Review: Mermaid Sequin Purse, K-Mart

A squarish-rectangular mermaid sequin chain handbag/purse, comprising a green-on-black sequin fabric with a black and silver zipper opening and two silver-coloured D-rings attached to the bag at either end of the zipper. A silver-coloured chain with rounded links attaches to each D-ring with a miniature dog-clip. The bag sits on top of a blue microfibre electric blanket.

Price: $3 AUD.

Dimensions: 25 x 20.5 cm.

I found this on clearance sale at my local store–marked down to $3 AUD from $9 AUD! I don’t know how many are still left or how many stores have them, but I think it’s worth a look for this price!

I love this bag because the clip-fastening chain gives it so much utility. It can be a fancy feminine-ish dressy handbag with the chain attached; it can be a simple mermaid sequin pouch or case without it. You can hang it from a wall with the chain attached or slide it onto a bookshelf without it. You can even make your own strap from cord or ribbon if you don’t like the chain–and if you have a pair of needle-nosed pliers, you can adjust the chain to whatever length you prefer. Mum and I had a five-minute conversation on adding jump rings and charms to the chain to turn it into a belt…

Unfortunately, the bag isn’t quite big enough to hold my iPad or a 7 inch tablet, but it does hold my old Sony Reader and 5th Gen Kindle (screen size for both approximately 6 inches). It’s much deeper than most mermaid sequin pencil cases, too, so if you’re wanting a bigger pencil case for markers or stim toys, I recommend this–as someone with a fairly diverse stim kit, I don’t find that the smaller K-Mart mermaid sequin pouches fit all the toys I wish to travel with. This does, easily.

(Aside from my own use, I tend to find myself in situations where I’m pulling stim toys out to demonstrate or educate, especially with mental health professionals, so I need more toys with me than a Tangle in my pocket.)

Inside the bag, there’s a small zip pouch and a small fold-out pocket for a phone, useful both for use as a purse and for organising smaller stim toys.

I wish it were a bit more colourful (imagine this bag in rainbow sequins, right?) but other than that, I think this bag is absolutely brilliant in terms of size and varied utility.

Originally posted on @stimtoybox on October 15, 2018.


Review: Maze Pens, Smiggle

Three ballpoint pens sitting on a red watermelon slice pillow. The pens are clear plastic shafts with clear plastic biro-style caps, but the ink channel is housed within a coloured plastic maze–one green, one purple and one blue. Two small silver ball-bearing-style balls sit inside each pen shaft and can be directed through the maze. The mazes have several holes for the balls to fall through as well as curved walls and dead ends, meaning the pen must be tipped in various ways to work the balls through the maze.

Price: $2.50 AUD.

Variations: blue, pink, purple, green, black.

I found these in the clearance section of the Smiggle store in Melbourne Central at 5 for $5 AUD, so I recommend checking your local store before ordering these online!

I’ve had a few of these maze-style stim toys before: I’ve got a rectangle maze from Daiso and a cube maze (that’s also a tiny self-inking stamp) from a dollar shop. I find them quite hard to use, as they require very precise turns of the maze toy to direct the balls. I rarely have the ability to make these subtle movements, meaning the balls go everywhere but where I want them, making for a frustrating stim. I like them better in theory than in practice.

Because these are pens, resulting in a less-complicated maze, they’re so much easier to use. There’s fewer dead-ends to catch the balls and fewer mistakes to make in turning the pen so the balls go the right way. There’s just enough dead ends to catch me but not so many to make navigating the balls impossible. The rounded shape of the pen, too, is easier for me to turn and tilt.

This isn’t as engaging as a Tangle or a squishy in terms of longer stimming, but as a break between toys it works for me, plus it also works decently as a pen. For folks who struggle to grip things, the pen’s being so much wider than a traditional ball-point makes it easier to use, too, so it has utility as well as stim.

The only drawback to these is that they do rattle. I’ve got one in my main stim basket and another in my travelling kit, but I do hear them move if they bounce around in my bag. They’re not a silent toy to use around other people and can distract others in the classroom or library. This said, the rattle may be a feature, not a drawback, for many stimmers!

If you want a maze-style stim toy, though, that isn’t too hard to use, this. I absolutely love mine.

Originally posted on @stimtoybox on August 24, 2018.

Review: Liquid Pencil Case, K-Mart

A seafoam/aqua green plastic zipper pencil case sitting on a red watermelon slice pillow. The pencil case has a clear plastic front pocket filled with a clear gel, rainbow glitter pieces and paper cut-outs of various kawaii-style pictures: unicorn, sausage dog in a hotdog bun, hamburger, rainbow, ice-cream, shooting star. A vinyl rainbow charm hangs from the aqua zipper pull and a white and black plastic tag is attached to said zipper pull by a silver ball chain. Type on the tag reads “Anko Liquid Pencil Case 3+ years”.

Price: $3 AUD.

Dimensions: 18 x 11 cm.

This is another liquid or gel-filled pencil case with a front pocket filled with gel, glitter and paper-style images of cute objects.

I do feel that this is slightly overpriced, but the gel inside the front pocket of the pencil case is very nice to squish. It also retains coolness very well, for folks who like handing cold toys or having a cold temperature element in their stimming–if you leave it in a cool room, or perhaps even the fridge for short periods of time, the pencil case becomes quite cold to the touch and takes a decent amount of handling to warm up. I actually find it a little too good at remaining cold, at least in the winter–even with the heater going in my room, the case is much cooler to the touch than my desk and keyboard.

