TeenyMates — perhaps the smallest hockey toys ever — made their NHL debut for the 2013-14 season. They are made by a company called Party Animal Toys, who also has a line of 3-inch tall sports figures called Lil’ Teammates.
So just how small are TeenyMates? They measure about an inch tall, just a smidge taller than a U.S. quarter. The figures are fully licensed by the NHL, and seems to draw inspiration from both Japanese anime — with their big, cartoony eyes — and the “Lil’ Sports Brats” keychains from the 1990s. Each figure has the team name across their helmet and the logo on their jersey.
A pack of TeenyMates costs $3.99 and contains two random figures, two random puzzle pieces and a pamphlet. One of the figures is wrapped, presumably so that it does not rub against the other figure, which could remove some of the paint. The puzzle pieces are two sided, with one side making up a rink and the other side making a poster of all 30 TeenyMates.
One side of the pamphlet shows what the completed puzzle looks like.
The other side of the pamphlet shows all 30 figures plus a few — HEY, WHAT’S THAT IN THE CORNER?
OH MY GOD — THEY MADE A NORDIQUES FIGURE! And a Whalers figure too. Of course, those are the “chase” figures that are harder to get, as are the Metallic Gold and Glow-In-the-Dark figures.
Recently, I opened four packs of TeenyMates and photographed the figures. Not pictured below but also included were two puzzle pieces per pack. Here are the figures I got.
Pack #1: Los Angeles Kings figure & Carolina Hurricanes figure. The figures use the official “team font” on their helmets.
Pack #2: Philadelphia Flyers figure & Ottawa Senators figure. You’ll notice that all of the figures are left-handed shots.
Pack #3: Detroit Red Wings figure & Vancouver Canucks figure. All figures have the text “© NHL” on their backs.
Pack #4: Ottawa Senators figure & Philadelphia Flyers figure. Basically, this was exactly the same as Pack #2. Even the two puzzle pieces were the same.
In a set of 30 figures (not counting the four chase figures), doubles are to be expected. But getting the exact same two figures is a bit worrisome. Perhaps the figures aren’t packaged very randomly. That is, maybe every pack that contains a Flyers figure contains a Senators figure, every pack that contains a Red Wings figure contains a Canucks figure, and so forth.
What I like about TeenyMates figures: Incredible detail for one-inch tall figures.The smug looks on their faces makes me smile. The idea of getting a Nordiques or Whalers figure is pretty cool, though the odds on those are a bit long. The rink puzzle is a good idea, since it will give kids a “scene” to play with their TeenyMates figures.
What I dislike about TeenyMates figures: All the figures are exactly the same –how about a right-handed shot or a goalie for some variety? The collation seems questionable, at least based on the sample packages.
If you are a kid — or have kids of your own — then you might rate this product higher than the 3 1/2 pucks I gave it. Two figures for $4 isn’t so bad when you compare that cost to other blind-packaged mini figures, such as G.I. Joe Micro Force. However, I wish there was a little more variety in the poses used for TeenyMates. Party Animal Toys did release goalies in their line of Lil’ Teammates 3-inch figures; perhaps we might see a goalie or a righty skater in next year’s set of Teenymates, too.
Special thanks to Party Animal Toys for providing the packs for this break.
You can check out the TeenyMates website here.