

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  25. some calico critters do come with a baby. i bought the polar bear family yesterday, and it came with a mother, father, sister, and baby. the baby is posable (unlike the separately sold twin packs) and is wearing an outfit that coordinates with the rest of the family and cannot be found on other babies. another pack i know of that has this is the sea otter family. the only differences i've seen between your set and my set are the hands and the packaging. i own two families at the moment (plus two packs that came with one animal and accessories) and all of the figures have flat hands. my figures were also tied in with clear bands instead of ties. they didn't cross over each other either, they were just lined up parallel to each other.

    i prefer the flat hands of united states and japan figures rather than the cupped hands, so i'll stick to buying my calico critters locally.

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I value and welcome all opinions, but comments with abusive or offensive language will be deleted.