Saturday, January 27 2018 11:07

Toy Review: Crate Creatures Surprise Unleashes the Beast... Again and Again!

Written by
  • While all content is editorially chosen, articles may contain affiliate links which may generate revenue for the site when a purchase is made.

MGA Entertainment entered 2018 on a massive high, riding a wave of success fueled by their hit L.O.L. Surprise! line. As much as I champion gender-free play (let kids play with what they want!), the "surprise" toy market has largely skewed toward girls, and this is something that I've seen first-hand. Having already jumped into the action-aisle with their Awesome Little Green Men, MGA now has a "surprise" for that crowd as well with the release of Crate Creatures Surprise! I was initially contacted about checking these out just before Christmas but didn't have time to take a look until after the holiday rush - which is fine since the availability is better now. This new collection of interactive figures brings the "unboxing" experience to life in a way that can be repeated again and again. Check out the video below, along with some detailed thoughts on this new line...

From the first wave, we received Sizzle - a young dragon with a slight temper and a taste for fiery marshmallows. Dragon enthusiasts might notice that Sizzle shares some kinship with Hasbro's Torch: My Blazin' Dragon (showcased here) from a couple of years back - particularly some facial features and the marshmallow feeding. I like Sizzle better for several reasons, but mostly it's just a different kind of toy that offers a different play experience.

Packaged into a plastic crate atop an attached pallet, each Crate Creature comes wrapped in a plastic chain which can be released by unlocking its padlock with the included miniature crowbar. The same crowbar is then used to pop the top, at which time the Creature breaks free thanks to a spring-loaded platform below! Unlike most surprise/reveal/unboxing toys that are one-and-done, the crate is a part of the toy and can be re-used for an unboxing experience again and again.

Crate Creatures Surprise! Sizzle Review

Each Crate Creature features over 45 interactive sounds which can be activated simply by the various motions of play. They can also record up to 10 seconds of sound, and they play it back in a monstrous voice. They're fun to play with, a great companion and they just look cool. 

Recommended for ages 4 and up, it's our youngest daughter (5) who really loves Sizzle. What I like is that these things are priced at $39.99 MSRP*(affordable), they're a reasonable size (easy storage) and they have electronic features without becoming a full-blown tech toy or robot.

One interesting thing to note is that if you feel that these look a bit familiar, you are not alone! My friend Kaci aka The Homicidal Homemaker (check out her fantastic recipes on YouTube) mentioned that Crate Creatures piqued her interest due to the packaging (a crate with bars) being similar to that of Boglins, a series of monster hand puppets sold by Mattel back in 1987. 

Crate Creatures - Boglins

In the early 90s, Ideal released some Mini-Boglins figures, which could also be a clue as to where Crate Creatures Surprise! might be headed for a brand expansion. Much like Spin Master has had great success by translating their electronic Hatchimals into a series of micro-collectible Hatchimals CollEGGtibles, I expect we'll see some blind boxed miniature Crate Creatures down the line... perhaps even at Toy Fair.

Learn more at the official Crate Creatures Surprise! website.

*Note: Because these were released so close to Christmas 2017, much of the early shipments were scooped-up by third-party resellers that were flipping these for up to $100. Some folks assumed that was the actual retail price, and they were sorely mistaken.

James Zahn

James Zahn is best-known as The Rock Father™, a media personality, commentator, adventurer and raconteur. He is the Owner, Publisher, and Editor-in-Chief of THE ROCK FATHER™ Magazine. In January, 2019, after nearly a decade of publishing The Rock Father™ Magazine, he joined Adventure Media and Events as Senior Editor of The Toy Book—the leading trade publication for the toy industry since 1984, as well as The Pop Insider — a destination for all things pop culture, and The Toy Insider — the leading consumer guide for toys and games. He is also editor of The Toy Report, a weekly newsletter published by The Toy Book each Thursday. Zahn has over 27 years of experience in the entertainment, retail and publishing industries.

He regularly serves as a Brand Ambassador and spokesperson for several Globally-recognized pop culture and lifestyle brands in addition to consulting for a number of toy manufacturers. 

Creatively, James has directed/edited music videos, lyric videos, and album trailers for bands such as FEAR FACTORY, has appeared as an actor in feature films and commercials, written comic books, and performed in bands. He currently serves as an artist manager and video director for PRODUCT OF HATE, whose debut album was released by Napalm Records in 2016, distributed by ADA/Warner Music in the U.S. with Universal Music handling global. A new album has been completed and is set for release this year.

Zahn and/or his work have been featured in/on CNN, NBC, ABC, WGN, CBS, GCTN, G4, The Chicago Tribune, Forbes, MarketWatch, Reuters, BusinessWire, Fangoria, Starlog and more. He's appeared as a music expert on CNN's AC360 alongside Anderson Cooper, and has been interviewed by Larry King. In the past he served as a writer for the Netflix Stream Team,  Fandango Family and PBS KIDS, penned articles for Sprout and PopSugar, and was a contributor to Chicago Parent.

Learn more here

Connect with James on Facebook or Twitter.