Christmas Shopping: Don’t just focus on the price, focus on the play value

By | November 25, 2008

With Christmas just around the corner, it’s getting tough in this economic environment to justify spending a lot of money on anything other than the essentials: rent, food, fuel and clothes. With Christmas just a short month of shopping days left, parents everywhere are scratching their heads wondering what gifts are affordable and desirable for their kids.

One Christmas my parents bought me a toy called FlightDeck. I wonder if anyone remembers that! The object was to land a plastic aircraft via a pulley system on the deck of an aircraft carrier. I loved it, and it was no doubt fairly expensive. But it suffered three main flaws: it was pricey, it was easily broken, and its play value was limited. In fact, I broke on Boxing Day, and couldn’t play with it after that! I was sorry, and never told my parents.

It’s not a mistake I would repeat on buying presents for any kids of mine! I’ll always try to find toys that have extended play value, such as Lego, Games, etc… One such toy that is perpetually popular: cars for the little boys. If I was able to play ‘secret santa’ to some little boys in our school, I’d be heading for the toy car section in the local department store looking for popular models or familiar models.

I was enchanted especially with the character cars from the movie created by Pixar. This set provides three vehicles for kids to play with as they recreate and relive the scene from the movie “Cars”. Of course, my own favorite has to be Lightning McQueen, but that’s a personal favorite.

tipping tractor

For the little girls, perhaps a disney figurine would be great, too. Either way, perhaps the easiest way to a kid’s heart this Christmas is to buy them a gift that helps them to rediscover their innate imagination and story telling skills (or yours!). Three simple cars, like this, can recreate hundreds of variations on the scenes in Cars. Who knows? Perhaps they’ll be able to play with them even when some of the parts have gone missing, or the toys are broken.

Whatever gifts you choose, especially from a store like Mega Brands Toys, you’ll find that the play value will far exceed the monetary value.