Sunday, April 06, 2014

FAO Schwarz on $20 a Day

We made a deal with Elliot: If he read 12 books, we would go to the toy store and pick something out. He accomplished that goal, so today we headed over to Midtown to get his reward.

Kelly wanted to go to an arts-and-crafts shop she knows that has a toy section. But I figured, "Hey, we're only a few blocks from Fifth Avenue. Why not go there?"

That's how we wound up at FAO Schwarz with two screaming girls strapped into a stroller and one frustrated boy trying to find a toy that cost less than $20 (the budget we set for him). It wasn't pretty.

Turns out, few things there are under $20. Elliot immediately scoped out this stuffed giraffe that cost $994.99.

I thought forcing Elliot to check the price tags himself would teach him a good lesson about money. Instead it just taught him that we live in a city filled with hedge-fund mangers and Russian oligarchs.

These "Avatar" dolls were $800 apiece.

We wandered from section to section: magic kits, Legos, super heroes, remote-controlled cars, stuffed animals. Finally he found this Playmobil cop-and-robber set for $15.95.

The set comes with three different firearms (two handguns and a scope-mounted rifle), so it was a little violent for my tastes. But the satisfaction of completing this task — and being able to leave the store — overcame any misgivings. By the end, Alice was about to gnaw through her stroller restraints and go on a rampage through the plush-toy section.

Next time we'll probably just go to the arts-and-crafts shop.