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Trinket Trove

Reclaim your girlhood with Editor-in-Chief, Jasmine Oke, as she actively encourages you to start your own trinket trove of joy! Bonus points if it's a Sylvanian Families figurine. 

I have never been, and hopefully never will be, a minimalist. Props to you if you are, that’s just not my style. As a small child, I had quite an assortment of dolls; Barbie dolls, Bratz dolls, and even those creepy ones that ate shit and then spat it back out the other end later?! The point is, I loved things, especially those that I could collect and look at all neat in a row. 

Luckily for me, 2023 saw the rise of trinkets; little treasures that put a small dent in your bank account but inject a large dose of joy into your day. Touch-starved and aching to consume, post-pandemic Gen Z will stop at nothing just to have something to hold. Bonus points if this something is a memory once thought intangible and lost – thank you nostalgia and the resurgence of the early 2000s! Remember the ‘What’s in My Bag’ trend that started back in the late 2010s? Oh yeah, it’s on ‘roids now. Half the nonsense people carry around these days they don’t even need to bear the weight of, but that’s the whole fun of it. Excuse me, ma’am, is that a Sylvanian Families cat wearing a tiara in your uni bag? Guilty, your honour!

Look, I know I’m stretching the bounds of the word ‘trinket’ here, but to myself and a few close confidants, everything is a trinket. It might actually be our most-used word. You’ve acquired something small, light, and relatively inexpensive? That my friend, is a trinket! Be it a figurine, book, poster, piece of media, or something else altogether – embrace it and let it bring you comfort! Despite the countless options, there are a few standout ‘cool girl’ icons within this vast realm, and they are Miffy, Sonny Angel and Animal Crossing.

The reclamation of Miffy by people in their 20s has coincided with a much larger cultural shift; we have seen prominent things from (typically) women’s childhoods become more popular in the mainstream – a sort of reclamation of ‘girlhood’. Originally a picture book and animated television star, the sweet little bunny has reached a new and more mature audience than the one intended by Dutch artist Dick Bruna. All too vividly, I remember being placed in front of the TV, ABC being promptly switched on, and then curling up for an episode of Miffy and Friends. But now Gen Z seems to be showing the character more and more love than she’s ever seen before. Miffy plushies in all colours, textures and sizes, Miffy night lights, Miffy figurines, even collabs with the likes of Peter Alexander, Converse and Tommy Hilfiger; she’s everywhere and the world just can’t get enough.

In another vein, Sonny Angel was created especially for twenty-something-year-olds, as a companion during their onset into the working world and as they attempt to cope with the stresses of adulthood. Sporting little angel wings and different whimsical headgear, resembling things such as various animals, foods and flowers, he’s an absolute desk and bedroom staple. Their popular catchphrase is ‘He may bring you happiness’, and oh yeah, you bet he does. If that doesn’t sound appealing enough to you, think of it like gambling (but, a healthier version, obviously). Sonny Angel uses the ‘blind bag’ method, meaning consumers won’t know which of the 12 within the series they get until they’ve broken into the packaging. It’s addicting, it’s exhilarating, you will feel the rush. There’s an ever-growing community both on and offline for selling and trading these bad boys, with some varieties being more rare and sought-after than others. So basically, it's an investment decision, and actually really responsible.

Now, I’m literally the furthest thing from a gamer that you’ll ever meet, but none of that matters when it comes to Animal Crossing – just ask my mum who caught me one too many times hiding my baby pink Nintendo DS under the bed covers while I played Wild World at unhinged hours (probably like 10 pm). Sorry, Mum. Sometimes you just need to catch a darner dragonfly in a pink star net and have a tomato-like duck named Ketchup tell you that you’re doing great, only to then be humbled by the fact that you’re indebted to a tyrannical racoon – and that’s okay! But even more so, Animal Crossing is like actual crack for people who love to collect. Shells, bugs, fish, fossils, art, furniture, hell, even residents, you can never really get enough. In early 2020, right as the pandemic began to rear its ugly head, Nintendo released Animal Crossing: New Horizons. With the world stricken by quarantine orders and forced to stay indoors, the simulated island life was a much-needed escape from the fear and loneliness of the everyday. A game predicated on building connections and a sense of community couldn’t have come at a better time, and I’m still hoarding random shit on there four years later. If you’re not, you’re missing out buster!

And just like that, my childhood bedroom has regressed into its 2013-2014 state. Almost. The 1D posters have been torn down and replaced with the likes of Pride and Prejudice (2005), Phoebe Bridgers, Taylor Swift, and Fleabag. The feathery purple karaoke machine and Glee Cast CD collection have been replaced with a turntable and an extensive collection of vinyl records, from ABBA through to Wolf Alice, and the dolls have been replaced with, well, little figurines and collectibles. To quote a wise soul I know and adore, “I’m like one of those dragons that sit on a hoard of treasure,” and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Child-like bliss is so back, and I hope you’ll join me in celebration. Because, you too, are just a girl.


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