Lost Kitties Collector's Guide Lost on Non-Collectors

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I grew up in an era where baseball cards were things to chase, where sealed packs kept you from knowing what you were going to get. The cards smelled like bubblegum and the bubblegum tasted like cardboard.

So the "mystery package" concept isn't new to me as a collector. But the "mystery toy" package is something of a more recent development (said mystery toys found in cereal and Cracker Jack boxes notwithstanding). Hot Wheels has their mystery car concept, and Zerboz delivered mystery plastic superheroes for a while.

The most recent development in this collectible craze is Lost Kitties, from Hasbro. I know this because I have the LOST KITTIES COLLECTOR'S GUIDE, written by Maggie Fisher with design work by Hasbro. That is, from this book's title, I know there are these things called Lost Kitties and that they can be collected. As to how well I am guided in that effort, well, that's another matter.

The Lost Kitties are grouped in this guide into hashtag cliques. There's the #IFIFITS, the #NOMS, the #ADORBZ. You get the idea. The general je ne sais quoi of each cat determines the category their category. However, it doens't always work. For instance, Cheesy is a Lost Kitty who has a love of pizza. One would expect this to put him in the #NOMS category. But he's an #IFIFITS, because his head is stuck through a hole in a slice of pizza.

The guide takes you through 180 of these unique individual cartoon kittens, and is followed up by a few pages of kitten memes--memes involving the cartoon drawings, not actual photos of cats doing incredibly cute things, which is what makes a cat meme work.

You may have noticed I said this guide is of cartoon kittens. And yet, it's a collector's guide. That's what sent me having to do research. Don't worry, I'm a writer. We live to do research. What was a Lost Kitty and why would I collect them? And how could I collect them using this guide?

As it turns out, Lost Kitties are toy figurines with accessories, available at your local Walmart or Target, or online. I would not have known this from this collector's guide, because the guide does not provide even one photoraph anywhere in the book. Indeed, there's not even an introductory paragraph or a back cover description that informs me in any way that LOST KITTIES is a toy line. This seems to me to be a greatly missed opportunity. Yes, someone who finds Lost Kitties in the toy aisle may look for a book to help them complete their collection; but someone who finds a book isn't necessarily going to be someone who lives for research -- they have a book in their hands, the research should already be in it.

If you are already collecting Lost Kitties, then you will enjoy the details of each cat's personality traits and the cute cartoon representations of each one. If you are not, or are unfamiliar with the toy fad, you may still enjoy the drawings but you will not develop nearly the same attachment.

(Other LOST KITTIES books include Level 3 chapter books that should surely be sought out by the younger collectors. Any time you can turn the love of one thing into a love of reading, parents, you should go for it!)

3.5 / 5.0