I was having a discussion with a friend of mine who has 3 kids older than Emily. The subject started off with my super organisation skills when it came to buying presents, something that came into place when I was pregnant and sort of stuck. There’s so many people in Sam’s and my family, that when it comes to presents, I want to make sure I’m on top of every birthday card, wish and present in time for birthdays and Christmas. Same goes for my group of friends too. It all adds up, especially if you’re buying toys – they’re not exactly cheap. I don’t think they ever really have been cheap, but quality seems to have gone out the window for a name and/or popularity. It’s really quite astonishing what lengths people will go to to keep their kids happy these days.
When I was a child, we wrote our letter to Santa or asked what we wanted and even if you had changed your mind, you got what you asked for. These days, thanks to the influence of television, the internet and social media, kids want everything and they want it now, whatever the cost. There are three toys for Christmas last year that hit the headlines, and showed the influence huge toy manufacturers have over parents and their spending habits.
LOL Big Surprise: Surprise| MGA| £59.99
This toy managed to piss a lot more parents off that they manufacturers probably imagined. Yes parents are willing to pay anything, but if the thousands of reviews are to be believed, the “50 never before seen surprises inside with exclusive dolls and accessories” was in fact a con and not worth the price tag at all.
FurReal Roarin’ Tyler | Hasbro | £134.99
According to most reviews online, this interactive tiger is well worth the money. The Roarin’ Tyler, the Playful Tiger pet is ready to play. And his favourite way to play is to ROAR! Make noise and he roars back. Talk to him and he responds! This tiger cub responds to sounds and touch with 100+ sound-and-motion combinations! Pet his head and his eyes might close. Pet him on his muzzle and he moves!
The Luvabella Doll | Spinmaster | £99.99
Personally dolls have got creepier since I was a kid, but this doll was the talking point of 2017 and with that price tag you expect it to do more that drink water and pee. She moves, talks and plays like a real baby. She actually responds interactively – tickle her tummy and she giggles, give her a bottle and she will “drink” it and if you talk to her she will learn up to 100 new words. Still creepy if you ask me.
According to some people the more expensive the toy is the less toxic materials and dangerous artificial colours are within the product, meaning they’ll do less harm to children. On top of ridiculous pricing systems, I don’t think parents overall help. Every parent is guilty of it. Parents of this generation are more ready, steady, go, to go to any extent to make their little kids happy these days whatever the reason. Some children will behave in such a manner that their parents buy just to keep their child quiet, others do it for popularity. Because of this the big toy manufacturers take advantage and raise the prices, because of their parents are dumb enough to pay for it, why not? Whatever happened to sticking to a budget and being sensible? Not only has cost of toys tripled over the years, everything else costs a hell of a lot more too, so shouldn’t parents stick to their guns and only allow their child/children a few things?
Living where we live, in Ramsgate by the sea, I’m hoping that Emily doesn’t take advantage of the fresh air, the seaside and the countryside. Emily’s Father Sam is from here and never liked it growing up, whereas I’m from South West London and I never particularly liked certain parts there, but we got on with it and managed. I was a very outdoorsy girl when I was younger, I loved always playing outside, always using the field behind my house to the best of our advantage and all the kids on my street would be out there every day playing rounders, hide & seek and many other games till late at night in the summer. Okay, times have changed, but I do hope that Emily appreciates what we do have here, rather than wanting to spend all her time on a mobile phone, watching TV or playing on a PlayStation.