Blind bags are those teeny tiny toys, usually hidden inside a foil bag or some other container. Buying a blind bag toy is the ultimate surprise—the buyer never knows 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 collectibility is never ending.
The Blind Bag Bug
The "blind bag bug" is when the child is so in love with teeny tiny collectible toys in foil packets that they incessantly beg their parents to drive them to the store and buy more. They talk about these toys, and maybe even cards, non-stop. They are so obsessed they may even have you driving to the store for them and picking up a few extra packets to either surprise them or use to bribe them for good behavior.
In the long run, there are so many blind bag brands to choose from they are not very costly to buy once, but they are definitely inexpensive toys in the long run.
Here's what can be done to keep everyone sane if the kids are obsessed 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 are careless, siblings get jealous, and these small toys are easily misplaced.
- Consider buying pre-owned toys. Save money by purchasing hardly-used, out-of-the-packaging, collectible toys from on-line resellers like Ebay and Amazon. If there is a specific character your child wants, there is a chance you might be able to shop there and buy it outright. Will it cost more than getting lucky finding one at the store? Definitely. But it could save money in the long run if the kids are obsessed over one specific item. That is, unless it's the 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, offering a little more value for the money spent for those who 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 having to deal with any drama and 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.
- Set a budget or an expectation. At $3 a bag for 1 or 2 miniature toys, the funds will disappear quickly. Consider an incentive system: reward kids for completing homework ahead of schedule, doing chores, or for good behavior. Saving yourself from 10 household chores and only spending $5-$10 is much cheaper than hiring a house cleaning service!
- 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 give a realistic time limit.
- Be prepared for tears. There are duplicates. The odds are not in anyone's favor to find that rare or ultra rare toy. The store shelves could be empty. While there is some excitement for the thrill of the win, there will also be tears of disappointment.
- Create a back-up plan for duplicates. Aside from patience, there are some great alternatives. Will they give them to a younger sibling or consider a trade off with a friend?