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THE MOM SCENE: Tiny toys taking over


Sometimes, a kid just wants a huge box full of individually wrapped doll accessories.
Sometimes, a kid just wants a huge box full of individually wrapped doll accessories. - Heather Laura Clarke

Remember how Shopkins were super popular and parents were always complaining about spending $5 for a rubber avocado the size of a thumbnail? Well, Shopkins were only the beginning of the miniature craze, it seems.

Our daughter is about to turn seven, which feels frighteningly old because she’s our baby. She didn’t want anything in particular for her birthday and said she’d be happy with anything we chose.

Can you imagine?

No, for real, she took my husband to Walmart and proceeded to point to a bunch of toys and asked him to snap photos of it all for “ideas.”

When he showed me the photos, I rolled my eyes. It was all just so ... junky. It was like she’d haphazardly pointed to anything with the words “glitter,” “unicorn,” “slime,” “poop” or “cotton candy.” Even my husband, who’d been there in person, agreed she hadn’t put much thought into her ideas.

I remember being a kid and asking for a specific toy — usually a doll. I have vivid memories of getting a Darling Dreamer for Christmas when I was seven and a Baby Shivers for my eighth birthday. But our daughter has plenty of dolls already. What she wants, apparently, is an armful of overpriced junk that’s going to break or get lost soon after she opens it.

I did give in at Christmas. Her main gift from us was a huge box full of individually wrapped doll accessories, like tiny backpacks and tiny food and tiny dishes and tiny cleaning supplies. Yes, individually wrapped. It took me forever, but I knew that was a big part of the fun — unboxing each of the little items one by one.

I bought a lot of the items online, searching for Barbie accessories and American Girl accessories. Most pieces were from Amazon and a few were from Walmart. I also picked up miniature items locally at Michaels, Ardene and Dollarama, like erasers shaped like desserts and sushi that were perfectly sized for Barbie.

She loved her giant box of miniatures and the tiny toy craze is far from over.

For her birthday, she wants something called a Cotton Candy Cutie, which appears to be an inch-high plastic figure stuck inside a plastic lollipop filled with scented slime — all for the low, low price of $15. She wants ridiculous things with names like Num Noms, Smooshcakes and Pikmi Pops.

Yes, I’ll be wrinkling my nose as I add something called Poopsie Cutie Tooties to my cart, but I will be buying it.

I would prefer to buy her a doll, a nice Lego or Playmobil set, a set of books, a science kit or something else I’d consider a good gift. But what she wants is tiny bits of sparkly junk, so that’s what she’ll get.

After all, you only turn seven once and an original Baby Shivers doll is going for about $300 on eBay, so I guess I’m getting off easy!

Heather Laura Clarke is a freelance journalist who married her high school sweetheart. They moved from the city to the country, where they spend their days making messes and memories with their eight-year-old son and six-year-old daughter. Follow their family’s adventures over at www.HeathersHandmadeLife.com.

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