The other day, my mind wandered towards miniature toys when thinking about what I’m going to write about next.
More specifically: what would boys/girls/teenagers or adults like when they are not into dollhouses or dolls? Because, let’s just be honest, although this site is about dollhouses, there are plenty of other miniature-related things out there that are also quite fun to do.
But a little bit more targeted on children and teenagers (yeah, yeah, also older haha).
And I would like to show these toys to you because I find some of these intriguing, pretty or just interesting.
So let’s dive deeper into things and find out which toys just popped in my mind while brainstorming!
1. 3D Miniature Puzzles.
I remember that back in the days, like 30 years ago, 3D puzzles already existed, in the form of planets and a few buildings. But back then, these weren’t all too good quality. Trust me, I tried them, look at my “planetarium” 🙂
The choice in 3D miniature puzzles today, however, is basically endless ànd they have superb quality.
When doing my research, I noticed that in the meantime, it has become a total “niche” in itself, with tons of different toys online.
They can be made from wood (which I prefer), metal, plastic, or from paper and cardboard (like ordinary puzzles).
Again, all these different miniature toys and brands are so expanded, that I would rather keep to a few on this list of the ones that look great to me (or I could make a separate website, but let’s not go there haha):
Cubicfun – Toys Industrial Co, Ltd sells different series of 3D puzzles, 4 of them:
- The Citylines Series: with little 3D miniature buildings and cities like Paris (The Louvre), The Tower Bridge in Londen, and even the Mississippi Steam Ship, etc.
- The Mc Series: it seems like these are more the bigger miniature buildings, like The Notre Dame de Paris.
- The C Series: these are more about little monuments, like this Galata tower from Istanbul.
- And finally: lots of these have LED lights, like this 3D puzzle tower.
So basically, in my opinion, these are made as puzzles are made, but then in a 3D form. ( not much other information is available about this ).
2. Robotime 3D puzzles.
I am working on my 4th miniature kit from Robotime and I do think they have their faults; like I really do hate the wirework :-).
But other than that to me this is the best brand on the market for miniature kits. (besides private sellers of kits on Etsy).
Also, just take a look at them, aren’t these fantastic? What I personally Iike the most about this brand is that these miniature toys are all made from laser-cut wood and I prefer this material over plastic stuff anyway.
From left to right:
- Picture number 1 is from “Bubumiami“, it represents a vintage-style movie projector
- Number 2 is from “Craftwithpuzzle“, and it is a “Marble Run Night City DIY Waterwheel 3D Wooden Puzzle”
- Picture number 3 is by ” HandscraftUS” and it is a 3D wooden puzzle music box called “Starry night” (sorry not sold at the moment on 03/08/2022)
So as I said, I could be biased, but these 3D puzzles from Robotime really do get a lot of positive reviews. Have a good read at this screenshot:
And last but not least, some of these can be made by a child of 8 years and plus, if guided by an adult, like this 3D puzzle ship. It looks incredible!
Another fantastic brand on miniature 3D puzzles surely must be Ugears. Let me show you some pictures first.
Ugears has some unique mechanical models, 3D puzzles in wood, both for adults and teenagers.
These are made from high-quality plywood and no glue or chemicals are needed to assemble them. There are different difficulty levels available.
Mechanical means that they produce motion and these are perfect for some quality family time and hands-on learning STEM!
The brand called Piececool is different than the previous ones because the 3D puzzles are not made from cardboard or wood, but from metal (430 stainless steel).
It seems to give these pieces more of a “shine-and-glitter-look”, in my opinion.
They are easily assembled with clips and no glue or soldering is needed.
Some of them look nice, but personally, these are not on the top of my wanted list, how about you?
2. The Warhammer Game
My “little” brother (8 years younger than me, but still little to me 😉 ), started playing Warhammer when he was a teenager.
I didn’t know much about it and I still don’t, but I can imagine playing this is a lot of fun!
Why am I putting this on a blog called dollhouses and miniatures, you might wonder?
Well, that is because this tabletop game is packed with miniatures and players spend hours and hours painting the little characters and figurines.
The painting itself ànd the making of the dioramas, is a form of art for sure and I have seen some fantastic 3D printed and wonderfully painted models.
So this game is not just about the game itself, but the decors, terrains, and miniature “armies”, and how they look, are pretty important in this game as well.
There’s no doubt in my mind that lots of these “geeks” and “gamers” do make some wonderful pieces of art: have a closer look at the artist on Instagram called Beata Bogacz, for example. I love it and so do her 11,7K followers!
I am not going to dive deeper into the rules and such of the game myself, because that would be a totally different niche for my site. But if you are curious about this game, why not take a look at this Youtube video below 😉
3. Model Building!
Model building is also a very expanded niche and hobby. I am pretty sure that you as a miniature artist, have entered a store before that has model-building supplies, as they also sell fake grass and balsa wood, amongst others.
Model making is basically making scale models. (or miniature toys, no? 😉 ).
Professional models are made by architects, shipbuilders, and military targets, but also for museums and movies. Like I have visited this fantastic miniature and movie museum in France with gorgeous scale models.
But today we are only talking about the diverse ways in which model building is considered a hobby.
So of course, we have our railway model trains and everything surrounding that, but also you can assemble a variety of little buildings, vehicles, vessels, aircraft, etc..
Have a look at this Youtube video below, where he explains all the different model building kits and how they work:
Nowadays, this goes as far as scale models that are actually functioning.
For example, an aircraft with a wingspan of up to about 1,50m ànd is remotely controlled by radio and gets used for espionage targets.
The USA army and Israeli army have been building these “unmanned aerial vehicles”. A well-known example is “the Predator”, which is used these days in Iraq. It is estimated that there are about 700 units operational in Iraq as we speak.
My Final Conclusion.
This blog post is not quite what you are used to I think when you come and have a look at my blog posts, but I did want to mention a few miniature toys that are bought and used a lot by boys, teenagers, and adults. (yes yes girls too, just not so much 😉 ).
If you have any questions about this blog post or if you would just like to chat with me, then please leave a comment below or join me on my social media or (private) Facebook group. You are welcome there!
I wish you happy crafting,