COUNTER INSURGENT: Dealing with troublesome tots

This month, our mystery toy retail columnist deals with a troublesome tot, and finally sells those paddling pools.
Publish date:
17_counter insurgent.jpg

Don't you just love the school holidays? Loads of kids come into the shop looking at the toys they want and hopefully buy them.

But you still get the odd ‘child’ who needs some serious time with the Supernanny. 

Take this boy that came in the other day, for instance. From the moment he arrived, it was clear his mother had no control over him as he went on a one-child destruction of my shop. 

Signs were ripped from shelves, while boxes were thrown around and left lying on the floor. You know it’s bad when the staff call me through to deal with it. I somehow managed to keep his grubby fingers away from the sweets and soft toys, and tried to get him near some tougher toys. 

I can confirm the Wow Toys rocket is very well made, as it flew through the air like Jessica Ennis’ javelin before smashing into a herd of Schleich elephants.

The staff did comment that I’m not normally as patient with them, but this is always a good time of year to test my patience as the footy season has started. All my frustrations built up dealing with suppliers, staff and customers are channeled into a useless idiot referee or the overpaid idiots on the pitch. 

With my natural aggression out of the way, I asked his mum to try and control her child, only to be called several names to do with my parentage, sexual preferences and a word I can’t recall but assume is a chav swear word. She announced loudly she was going to Toys R Us. Even other customers breathed a sigh of relief.


So what of the toy trade this month? Well, the Olympics gave everyone a feel-good factor, but that didn’t mean extra sales. If anything, the success meant people were less likely to leave the TV screen for too long. But once the closing ceremony finished and the sun stayed out, we at last managed to sell the paddling pools we bought two years ago.

The Argos book came out and the normal requests for items in there haven’t happened. Either consumers aren’t looking or they just aren’t allowing the kiddies to get caught up in the whole toy pages thing yet. New Lego lines are selling well, as always, and perhaps I am a little early but no-one has expressed interest in Furby yet, despite the PR and news coverage.

Movie properties have been okay. Once again it seems if there is a Lego version of a brand like Batman, that is what the kids want, not the action figure.

As I write this, we’re nearing the end of the school holidays, which is the traditional time for consumers to start thinking about Christmas. I think they won’t be so quick off the mark this year. 

It’ll be a test of nerves and indies will need ‘positive discrimination’ more than ever.

Want to receive up to the minute toy industry news straight to your inbox? Click here to sign up for the free ToyNews Daily Digest and Newsflash services. You can also follow ToyNews on Twitter and Facebook.


Featured Jobs


Marketing Director UK

Gameplan I Southeast of England I Salary: Competitive I Date Published Monday 7th January 2019

Rainbow logo landscape_home of classic Final

Product Manager

Rainbow Designs Ltd I Olympia, London I Salary: Competitive I Date Published Wednesday 16th January 2019