All about Shoezies

February 17th, 2010

Shoezies were a line of miniature collectible shoes by Hasbro. They debuted at the February 2001 Toy Fair in New York City, according to a source at About.com’s doll collecting site.

At $4.99 a pair, Shoezies came in six collections, with six different pairs in each collection, for a total of 36 pairs.  “Girls’ Night Out,” “Steppin’ Lively,” and “She’s Got Style” collections came out in April, 2001, while “Big Night Out,” “Stars Are Out,” and “Sittin’ Pretty” showed up in stores in July.

Styles included clogs, slides, sneakers, roller blades, pumps, Mary Janes, and other dress-up or dress-down styles. Each pair of Shoezies came in an appropriately scaled shoebox with tissue paper, just like regular-sized shoes. The shoes themselves were molded out of plastic in exquisite detail, with distinct lefts and rights, laces, and texturing. Tread patterns were individualized for each pair of shoes, though all pairs had a five-petaled flower design on the bottom to signify that they were official Shoezies. See my Flickr sets, linked at right, for pictures of Shoezies.

There was also other Shoezies merchandise besides the mini shoes themselves. The Shoezies Collector’s Book allowed Shoezies owners to keep track of their many pairs, while the Shoezies Showplace provided shelf space.

With Shoezies, Hasbro targeted girls between eight and eleven for two major reasons, which I pulled from an article on Kidscreen.

1. There is supposedly an innately female fascination with footwear. “Girls love to wear and collect shoes, and we’re trying to capture this pastime through Shoezies,” said Valerie Jurries, director of girls toys at Hasbro.

2. There is a huge market for “finger toys.” Boys play with little skateboards, cars, and bikes, pushing them around with their fingers, and these “finger toys” represented a $225 million industry when Shoezies were introduced, according to the Kidscreen article. Hasbro wanted to cash in by developing a girls’ counterpart to such toys, as this New York Times article mentions.

Shoezies did well enough so that knock-offs were made [see my page about Fashion Express], but they are no longer being made today. If you want to purchase your own, try auction sites or classified Web sites.

Though they didn’t go over big the first time, Shoezies have a second life among some doll enthusiasts as footwear for their 1:6 action figures.