Dearly beloved. We are gathered here today to pay our final respects to someone who I thought was a friend. But, no. Coles Minis, I AM OFFICIALLY OVER YOU.

OK, I’m going to say it out loud. I am OVER Coles Minis. I’ve come to the realisation this week that, even though I was somewhat late to the Coles Minis party, I’ve spent way too much of my time thinking about them and listening to my two tween daughters lose their collective minds over these “cute little, tiny little, cute teeny things”. Urgh.

I’m an out-and-proud Aldi shopper from way back. Those also in the Aldi Army will admit that, yes, there are some yummo things that you can’t buy from Aldi and just have to get from an alternative grocery supplier. And, for me, that was always Woolworths. But, three weeks ago, Coles sucked me into their marketing vortex by offering my kids the chance to collect little pieces of plastic, conveniently wrapped in more plastic, right about the same time that they put a ban on plastic shopping bags in a bid to reduce plastic. Hmmmm…

Being an amazing mum (?!), I thought I’d do my top-up shop at Coles that week for the benefit of my very excited children and to get a better understanding of just what had made the world stop turning. In return for my $120 spend, I received four small cardboard boxes. Not even the special plastic Coles Minis. Cardboard ones. For $120. I was so disappointed (and I was already in a cheesy mood from a long day) that I got angry about the vortex and these four “cute little, tiny little” pieces of cardboard – so I went into quiet-mum mode. In my house, I can easily get screamy over things but next level for me is quiet anger. The kind where you whisper your thoughts at the children with such voracity, with such big eyes and low tone, that they know you are more serious than cancer. My intuitive 12yo understood the unfolding situation.

“But mum, guess what? It’s not just cardboard. There’s even cute little, tiny little, cute pieces of foam inside the boxes!” she spruiked. #nothelping

One winner in all the Coles Mini crazy is the operator of our local neighbourhood Milkbar. She’s no doubt making a rip-snorter turnover right now because she promotes her shop as an unofficial Coles Mini swap centre. There’s a shelf in the shop where you can bring your Mini double-ups and swap them for something you don’t already have. One in – one out. Easy. She posts on Facebook almost every night a picture of what swaps she’ll have available the following morning. She says you don’t need to purchase anything from her Milkbar to partake in a swap but there’s been a steady stream of over-it mothers ordering double-shot espressos while they wait for their kids at the shelf. I’d never been to the Milkbar before now. But I’ll admit I’ve been sometimes twice daily during the Coles Mini madness – before AND after school. I made a new friend outside the Milkbar last week. A woman like me who was overrr the madness. But just needed to finish her son’s set first. I gave her Oak milk. She gave me Nutella.

I know a certain haven magazine editorial assistant (who shall remain nameless) whose 50-odd-year-old mum is a collector. Well, was a collector until a Facey meme this week reiterated to her that adult Coles Mini collectors had low IQs (thanks Mrs White for gifting your mini collection to my beyond-ecstatic 12yo! I owe you maximum wine!).

I know teachers who are putting Coles Minis in their classroom prize boxes as bribes for students’ good work.

I know a person in Adelaide who turned their mini Mt Franklin water bottle into a cute little, tiny little piece of drug paraphernalia and was selling it on Facebook Marketplace for $25 – or would swap it for the Coles Mini bananas.

I know that this promotion was actually a Coles marketing manager’s ticket to the big time. And I know it has been oddly fun bonding with random strangers over our maximum love/hate of the mini obsession.

But I also know that we are so near the end of the madness – and I couldn’t be happier. The promo itself is only days away from ending (September 11 people – lock it in your diaries!) and my 9yo has proudly completed her set as of Wednesday this week. Her 12yo sister now only needs the Vicks, Nutella and bananas #helpasisterout. And then people, we can put our feet up in the knowledge that the Coles Minis are all done and dusted. Until they bring out Series 2.

Belinda Glindemann

Belinda Glindemann  

Belinda knew she was destined for a career in communications and publishing from the age of 11 when her Year 6 teacher introduced her to poster projects and glitter pens. She completed her journalism cadetship in the Whitsundays and went on to hold various newspaper and magazine editor roles across Brisbane in a media career spanning more than a decade. When Belinda's not writing for haven, she runs her own PR agency, kid-wrangles two young daughters and drinks way too much sweet tea.