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Saturday, March 8, 2008

Little Bitty Bins

Made by the Little Bitty™ Fun Company Little Bitty Bins were small plastic garbage bin style storage containers manufactured in the 1980s/1990s and sold in Australia (& other countries?).




They came in a variety of sizes and colours including 50ml, .2L, 1.5L, and much larger sizes. In addition mini crates were available. Other items included a small wheelie bin style waste basket, and a Post office 1L money box.

According to Industrial Design in Victoria: the bins were designed by Victorian industrial designer David Flynn in the 1980s during his time with the team at Bayly Design.

An article in The New York Times CHRISTMAS SHOPPING A YEAR EARLY by ISADORE BARMASH: December 17, 1988 reports on the products being picked up by Mr Grinell, a buyer for US chain F.W. Woolworth:

“It was on a trip to Australia that Mr. Grinnell learned that a plastics producer there had sold 10 million Itty Bitty Bins. He found a domestic producer who agreed to make them for Woolworth as Little Bitty Bins under license to the Australian originator. ''We think we can sell one million of them this year,'' Mr. Grinnell said. ''We've already sold 800,000 and we expanded the color range.''”

Currently Willow manufacture the bins again, but they are only available in a couple of sizes and they have a clear tinted bin with coloured lid.

I still have some little bitty bins (I use one at work!) & I have picked some up at op shops.

I cannot believe there are only 19 Google results for “little bitty bins” &  there are 25 for the other name some people may have know them by “itty bitty bins”. Well hopefully this post will go a little way to addressing that...

post script April 2012:  from your comments I heard that Itty Bitty Bins were back in production again and available at Office Works so I decided to check them out...
A word of CAUTION however they do not appear to be the original bin but rather a generic version. They lack the distinctive lid and bottom design of the original bins and the plastic used to construct them is very different. For a Little Bitty Bin 'purist' like myself I'll be keeping an eye out in opshops to pick up any original bins if I feel my supplies are running low!

22 comments:

  1. I found your site by googling "Little Bitty Bins". They used to make a small rectangle plastic cup into which you sat a "popper" fruit juice drink so that little toddlers could hold the drink without squirting the juice all over everyone. They were fantastic and I have scoured op shops (and grandmas cupboards) looking for one for my niece for her two little boys. They were fantastic!!

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  2. You can still buy the mini council bins, however only the large 22 L ones are sold in the stores.
    600 ml bins very similar to the ones sold in stores can be bought from OSGS in a range of colours red green blue and yellow.
    500 ml bins can be purchased from the other bin companies. These bins have the same shape as a full size bin and come in a range of different colour combinations including the popular green/yellow lid type.
    Sometimes older Sulo2 varieties pop up on Ebay, however choice is limited.

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  3. I googled Little Bitty Bin Fun Company and found your site only when I entered the "the web" rather than "australia". I have a .6 litre mini council bin in a very light purple - that I use on my desk as a pencil holder. The edges of the top of bin have become damaged and would love to get another - but rather partial to the purple colour!

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  4. do you still make the popper holders? or do u know where i can find them? thanks

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  5. I just wanted to show my support for the venerable Little Bitty Bins. I too was astounded that a Google search returned so few results.

    I was really hoping these were sold somewhere in Australia these days...Truly, the usefulness of these little fellas knows no bounds - Lego containers, indoor cricket wickets, garbage bins, craft supplies and the all important dirty tissue holder - Complete with safety lid. Oh how I miss you...
    Let's hear it for the Bitty Bin revolution!

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  6. Me too! I want Little Bitty Bins to come back. We all had one for our pencils when I was in Year 4, 5 and 6.

    And thanks, Robert, for the tip about OSGS having the little council bins. I have been looking everywhere (else) to no avail.

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  7. .... i found the little itty bins on sale at KMART yesterday :) :) :)

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  8. Is it true that Itty Bitty Bins are back at Kmart?
    I am, in Australia and desperate to find them and i could not believe that there was so little info on them as i googled.

    Kmart Australia?
    Rose
    x

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  9. Yes :O) KMART Australia ... i purchased 5 of the 7 ltr ones this morning , $8.50 each , They also sold the 1.5 ltr ones for $4.30 each.. Hope this helps >>>
    rock on itty bitty bins :O)

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  10. thankyou

    i'd almost forgotten entirely about these until a conversation with a friend reminded me. she didn't remember them but lo and behold when we googled it and found your site, the nostalgia came flooding back to me.

