Monday, 30 September 2013

The elusive hunt for indestructible toys

It is that time of the year that I start to search, desperately searching for a toy that will captivate his imagination. Toy shopping for my 11 year old is an experience I always dread, he has special needs & has unbelievable strength. If a toy has a weak spot he is sure to find it. If a wheel can come off a car it will be taken off, if the axle can be taken out to be used as a tool to dig holes in the plaster, holes will be dug(giant holes). A car track becomes a pile of plastic on his bedroom floor, a figure will end up headless & often legless & a jigsaw will become something for him to chew on. He loves toys that spin, spinning tops are his favourite and he will happily spend hours pumping the plunger to make it spin fast. Sadly these don't last long despite them being metal, I don't think one has survived for longer than a day. Why? well the brute strength he uses to make it spin warms up the metal, warm metal bends rendering the spinning top useless.

Toy shopping for him becomes a toy testing session & results in my husband and I humming and harring in the middle of a store. I will find a toy I think wouldn't end up laying headless or lifeless in the bottom of the toy box & my husband puts his muscles to good use, testing if the toy will survive living with my boy. We are not alone in the indestructible toy hunt, we rope in family members. I have had calls in the past telling me not to bother buying a certain toy because they managed to break one whilst they were checking if it would be suitable(picture elderly couples in the middle of toy stores breaking toys). We do have some success, metal cars survive, they might have a few dints and loss of paint but they survive, their dinted bonnets and scraped paint work adding to the look of them. Figures that have no moving parts last too, they may lose a finger or even a nose along the way but they survive.

I have 3 months to walk every inch of the toy store, to search every shelf, to find that perfect present, does it even exist?

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