Blind bags are those teeny tiny toys or collector's cards, usually hidden inside a foil bag or some other container. Buying a blind bag toy is the ultimate surprise—you never know which character is inside.
There are many types of blind bag toys from different toy companies. Each set can have hundreds of toys to collect. The sets include highly sought after, rare, ultra-rare, and limited-edition toys. Each year can produce a new season of toys to add to the set. The collecting habit seems never-ending.
There are so many blind bag brands to choose from. They are not very costly to buy once, but over time, these inexpensive toys add up.
The Blind Bag Bug
You know your child has the bug when they seem so in love with the teeny tiny collectible toys in foil packets that they incessantly beg you to drive them to the store and buy more. They constantly talk about these toys or cards, non-stop. They are so hooked by the item that they might even ask you to pick up a few extra packets as a surprise or for good behavior.
Here's what you can do to manage your kid's obsession with blind bag toys and cards.
- Devise a storage plan: Find something to store the toys in. It could be a shoebox, zippered bag, tackle box, arts and crafts kit, display case, or a binder with trading card pages. Get something to protect this investment. Kids and their younger siblings are careless, and these small toys are easily misplaced.
- Consider buying them pre-owned: Save money by purchasing hardly-used, out-of-the-packaging, collectible toys from online resellers like eBay and Amazon. If there is a specific character your child wants, look online for it and buy it outright. It might cost more than getting lucky and finding it at the store. But, it could save money in the long run if the kids are obsessed with one specific item. Of course, an exception is a one-of-a-kind Gemma Stone Shopkin that was sold to benefit a charity for $21,500!
- Buy lots instead of individual toys: Ebay could be an affordable way to score a blind bag lot. It offers a little more value for the money spent, but you need to have the time and energy to bid through an online auction.
- Shop online: Eliminate driving to the store and consider shopping online with an online toy retailer. It could save time by avoiding the drive to a store and any drama or indecision in the aisles.
- Modify your own behavior: Realize the impact that your behavior has on their obsession. If you always bring them back a toy from Target during your trip, they will expect it. Set up rules and boundaries over how many trips you will make to the store per month, how much money you are willing to dedicate to their collection, or how they will earn the money to buy their toys. At $3 a bag for one or two miniature toys, the funds will disappear quickly.
- Set an expectation: If you set up an incentive system, you can reward kids for completing homework ahead of schedule, doing chores, or good behavior. But beware, as this may set up a revolving door reward system where your child will only do something if they get something. If that ship has already sailed, then you may end up saving yourself from having to do 10 household chores by only spending $5 to $10, which may be worth your saved time.
- Set a time limit: At the store, set up a timeframe and get the timer ready. Kids can and will be indecisive. They will stand in the aisle, surveying all of the options, crinkling and massaging each and every bag, trying to guess if their favorite is hidden inside. Their indecisiveness is maddening. Set the expectations and a realistic time limit.
- Be prepared for tears. A trip to the store might be exciting for your child, but sometimes it does not live up to the hype. You might get there and the shelves may be empty. Or, the other scenario happens: Your child gets something, opens it, and has duplicates of that toy already. The odds are not in your favor to find that rare or ultra-rare toy.
- Create a back-up plan for duplicates: Aside from patience, there are some great alternatives for duplicates. Will they give them to a younger sibling? Or, would they consider a trade with a friend?