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Posted on Apr 14, 2012

Hunting and Gathering Toy Tattle Style

Hunting and Gathering Toy Tattle Style

Have you seen the price of toys! Yes of course you have, you’re a parent – it’s enough to make your eyes water.

If you’re approaching a small person’s brithday and dreading the expense, you basically have two options:

Good toys won't just come to you - you've got to hunt 'em out

    1) Tell the kids ‘in my day we were happy to have a ball and a spinning top and that was our only entertainment for 18 years. And we had to share a bath, and darn our own socks…….’


    2) Go toy hunting Toy Tattle style.

Let me teach you how it’s done.

I’ll tell you what I want, what I really really want

When the sprogs fall in love with a toy don’t just take their word for it that this is the one and only toy they have ever truly loved (unless of course it only costs a tenner, in which case lucky you).

You need to interview them in a Jeremy Paxman-esque manner to really get to the bottom of what they want. Is it that specific toy or will anything in the range do?

And here’s why. My son loves Bakugan. But he is only 6 (almost 7) and he hasn’t yet realized that every year a whole new series of Bakugan toys are released. The 2012 range if Bakugan is called Mechtanium Surge and you can expect to pay around £30 for the Battle Arena and £15 for a set of three Bakugan. At those prices my budget for his birthday presents was not going to stretch very far. So I set to work hunting out a cheaper way to stock up on Bakugan toys. The 2011 line was called Gundalian Invaders, and because they have now been superseded by the Mechtanium Surge toys, they are being sold off by many retailers at half price, or even less. Happy mum, very happy birthday boy.

This technique will work with almost any toy line. Every year new releases of kids favourite brands are brought out, and retailers must make room by clearing out the previous generation of the range at a reduced price. So when your child asks for a toy, find out what it is they like about it, is it a feature particular to that specific toy, or is it just the style and characters that they are drawn to.

X marks the spot

So now I have told you about heavily discounted toys, where can you expect to find this valuable treasure?

Well I don’t want to clutter this pretty page with oodles of links, so you can check out my favourite places for cheap toys here.

My absolute favourites are The Entertainer’s Super Savings section and the eBay Argos outlet. Almost all my birthday and Christmas presents for the kids have come from there, and whenever I do an order I throw in a couple of small toys to use as gifts when the kids are invited to birthday parties – saves rushing out and spending too much at the last minute.

Pre-owned, pre-loved and pretty cheap

Some toys are really built to last, and you can save stacks of money by buying them from another mum who’s kid has outgrown them. Not all toys stand the test of time, but there are a few types that I regularly buy used.

Action figures for example are horrendously expensive when new for just one teeny tiny 4 inch figure, brandishing a light sabre so small it is invisible to the naked eye. For that same £5 I have managed to get a small collection of same the figures in very good used condition.

This is also an excellent lesson for the children to learn about keeping the flow of toys moving. They know that an older child outgrew those toys and let them go to a new home, and that encourages them to release some of their more babyish belongings back out into the wild.

Well that’s me done – I’m all out of advice.

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Cheers, ta, and thank you very muchly.