Collecting dust

A sponsored post for Woolworths Aussie Animal Collectables

Growing up in the early 80’s in the suburbs of Australia there wasn’t much a kid needed. A long Saturday spent in your sports uniform. Whole day trips to the beach where your skin got burned into blisters. Burning your rubbish in the backyard incinerator. June long weekends with spinning Catherine wheels and Parachutes. Long extended games of wars with next door neighbours that sometimes lasted an entire day. Parents disinterested in what you did most days so long as you were back before dinner. A pair of roller skates and if you were lucky an occasional trip to the roller skating rink for a few laps under disco lights. A special dinner at a Black Stump restaurant. And, if you were like me, a fine collection of something.

For me, that meant one thing. A trip to here:


And didn’t I just go in there and smile! There was one section I was headed to (although you BET I always went down to the rude adult section to laugh at disposable undies), and that was the rolls and rolls of stickers that I could add into my peel back adhesive photo album. My sticker collection was a little dodgy, and most definitely inferior to my older sister Sarah’s who was ordered in size and style and even cost. I used to sit and pore over her pages wishing my dodgy Moove or Channel 7 sticker would somehow turn into a Strawberry Shortcake scratch and sniff.

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Looking back I’m not sure what the sticker collection was actually FOR. I mean, it’s not like you used the stickers, they merely sat in all their hologrammed, sparkly, ice cream cone glory, stuck behind the sticky photo album plastic sheet, yellowing over time.

That’s not where my collections ended though. Oh no. I also dabbled in my older brother Sam’s love of the fabric woven tourist badge.

6 OLD UNOPENED woven Badges - AUST Souvenir Patches_1

He had this one puffy, black jacket, that he made Mum sew the badges onto. Given we were a family that spent many a school holiday on a driving holiday through NSW, we had plenty to choose from. I still remember his favourite, showing Monument Hill at Albury Wodonga. Silver edging, nice pointed shape, yes, that was a good one.

If Mum and Dad or any of our grandparents were lucky enough to go overseas, you KNOW that they came back with some of those dolls in national costume in their plastic boxes. Of course you couldn’t OPEN those boxes, oh no, they had to sit, on your shelf, adding to your collection. My favourite was a Hawaiian doll in all her grass skirt glory.


Trips to the big anything – be it the merino or the pineapple meant that a tea towel or postcard was picked up. A spoon for one of my Mum’s aunts who had the fanciest display all the way down her staircase in small wooden boxes built specifically for showcasing her wide spoon travels.

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And for me, my lasting collection and passion would have to be the humble shrinky dink. Small bits of plastic that magically shrunk when you placed them in the oven.


Mostly just stuff. That sat there collecting dust. But which you felt great pride in. The sitting down and looking through at how far you had come and the thrill of finding the next piece for the collection. I wish I’d kept some of those stickers, or at least that fine Albury Wodonga badge. I’m sure I’d still be able to find the odd tea towel on my travels if I really wanted to.

Plenty of kids are currently collecting Woolworths Aussie Animals collectable cards which have been designed in conjunction with Taronga Zoo to teach kids about Australian animals. Packs of 4 cards are given out for each $20 spent in store.

What was your favourite collection as a kid?
Dabble in stickers or badges like my sister and brother?
Anyone still got anything?


  1. Sarah Tovey says

    Thanks for the trip down memory lane…those were the days. The kids said to me they wished they lived in a court or a dead end as we used to refer to it. It would be great if we could just let them go and explore like we used to. Oh how I miss Granny May’s, Smiggles isn’t the same. Everyone is going crazy over the Animal cards. We have FB posts with cards needed, swap meets in the Bakery Section of Woolworths and of course the playground at school. It has been a big hit. Liam is big into the Smurfs. He has a whole Vignette on his bedside table, he would make you proud. Sarah x

  2. Apparently, it’s not a collection until you have three of something.

    Love your stickers … one day I’m going to write a post about my current spoon collection. But back in the day? Stamps.

  3. Lisa Mckenzie says

    No I don’t have anything from my childhood my dad made me collect beer coasters I really didn’t want to but he used to bring them home from his club/pub visits all over the country and I stuck them in those big scapbooks ,pretty daggy ,I wanted a sticker collection but my naughty little sister used to steal my stuff.When I was a teenager I collected records you know like all the top 40 hits and Bumper,Abba and Devo ,I still have them ,what for I don’t know!!

  4. My boys are MAD for them. I album to share between 3 and way too many of those cards.
    Did you know, the albums were pulled from the shelves last week because in the find-a-word, there are words that really shouldn’t be found by children? 3 of them in fact. Ooops!

    • BabyMacBlogBeth says

      Ooops indeed! The lady at the check out this morning gave me about a gazillion of them because this is the last week…I can’t wait to keep them up my sleeve for the girls later on!

  5. Without a shadow of a doubt my favourite collection was my ABBA bubble gum cards.
    To this day one of my greatest regrets is not completing either collection (blue or pink) … I was just a few cards short on both.

  6. Scratch’n’sniff! Loved them. Remember the pickle ones?
    Loved, loved, loved Granny May’s. A top day out was a trip to Lemon Grove at Chatswood, lunch in the fancy cafe there (chicken sandwich on white bread with curly parsley garnish, iced chocolate) and then next door to Granny May’s. Didn’t get any better.

