June 20, 2006

Like A Kid In A Toy Store: Buying A Supermalfi At Yoyamart

super_malfi.jpgSo while I get all uptight about the complaints of retail workers and the idiocies of oblivious parents whose kids tear up stores without the slightest sense of responsibility, it occurs to me that I took the kid to Yoyamart last week, which was like--well, it was like taking a kid to a toy store: she was taken in by--and wanted to touch--everything.

Naturally, I'm a sucker for her enthusiasm, and after a couple of minutes of coax her to only look and not touch--and then telling her she can only pick up one thing at a time, then she has to put it back--I told her she could choose one thing to buy. Seriously, I never take her shopping, and so I didn't worry too much about her coming to expect a toy or whatever every time she steps into a store.

But as the Yoya gang and I talked shop, I constantly interrupted to remind the kid that she needed to put that back. The store people were really chill, telling me to not worry about it [it was a weekday early morning, no one else was in the small shop], but of course, I did. It's why I can't help thinking that a decent-natured, conscientious effort to keep your kid from going all Lord of the Flies on the merchandise would go a long way.

That said, it's a totally different vibe when you're in a small, independent store, and the owner is right there chatting with you. I know exactly who's going to be impacted if something gets broken--this guy right in front of me--and I'm equally aware that the inventory isn't just Sudoku books, but some hard-won collectibles. It's the diametric opposite of a Fortune 500 megastore like B&N or Toys R Us, and that's gotta affect things.

After a bit of shopping and some strategic guiding, ["you could get the bearhead coin purse, OR you could get this Kubrick..."] the kid really wanted to get Supermalfi, a polkadotted stuffed vinyl gourd-shaped doll which also comes in black&white variations, a situation which led the kid to call it a penguin. Close enough. It wouldn't have been my pick [my favorite Friendswithyou.com toys are the stackable toy burgers in the Good Wood Gang] but she's been hugging this lug ever since and without complaint, even when the vinyl gets a little sticky from the humidity.

And Supermalfi is only $24, so I got out pretty cheap, at least relatively. And the kid put everything back, then did her big "Goodbye, everybody!" on the way out the door.

Buy Supermalfi at Yoyashop.com for $24 [yoyashop]
Friends with you makes Supermalfi, his character family, and a whole host of other indie hipster-y creative stuff. [friendswithyou.com]

1 Comment

You got off extremely cheap. She could have chosen this penguin!

[let's just say it was definitely not a hands-off selection process; my price guide was "an amount I'm willing to lose if the kid forgets about this toy by naptime." Plus, Yoya does a good job of keeping
most of the expensive/collectible toys out of kids' reach. -ed.]

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