Data science meets Shopkins

Data science meets Shopkins

This post was originally published on the IBM Center for Applied Insights website.  The CAI website was officially sunset on 4/15/16.  While it remains online, I’m moving some of my posts from the CAI site over here in case they decide to take the site offline at some point in the future.

Recently, I went to dinner with some coworkers, and they talked about how their daughters are both into Shopkins. Since I had no idea what Shopkins were, they explained to me that they’re little collectible figurines based on various food and home goods. An entire set would include about 150 figurines. And they’re sold “blind,” typically in two-packs, so you never know which figurines you’re purchasing.

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After a couple of quick Internet searches, I was floored by how popular these toys are. As an example, I came across this 58-minute video of somebody opening a case (30) of these two-packs. It has over 9 million views.  Let me say that one more time: an hour-long video of somebody doing nothing but opening up packages of Shopkins has over 9 million views.


So these toys are obviously really popular, but the most interesting part of this to me is the blind two-packs. This sales approach begs the question: how many packs need to be purchased to collect the entire set? Since they come in pairs, the bare minimum to collect all 150 Shopkins is 75 packs. But realistically, we know there are going to be some duplicates. You would need to purchase more packs if you want to collect all the figurines. But how many more exactly?

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