Harumika. What is it? That was the question on the minds of most of the Go2Girlz who took part in our recent product testing program. We asked 100 Go2Girlz and their daughters to test out this new fashion-design toy in their homes and tell us what they thought. Most of our testing panel members were skeptical at first, although it seems that many of their girls were more enthusiastic, like Freda’s daughter, who received the package on her birthday (perfect!) “when I opened the package my daughter screamed, ‘oh my gosh this is so beautiful, I can make my own style outfits! Gail’s daughter also responded enthusiastically as she tells us, “my daughter said ‘wow–this is so cool!’”

Although the concept seems novel at first, playing with Harumika is amazingly simple and straightforward, as our Go2Girlz and their girls (and some boys, too!) soon found out. The mannequin pops into its base, and then you get busy designing outfits. Simply wrap the fabric swatches around the mannequin and tuck them into the channel in the back with a custom-designed tool. The channel is lined with soft plastic that holds the fabric securely in place, but not to worry, it’s very easy to remove it when you want to create a new outfit. The fabric swatches are endlessly reusable, and Harumika is compatible with any other small fabric remnants you may have around the house, so it’s easy to add on to this toy, too.

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Our Go2Girlz were absolutely unanimous in identifying the top benefit of Harumika: imaginative play. Most of our testers reported that their daughters spent hours (yes, hours) at a time designing outfits with their Harumika sets. Here’s what Mary, Go2Girlz member and mom of 2 had to say, “when I first looked at it I didn’t see it as being something that would hold a child’s attention for very long: was I wrong. I gave this product to my child yesterday when she told me she was bored…5 hrs later she was still sitting quietly playing with it.” In addition, our testers loved that once the packaging was open it was very simple for girls as young as six to play with Harumika successfully without Mom’s help. Here’s what Tina, mom of 1 had to say, “I love how easy it is for a child to use so my daughter was able to create things on her own while I made dinner. My only job with this toy was to take pictures of each new style that she created!”

In fact, only one of our 100 Go2Girlz product testing panel reported that her daughter didn’t like this toy. Many of the moms who tested Harumika reported that not only did their daughters love it, but their sons were intrigued to try it as well. Our testers pointed out that Harumika is a toy that appeals to a wide range of ages, with kids from 6 to 12 spending hours enjoying playing with it. More than one of our testers commented that it would make an excellent birthday present, commenting that the price point for the starter kits is very reasonable for such a versatile toy.

Several of the Go2Girlz commented that they’d like to see more fabric swatches in the starter kit, although more than one mentioned simply cutting small swatches from leftover fabric around home in order to make the toy even more versatile. One little girl was disappointed that the clothes she created couldn’t be used to dress her dolls with afterwards, but the overall feedback is that once children understand the purpose of the toy, they love to create fashions over and over again. Some of our testers mentioned that they’d like something to keep the pieces in – luckily Harumika makes some kits that include purses for this purpose, like the Harumika Fashion Show and Go Set.

Here’s a sample of what else the Go2Girlz had to say about Harumika:

I thought this was one of the most innovative toys I’ve seen in ages. My girls (9 & 6) both adored it and we’ve gotten hours upon hours of play value out of it. It has a great return appeal for them and after a week it hasn’t collected any dust. I must admit, I have spent a fair bit of time enjoying playing with it myself! – Katherine, mom of 2

I thought that this product was a very fresh and new idea. I loved the concept and knew that my daughter would love it too. – Jody, mom of 1

Very unique! Something I have never seen before! – Uzma, mom of 3

Initially I thought there was no way that my 10 year old would want to play with this for more than 5 minutes… boy was I ever wrong!!! – Yvonne, mom of 2

Well put together. A little girl’s dream to design their own clothes for their dolls without sewing etc. – Eileen, mom of 2

Wished it was around when I was young! – Lori, mom of 3

Very interesting and easy to manipulate – Michelle, mom of 4

We thought it looked really cool. I couldn’t get all the plastic off fast enough. – Rebecca, mom of 2

Encourages creativity in a really experimental way. Very versatile, lots of combinations. - Freda, mom of 2

It is easy and you can do it with your child. – Nicole, mom of 3

It promotes creativity (even my 10 year old son liked it and helped get creative.) There are endless combinations of designs. It was easy for a 7 year old to use. – Gail, mom of 2

It is great. Both my girls (8 and 6) love creating all the different styles. It is really easy to use even for little fingers. – Kelly, mom of 3

First off although it only came with three fabrics, I quickly went to my stash of odds and ends and found many more to add to what it comes with. That already was a huge plus. Secondly I loved that it can be styled in many ways. My daughter lives for toys that are multi purpose. It did not take long before ‘quinny’ (short of mannequin) made friends with her barbies. – Suzanne, mom of 1

