We went Xmas shopping on Friday night. No, not for ourselves, even though it was Date Night. We wanted to get a cool present for our increasingly intelligent and increasingly (as it turns out) spoiled son. This year was the year of Lego. I have completely engaged Vicarious Dad Mode and allowed Mele to buy him all sorts of complicated sets for presents (notice how I implicate her in my deeds?). Xmas this year will be the kind of Lego-soaked Xmas thousands of children can only dream of. We have gone overboard. Not to say that more Lego wouldn't be welcome under the Franzy Xmas tree.
I will have an awesome collection to play with every day Charlie will get a kick out of it once Daddy has finished building it for him.
So, Mele and I took a step into the future and bought Charlie ... a dancing robot. No kidding. These things actually exist and you can hold conversations with them, they tell you jokes, dance to music, go to sleep when you tell them to and all in this trilling, autotuned little voice. The future has arrived. Our Hoverboards haven't, but our robot friends certainly have.
Speaking of toys, has anyone actually been to a department store lately? The toy department in Myer, almost exactly a month out from Xmas was like the set of some dystopian, Eastern European horror movie.
The lighting was the first thing we noticed as we crept from the lifts. Up on the fifth floor, it seems like the caretakers don't like to hang around long enough to replace the blown track lights meant to illuminate the Thomas the Tank Engine box sets and glandular plush toys. Almost like they're ... afraid to be anywhere that vulnerable for too long.
The shelves were stocked with strange little toys in among the regular, branded items. Plastic ponies with helmets and racing car bags share space with Dora and the Octonauts. Lego was stacked on one of the few remaining well-lit shelves, but curiously most of the real estate was given over to the highly collectible, completely fun-free architecture series.
|Wow! Frank Lloyd Wright! No, this is heaps better than that Star Wars stuff!|
It's as though the whole place was curated by the nutter from Se7en. I kept expecting to discover an aisle with jars of other people's toenails and photos of myself sleeping behind the Disney merchandise.
The dancing robot, 2012's Toy of the Year, impossible to get online, begged for across the globe, was piled in a bargain bin right up against the precipice that looks down into the Myer Centre abyss. I did glance over my shoulder when we finally discovered them. The clicketty scrabble of intelligent, clawed feet would not have been out of place up in that lonely, eyrie. Oddly enough, it was the cheapest we'd seen the thing. Click Frenzy be damned, no online outlet or Chinese PO Box Business could match Myer Centre's Grotto of Loneliness for price!