Thursday, February 18, 2010

A toy story

My apologies go out to Phil Wrzesinski and his fine staff at the Toy House here in Jackson. Yes, we have spent thousands of dollars at your great store, but in reality, all the kids want is a clean cardboard box to play with.

For real, nothing else.

Our deprived kids only have one floor in the house devoted to their toys, the poor dears have to climb up three stories our spacious attic to play with the few toys that they have and then, they are so stressed out they only play with a few of the hundreds of choices available.

We hear Bono is working on a benefit concert for them.

Yes, I know that we have to be a catalyst to make some of the toys “work” for play time, but even when we do get involved, they tend to migrate away and either go towards our computer, or look for something totally inappropriate to play with (power strips, trash, Wii remotes, empty wine glasses, etc). This afternoon, Tod brought in a box from a recent WOOT purchase and handed it to me as a gift. He mentioned that it was something that I could share with Anna if I wanted, so I gleefully opened it and found an interactive DJ Lance Rock (from Yo Gabba Gabba) Hat and glasses. You pressed the little device on the fuzzy fez and it barked out its disco commands. Well, if the hat fit, I’d probably still be down there playing with it, but it was obviously made for smaller craniums and I quickly grew bored. Anna wore it for a bit, and fought with Eli for the glasses, but in a few moments the hat was tossed on the counter and the box was discovered by the recycling.

Then the fun started.

I love the fact that Tod knows I love YG2 and its denizens, and I am thankful for the fun fez, but in reality, the cardboard box provided more hands on fun time than the fez will ever see. This past Christmas, during one of the many gift orgies we attended, Anna gleefully shouted “BUBBLEWRAP!” as she unwrapped one of her presents, tossing the fragile gift aside to promptly begin popping bubbles. Note to grandparents and other family, shop for Anna at your local post office or shipping store.

I grow weary of the stack of toys accumulating in the attic, many of which fit the Toy House’s model of good, long-lasting toys, some of which remain untouched most of the time. I grow weary thinking of all the money spent on these toys and how that money could be put to good use elsewhere, and I grow weary thinking that my kids are going to grow up as the new consumer; casually tossing aside what bores them for the next big thing.

I want them to find the fun and excitement that my brother and I found with our Muppet Puppets and Tonka Toys. I want them to obsess over Legos like we did and create strange and wonderful creations. I am not sure if it’s an age thing or if it’s a territorial thing, but they are still getting used to playing with each other these days. It’s only been six months since Eli moved in, but it appears that all the wonderful gifts we received at Eli’s adoption party could have been replaced with an empty cardboard box.

For more information on the greatest toy store on earth, please check out Phil’s family store at:


  1. The way I think of it is the kids are using their imagination to create a toy out the box. Toys leave little room to imagine stuff, a box is a car, a castle, or a new planet undiscovered. I think in time they will gravitate towards legos. Boxes are always interesting in the early years.

  2. HA! We know this scenario all too well, albeit with only one child....and hey, I have to admit, I love playing with her...and the boxes too ;-)

    Happy FF Friday!


  3. It gets a little daunting when you get Toy sprawl but with a room upstairs dedicated I think you manage that really well. We try to take toys out of the rotation for a while and then reintroduce them to keep them exciting but nothing beats a box or two for our kids either.