Australian supermarket Coles sent shoppers into a frenzy earlier this year when it released a range of Little Shop collectable toys. The miniature plastic toys were mini replicas of famous Aussie products and saw scenes of chaos across the nation as families tried to get their hands on all 30 of the toys.
It looks as though the phenomenon is set to return just in time for Christmas, with Coles announcing that a Christmas range of the toys will be available for shoppers from December 7. According to 9 News Queensland, the previous promotion had been one of the most successful campaigns the retail sector had ever seen.
“We have created minis of must-have Christmas items,” Coles representative Martine Alpins told 9 News Queensland.
Like the earlier promotion, shoppers will receive one of the toys for every $30 they spend at a Coles store. The toys this time around include a gingerbread man, Christmas crackers, pavlova, a tub of gingerbread ice cream and deep filled fruit mince pies.
Shoppers weren’t too sure what to make of the latest promotion, sharing their thoughts on social media. Some welcomed the latest collectables, with one person on Facebook writing: “All these whinging whinning people about landfill, mine are not landfill and never will be. Bring it on Coles.”
Another said: “I think I am going to have a complete breakdown. Ok bring it on. Mine don’t go to landfill.”
Others were concerned that Coles was releasing more plastic toys after introducing single-use plastic bag bans earlier this year.
“Clearly Coles is a real believer in the whole ‘war on plastic’… hopefully they’ll make their plastic bags free again,” one person said.
Another added: “This promotion is beyond insanity. Little plastic miniatures that no one will care about next year. Waste of money that will end up in landfill.”
Of the last promotion, a Coles spokesperson told Starts at 60 at the time that the toys weren’t intended to end up in landfill.
“We know many of our customers love collectables and we have designed them together with our suppliers to be miniature replicas of some of the most popular products on our supermarket shelves,” the spokesperson said at the time. “The idea behind Little Shop is that customers can keep and collect them rather than throw them out. When customers are at the supermarket they have a choice as to whether they would like to receive a mini collectable or not.”
The earlier Little Shop promotion saw people selling individual toys for more than $20 each online, while some complete sets were being sold for up to $1,000 on eBay.
Meanwhile, rival Woolworths has already rolled out a similar promotion with its “Woolworths Christmas Pop-Outs. The 12 Christmas-themed buildable cardboard characters are offered to customers when they spend $30 or more in store.
“Our team has also spent a great deal of time ensuring that we considered the environmental impact when putting this together and we are proud to say that the range is 100% Aussie made and fully recyclable,” Woolworths Supermarkets Managing Director Claire Peters said in a statement.