Wednesday, January 1, 2014

MiWorld Play Sets

It's no secret in the world of modern miniatures that children's toys present a wealth of opportunities for furnishings and accessories. Right after Christmas, Cindy of Snowfern tipped me off to a new line of miniature play sets carried exclusively for the month of December at Wal-Mart called MiWorld. And then The Shopping Sherpa asked me separately if I had seen them as well, since she was intensely curious about the scale and quality.

The sets are modeled on actual retail and food stores, namely Claire's, Sweet Factory, OPI, Dairy Queen, and Sprinkles Cupcakes. The toys are targeted at ages 7+, and consist of simple, plastic constructions that also snap together across sets (vertically or horizontally), so you can create your own retail mecca.

Both images courtesy of MiWorld

In addition to the stores, there are accessory packs that provide extra minis for all the stores, as well as figures.

Images courtesy of MiWorld

From the website, it is difficult to tell the scale of the rooms and pieces, but it seemed they were close to 1:12.

Only one way to find out!

I managed to get to my local Wal-Mart and picked up their last three sets--OPI, Dairy Queen, and Sprinkles. They were $10 each, which did seem quite reasonable at the time, and then even more reasonable once I went online to eBay! The sets are selling for three or four times that amount -- crazy!!!

I had two surprise helpers: my two boys, aged almost 7 and 11. They had grudgingly tagged along with me to buy my "weirdo dollhouse stuff," but then were excited by the Dairy Queen and cupcakes. So, I was able to engage their help in constructing all three sets to report back to you all on the quality and scale.

First: the sets are all closest to 1:12. YAY! I used a Kaleidoscope House figure to illustrate the scale.

Second: there are some very cute accessories across all three sets. Notable mentions: Dairy Queen ice creams and shakes; OPI nail polishes and rounded chair; Sprinkles coffee cups and display case.

Third: the overall quality is quite good for the price, but there were common flaws across the three sets. The wall graphic stickers, while very realistic, were not evenly applied and bubbled in places. The paper flooring was bent around the edges. The small tables in the Dairy Queen and Sprinkles sets did not snap together and hold securely.

On to the pictures -- there are a lot, to help show you all the details.

The OPI nail salon is first!


This chair is definitely usable for modern mini scenes

Very proud of his chair!

Next up: Sprinkles!

Lots of little stickers...

You can see the flooring and table flaws pretty clearly here

And finally, the Dairy Queen.

What do you think?? I can say that I will definitely use some of the accessories and perhaps a piece of furniture or two. I might even go back to Wal-Mart to see if they have anything left, although the shelves were pretty cleaned out.

Anyone else have any sets? Do share!

And HAPPY NEW YEAR, all! Hope this year brings creativity and joy! Thanks for your ongoing encouragement and support of the blog.


  1. Yaaay!! You have adorable little helpers :D thanks so much for the write-up, and yes the greedbay offerings are definitely cutthroat :-/ can't wait to see how you might include some of them in your scenes!

    1. Im about to have sweet factory also if you go to toys r us you can maybe find claires opi and thats all

  2. thank you for sharing your find I have never heard of those playset, I will keep my eye out for them the next time I go to walmart :)


  3. Wonderful purchases.
    Happy 2014!

  4. Wow, Im amazed! Those sets are very cool :)

    We have a giveaway in our blog, dont forget to take part! :)

  5. NO WAY! You got yours for 10 bucks a piece?! What a deal!! I paid 17.00 for the small Dairy Queen set I bought. I bought two, one for my son and one for my daughter. Hes four but LOVES minis like his mommy and is really really careful with them. Im in love with MiWorld stuff too! And ya know, it gives me this lil notion that minis are gonna be more mainstream this year, hence, more money for us sellers :-D

  6. These MiWorlds are so cool! I love the OPI one. In Sept/Oct last year in New Zealand, the supermarket chain New World did a Little Shop promotion when for every $40 you spent in store you would get a free 'mini' - a scaled down version of a product (they were not made to a consistent scale though). There were 44 minis to collect and they quickly became very popular with collectors; individual minis sold on NZ's online trading site Trade Me for as much as $26! A Facebook page set up for swapping/selling the minis shows the full range:

  7. So cute! I want to collect all of them. I was trying to avoid Wal-Mart, but for this I will make an exception. And Lisa, thanks for sharing the link to the adorable mini grocery store items.

  8. The following sets are available at the Walmart in Pleasanton: OPI $14.95 Claire $29.95 and Sweet Factory $29.95. The $29.95 sets are twicethe sizeof the OPI set. They seems to have at least 8 of each and a lot of the dolls (people). Thanks for letting us know about this set.

  9. Wow! Thanks for this post! Everything's so cute. And your real-life miniatures are super cute, too!

  10. I made a trip to Wal-mart after reading your blog and picked up the DQ set for $14.95 and got an oil change while I was at it. I was disappointed that it wasn't marked down but I think it was totally worth it. Your little guys are so cute!! I remember when mine looked like that, now they have hair on their arms and legs and speak in deep voices!

  11. Prices online are a little crazy. I'll have to make an in-store appearance to see what I can find. :D

  12. Yep, I was excited to tell you all about these when I stumbled upon them this afternoon at ToysRUs. I'm SO LATE to the party. I've been away from the mini scene for too long. Looks like I have some catching up to do. Anyway---you wanted to know my thoughts = I have to say that I agree with everything you say about the quality, etc. I purchased these sets to take all the items that I could use for other modern retail scenes. I'm not real fond of the "backdrop" look that they have created for the walls and so am not keeping any of the structures. However, now I'm inspired to do my own versions of an OPI nail salon, DQ, Sprinkles, etc., etc.

  13. May I ask which toyline is the female figure in jeans and brown top? She looks like a GIjoe figure. Which toyline is she from?

    1. Hi Ferdinand -- the figure is made by Bozart Toys for the Kaleidoscope dollhouse. Both figure and house are long discontinued, but you can still find them on eBay.