Thursday, May 30, 2024


 Back in January, when I went in search of Miniverse Lifestyle balls, I joined a Facebook buy, sell and swap group in the hopes of completing my collection faster, and at a lower price than buying the balls retail.

And once I'd completed my collection, I decided to stay on so I'd be alerted if more items were released (which have been, but I'm only interested in a couple of the pieces so am holding off making a decision until I see if they're released in Australia).

Yesterday someone posted in the group about a new home series by a different company, Mini Brands, and based on their photos I was intrigued, especially as someone else posted that they were mainly 1/12 scale.

Some research last night caused me to stare into the fridge and pantry, decide I could sacrifice some of next week's grocery budget, take an early (and long) lunch break today to scoot down the hill to Kmart and buy a couple of the balls to see for myself if the series was as good as it looked.

I bought 3 balls, feeling a bit adrift as there were no cheat sheets that I could find to indicate what was in them, so had to be content with some gentle shaking to make sure they all sounded different.

Surprise number one was that each ball contained 5 sealed bags: as a blind-ball beginner when I started buying Miniverse, I'd assumed that all balls contained just one thing. This made the $12 cost much more palatable as, divided by 5, each mini cost just $2.40.

Surprise number 2 (as I hit my one and only duplicate across all 15 items in 3 balls), was that there seemed to be no rhyme nor reason for what was included in each ball. Again, having started with Miniverse, I'd assumed there was a theme.

Surprise number 3 was how well-made and detailed the items in my balls were for the price. And here I have to confess that I didn't think to take detailed photos while I still had light, especially as several items came in boxes that included the standard custom-designed packaging you see in full-sized appliance boxes: I hope to get to that tomorrow.

And not really a surprise, but a disappointment especially as one of the options was a Poäng chair and footstool, the furniture pieces I got weren't 1/12 scale.

Here's what my 3 balls got me (and how they're described in the accompanying leaflet: I do like that they give you an idea of how often the items might turn up):

Ball 1

Masterchef frying pan (Ultra rare: not bad for the first cab off the rank, and might be useful for next year's club project)

Cupcake pan (common, good scale)

Ice tray with ice (common, good scale)

Shell armchair (rare, feels like 1/24 scale, which pleases a friend I offered it to greatly)

One-twenty fourth scale modern miniature armchair with shell-like back, held in a hand.

Egg carton (common, good scale).

One-twelfth scale carton of eggs displayed on a hand.

Ball 2

Small cupboard (luxury, feels like 1/24 scale but I suspect I can use it as desk-top storage)

One-twenty fourth scale modern miniature cupboard held between 2 fingers.
KitchenAid food processor (ultra rare, looks like it's good scale)
Bar chair (common, 1/24 scale but perhaps I can do something with it?)
Egg carton (common, good scale: my first and only repeat)
Garbage bin (rare, probably 1/24 scale but could work as a small bin in 1/12).

Ball 3

KitchenAid Espresso machine (ultra rare, 1/12 scale and I am swooning over the fact that not only is the packaging showing like it's recycled, the tamper and jug are included in separate packaging when you open the box)
Air diffuser (common, 1/12 scale)
Black and Decker iron (rare, good 1.12 scale)
Makeup stool (ultra rare, definitely 1/24 scale)
Sistema bento lunch box (rare, 1/12 scale and makes my little Kiwi heart happy to see a New Zealand company included in an international product)
One-twelfth scale modern miniature bento box held between 2 fingers.
My final reaction?

Oh my lord: I wanted to leap back onto Mickey and head back down the hill to buy the rest of the box at Kmart.

Then I had a stern talking to myself about being responsible apparently-old person (according to my work), and having insurance on my scooter which means that I can't take it out more than twice a week on average, and maybe I had beginner's luck, and they might still be there next pay day and then perhaps I could survive on beans and rice for a few weeks, Or months.

Oh dear.

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