Coles, a grocery chain in Australia, ran a promotion in August and September. People purchasing $30.00 AUD received a blind-boxed miniature of a product sold at the store. There were 30 miniatures, plus rare accessories like branded baskets, aprons, carts, etc. People went wild for the minis, not only in Oz, but around the world, and Ebay sellers did a brisk business in secondhand minis.
I, of course, being an aficionado of small things in the 1:6 scale range, perked up when I heard about Coles Little Shops. The inclusion of Nutella in the minis sealed my interest. I’m not really a fan of particular brands, but Ferrero Nutella is one of them. I have not acquired any Nutella in 1:6 scale, however, mostly because I didn’t want to sculpt its distinctive jar shape. When I saw that Coles had reproduced the iconic Nutella container and the packaging label in minuscule detail, I jumped on it.
In comparison to the premier 1:6ish scale products made by Rement, which are meticulously molded and painted, often with openable packages, Coles Little Shops are simpler. As duplicates of exterior packaging only, they are either paper or plastic packages filled with foam for shape, or they are single-color pieces of stiff, brittle plastic. Scale varies wildly among the 30 products. Daily Juice, eggs, Leggo, for example, are good for 1:6 scale, while Nutella, Milo, and Colgate look like larger 1:6 scale containers you’d buy at a bulk store…or 1:4 scale. Vicks and John West seem closest to 1:3 scale. It seems very strange that the promotion didn’t just pick a scale and go with it.
The advantage that the Coles Little Shops have over Rement is the fact that they’re officially licensed by certain brands, so they look exactly like the real things sold in Oz. For example, if you squint hard enough at the Colgate, you can see the toll-free informational hotline number for Australia and New Zealand if you want to call someone up to talk toothpaste!
My favorites are Nutella, Colgate, Daily Juice, Mount Franklin, Coles eggs, Pantene, Leggo, and Chobani. These all work really well with the solid, simple design of the minis. Colgate, Daily Juice, Mount Franklin, Coles eggs, and Leggo are all instantly identifiable, even if you don’t know the brands, so they’re very satisfying aesthetically. As for Nutella, Pantene, and Chobani, they’re recognizable as branded products that are either never produced in 1:6 scale form or are produced rather unrecognizably. When was the last time you ever saw decent yogurt in close to 1:6 scale?!