The sweet smell of playtime: Whiffer Sniffers, scented Groovy Girls & other scented toys
Remember scratch n’ sniff stickers? These prizes were the centerpiece of any ‘80s kid’s sticker collection, because they were ultimately so much more short-lived than their companions in a well-populated sticker book: those sweet scents were produced through a process called “micro-encapsulation,” which captured teeny, tiny whiffs of scent in little air-bubbles that would be broken when you scratched the sticker. Once you broke all those micro-capsules, the smell would be gone, and what was left behind was most-likely scratched and faded. That makes vintage scratch n’ sniff stickers catnip for collectors, who will shell out some serious money for a rare find!
Part of our job here at Magic Beans is to sniff out toy trends and make sure that our shelves are stocked with toys your kids will love, so we were pleased to find that scented playthings are making a major comeback! At Toy Fair this year, along with yet another Strawberry Shortcake reboot and the longtime favorite Smencils, we met the Whiffer Sniffers, a series of whimsical and weird characters made to hang on kids’ backpacks.
These kooky little plush critters resemble the familiar TY beanie clips, but they’re also scented, and their design leans more towards the humorous than the cutesy. Whiffer Sniffers have just as broad a range of smells as the classic scratch n’ sniff with much more longevity: they can hold their scent for almost three years! Kids can enjoy the mouth-watering sweet smell of pals like the cheery pink Bubbles (bubble gum), described as “one Bubble that can’t be burst” or the outdoorsy Jimmy S’More, or go savory with Tony Pepperoni or the mischievous Dilly Yo (who, in the video clip, is curiously undisturbed by the presence of his jarred brethren in the grocery store). And each package has a scratch-and-sniff panel that lets you sample the smell before you buy. (Because having all of these guys radiating their odors in a store display at once would smell pretty weird!)
The well-loved Groovy Girls series from Manhattan Toy is also headed in fragrant directions: the new Groovy Girls Style Scents dolls utilize Celessence technology to product long-lasting scent. It’s essentially the same technology as scratch n’ sniff stickers, just improved: the microcapsules are even smaller and more numerous, so Mia, Lilly, and Sadie (and their included pet pals) stay delicious-smelling for years.
The scented toy trend is also extending to baby toys this year: Vulli, the famous manufacturers of the beloved Sophie the Giraffe, are now offering vanilla-scented teething rings, made with the same safe and natural ingredients as Sophie. It just makes sense that baby would be extra-eager to stick something that smells delicious in her mouth, right? One bonus: a mom whose review we read of this product claimed that it gave her baby a “hint of vanilla breath.” Yum!
Finally, let’s not forget a brand that always uses a touch of scent to make their adorable dolls even sweeter: Corolle! This classic French baby doll manufacturer imbues every doll with a light signature scent of vanilla, which is added to the material used to make the doll’s body before it’s molded. Not only does every Corolle doll smell yummy as a result, but you’ll also notice what you don’t smell: that harsh plastic or rubber smell that a lot of cheaper dolls can have.
These scent-sational toys are all on our shelves or coming soon, and available at mbeans.com. Got any nostalgic memories of scented toys you’d like to share, or new scented toys your kids are clamoring for? Let us know in the comments section below!