‘Here we go again.’
‘Here we go again.’

‘$30 for a piece of cardboard’

Little Shop was always going to be a hard act to follow.

Woolworths announced on Monday its answer to Coles' hugely popular collectable promotion, which wrapped up in September - a range of 12 buildable cardboard "Christmas Pop-Out" characters - and the reaction on social media was mixed.

Some praised the supermarket for going with recyclable material after criticisms of Coles' plastic products, but others weren't thrilled with the idea of cardboard collectables. Many simply felt they couldn't compete with the "cute" minis.

"No thanks, waiting for Coles to release round two," Tracy Leech wrote on Facebook.

"They could have at least been mini plastic decorations for the tree, cardboard won't last long," Kirina Blackaby wrote. Cin Culverson said, "Yeah no thanks, cardboard? It will last five minutes!"

Sian Mason said it was "fold-up cardboard crap that will be crushed and torn, I'd hardly say it competes" with Little Shop. "I was excited until I saw them," added Erin Paxinos. "$30 for a piece of cardboard," Brooklyn Crossley said.

Trent Thomas said he wanted them but "at the same time I am disappointed they are just cardboard". "Plastic figures would have been great," he wrote.

Not everyone was complaining. "All the furore over the plastic Coles ones, so Woolies does one in cardboard, but people not happy about it? Can't seem to please everyone," Ngaire Mackay said.

Tralisa Thorburn added, "Plastic? People (rightfully) whinge about the waste and environmental impact. Cardboard and fully recyclable? People whinge that they're not durable and won't last."

Others were excited, however. "They look cute. The grandkids will love them," Ainslie Collison said. "We are going to have to switch to Woolworths for the next couple of months," Elissa Walldorf said.

Despite the mixed reaction, one Woolworths employee predicted chaos at the checkout.

"Yay more reason to get abused this Christmas," she wrote. "Such a joyous season. I'm low-key excited but I know people go crazy for these things and already go crazy at us this time of year as it is."

Starting on Wednesday, shoppers will receive one character for each $30 they spend in-store or online. Three characters will be released each week for the next month.

"Christmas is all about spending quality time with family, friends and loved ones and this is a great way for everyone to get together to workshop, build and play with their favourite Christmas characters," Woolworths managing director Claire Peters said in a statement.

"We believe that kids, parents, grandparents and individuals will be captured by the wonder and imagination of the range and will find ways to make them their own this Christmas - whether that's as a place card for the dining table or an additional festive ornament around the Christmas tree."

Woolworths has previously enjoyed success with its animal cards and Marvel superhero discs collectable promotions. Chief executive Brad Banducci earlier this year admitted it was tough going without one when a competitor program like Little Shop was so successful.

"Were the numbers greater than we expected? Probably a little bit," he told analysts in August. The supermarket this month reported first-quarter comparable sales growth of 1.8 per cent, compared with 5.1 per cent at Coles.

Coles has indicated Little Shop will return in 2019. The program, run by marketing agency Unga, was credited with boosting sales of participating brands including White King and Messy Monkeys by up to 50 per cent.



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