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Stretchkins Reviews

Stretchkins Reviews

Stretchkins are life-size plush, stretchable toys which can be worn for a variety of playtime activities. Below are my observations on the product.

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About Stretchkins

Stretchkins slip over the child’s feet and hands and appear to mimic the child’s every movement. The advertising promotes the product as a way to make exercise fun for children. Stretchkins come in six designs: Playful Puppy, True Blue Elephant, Pretty Unicorn, Striped Tiger, Red Dragon, and Jumping Frog.

The official website is stretchkins.com, which was registered in May 2012.

stretchkins website december 2014

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles were added to the Stretchkins website in 2014.

stretchkins

In this June 2014 screenshot, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles were not shown on the official website.

How much do Stretchkins cost?

When you order online, Stretchkins are $19.95 plus $7.95 shipping for a total of $27.90. A vague $1 “web service fee” is added to all orders, bringing the grand total to $28.90. You can add a mini Stretchkin and DVD for another $6.95 shipping.

TMNT Stretchkins are available for $29.95 plus $7.95 shipping.

As of late 2014, Stretchkins is widely available in stores such as Walmart or As Seen on TV stores for about $20 for the “classic” Stretchkins, or about $30 for Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle varieties.

Classic Stretchkins

The original lineup of stretchkins included Pretty Unicorn, Striped Tiger, Jumping Frog, Red Dragon, True Blue Elephant, and Playful Puppy. These designs are still available. The Striped Tiger and Red Dragon are only available online.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

In mid-2014, Stretchkins added four Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles characters to their catalog. You can now purchase Leonardo, Donatello, Michelangel, and Raphael. These cost $29.95 each, plus shipping.

You can also get a “free” headband and wristband when you order one of these designs, for an additional $4.95 shipping. It is possible to opt out of the headband and wristband.

Hello Kitty and Batman

The website lists two Hello Kitty and one Batman Stretchkin, but they are listed as sold out. We have not yet seen these designs in stores.

Television Commercial

Below is an ad for Stretchkins which has been airing since 2013:

Stretchkins Observations

At first glance Stretchkins look, well, strange. This blog described it as “wearable animal carcasses,” and the television commercial above is almost unwatchable to adults.

That said, young children aren’t bothered by the “weirdness” of the product or the sappy television ad. And, while the ads show older children playing with the product, it is likely best suited for younger kids in the pre-school to early school range (perhaps 4 through 7).

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Surprisingly, Stretchkins reviews online are somewhat scarce. Amazon readers give it generally high marks, but it isn’t a large pool of reviewers. The primary complaints I’ve seen bemoan slow shipping when ordering online, and a few customers have said the the product ripped at the seams. Purchasing locally will eliminate the slow shipping complaint, and would make returns in the case of ripped seams easier.

Both Ripoff Report and Pissed Consumer have pages dedicated to the confusing or questionable ordering process found on the Stretchkins website. These potential problems can be avoided by simply purchasing the product locally.

I spoke with a local As Seen on TV store manager about Stretchkins, and she stated that the product had a relatively low return rate and that customers had expressed positive overall remarks about the product to her.

What may seem annoying or weird to an adult may not be the case in a child’s eyes, lest we forget such characters as Elmo or the Teletubbies.

Alternatives to Stretchkins

Due to the unusual nature of this product, there really aren’t any similar products available. Obviously, if you aren’t interested in the exercise aspect of Stretchkins, any large plush toy would be a suitable alternative. Or, if you are more interested in giving your child an exercise toy, there are countless options available in that category as well. This is the only product I’ve seen which combines the features of a plush animal with an exercise toy.  Of course it’s only a matter of time before a knock-off or competing As Seen on TV distributor releases something similar.

Bottom Line

While Stretchkins may look strange to adults, young children seem to like the product. Despite the portrayal of older children using Stretchkins in advertising, this product seems best suited to younger children. I always recommend purchasing locally to avoid shipping charges and delays, and fortunately Stretchkins is available in stores.

Updated December 20, 2014
Originally published June 2014

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@accroya

James White specializes in internet hoaxes, travel, product reviews, and social media.

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