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  11. I've been in contact with Willow and they suggest KMart (Australia) but I found my local KMart to not be very helpful at all. I'd like a 1.5L and they only had one 7L bin in stock. Unfortunately my search continues because they refused to order one for me. I might just have to ask Willow if I can buy direct from the factory in Melbourne (Tullamarine).

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  12. Watch this space......they are coming back!

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  13. Do we have any recent news about the bins? They were the best storage ever, I'm looking for some for my son, fingers crossed they come back :) and soon!!

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    Replies
    1. Itty Bitty are back, all Officeworks stores in Australia have them, 5 sizes all in 5 colours each - COOL!!

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  14. I know this isn't exactly the same brand, but these are cute - and cheap! I found them while googling "mini trash cans". HTH!

    http://images.search.yahoo.com/images/view?back=http%3A%2F%2Fsearch.yahoo.com%2Fsearch%3Fei%3DUTF-8%26p%3Dmini%2Bgarbage%2Bcans&w=160&h=160&imgurl=www.bing.com%2Fimages%2Fsearch%3Fq%3Dmini%2Bgarbage%2Bcans%23focal%3Dedee8d475c6c3b0e3374a2cc33d08895%26furl%3Dhttp%253a%252f%252fwww.ustoy.com%252fustoy.com%252fnovelty%252f2.0%252fimages%252fmain%252f3527.jpg&size=&name=search&rcurl=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.bing.com%2Fimages%2Fsearch%3Fq%3Dmini%2Bgarbage%2Bcans%23focal%3Dedee8d475c6c3b0e3374a2cc33d08895%26furl%3Dhttp%253a%252f%252fwww.ustoy.com%252fustoy.com%252fnovelty%252f2.0%252fimages%252fmain%252f3527.jpg&rurl=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.bing.com%2Fimages%2Fsearch%3Fq%3Dmini%2Bgarbage%2Bcans%23focal%3Dedee8d475c6c3b0e3374a2cc33d08895%26furl%3Dhttp%253a%252f%252fwww.ustoy.com%252fustoy.com%252fnovelty%252f2.0%252fimages%252fmain%252f3527.jpg&p=mini+garbage+cans&type=&no=2&tt=115&oid=http%3A%2F%2Fts4.mm.bing.net%2Fimages%2Fthumbnail.aspx%3Fq%3D4671752384939023%26id%3Dc0e602e5f3d37f981aec2ea0b4d10a32%26index%3Dnewexp&tit=Mini+Garbage+Cans+%7C+USToy.com&sigr=15jp8mkpa&sigi=15c0u8cih&sigb=11rlnhdf8&fr=yfp-t-701

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  15. I've had this post bookmarked for ages, because Itty Bitty Bins were my childhood, and after a customer at my former job asked me if I knew where they could be purchased, I've been nostalgic for them ever since. However, I've discovered they're back, for sale at Officeworks in several colours and sizes, and wanted to let you know!

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  16. i found the itty bitty bins in office works try them if all fails

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  17. Hi guys,

    We've just posted about Itty Bitty Bins on our Facebook page which people seemed to have liked! If you're interested you can have a look here http://on.fb.me/HMmcBj and the range of our Itty Bitty Bins are here http://bit.ly/Ir4ebM :)

    Thanks to Kayla Dee and an anonymous poster above for the Officeworks mentions!

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  18. Does any one know if you can still get the "poppa" "juice box" holders anywhere? I had one as a child and my son has some how lost it (as children do) I would happily pay almost ANY price to get my hands on some more! So if any one knows where I could get more, I would love you forever! lol
    Thanks :)

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  19. The ones at Officeworks are Itty Bitty Bins, not the Little Bitty Bins we had in the 80s & 90s. I recently bought some for my children and they are not the same: the plastic is of a lower quality (thinner and flimsier) and the lids are awkward to get on and off - my kids cannot do it themselves, they always need help, something which we never did. Plus, the handle does not allow for a good grip like the old ones used to. In my opinion, they are a nastier, cheaper version. I'm still looking for the original Little Bitty Bins :)

    Sorry, Officeworks, I won't be back to buy more!

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  20. Loved the itty bitty range as a kid and I still use the small crates..pink and green (anyone remember them?) they are so handy everywhere in the house. I would really love to track down some more crates if any one can help.. I also use one of the lidded bins but unfortunately it is one of the newer clear plastic ones. I have recently seen very cheaply made knockoffs lidded bins in my local $2 shop. Bring back the original (&best) itty bitty range!

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Thank you for your lovely comments x

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