You could be wondering why your kids are all of a sudden offering to do household chores for money, digging in the couch cushions looking for spare change, and spending spare time counting and re-counting all of their allowance and leftover birthday money.
Or maybe you already realized that the obsessive crazy-talk about miniature toys like Shopkins or Tsum Tsum or YoKai watch medallions was really the root cause of their money saving.
Either way it's only a matter of time before they are driving you insane, asking you when you will have time to drive them to the store.
Before long, you and your kids will be suffering from "the blind bag bug."
Blind bag toys are small, little collectible toys. There might be 1 or 2 in a small toy items within 1 foil package. You generally can't see which toys are hidden inside. There are hundreds of toys to collect within a season.
Popular toys sold in blind bags, include Shopkins, Disney Tsum Tsum, My Little Pony, Star Wars, Paw Patrol and YoKai Watch medallions. There are rare, ultra rare and limited edition collectibles within each season that aren't mass produced. This is what sends kids into a frenzy. They wish and hope for not just one, but ALL of them. Don't worry, there are usually several seasons of toys to collect, with hundreds of toys to check off the list. The spending will be endless.
The excitement of collecting and hoarding and wanting all of the toys associated with the blind bag bug isn't new. You probably had the same feelings when you unwrapped your Topps Baseball Cards or Garbage Pail Kid cards, or worked hard to add to your freaky troll collection. The difference is, with the introduction of the internet and social media, news and information is accessible, and it can spread like rampant wildfire.
Brace yourself. It's about to get bigger than ever and it's definitely not going away anytime soon. Almost every recognizable popular toy brand at this point has a blind bag line of toys to complement their best sellers.
So how did your kids even know to be so obsessed about these little toys?
Word of mouth marketing for kids used to happen on the playground and at playdates, based on what they saw from Saturday morning cartoons. As parents we are more savvy with the internet. We have the ability to share information with each other and perfect strangers in a second, 24 hours per day. Companies are working harder to create larger-than-life toy brands and experiences that include super-cute toys of all price ranges. They are accompanied with apps, accessories and maybe even television shows.
So, what better way to get a parent on-board than only requiring that you impulsively spend a few dollars at first. I learned early on with my son, all it takes is one time. One time I bought him a $1 Hot Wheels car at Target, the next time he assumed he'd be entitled to another one.
Maybe you innocently started watching YouTube looking for Paw Patrol re-runs and before you know it, both you and your kids are glued to the screen watching unboxing videos. There is video footage with hundreds and thousands of views of other little kids unwrapping and opening blind bag toys and weird eggs and shopping baskets. These YouTube channels ask you to click Subscribe, so you do. YouTube, as smart as it is, begins to know what you like and what you watch, offering recommendations, automatically filling your feed with videos with the same theme, one after the other. These obsessions are easily nurtured from one video to the next. The haunting and begging does not stop.
Take some responsibility though, the blind bag shopping becomes a family affair. You are on a first name basis with the Customer Service support staff at Target. You call ahead to see if their shipment arrived as scheduled that morning. Even if you didn't plan ahead, on your way in for some paper towels, you take a quick swing by the toy aisles, dropping a few blind bags in your basket. You know you should have a few extra to set aside for a good behavior bribe or to add to the birthday party your daughter is attending next week.
Lastly, after you fill your cart first, you then hop onto Facebook and preach to the masses that they better drive to Target fast. HURRY! They have just re-stocked the aisles with Season 5 Shopkins.
We joke, but the struggle is real. The cycle is vicious. We are all to blame. So go ahead, take the kids to the store. Buy all the blind bags.
When you surprise them with your gift, there is something that fills you up inside watching your kids squealing and screaming and jumping up and down with excitement. You remember just how you felt when you opened your Garbage Pail Kids.
Totally worth the $3, right?