With the advent of COVID, social distancing and travel restrictions, in a lot of ways the world got smaller last year. People’s lives became more self-contained and, in some ways simpler.

So, it’s perhaps fitting that the latest toy trends for miniatures has taken off with toys literally getting smaller as well.

Teeny, tiny collectable ‘minis’ as they are known, have been a huge hit in Australia and the rest of the world – not only with kids but with adults as well.

Kids have always been fascinated by miniature things. In his book In Miniature: How Small Things Illuminate The World, Simon Garfield theorises that miniature worlds give kids a sense of control and a taste of what it’s like to interact with things as an adult.

Meanwhile, adults have always loved the ‘cuteness factor’ of miniature stuff. Most recently, French fashion designer Simon Porter Jacquemus released a much fawned over miniscule 9cm handbag, and Nutella scored a win with its mini Nutelino jars – even though they contain just two spoonfuls of hazelnut spread.

It’s a whole new (tiny) world.

However, the mini craze is actually nothing new. In fact, tiny books with microscopic text were all the rage in the 16th Century. More than 500 years later, in a world first, Coles collaborated last year with mega popular children’s Treehouse authors Andy Griffiths and Terry Denton to create 8cm tall mini versions of their books, free with every purchase over $30.

What’s said to be fuelling the current craze is the amount of engagement online. Instagram page ‘The Daily Miniature’ has more than 200,000 followers and features everything from mini lampshades to mini toothpaste tubes.

In particular, there’s been enormous interest from kids in new social media giant Tik Tok’s pages. One account – Zuru’s Mini Brands – showcases its mini collectibles videos, with over 300,000 followers.

Kids are amassing whole armies of tiny toys … and loving it!

Another big appeal factor is that we’re all more marketing savvy these days and into brands. Kids are these days more aware of what products their parents are buying and whether it’s a ‘good brand’ or not. We are now at the point where a tiny box of branded pasta is considered a fun thing by a kid, and a make-believe doll’s tea party with generic wooden biscuits, just doesn’t cut it.

If you’re still not sure what all the fuss is about, check out these little beauties below …