Emojis have experienced quite a transformation in the past few years. From mere text symbols, they have become popular characters that are instantly recognized by people spanning the globe. The appeal of emojis has leaked into various forms of media and merchandise, toys and games chief among them. Emojis have become so popular that even iconic companies such as Crayola have released stamping sets containing the symbols, Pepsi is printing them on their bottles and cans, and merchandise ranging from backpacks to t-shirts features them. A company known as Fun 2 Play Toys has recently joined this trend by releasing a number of small collectible toy lines--under the umbrella title of "Emojiez"--that were directly inspired by emojis.

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Inspiration and review 

The “Emojiez” series is very broad and includes several specific lines. Plushi Palz are eight plush toys rendered to look like classic #Emoji characters that include clips which make it easy to decorate your backpack, suitcase, room or more. Squishiez are miniature plastic toys that, true to their names, are squishy and modeled after the best known and most well-loved emojis. Eraserz is yet another series that is based on the classic characters although they serve a functional purpose as working erasers. Amid the popularity of classic emojis, some creative individuals have decided to expand the brands by offering unusual items such as SlapBrandz--that function as wearable bracelets--and, most creatively, Buddiez. Out of all the emoji series, the Buddiez are certainly the most unique since they feature a line of twelve original characters that come complete with cards containing tongue-in-cheek names and clever personality descriptions.

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For example, "Buster" is an emoji who sits upon a LOL symbol. According to his biography, he wants to be a stand-up comedian but has difficulty controlling his bladder. Meanwhile, Romeo represents heart emojis and constantly looks love struck whilst money-symbol emoji "Donny" bears more than a passing resemblance to Donald Trump. 

Interview and aspirations 

Many of the characters featured in the Emojiez series were a direct result of a brainstorm session in the office of the toy company. “Several of us started joking around with ideas of what bodies would look like to match each emoji face,” said Evert Weenink, the co-President of Fun 2 Play Toys. “We discovered that by giving them bodies, we gave each character a full personality. When we shared the character ideas with friends, it caused everyone to laugh and some even related to different characters. Personally, my favorites are Smelvin and Ralph.  Every time I see them I can't help but laugh - it never gets old! Who doesn't like a pile of poo?” Given the success of the Emojiez line, Fun 2 Play Toys is planning to release many more items in the near future.

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“We already have designed over a dozen brands and have many more in the works and also a focus on more Smelvin products,” said Evert Weenink. “Series Two is just launching with another twelve funny and adorable characters within Series Three and Series Four planned for spring and summer of 2017. We see a lot of potential for these lines because smart devices are here to stay so the trend will only become more and more of our daily pop-culture.” #Toys & Games