Don’t Buy Before This Essential Pre-Purchase Toy Research
They’re so expensive. In my day I was happy with a ball and skipping rope….blah blah blah.
Actually, I’m certain toys were just as eye-wateringly expensive in my house. I had a My Little Pony castle, and I’m fairly certain my parents had to remortgage the house just to buy it.
But worse than the expense was the uncertainty. All they had to go on was a tiny photo and description in the Argos catalogue and a few TV adverts. They had no way of knowing if a toy was totally crap and useless until I unwrapped it on Christmas morning and gently sobbed as it fell apart (we’ve all had that one crushingly disappointing toy).
Parents now can be much more savvy about where and how they spend their money.
So here’s how you check if a toy is really worthy of its spot on your child’s birthday or Christmas list.
#1 Customer Reviews
The major retailers like Amazon and Toys R Us carry customer reviews for each product. Read them. Don’t just go on the star value, read the comments too. If you are in the UK and reviews are a bit thin on the ground, head over to a US retailer where you’re likely to find more feedback.
Bloggers, kids, retailers, manufacturers, they’re all on YouTube showcasing toys. Promo/marketing videos can be useful for getting info on the features, then head to a hands-on review to see the toy in action.
#3 Real Life
Ask friends if they have this toy already, or go and visit in a bricks and mortar store. There is no substitute for seeing the toy in person. Even strapped into its box you will still get a good feel for size, durability and whether or not it’s a good match for your child. Some toy shops have unpackaged toys out for you to get hands-on with.
After this extensive research, you should have a fairly good idea whether you want to buy the toy or not. Your work doesn’t end there, however. If you’ve uncovered a dud, now you need to decide whether to disappoint your small one, gently help them fall out of love with it, or buy it anyway and risk Christmas Day/birthday tears.
Luckily for you, and unhappily for me, I have extensive experience of crap toy-requests. My boys have an uncanny ability to seek out the biggest waste of money in the toy shop, then beg me mercilessly for it until I want to cry/scream/turn to drink. So here’s what I’ve learned about what to do when your child’s chosen a dud.
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Cheers, ta, and thank you very muchly.