Merchandise is everywhere. We are bombarded with it on TV, in the shops, on the Internet. So far we have been fighting a running battle against the onslaught of merchandise. We have gone with brands like Janod, Plan Toys and wooden, handcrafted toys. But it is like taking on a zombie horde; it just keeps coming and coming and coming.
This past Christmas, Eva first became aware that movies have toys that come with them when she discovered her cousin’s Toy Story figurines. It was love at first sight and there has been no sign of the affair abating.
The night before Christmas, Johnny went to three different malls around Melbourne to hunt down Woody and Bullseye. We came across a Buzz figure a few weeks later back in Brisbane; Eva spotted Jessie on a department store shelf from at least 300 metres away; and we now have the set. They go with us everywhere. To the shops. To parties. To bed. To the bath. Everywhere.
A short time later, Toy Story band-aides arrived in the post from Grandma in Papa in America, and we have a whole new form of band-aide body-art being developed in our house.
I could say I resent this. That it is a shameless exploitation of a child’s fascination by a corporation in order to make a profit. That it is a hijacking of imagination that does not lead to stimulation but rather just encourages emulation of the movies.
But really, she just has way too much fun for me to resent it.
And, I would fear for my life should I try to take them from her.