I will say that as a squish toy, which is how I’ve been using this case, it works best without pencils or anything else inside. I can easily just push the paper images and glitter about the case without anything hard underneath. If you just want to turn it about for the movement of the glitter, it’ll work as a pencil case (or for smaller stim toys) but I find this detracts from the squishability of the gel filler. Unlike mermaid sequin pouches, I’m not using this for storage.

Because it’s entirely plastic, it may work for storing chewables, but I wouldn’t zip the case entirely closed if so.

I do recommend checking your case thoroughly to make sure all the paper images are turned the right way. My flamingo image is backwards and it does annoy me a little bit!

Originally posted on @stimtoybox on August 31, 2018.

Review: Rainbow Glitter Pen, K-Mart

A black ballpoint pen sitting on a red watermelon slice pillow. The pen has a clear chamber at the top third of the pen filled with circular rainbow-coloured glitter pieces and a clear liquid, with a plain black barrel and a thin black clip attached to the top of the pen.

Price: $3 AUD.

Dimensions: 14 x 0.8 cm.

Variants: There are multiple colours available on K-Mart’s website, including gold, silver, rose, purple and ombre.

K-Mart has gotten in a whole range of glitter and liquid pens targeted at adults: smaller pens, clean designs, smaller glitter chambers, dark and pastel barrel colours. If you’ve felt self-conscious about using the larger glitter baton pens but still want some stim in your stationery, these will be ideal.

Unfortunately, the changes made to make these more office-suitable also make them less stim-friendly. The liquid inside the clear chamber is very thick and the glitter takes a long time to move down it–too long to hold my attention, as I get bored of watching it. I prefer the fall rate of the glitter in normal glitter batons and baton pens. The glitter in mine also tends to get stuck in clumps, requiring more banging and shaking to move down the chamber.

This pen is also of a standard single-colour ballpoint thickness, which, while normal, is much more difficult for people with any kind of chronic pain or hand disability to hold. (I’ve seen several OTs in my time and not a one of them had anything good to say about the use of narrow pens.) I need my pens to be at least the width of a four-colour click pen, and this is just too narrow for me to use at all, never mind comfortably.

(It has a standard 1.0 mm black point, which I’ll mention as someone who prefers a 0.7 mm point.)

This said, I can see this pen being really useful for many adults as a subtle office stim toy, and there’s lots of different colour options!

Originally posted on @stimtoybox on September 04, 2018.

Review: Pizza Puzzle Erasers, K-Mart

A set of six pizza slice erasers, sitting on a red watermelon slice pillow. The pizza slices are cut into triangles with a curved out edge, together forming a circle, and have a tan brown crust and base, a light yellow cheese layer fitting into grooves in the crust, two round green pieces with indented dots that fit into the cheese layer, and a red grooved wing-shaped piece. The effect mimics chopped-up vegetables and meat atop a pizza. The erasers sit in a clear plastic shell in a cardboard box with a green/maroon/white striped trim at the top and bottom. Text at the bottom in maroon-outlined cream type reads “pizza slice erasers”.

Price: $1 AUD.

There’s no longer an online listing for these. I found them at my local store (and also at the Footscray store) on half price clearance sale from $2 AUD each.

I’ll admit that I don’t find the “packs of exactly the same puzzle eraser” as good for stimming, as there’s less bits I can swap around. However, these are extremely cheap and there’s six erasers (with five pieces each) to pull apart!

I do like the crust layer, as it has raised bumps, an indented base and a notched edge, good for stroking–there’s a bit of texture, more than many puzzle erasers. The cheese layer also has small indentations, although they’re less prominent. Only the sushi set and some of the fancier cake erasers I have really beats these for texture.

For a simple, very affordable stealth toy that tucks nicely into one’s hand or lap, I really don’t mind having these.

Originally posted on @stimtoybox on October 18, 2018.

Review: Mermaid Sequin Journal, K-Mart

A mermaid sequin notebook sitting on a dappled blue and white quilt cover. The notebook is perfect bound with a cover of silver sequins reversed with black, save for a circular emoji-style smiley face in the centre, which is black sequins reversed with silver. The smiley face has two oval eyes and a thin upwards-curving line for a smile. A stripe has been pushed down the front of the cover, showing both sections of sequins with their reverse colours.

Price: $3 AUD.

Dimensions: 14.7 x 20.7 x 1.5 cm.

No online link is available.

K-Mart has these older mermaid sequin journals/notebooks on clearance sale at the moment–$3 AUD down from $5 AUD.

I can’t use these kind of perfect bound books because of my hand pain (I can’t handwrite for long periods of time and when I do I prefer spiral-bound books I don’t need to hold open) so I bought this as a gift for a friend. The pages are white with black lines and a cute pink scalloped trim at the bottom, simple but pretty, although the paper is fairly thin.

(Not quite bible paper but noticeably thinner than your standard 80 GSM copy paper.)

The sequins, I find, are easier to turn on a hard surface, like a book or slap band, over a soft surface like a zip pouch or pillow. I do find the sequins bulk up the cover a bit and I suspect for this reason it won’t be the most comfortable book to write in, but it’s absolutely an option if you want stim-friendly stationery.

Originally posted on @stimtoybox on October 30, 2018.