For years there have been a variety of products and kits out there that allow kids to customize and color their own… whatever. We’ve had some here (several variations of purses come to mind), and while I’ve seen some of the stuffed offerings in the “Arts & Crafts” sections of our frequently-visited local retail emporiums, I’d never done any with the girls until now – largely because I’d always thought of them as a “one-and-done” kind of deal. Inkoos are The Bridge Direct‘s long-running series of color-and-create stuffed creatures, and the selling point for me (even though ours were sent for review) is that they’re machine-washable. They’re touted as “Draw, Wash and Redo!” – but how well they work? That’s what I was aiming to find out… with The Rock Daughters as my usual testers. Our subjects: FROZEN’s Anna & Elsa, each presented as part of the Inkoos Color ‘N Create collection, and the Color ‘N Glow Bob the Minion (of Universal Pictures & Illumination Entertainment’s forthcoming DESPICABLE ME prequel, MINIONS).
Inkoos Color ‘N Create Anna & Elsa: Following their usual play pattern when it comes to Walt Disney Animation Studios’ FROZEN, Adalyn quickly took on Elsa, while little Finley tackled Anna. Each of these plush pillow characters has weighted feet (they stand well), durable outer fabric, strategically-placed metallic thread and some removable, sticky-backed jewels for added Arendelle-style sparkle. The girls dug right in, with Addie taking a more careful approach, and Finn going all “Jackson Pollock” on it with the included trio of three washable markers, each.
Inkoos Color ‘N Glow Bob the Minion: I know a thing or two about MINIONS, so Bob became my challenge, and I think I did pretty good with him. Addie (5½) even took the photos of me to accompany this article, and she said she was impressed. Like his FROZEN counterparts, Bob has the same construction and metallic thread, but his special feature is that the whites of his eyes actually do glow-in-the-dark… and they glow really well (unlike other “glow” products we’ve seen). My word of caution is to NOT color Bob’s eyes, which I will discuss a bit more shortly.
How Do They Wash? With our washer set to warm/cold and a dash of our usual detergent (we use Earth Friendly Products’ ECOS here), I placed all three of our Inkoos inside of a pillowcase, following the recommended instructions. It’s also important to note that while the markers are “washable,” you should always wash your Inkoos separately from your other laundry. The only thing I was a little bit worried about here is that Addie decided to go crazy with the black marker on Bob’s eyes – which are white, but they’re the glow-in-the-dark fabric, so it’s a little different…
One cycle through, and everything came out perfectly as advertised… except for poor Bob’s eyes, which had faint purple lines where the black marker had been. I grabbed my Dreft Stain Remover Pen (disclosure: I have done some Brand Ambassador work for Dreft) and scrubbed the whites a bit. It was looking a lot better, but one more cycle through was needed…
Boom! This is one clean Minion, and I’m sure that Gru would be pleased!
In addition to these characters, the Inkoos Color ‘N Create collection also includes FROZEN’s Olaf, a variety of Disney Princesses such as Rapunzel (TANGLED) and Ariel (THE LITTLE MERMAID). Minion Stuart will also join the Color ‘N Glow assortment (MSRP: $14.99 each), while smaller, travel-size versions of many of these characters will soon be available as part of the Color “N Go line, which will carry a suggested retail price of just $7.99