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shopping math

Kid's Toys are Junk

On a completely different note...

When did nearly all children's toys become cheap junk? I have nothing against plastic toys, but I'd like to buy something that doesn't look like it's going to fall apart in a month, without spending an arm and a leg on it.

Inspired by my regular babysitter's (15-year-old) talky-keyboard-letters toy, I went to Toys R Us the other day, looking for a fun noisy electronic toy and/or a pull-up/walking toy. I didn't see anything I was willing to spend my money on.

(I really like this handcrafted wagon full of blocks, but that's in the "arm and a leg" category. I'd call it an heirloom-quality toy.)
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hazliya June 5th, 2009
I have a lady that comes in to PetSm* regularly and gets rubber dog toys (that are meant to take a ridiculous beating) for her teething-age grandchild.

Most of them are pretty much baby toys made out of Kevlar. And other materials that have to be cleared as safe under any circumstances in order to be let on the market. But the Kevlar ones are the funniest.

Moral of the story: if you ever want something made to last, buy something made for a pit bull. xD

anitra June 5th, 2009
I am not surprised. I used to buy rawhide treats for the cats, who would chew up and destroy any other "chew toy".

That said, I've found that the BABY toys I see (non-mobile or rolling child, not crawling/pulling up/etc) are pretty well-made (like the seahorse of DOOM.) It's just the toys for toddlers & up that seem chintzy.

I may revise my opinion once Claire gets teeth.

OMG Blocks!

etherial June 5th, 2009
I used to have that set of blocks as a kid. They were my GI Joe fortress and my Transforers Ark and my Boulder Hill. They are most definitely heirloom quality toys, as long as your brother doesn't glue any of them together.

+1 circumstance bonus for icon use.

Re: OMG Blocks!

anitra June 5th, 2009
I've been seriously thinking about spreading the word around the family that this is what we would like to get Claire for Christmas. It just irks me, because she could really use the wagon NOW for pulling up and standing.

But yeah, blocks are on the short list of toys for 1st birthday and 2nd Christmas. Later on, we can introduce her to Mommy's Legos. :)

daedaleandeus June 5th, 2009
A good suggestion I can give you is to stay the hell away from chain toy stores like Toys R Us and KB. They are the WalMart of the toy world - they sell serviceable, usable, but ultimately low quality goods for reasonable prices, and employ people that would otherwise go unemployed (teenagers.)

I recommend google mapping for small toy shops - theres one in Worcester next to Bagel Time near WPI, and I know of one or two in areas east and north of Marlborough. The toys you'll find there will be more expensive, but they will be of much higher quality, and at least at a place like that there will be a good selection.

anitra June 5th, 2009
I plan on looking in that toy store sometime soon.

It mostly bugs me because I was actually looking for an electronic toy for a change, and I don't expect many of those at an independent toy store. We try not to buy too many toys, but I wanted to get her something new for this weekend, when she'll be with gramma for most of the day.

k1ttycat June 5th, 2009
We have been watching for toys at yardsales, so we aren't spending a whole lot on toys, and sometimes you can find those higher quality toys. We recently got, for $7, a regularly $65 excersaucer that looked brand new, We used disinfectant and made sure it was super clean, and Cadence loves it.

We also got for $1 a stand-up walking toy that has a removable piece that plays music and lights up.

My suggestion, check yardsales this summer.

How is Claire doing?

anitra June 5th, 2009
She's doing OK. Had a few bouts of sickness, but in general, good.

I've been looking at Craigslist, but haven't had much time to go to yardsales.

Claire loves the exersaucer that's at church. But if we got one, I would be way too tempted to let her stay in there longer than is good for her.

k1ttycat June 5th, 2009
Cadence is very insistent about what she wants. She will only stay in the exersauser for half an hour at the most, and then she lets us know that she is done. Quite forcefully. I imagine Claire would be the same. I like it because it gives Cadence time to strengthen her legs (she likes to bounce herself in it) and play with various different toys. I particularly like it it for outside while I am gardening and can't watch her as closely as I would want to if she was just on a blanket.

ddrpolaris June 5th, 2009
TJMaxx occasionally has some good quality toys mixed in with the crap, a la wagons full of blocks etc.

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