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November 16, 2010 | Posted By: Laura Pagles
Cabbage Patch Kids: my first memory of parents lining up and forsaking all sense of civility for a toy that was plentiful before the holiday and forgotten a year later. Maybe Iím bitter - I didnít get a real signature-on-the-rear, papered kid from the garden - but was it worth it?
As the mother of two kids under five, Iím still gleefully unaware of the pressures presented by fiercely competitive toy mongers and their minions disguised as Kindergarten classmates. So I may be proven a liar. But I shall not cave to this pressure to forsake common sense and frugality.
Two top toys for gifts from the last two years, Fisher Priceís Elmo Live and Zhu Zhu Pets, look at their price at their peak versus their lowest price and the position theyíve assumed on The Island of Misfit Toys (eBay and the bottom of the toy box).
When it first entered the market, Fisher Priceís Elmo Live retailed for $59.99. According to MyPriceTrack.com, this price had dipped to $39.99 by the following January. For in-the-box Elmo, Ebayers are still holding on to that price; and current gen of this toy that does all the playing for you is moving into the mid-seventies. But without his cellophane tour bus, poor Elmoís only getting $20 per eBay gig. $20 and a torso full of dead batteries doesnít balance plunking down $60 or $75 while getting on a first-name basis with the stock boy at Walmart. But my daughters Elmo plush doll: Battery free and still accompanying her to bed after two years.
Oh Zhu Zhu pets. Itís a cheap piece of Ö but at least itís not a real hamster, right? Right. Until you pay $40 bucks a piece and lurk in multiple forums waiting for word that the rodents have arrived in-store. After seeing a Zhu Zhu 3-pack for $13.49 (expired best deal), a devoted parent and unnamed coworker responded, ď...I spent $25 a piece on two of them last year and thought I got a hell of a deal. And now...they're under a bed.Ē Iíd be disgusted if my kid had rodents under her bed too.
The 2010 top toy mania has yet to clearly define itself. Unless we learned our lesson with the Zhu Zhu rodents, nests, and exercise equipment, Iíd keep a safe distance between my child and the Mattel Singa Ma Jigs. Aside from finding their unidentifiable species slightly disturbing, Iím avoiding any initial investment whose selling feature is add-on aliens for the promise of - increased volume and - harmony.
Itís not just the Singa Ma Jigsí fault Ė my daughter was born with a talent for going Mix Master Mike with any audio-reciting toy. Sheís already telling me, ďItís a pillow. Itís a pet. Itís a Pillow Pet,Ē every time we walk into Walmart.
No more TV until after Christmas.
What toy ghosts of Christmas past are haunting your toy box of Christmas present?
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