Easy to use, safe and offers a lot of variety. – Sandy, mom of 3

Allows children to express their sense of style and uniqueness! – Uzma, mom of 3

There really isn’t anything else like it. My daughter thought it was very cool that she can design her own clothes. – Susan, mom of 1

I love the fact that you can just insert the fabric in the back easily and it stays put. The stickers add a little bling to the outfit. – Jennifer, mom of 3

After seeing my girls play with it, I think the fun thing for them is getting to create all sorts of different ‘looks’. The fun thing for me is that it is mess-free (no glue or tiny beads, etc) and it is a quiet, calming activity. – Nicole, mom of 2

The product itself is such a fabulous new idea. It takes on a whole new spin from my days of dressing barbie and her friends. – Margaret, mom of 1

Imagination, Imagination, Imagination! In order to even start to use it, you need to get your imagination going!! – Uzma, mom of 3

I think I have to buy more Harumika kits because my 2 sons were fighting to have a turn. – Ellen, mom of 3

  • Cilia

    Phenomenal Xmas gift for my stepdaughter!!
    http://www.harumika.ca/

  • spdls0215

    Perfect for my daughter! She’ll be celebrating her 7th birthday this November :)

  • pc167

    that’s a great birthday gift.

  • pc167

    it is a perfect gift for my little one, that’s great.

  • MRstester

    it looks like such a fun product!

  • MrsTester

    This look like such a cool product!

  • hana.z

    I recommand this product to any little girl.My daughter loves it!Easy and simple to use.

  • Linda

    This looks like such a fun product!

  • Alana

    We received this just when my 6 yr old was home sick for a week from school. She did not have much energy and wasnt able to do much. I pulled out this product test, and we both had fun! Harumika is a great idea. She had a bunch of fun playing and creating outfits and it is so easy for her to use the tool to push the fabric in the slot and get creative. She currently has her newest creation on display on her shelf in her room.

  • julyprincess

    My mom gave my daughter spare pieces of fabric that she used while sewing clothes at home and they worked perfectly! This is great.

  • Mary Choquette

    This is an great toy for girls. There are lots of things out there for girls to “draw” fashion designs. And they like to dress up their Barbies. But this toy combines the best of both worlds. They get to make fashion designs with real fabric.

  • lucy

    I wish this was around when I was a kid. this is just great!

  • Diane

    This was a really amazing product…my daughter loved it, and I’ve since bought one for a birthday gift.

  • Mare Bare

    This product is awesome. My 8 year old daughter loves to draw and design clothes. She loved being able to create the actual dress out of fabric.
    Great for the imagination!

  • spiritedside

    Great product that teaches children how to use their imaginations. The dresses my daughter was able to create were simply adorable.

  • ssweetland

    This is a great little product that encourages creativity and imagination…what more could you want?!!

  • liang

    my daughter is 7.It’s great!

  • http://www.bccropforkids.ca Mary

    My 10 year old daughter loved this product and proudly displays the “dress form” wearing her designs on her dresser. She keeps asking when she can get more kits.

  • Barb

    Both of my daughters loved this especially my eight year old she has been using left over pieces of fabric and ribbon to make even more designs. Thank you for the opportunity to test this product.

  • pinkcandie

    What a great product! My six-year-old daughter was so excited about it, she took it to school and to cheerleading before she opened it to show it off. I loved that it was easy to open. My daughter and her friend spent hours playing and incorporated other items from around the house to use in their designs. My sister is going to purchase another set or two and join in the fun with them.
    Its glamour, made easy and fun and brings out our inner desinger in all of us ~ regardless of age.

  • Baxter4939

    When I first saw the product I wasn’t sure if it would be overly interesting. I was pleasantly surprised. My daughter, age 6, and I played for a while with it and she has asked to take it to school. She was disappointed that we couldn’t transfer the clothing onto her existing dolls but she soon began to think of ways that we could – tape, velcro, etc. She asked that I find more fabric for it.

  • tabby72

    Though at first I thought Harumika would be hard to use, I was pleasantly surprised to find that this toy was a breeze to play with. With no difficulty at all, my seven-year-old daughter was able to create outfits, and spent about an hour with it the first night. She has returned to it several times! We also like the website, which is quite engaging.

  • Brenda

    I just received this yesterday Feb. 2nd. My girls aged 10 and 12 are loving it. First they faught over it so I had to take it away.
    My 12 year old wants to be a fashion designer when she grows up and this inspires her so much. It is so very wonderful to see them both put their imaginations to work.
    Need to get another one A.S.A.P

  • Melanie Isaak

    My 7yr old daughter really liked making her own designs and spent a couple of hours experimenting. I even had a go. Would by it for a present no trouble because it helps with there imagination and motor skills.

  • Ruth

    We got it yesterday and play with it right away, my daughter is 9 years old and we loves it (both me and my daughter). Combination of both of us, we came out with more than 30 designs.

