Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Potential Elf

Toys. Christmas. Toys.

I'm struggling with toys. I'm struggling with the price of toys. I'm struggling with the types of toys being hyped in the media. Toys.

Last night Gabby and I play Balloon Lagoon. The game has been on the game shelf for several years. One of our favorites is suitable for children five and up. Adults enjoy it as much as the kids. So, I write to my sister and tell her about the game. She has two small grandsons who would love it. Before I wrote, I decided to check out the price on Amazon. $115!!!!!!!! I don't know what the price was when my granddaughters' game was purchased, but I know that no one in the family would pay that much for a game!

I decided to go online to see what else I could find for over $100: a small, wooden doll house; a small toy piano; a wooden rail and road set; a pony that can have it's hair braided and gems glue to it. What is going on?  Why is fun so expensive????

Surprisingly, little wooden toys made to encourage the child's mind, those made from Mother Earth herself, are equally expensive.

When I grew up, we had just a few things in the bottom of a stocking. One Christmas I received a small celluloid doll that walked across a table top when a weighted string was dropped over the edge of a table. I decided to look up antique toys from that period during the 50's to see what my little plastic toy was worth. The only toy coming close to the little doll was worth $49. At the time, it couldn't have been worth more than a dollar or two.

Considering the above, I predict that by the time my granddaughters are in their later years, this game we played last night will be worth a few thousand dollars. Well, maybe not. Makes one wonder, doesn't it. Are toys only for the rich and used toys for the rest of us? Are we, the adults, allowing this to happen because we break the bank trying to buy the toys? Maybe we should go back to the button on a string.

Well, if I still had the old tinker toys and tin top that spun when you pushed the pump top, the Tiny Tears dolls that cried real tears, my old wooden Duncan yoyo, wooden blocks that had grooves that fit together and the old Cootie game, I could sell them and buy a toy for a child.

Hundreds of dollar for Santa to make it down the chimney granting the wishes of children, children who will not know any better just like I didn't.

I like to believe elves make those gifts that ride in that big red bag.Their wages must be pretty good based on toy prices. I'm short. Maybe I could get a job at the North Pole.


  1. I remember all those great, cheap toys too. You know, you can find all you need to delight a kid these days at the party store. It isn't name brand and it isn't elaborate but some of the trinkets and gadgets are fun and keep the attention span for as long or longer than Cabbage Patch this and Beany Baby that.
    I made clothes for my GI Joe back in the 60s because imagination was the spark of life in the gifts we got.
    I'm trying my hardest to instill that in my grandkids but it isn't easy when TV, video and phones do it for them.

  2. Yes, we made do with what we had and were pretty creative when you look back. I really kind of miss being that child. We have limited the girls on TV, the wii and phone. They need to have down time. Today Gabby said, "I'm bored." I told her would probably be bored a few more time in her life.

  3. When you see those exorbitant prices, it is usually on Amazon Marketplace, not Amazon itself. What happens is that people buy up toys that they think will be in demand, and then they list them for exorbitant prices. Lots of times they don't sell many items, but at the prices they are charging, they don't have to sell many. If you really want a Balloon Lagoon, check eBay.

    My dad has self-published three books. Right now one of them is listed on Amazon for $57. Someone is just hoping that it's a rare book. It's not.

  4. Hi, Susan

    I did check out other sites and found the same high price. Yes, Ebay is great. Even a used game is good. And, it's not to say that you can't find it cheaper. I'm just amazed that the price on a game can be so inflated.

    BTW, I'm reading a book about an author that was once just a writer. His books became rare and sought after. Fingers crossed for your dad.