Adventures of Darth Daddy

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Some options cost extra

We've all been aware for some time that the more STUFF you get in a car, the more it costs. And of course, on those TV commercials, they always show the fully loaded model. Recently, Ive started to notice a similarity in toys.

It started a year ago, when we bought a firetruck toy for Logan at a store. It was 4 buttons on the side, took 4 aa batteries, and made sounds. A month later, we came across another one at a thrift store. We picked it up (it was only $1). Same color and everything, but it was a lesser model. It even had the molded plastic area where the battery compartment should have gone, but it was never cut open. The boys liked both trucks.

Yesterday, I went outside to straighten my back garage. Up near the front of the garage, I passed the battery powered jeep I got the boys about a year ago. AS I looked at it, I noticed that it had "features" that should have been there. Like it had a sticker of a CB handle, but the molding indicated that there should have been a "real" handle there. There were holes behind the head lights that could have had wires run to them, but no wires (or bulbs/lights inside). I picked it up new at Walmart, (and compared it to others), so I know that I didn't get a "broke one". (In truth, I noticed this when I took i tout of the box, but I didnt think to blog about it until today - I'm lazy, not dense).

The kids aren't bothered either way, but I wonder what toy companies are thinking. I realize that with big ticket items, more options can boost the price of the product. But these are toys! WHO is the cheap bastard that looked at a molded plastic firetruck, and said "Ya know, I just don't feel like cutting out anymore holes for those siren buttons. Just ship the rest as they are."

I also wonder at what age kids start to notice thing like this. At 3, Logan hasn't a clue about such things. But it won't surpise me if he takes his favorite firtruck to school, and some snot nosed little bastard tries to make him feel bad, because of him having the "lesser model".

And I thought that questions like
  • Does it have air conditioning?
  • Do the seat recline?
  • Does the stereo work?
  • What other features are avaliable on this model?
were only necesary by adults on a car lot.

(Side note: my kids hopefully, will be taught the value of ANY toy - just as I was. I didn' get a lot of toys growign up, but I made DAMN sure that I took good care of what I did get. That's why their room is filled with original 1977 Star Wars toys, and other toys like strolling bowling, Mazinga of the Shogun Warriors, and that football kicker guy that kicks the ball when you POP him on the head.


  • At 1:25 PM, Blogger Mike said…

    We noticed the toy changes on a Little People's airpot toy last Christmas. My niece and nephew have the same toy with lots of electroics that are LOUD and annoying. Plus they don't work right a lot of the time.

    We did not want to open this gift for our kids, because we knew it was junky. But we finally gave in and were glad too see that they had pulled all of the electronics out of the toy.

    id don't know if they did it to be cheaper or if they did it because parents complained, but the toy is exactly the same other wise.

    Light covers are still there, with no bulbs or fixtures and all of the speaker holes are moolded into each piece. Our 4 yr old always wants to know why his toy does not make lights or sounds...


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