A Time for Toys

After this long, crazy year, ’tis finally toy season!

Although, in truth, ’tis toy season all year for me. I’ve been living in a “tiny toy bubble” because I’ve been working on new Toy Worlds.

If you’ve been watching Cosma for awhile, then you may have seen Toy Worlds@Cosma. It was a post that explained how I became an accidental miniaturist while creating an interface to this site in 2018. Those Toy Worlds are still featured on some pages on this site.

At the time I posted about Toy Worlds, I thought it was the end of my foray into tiny toy land …

I was wrong — it definitely was not!

Around the time that COVID-19 hit, I got an itch to create a series of five Toy World “galleries” to serve as interfaces for my M. E. Hopper site. One thing led to another, and I ended up creating another one to serve as an interface for my New Media Museum.

After I finished those, my tiny toy obsessed brain decided that I just had to use my newly honed Toy World building skills on a couple of more for my newly renovated Cosma site. If you’ve looked at it lately, you may have noticed that it looks different and there are new Toy Worlds distributed around the site.

My favorite is one called Gaia’s Greenhouse.

Click the 360° image below to explore this Toy World, click the menu in the upper right for controls and click “i” buttons on/off for links to experiences. Use “portals” to visit other Toy Worlds.

You can also explore it on Cosma or RoundMe.

So now, again, I believe building Toy Worlds is out of my system.

However, before putting them away altogether, I thought that I would share some fun things that I stumbled across in tiny toy land.

For starters, there was finding all of the objects. In the beginning, most of the tiny treasures featured in the Toy Worlds were things that I already owned or bought at Michael’s. There are also tons available for purchase if you Google “miniature,” and Amazon has scads under the category “miniature dollhouse furniture and accessories.” Then there’s the Etsy “miniature dollhouse furniture” source.

However, it’s far more engaging to explore dedicated sites like Little Shop of Miniatures, Superior Dollhouse Miniatures, The Little Dollhouse Company and Minimum World.

There are also great shops like the Earth and Tree Dollhouse and Miniature Shop. Here’s a walk-through of one of their houses.

At this point, you might be thinking “okey-dokey, this girl’s definitely went off of the deep end and descended down into full blown miniature mania.”

Believe it or not, I’m not that bad. I’ve got a fairly mild case relative to some others that I heard of during my tiny toy travels.

For example, I avoided falling into the the “5 Surprise Mini Brands” craze. If you’re not familiar with that one, here’s a brief clip from the YouTube channel Mini Mania and a New York Post article that will give you a sense of what that’s about.

What are ‘Surprise Mini Brands,’ the new toy craze selling out everywhere? (Hannah Frishberg, NY POST)

What’s more, that craze that I ducked is still mild compared to some other levels of miniature mania out there. Here is a New York Times article about some serious “miniacs.”
Miniacs Live in a Small, Small World (Abby Ellin, New York Times)

The article describes how Kate Ünver has made a career out of her obsession. Here’s a Buzz60 story about her blog The Daily Miniature and her book The Book of Mini.

Finally, Ünver’s miniature mania pales in comparison to that of Dan Ohlmann’s. Here’s a video about his Miniatures Collection at the Musée Miniature et Cinéma.

So you can see that my case of miniature mania is mild compared to that of people like Ünver and Ohlmann. Still, I confess to having developed a particular fondness for tiny books. I can get lost in drooling over Etsy’s “tiny books.”

Yet it turns out that even in this, I’m not that bad. I mostly just virtual window shop, but other folks take it to a whole ‘nother level. Here’s a video about how a tiny book that was written by Charlotte Bronte sold for almost a million dollars!

There are a surprising number of tiny book lovers, and there’s even a group called the Miniature Book Society. The Resources Page on their website gives a small glimpse into the scale of the numbers of people who take part in tiny book obsession.

So creating Toy Worlds has been an entertaining way to pass the time during this crazy year, but I really do believe that I’ve found my way to the end of the tiny toy tunnel.

I hope that you have enjoyed this vicarious tour through the tiny toy land. I also hope that you enjoy exploring the Toy Worlds that you will find on numerous pages on Cosma as well as my MEHopper and New Media Museum sites.

Finally, if you would like a bit more holiday fun, you may want to revist my last year’s post Santa’s Escapades!

Stay Healthy & Happy Holidays!

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