Monday, December 01, 2008

Christmas wishes

In this week’s baby bargainista column, Jenny wonders how she’ll maintain the magic of Santa for her daughter because the only toy her little one wants doesn’t exist.

My Christmas shopping has begun, and I’ve already hit a major snag in my plans for what to place under the tree.

My 4-year-old is obsessed with this new animated show on CBC, Animal Mechanicals. The show features five transformable (and of course, adorable) characters, Rex the Dinosaur, Unicorn, Komodo, Sasquatch and Mouse, who live in a colorful “snap-together-take-apart” world. In each episode the Animal Mechanicals must overcome a variety of small challenges that require them to use their unique “Mechana” abilities.

Number one daughter has determined that the only thing she wants from Santa this year is Rex, the Animal Mechanical dinosaur. I’m only too happy to oblige – but unfortunately, no toys exist for this little-known animated series!

Perhaps as a parent I’ve been overly conditioned by the Disney merchandising machine to expect that every new show or movie will have accompanying toys on the shelves well before the holiday season. I thought surely some toys must exist somewhere (Japan? China?). I was genuinely shocked when my online searching only turned up multiple pages (including a Facebook group) populated with pleas from other parents desperate for these non-existent toys.

Usually I decry the commercialism associated with children’s entertainment; today, I find myself uncharacteristically wishing that Animal Mechanicals was made by Disney or Nickelodeon or another large conglomerate instead of a small, independent Halifax animation studio.

Now, I’m sure she’ll be excited to open any presents and happy with anything she’s given. I only wish well-meaning relatives and caregivers hadn’t filled her absorbent little brain with assurances that Santa can do anything, make anything, and bring her anything she wants. I hate the idea of disappointing her even a little. Maybe it’s time we told her the awful truth: Santa doesn’t have the licensing rights to make those toys.

Life was so much simpler last year, when all she wanted from Santa was a teddy bear!

What’s your child’s Christmas wish? Are you having any trouble sourcing the perfect gift for your little one(s)? Let us know in the comments!
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  1. Why don't you get a picture and have it put on a t-shirt for your child?

  2. Anonymous10:29 am

    I actually just watched this show the other day, and find it hard to believe that they haven't created toys for it. It seems like such a natural fit.
    If enough people get involved, this might be an interesting study on how online demand for a product resulted in it actually being produced.

  3. Are you a crafty person at all? You could always try to make a "Rex" out of felt!
    Or convince any crafty relatives that have filled her head with Santa wishes that they owe you one ;)
    Good luck!

  4. Thanks for your comments! Katie, unfortunately I'm not crafty at all but parentclub's t-shirt idea could work, until -- to Parker's point -- the massive groundswell of demand induces production of at least some kind of knockoff. :)

  5. Parker, You're on to something. We need to start a twitter campaign and see where it leads.

    Katie and Parent Club, great ideas for do-it-yourself "Rex" gifts with options for the handy and not-so-handy parent.

    Jenny, do you think you'll try going the t-shirt route?

  6. I'm all for a social media campaign! maybe we could start with the existing Facebook group -- join the groundswell there.

    If I do try the t-shirt option I promise to post a photo of my efforts here!


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