After buying toys for my kids I am sometimes overwhelmed by how short a time it takes before the latest toy that they always wanted is discarded. Left for dead under the bed or tossed into the wardrobe to be forgotten about. Or sometimes, and these are the times I like, the imagination takes over and the toy is transformed into something else or combined with other toys.
I have spent countless dollars on little Barbie dresses and now Barbie is wrapped up in a handkerchief with a shoelace for a belt. I don’t know where this idea for the latest fashion came from, but then again children see things differently from us. This same philosophy of children losing interest is possible behind why the toy makers are always adding to the existing models. Barbie has been going for many years and she is always being upgraded with different accessories. The latest Barbie is a rather elegant model that came out as the Chinese New Year Barbie with an elegant price to match. One toy set I like and my kid keeps collecting is the Littlest Pet Shop. This has been around since the 80’s so now the older stuff would be collector’s items. There are untold pieces and many different accessories. This little playset is reasonable priced and buying up the little pets won’t break the bank. Every time another add-on hits the market there are usually only two new pets in the box, but on the picture on the box you see pictures of many lovely little pets. This is an excellent marketing strategy and should guarantee future sales. But us parents are at the receiving end. Looking around the toyshops many different toy sets do the same thing. I suppose it keeps the children interested and looking forward to something new. MEGA BLOKS has many different add-ons for each new series. For example the Pyrates series has two main boats—Dread Eye’s Phantom and Captain Cutlass’s Stormstalker. The other main bases for the series are the Pyrates Cove and the Smuggler’s Fort with the Pyrates Treasure Pack and Pyrates Skull Cave and any number of figurines as add-ons. So if your little boy falls in love with the Pyrates there would seem to be a never ending supply of toys to choose from. A slight variation on this theme is the classic game, Monopoly, which now has countless versions all based on the original game. These are not really add-ons they just make the game more appealing to a wider audience. Instead of just the property game, now you can get dinosaur, cat, car and sports monopoly along with scenery and fishing and many more.
If you are a dinosaur fan then Dinosaur Monopoly, to find out if you end up extinct or not, is the game for you. Kids love new things, especially popular toys they can show off to their friends. But we parents have to fork out our hard earned cash. I must admit in most cases I do it willingly because I like to see my kid happy. Now I’m starting to check myself and before I buy I like to think my money is going to good use. So if I buy one in a series and the kid does not play with it I do not buy anymore, despite the tantrums. When we parents are up against modern advertising and exquisite packaging designs we have no chance. So the best weapon we have is to say “NO” and mean it.
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Peter Legrove: Toyman, Peter Puzzler, I love toys and puzzles and animals and dinosaurs and bugs. I have kids of my own so I am always on the lookout for the latest and greatest in toys Our website specializes in toys, puzzles and games that have an animal, dinosaur or insect theme.