WFMW: The Toys Worth Buying Edition


I have five children. We have a lot of toys.


A large percentage of them are yard sale toys. Yes, we are that kind of people: we find nothing at all wrong with giving our children like-new yard sale toys. They don't know the difference. In fact, we are deliberately raising them to not care about the difference. Plus, it's easier--no wresting the toys from sobbing toddlers to unpackage, and God forbid, try to untwist or cut those evil indestructible twisty-ties!

However, we do purchase new toys. I've found myself doing this more and more (despite the increasing size of our family) just because sometimes it's fun to buy something new. Of course, it never fails that a brand new toy we spent a good chunk of money on (not crazy money, but enough) ends up tossed aside and forgotten. I can't tell you how many dolls my oldest daughter got and never used, and how many scratched-up little plastic animal figures she begged for at yard sales and has loved literally to death--until the tails and heads fell off! I even bought some price (to me) Schleich animals. She does play with some, but some go unused, while the yard-sale doggies are her treasures.

So here is my list of toys that my kids DO love. I can't guarantee that yours will love them, but mine do...

Mattel Matchbox Mega Rig Shark Ship Set

Purchased new at Walmart on clearance, and then marked down extra by the clerk because I told her it was on a clearance display where everything was supposed to be $11 (which it was), this was a steal of a deal. I guess it's supposed to be some kind of shark research vessel. It comes with a shark cage, a crane for hoisting it, little side boats, two little guys (I think there should have been more) that can be eaten by the shark and then fished out of its stomach (how cool is that to a little boy?), a harpoon, detachable wheels, and tons of other stuff.

The best thing about this set is not only that it floats, but that the three dark blue sections you see detach from the main ship, to form other types of vehicles and mini-ships. EVERYTHING on this set interconnects with each other, so that if you take the ship apart, you can create new things with the pieces. It's great, because when my 6 year old son got bored with the whole big ship, he broke off parts to share with his siblings, and they all got to play together. The bad part? There are pieces of this ship all over the house. Did I mention retail price of this is $50? Now, I would never ever pay $50 for something like this, but if I had the money to spend, it would definitely be worth it. But it's way more worth it when you pay $11 for it! Heh heh heh!!

Amazon lists it at $33, and I think that it's worth that much, for sure. I don't see any boy not loving this. It's also pretty rugged. I don't think anything is broken on it yet.

Playmobil Chariot

The one we have is somewhat similar to the one pictured, but with gold and red colors, and darker horses (only two, not four). It's probably an older set. I got it at a garage sale, in a brand new sealed box, never opened or used, for $2. I got another set of a horse and some viking-looking guys for the same price. A great deal, considering they go for $17 new, and you don't tend to find them used on craigslist often.

The two sets have neat accessories, like helmets, swords, an axe, and a mace. I've always wanted to get Playmobil stuff, but it is soooo expensive. I was surprised at the detail in these sets, and that they are not as flimsy as one might expect. We've had them over a week, and the only casualty was one poor viking whose leg snapped off when my son stepped on him (lesson learned, take better care of your toys). He is still enjoying playing with these every morning. While I don't think it's as big a hit as the shark ship, it's a winner? Will I get more Playmobil stuff? Sure, if it's used. The new prices are still too high for me.

The N-Strike Recon CS-6 Nerf Gun

This blaster gun comes apart in a few pieces, too, and are somewhat interchangeable. You can convert it from a longer rifle to a shorter gun. My six year old son loves this gun so much. He plays with it as much as the shark ship. He loves to take it outside. He'd take it in the bathtub if we'd let him! Of course, the nerf darts are all gone, either lost or chewed by toddlers. We may buy him a pack of new ones for Christmas, but if those disappear, we're done. He doesn't care though, he uses it all the time without them. He's all about soldier-type stuff!

My one complaint, aside from the darts, would be the sight. It's never worked properly, doesn't go on or stay on well. We probably should have returned the gun for a new one with a better sight, but we forgot. It's lost now, and if I ever find it, I'll probably throw it away. (Don't tell my son, lol.) Other than the sight and the darts, it has held up well for over seven months, and functions just fine. We got it new at Walmart. Don't know the price, my husband bought it.

You'll notice the toys I've mentioned are all boys' toys. That's because my oldest daughter, as I mentioned, has a passion for used doggies on their last legs, and my youngest daughter loves nothing but dolls...the oldest and most decrepit hand-me-down dolls you can find. If we didn't love her so much, we'd sneak them away and toss them. But we do, so we don't. *sigh* They really are ugly. But on the bright side, my daughters love yard sales, just like their mom! My middle son never seems excited about any toy we give him. I'm not sure if it's his personality, or if we just never hit on the right toy. And of course, my one year old boy likes anything the big kids like...although he does seem enthralled with the nerf gun. It's as tall as him, and he loves to walk around banging it on the floor, like some kind of pogo stick or jack hammer! **Please note, in researching this toy, I found a recall notice on it...parents who bought this up to August 2008 should contact Hasbro for an extra piece that will prevent the toy from possible pinching skin--although in trying it myself, I could not get the toy to pinch my skin no matter what I did. But get the safety piece anyway.**

So, those three boys' toys are the ones that work for me!

2 Responses to "WFMW: The Toys Worth Buying Edition"

Delighted Mom Says :
8:05 AM

These toys look like they will be GREAT for my boys when they are older! Thanks for the tip!

Mommaroo2 Says :
8:23 PM

Update: It's March of '09. My son still loves the shark ship and playmobil sets, but the pieces are really too scattered now to play with. I'll have to round them up to make them a favorite again. The nerf gun is still the supreme favorite, and has held up well. He just had a birthday, and we gave him G.I. Joe knockoffs from Target (the real ones were outrageously priced). They were called Bravo Company. Still expensive, but my son is soooo excited. Anything soldier is good for him!

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