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DEATH TO TOY FADS
  #1  
Old 11-17-2009, 10:01 PM
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Default DEATH TO TOY FADS

Lately I've been getting lots of people asking me about Zhu-Zhu Pets. These are crappy little fake hamsters you stick a battery in, and they do certain cute hamster things. There might also be some interactive aspect to them, in which you can enter a code on some Web site and be able to play little games with your Zhu-Zhu pets online. They're called Zhu-Zhu pets because "crappy little fake hamster your kid will play with for eight minutes and then forget about forever" has no marketing zing.

However, it has evidently been decided that Zhu-Zhu pets are THE hot toy of the 2009 holiday season. We have been sold out of the damn things for close to a month. They're selling for ridiculously inflated prices on the internet. We supposedly have 392 of them on order, but that doesn't mean we'll necessarily get 392 Zhu-Zhu pets in, or getting any in anytime soon. Not when I suspect the manufacturer is holding back on supply because they know they have a hit on their hands and this way they can drive up the hype.

So today, as I'm working out our six pallets of toys, which included all of zero Zhu-Zhu Pets, some guy comes up to me and bellows "Hey! Toy guy! You got my Zhu-Zhu Pets in yet?"

Ummm, nope, sorry, they haven't come in yet.

"Well what's going on here?! I've been waiting for weeks to get Zhu-Zhu pets for my grandkids! Your ads say you're my 'one-stop' store and you're letting me down my grandkids said they don't want to go on living if they can't get their zhu-zhu pets so what am I supposed to do, Toy Guy? Huh?"

I suggest either forking out the coin for them on ebay, expanding your search radius, or researching funeral homes for your grandchildren.

Seriously, the outside calls for toys have been through the roof lately, and almost all of them are people looking for Zhu-Zhu pets. Every time the service desk has to transfer the call, and somebody on the floor such as Yours Truly has to tell the customer no, because we're not allowed to have the service desk do that for us. The call button in toys is getting mashed daily by people asking for these damn Zhu-Zhu pets, and we get to watch the customer weep and wail and curse and otherwise go nuts when we tell them we don't have Zhu-Zhu pets.

Seriously folks, they're just little toys. We're not the only place in the world that sells them. Just about everyplace is sold out and trying to obtain more.

So help me God, if our Zhu-Zhu pets first come in on the last truck before Thanksgiving (which could mean they'd first be available for sale Thanksgiving Day) and we manage to have some available for Black Friday, somebody's going to get seriously injured or killed over the fucking things, and I'll get to watch.
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  #2  
Old 11-17-2009, 10:11 PM
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When I was young (4? 5? I don't remember this story occuring at all), all I wanted for my birthday/Christmas was some Barbie horse. My mom told me that lots of people wanted the toy, so it might be hard to get it. I told her "Well, Santa is magic so he can bring it to me." I guess this guilt tripped her enough to have relatives in three other states looking for it. Eventually my grandmother found it just sitting on a shelf at some discount store.

I guess that one experience was enough for my mom, because she never gave in to another toy fad. The one I remember was when my little sister was begging for a Furby. My mom stopped by Kmart on the way home from a night shift since she heard that they were getting a shipment. There were 40 people waiting in line at 6 am, and it wasn't near a holiday. My mom told my little sister she'd just have to be patient because no toy was worth that much drama.

  #3  
Old 11-17-2009, 10:15 PM
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Next time why you just tell them to fly to freakin China and go invade and plunder one of the damn sweat shops there that make the damn things.

  #4  
Old 11-17-2009, 10:20 PM
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Remember the Shirt Tails stuffed animals? My mom had my aunt in another state find one and ship it to her for Christmas...

But seriously, I will never fall for that crap. I remember the horrors of Webkinz.

(watch me be in line at 6 a.m. for some stupid toy in a couple years...)

  #5  
Old 11-17-2009, 10:48 PM
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First major Christmas toy fad that I can remember with enough lack of availability to cause normal human parents to turn into crazed monsters was the Cabbage Patch Kids, back in the early 80's. I remember some store gave away one as a promotional, and had an armed guard to escort the winner to their car. People were selling them via newspaper ads (this was pre-internet) for hundreds of dollars (they cost around $20 normally).

I don't think anything like that had every happened before - maybe parents weren't as indulgent/guilt ridden/insane(?) in the 50's to 70's to try so hard to get their kids the exact toy, maybe there hadn't been such a shortage before (and if that one wasn't planned, I've no doubt that some companies since then have used it as an example and actually planned a few outages).

Oh, and did my daughter get one of the CPKs that year? Yep. But only cause when I realized she wanted one, and didn't realize how much hype was going on, I simply ordered one from Sears catalog (even specified sex and hair colour). Maybe I got one on the last ones before everyone else thought of that, but before I even got it in the mail I was seeing how impossible it was, and didn't expect it to come in, but it did, no problems :-) Boy did I score Mommy points that year, LOL.
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  #6  
Old 11-17-2009, 11:13 PM
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...Wow... I suddenly feel like the Kid Left Out. Was I the only kid who was never into the "craze?" What I wanted for Christmas/Birthdays.
-Barbie...any kind would do...even the ugly ones
-Horsie.... even from the dollar store.. that thrilled me.
-A bike... what kid doesn't?
-Make up! ... little kids love making themselves look like CLOWNS!
-A sled... ((that was the most expensive thing I ever asked for.... and I got it... and GOD DAMN WAS IT AMAZING! Polished wood, red metal runners.... best Christmas present ever. I broke that thing with all the use I put into it.))
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  #7  
Old 11-17-2009, 11:16 PM
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Are they those ones with the swirl on the back that you can push and they go running around? They're called GoGo pets down here and yes, they are annoying

*is so glad she only has to deal with frozen turkeys*
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  #8  
Old 11-17-2009, 11:23 PM
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I remember when I was a teenager and Tickle Me Elmo was the big deal. I was shopping at the local "One Stop" Superstore and picked up one, thinking I would get it for my baby brother. Apparently, I picked up the last one, and someone after seeing me consider it for a while asked if I decided not to get it, could she have it for her child. I decided sure, my brother can live without this since he has no idea who Elmo is ( my parents didn't believe in TV), so I handed it to her. A lady behind me went ballistic and said she had been standing there the whole time, got there right after I did, and the Elmo was her's. The lady became so hateful that an employee in the next aisle called security over the loudspeaker and the lady suddenly shuts up and leaves. Security came anyway and said they had problems with her before and the Elmos. She had bought several and they figured she was selling them online.

  #9  
Old 11-17-2009, 11:25 PM
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I just looked these Zhu-Zhu pets up.
What a load!

I've got two kids to buy for and if they ask for a Zhu-Zhu pet I'll just inform them that no, I'll make sure they actually get good toys from Santa.

  #10  
Old 11-17-2009, 11:41 PM
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My mom got a pair of these for my kid and my sister's kid. She had no idea they were "hot", the kids saw them on TV and thought they were cute, so mom went to Wal mart and somehow found a pair. Easy peasy.

Then she found out there was a huge frenzy later. It's just nuts. I mean, they are cute, but sheesh!
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