  • Jody

    A very creative toy that encourages children to use their imagination…there are too few toys like this nowadays!!

  • Sarah

    The product was interesting and it was a totally different concept, except my daughter did take to it. She played with it for a few minutes and then was bored.
    Perhaps a more artistic child would enjoy the product.

  • Lynne

    My 10-year-old daughter saw the member email this morning and fell in love. This fashion set is the perfect toy for her. My daughter is at that awkward age where she still wants to play with toys but most toys are too immature. This toy is the perfect combination of both. It looks like so much fun! It will make the perfect gift for her to enjoy over March Break!

  • nancy

    my daugher loved it, took it to school to show her friends and they now want one

  • Kelly

    I have two daughters, one 11 and one 14 and they both loved it! I was kind of shocked that a 14 year old would but she’s quite creative and likes designing all sort of things. They told me since they’re too old for Barbies this is a great substitute! lol Al in all they gave this product two thumbs up!

  • callista

    wow this toy makes me wish i was a kid again:D

  • momof2

    What a fun toy. It allows for your child’s inner diva to come out and play in a safe environment. Lots of independent, creative, fun can be had without the need for help from a meddling mom!

  • Gina

    it was a total hit! My children love the fact that they had countless ideas and scenarios to dress up the Harumika. I already bought another two sets, they are all great!!

  • bambene

    My daughter still enjoys after a month. She get tiered of the toys so quickly and this one she play every day the mannequin stays in her dressing table. I cut and gave a lot of scrap fabrics for her to use with the mannequin. She dresses the mannequin and pick out her clothes to match for the following day. It save both of us time in the morning. Her friend wanted one for her birthday and we got it from Toys ‘R’ us for $34 + tax, which I think reasonable.

  • unicornkim

    My Children loved Harumika, with the hours they have spent playing with Harumika I think I might have a fashion designer in the family. It is nice to see toys that allow children to explore their own ideas.

  • http://www.urbanmoms.ca/cool_products/2010/02/harumika.html Jennifer

    My daughter can’t wait to get more. She loves creating new outfits over and over again. This toy provides her hours of fun and a great use of her imagination and creativity.

  • Kerrie

    My daughter (12) wasn’t really a big fan because it was a little too young for her.

  • Ellen

    This is so simple, yet such a great idea. All 3 of my kids love it and it isn’t “just for girls”.

  • amydawn

    My 7 year old daughter fell in love with this Harumika toy the minute she cracked open the package. She has since created dozens of outfits! She has also created new material pieces with her grandmother! What an innovative and immaginative toy!! We think its pretty amazing!

  • akskathy

    My daughter (who just turned 6) asked for another one for her birthday! I was curious to see what the retail price was and was happy to see Toys R Us had it for $34. The set in the picture above is well worth the $34. I also liked that it had an online site that you could do more outfit creating. It is a welcome addition to her playtime.

  • Sue

    My daughter (who I didn’t think was ever into fashion) likes to quietly play with this after dinner every evening as her down time. It’s a great, mellow way to end the day. She can’t wait to save her allowance to add more sets.

  • Kim

    My 7 yr old loved this toy. She spent hours playing with it the first day she received it and still spends about an hour a night creating new fashions, we have added to the versatility of this toy by combining our own fabrics with the ones sent so she has much more product to work with. She takes pictures of all her fashions and we will spend a rainy day sometime in the future creating an album of her creations. Thanks for the opportunity to test this great product

  • Shauna Hepner

    My daughter is still playing away and wants to have a “Fashion” party for her birthday where all the girls get that as instead of a goodie bag and they play it together!

  • OakWing

    So simple, it allows the child to become a designer without the frustration of learning to sew first. And it always turns out looking nice!

  • Cyndi MacKenzie

    Thank you for letting us test this product. My daughter sits for hours playing with it. She also has her friends jealous–they are all asking where to get one of their own!

  • pinkmac85

    Fantastic idea! We loved it! I love how you could even use your own fabric and just cut pieces to make it work! 2 thumbs up!!

  • Kath

    This is an amazing toy – at first you think “what the…?” and then it hits you: this is GENIUS! Way to go, Harumika!

  • http://fredamans.blogspot.com Freda Mans

    This is a fantastic product and my daughter loves it!!! We had a blast creating a design together. Now she wants to get more to try some alone!

  • Eryn

    My daughter loved Harumika. She is now saying she would like to be a fashion designer!

  • Naomi

    As I commented before, this was nice toy for girls.
    My daughter loves it! And I will give this product for her friends as birthday present.

  • yvonne.k

    If only I could go back into my childhood!

  • http://walktorememberhfx.ca Natashia

    I love this product!I recommand this product to any little girl!Fun,filled day with many different styles and fabrics!

  • Tracey

    Makes for a great birthday gift!!!

  • courtreporter

    This was fantastic. My daughter loved it. And we had fun doing it together.

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