|Thrift store family of horses for my Little Pie, my Piper.|
She loves horses and when she cannot play or ride real ones, she turns to her extensive collection of Papo and Schleich figurines. Piper ensures she has the current pocket-sized catalogue to determine what Papo figurine she might like next for a treat or birthday. Sometimes she just looks at it like I used to thumb through the JC Penney catalog. Yes, these are mass produced toys, but the quality is certainly not lost.
Yes they’re imported from France and Germany and, yes, they’re plastic. But, the only shelf packaging they have is a small price point tied about one of their legs, easy to remove without leaving that annoying sticky residue. Tear it off and you’re ready to play. Daddy doesn’t get a hernia attempting to open some ridiculous packaging.
Piper plays with these figurines for hours a week.
In this photo we see the fairies have rounded up the horses in a tinker toy corral.
A Papo or Schleich can even enchant adults. I’m going to be a brand snob, most other plastic figurines just don’t make the cut.
The family of horses I found at Goodwill are not Papo. They larger figurines, more expensive than their little Papo and Schleich cousins. These horses sit on the toy store shelf in loads of packaging for about quadruple the price. Hmm, is that the price of packaging? It is a heavy price that no one knows for certain. If we knew, we’d probably rather not pay the price of the cardboard penitentiary and just set our toys free. Regardless, I’m happy to pay the thrift store price, sans packaging.
After the round up, the horses convene on their own.
Crate & Barrel did something unique in store display and design. They allowed the products to sit out of the box on the shelves. Customers were able to really see and touch what they were about to purchase and it made them happy.
Time after time, I witnessed the disappointment in a customer’s eyes when they eagerly brought an espresso machine off the display shelf up to the register desk and I’d journey to the stock room to pull an espresso maker, new in the box to give them. It was like they didn’t want the one in the box that they couldn’t see or touch. I do believe I had customers ask, “Can’t I just take this one?” Photographs on the box were not enough to make them satisfied about their purchase. The same thing happened with glassware, china, and pot and pans. We watched it over and over again.
Let’s have a round up of wise toy purchases for children. Aside from the Papos and Schleich figurines, my daughters have experienced a lot of mileage on Thomas the Tank and Brio wooden train sets, Tinker Toys and Lincoln Logs. If you’re going to invest in toys, invest in something that will be a toy, meaning it spawns imagination not hands it over, and it will go the distance. I was a Tinker Toy and Lincoln Log kid myself.