Zoobles! is a cute, sugary toyline created by Spin Master in August 2010 which was considered as a Spin-Off of the Bakugan toyline. They consist of a wide variety of sphere shaped characters that roll up into a ball to travel from place to place. Each Zoobles lives in a unique Happitat. Once a Zooble comes in contact with the hot spot on its Happitat, it pops open transforming into a unique character. The Happitat acts as an activation point to make Zoobles "spring to life" and also houses them for when they sleep at night. Each Happitat is unique to the particular Zooble who occupies it, but functions universally for all Zoobles. Zoobles have multiple points of articulation for playability, and even blink their eyes while you pet them. Each one possesses a unique set of characteristics based on their individual personality and location within Zooble Isle. To distinguish each Zooble (aside from visual differences) they have all been individually named and numbered so children are able to keep an inventory of their collection.
The entire toyline is later released in Japan by Sega Toys in March 17, 2011. The Japanese release has a bit of changes in the original version, while incorporating both candy and sweets themes into the characters and toys. In addition, Recipe Cards, special cards which had the same purpose as the Happitats were also included in each release. However, some of the playsets that were released in Japan weren't available in the American versions.
In September 2021, this toyline has gotten a Continuity Reboot that takes on a more modern and trendy look, possibly due to the success of recent girls' toylines such as L.O.L. Surprise!. Alongside the regular Zoobles, this incarnation also includes more humanoid characters called Z-Girls, which have three forms rather than two thanks to a gimmick that makes them switch between three different faces: a ball form and an animal form, which both have an animalistic face, and a human form with a human face.
Tropes used in this series:
- Amazing Technicolor Wildlife: OH GOD!
- Ambiguously Human: The Z-Girls from the 2021 reboot, as they present both humanoid and animalistic characteristics.
- Animated Adaptation: Dong Woo Animation released an Animated Series in SBS before landing onto the toy's official Japanese Website and soon in TV Tokyo on February 2012.
- Art Evolution: Compare all versions, then you'll see the major difference. Good luck not getting Epileptic Trees though.
- Art Shift:
- Well this is present to all versions. Since the original art of the western version may not appeal to Japanese kids due to the more goofy, cartoonish look, Sega twist things a bit and made it cuter, anime-like, and more appealing. They get merits for once.
- The 2021 reboot surely takes on the cutesy appearance its East Asian predecessor had in its own official art.
- Canon Discontinuity: In the Western Version, the Zoobles live in a tropical island called Zooble Isle, while in the Japanese Version, the Zoobles live in Candy Land (not to be confused with this one).
- Continuity Reboot: The Zoobles!: Pop Your World! line.
- Expy: All the Zoobles were actually based on the Wontu design, a character from the Bakugan series.
- Gotta Catch 'Em All: There are 552 Zoobles (Counting the East Asian-exclusive and 2021 reboot ones) to buy and collect.
- Little Bit Beastly: The Z-Girls, as girls who sport hood-like features with animal ears.
- Scenery Porn: Very rare in the western toyline. The backgrounds in the toys were well done.
- The whole toyline itself is a cutesy, cute-critter version of Bakugan. The Japanese version just blatantly makes everything sense. The series received one of its own in the Bakugan reboot, with the bear-themed Cubbo having a similar transformation and aesthetic.
- The toyline may be inspired by the much older Popples, as they're both made up of cute critters that can curl up into a ball.
- Sphere Factor
- Sugar Bowl: It's a given in all incarnations of this toyline, but it is taken Up to Eleven and literal with Candy Land and the East Asian releases.
- Suspiciously Similar Substitute: The East Asian version of the toys.
- Transformation Is a Free Action / Be the Ball: The Zoobles themselves can actually curl up into their ball forms whenever if they travel in long distances, expressing their emotions or anything else in between.
- Voluntary Shapeshifter: The Z-Girls can take on a more animalistic form as they please.