Wednesday, July 7, 2010

The Great EOFY Toy Sale...

Like everybody else in metro NSW, I received the bumper toy-sale catalogues in the post a couple of weeks back. Big W. Target. Myer. All the major chains simultaneously vying for a pre-Christmas panic attack that would have me lining up at midnight and swiping my credit card before you could say "um, but aren't there 6 MONTHS til the big fat man squeezes down the chimney?"

Instead of throwing the catalogues immediately into the recycler (where most of my junk mail ends up) I decided to have a quick looksy through them, and I have to admit that for a few minutes they had me convinced. Life-size cuddly characters from In the Nightgarden; Thomas the Tank Engine boxed sets; springless trampolines... I began to hyperventilate.

I got over it quickly.

I remembered my first toy-sale experience when Fern was a baby (last year). And the nasty taste it left in my mouth. And just now, I remembered an email I sent to my mothers group afterward, describing my experience. Here's an excerpt, for a bit 'o' fun:

So. I'm a mummy now, and there was really only a limited amount of time I could avoid the toy isle at the chain-stores. With Big W, Myer and KMart all having big sales that started at some ridiculous time like midnight last night, I decided it was time to face my fears. After all, there's only so long Fern will be fascinated with sucking her own fingers, or stretching my earringed earlobes down to my shoulders.

I hit KMart at midday, after spending 3 hours circling the carpark fruitlessly seeking a space to rest my car. Fern -- hoisted over my shoulder like a sack-o-potatoes (said car space too narrow to release stroller from back of car) and I approached KMart with a sense of trepidation. The scene that greeted us was not unlike the mosh-pit at the Big Day Out... a thrashing throng of weary women with glazed looks in their eyes grabbing anything that moved (or squeaked or spun or made a noise). I thanked God I am tall and could still reach oxygen!

I prepared myself to be dazzled... after all, these other women were passionately wrestling each other over the last tickle-me-elmos and pint-sized laptops... but I found myself strangely unimpressed.

They call it a sale?? Honestly, the way its all advertised I expected to buy all my christmas pressies til 2022 for $20 bucks! Instead, I found meagre savings off a slim range of plastic-fantastic toys proclaiming 'hours of entertainment' and essentially all doing the same thing. I was unconvinced.

I came to the realisation I do not need a house full of plastic -- surely a rubber ball, a ball of playdough and my pots n pans would do the same job as these expensive products we are made to believe our kids cant live without?

My lovely next door neighbour - a sensible mother of 3 - told me over the weekend that she went to the toy sale at Big W. Got there at midnight and lined up TIL 3-BLOODY-AM!! And she's not alone. Almost every mum I know went to at least one of the sales. Or at last circled the catalogues and made preparatory lists for Christmas. It would seem I am the only mum left in all of NSW that will visit the toy department in Myer on Christmas Eve. But if it means no queues, no layby counter and free giftwrapping -- I figure its worth losing the few bucks I would have saved in buying it all in July.

What say you? Did you brave the toy sales? Is it a parenting rite-of-passage I am denying myself of? Is it all really WORTH THE PAIN??


  1. Nope, not me - not going, not interested. :)

  2. Yep, I'm with you. I went to Kmart for one thing (it is a reasonable saving on the item I want of about $40) and they had already run out at 9:30 am. But I can layby it up until the 14th without it in stock, so why rush out on day one? I flicked through the catalogues and was underwhelmed. I am sick of all the plastic crap we have already accumulated, I really don't want anymore!

  3. No - I have avoided the toy sales. This year I will be attempting to hand make as much as possible. That being said, with a Tinkerbell obsessed 3 year old - I might just have to drop by Target and see if there is a little fairy wanting a new home.

  4. I went to Kmart at midnight, which I said I'd never ever do but only for 2 reasons - O's birthday is in 3 weeks so I grabbed a pressie for him, and because I could actually go on my own. I very gladly steered clear of the layby queue which was massive :|

    That said, I went back to Kmart again today to put on an actual layby for Christmas. We have our 2 kiddies to buy for plus 1 goddaughter, 4 nephews and 2 nieces. In/out in 15, one present each and the total was under $200, I'm pretty chuffed with that!

  5. You should be a writer Nicole - you always crack me up with your humour :) I've never been into sales much of any kind as I can't stand the crowds and the queues so these big toy sales lately haven't got me all that excited either. I can't ever imagine lining up at 12am for anything let alone toys! I did pop to Big W last week to get Grace's new bike but not because of the sale, just because I'd seen it advertised and it reminded me I'd been searching for one. Also, as you said, no matter how many toys Grace seems to accumulate, it's always things like emptying my kitchen drawers that keep her most happy and so I'm planning on having a big de-clutter of her toy boxes very soon :)


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