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Big benefits found in the world of little

Trail store expands to include beginner to advanced mini-build kits

There’s a big world of miniatures out there.

From intricate and dimensional vignettes, or dioramas, to dollhouses and detailed designs within, to tiny models of the whole kit and caboodle; the hobby of recreating little versions of meaningful things is growing.

Better yet, along with building, painting and/or recreating miniature replicas of pretty much anything, comes substantial benefits like stress relief, improved concentration, increased attention span, enhanced motor skills, and improved problem-solving skills.

Plus, it’s fun.

Evan Johnston, owner of Island Toys & Hobbies at the Trail mall, has seen first hand how interest in the world of little is spreading.

A dabbler himself, Johnston has built a few miniatures for display in the store, complete with lights and customized decor that includes a mini-picture of Bumble, the store mascot.

“A lot of people have re-ignited their passion for hobbies, or found them for the first time,” he says. “And miniatures have really taken off.”

After years of operating online, Johnston took a leap of faith in the local hobby community by opening his first brick-and-mortar business in downtown Trail four years ago.

Then came an unexpected hit, the global spread of COVID-19.

Never one to throw in the towel, between upcycling toys and hobby wares and bumping up stock with new modelling kits, remote-control vehicles and more, Johnston weathered the storm of years-long pandemic restrictions.

Moreover, Johnston grew his one-man operation into the bright and engaging business it is today, and relocated to Waneta Plaza.

With more square-footage to fill with interactive toys and hobby ideas, he now offers something for everyone, including a range of DIY miniature house kits, from beginner sets to advanced.

To learn more about the growing world of hobbies, chat with Johnston during store hours; Monday to Saturday from 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

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Sheri Regnier

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