    • BabyMacBlogBeth says

      Sounds like heaven. I miss those cafe lunches – I used to go with my Mum and get an open grill cheese and bacon or egg and lettuce and ALWAYS with the curly parsley x

  7. Well timed post…. for some reason I sat at the table last night while the southerly came through and sorted the Woolies Animal Cards into order. My 2.5yr plays with them for all of about 2mins… really just the ones with the frogs on them.

    Toddler has a thing about frogs…. as a 2.5yo little girl does….
    I wonder where the frog collection will lead us too? Probably difficult to collect dust on something that can jump?

  8. Jane Morgan says

    My bestie, Sarah Brown ( who is a Highlands girl herself) used to spend hours and hours in Granny mae’ s at Miranda Fair. We were rubber collectors, or erasers as they like to call them now, and ANYTHING with Hello Kitty on it. Biscuit tins full of bubble gum smelling rubbers….Sarah’s dad was a pilot so she always had exciting Hello Kitty stuff from Hong Kong which I was sooooooo jelly about. My dad travelled heaps in the 80’s too and my present was always the hotel shower cap, I had a gazillion of them. My favourites were from Raffles and the Waldolf Astoria in New York. Sadly no one appreciated my vast collection

    • Sarah Brown says

      Ahh Jane Morgan memories !! What about my vast sea shell collection that always came in a large clam shell wrapped in a plastic! And the stickers in photo albums never to be actually stuck on anything or my still going obsession with tins !! I relished in the Woolies animal cards and through a little facebook mumma crazyness I have a full book I mean my five year old has a full book haha !! I am very proud 😉

    • BabyMacBlogBeth says

      That is AWESOME. All of it! My Dad travelled too but we got the shitty toothpaste from the plane and the occasional bar of Toblerone! Dear GOD I remember all those rubbers…like it was yesterday! Remember the hard pencil case thingys?

      • Jane Morgan says

        Yep, and you could open them on both sides. The cover was like a padded plastic and they had magnets to open and close them. No doubt Sarah had a Hello Kitty one ; )

        • Sarah Brown says

          I think I was into those metal pencil tins and I definitely had a hello kitty one 😉 I still have a Beatrix potter one !

  9. Sarah Brown says

    I still have my sticker albums somewhere …now that I think about it I might need to contact hoarders anonymous !! My bestie Jane Morgan had a strawberry shortcake collection that rivalled any store ! In fact she still has it 🙂

    • BabyMacBlogBeth says


    • Jane Morgan says

      I do still have them, and their little red combs and matching pets. Sorry you always had to be Blueberry Muffin and I insisted on being Strawberry Shortcake every single time…

      • Sarah Brown says

        I was always a little bit jelly ! But to this day I love the smell of blueberry muffins , I don’t really like eating them but I love the smell . Our childhood growing up in the shire was tops, we are lucky girls xx ps thanks for the apology 😉

  10. MotherDownUnder says

    We used to take our sticker books to school and trade stickers during recess..most highly prized were the oilies…those stickers that had some sort of liquid in them that changed colour when you put pressure on it.

  11. granny mays was the SHIZ! I had a sticker collection, still do as a teacher. who doesnt love a cool sticker!!!

  12. Granny Mays, what shop! I got my first ever $1 coin as change from the LIverpool store. I loved the stickers and the pencils and got a cool singlet there too. I also collected travel patches and still have them in a tin, must get it out and take a stroll down memory lane. My “grownup” collecting is nativities, I have heaps including some from other countries (love ebay!)

  13. Cannot look at the Granny May’s logo! Worked there when I was pregnant with eldest, several times a day I would get the joke…”Someone came in you and smiled”.
    Fridge magnets… the tackier the better. If someone goes away, or lives somewhere different, the best gift they can give me is a tacky tourist magnet…. Bills look so much better stuck to the fridge with these!

  14. Oh my goodness. So many memories right here. I collected heaps of shit. Sorry, really great stuff.

  15. Somer Durbin says

    OMG I LOVE IT. I loved granny mays and the stationery (eat your heart out smiggle), those pencils with the lead that you could push out and then push back through the top. And the stickers!!! Shrinky dinks – bring them back. … This is my most favourite post ever. Smiled the whole way through. And yes Saturdays in your netball uniform and begging for a bag of mixed lollies, the 1cent lollies. Great post!

  16. Somer Durbin says

    And the matchbox collections grown ups had from the pubs and clubs…

  17. ahoy.jenni says

    OMG that takes me back!
    Yes, I had a sticker collection, I saved them for so long they became un-stickers and lost their stickiness.
    And the badges, me too, loved them! My favourite was from Smiggin’s Hole, Perisher. And I sewed them on my puffy blue parker!
    As an adult I collected beautiful antique powder compacts. I had a beautiful collection but sold them for a steal in a moment of I don’t know what! Another sad story like my giving away a Collette Dinnigan skirt to vinnies….
    At the moment I’m collecting white plastic clips from bread bags for my veggie garden (apparently if you place the white clips on your cabbages it deters white moth) I’ll let you know if it works.

  18. Great script!

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