Sunday, October 3, 2010
Toys! Toys! Toys!
Who said that times are bad? Who said that people would only spent on absolute necessities?
We certainly don't think so after visiting the Mattel toy warehouse sale held recently at the Atria Shopping Center.
I was informed by a friend of this fair 2 days in advance and it was also advertised in the newspapers. Since Ryan is a fan of cars and planes and since Mattel do carry Hotwheels and Matchbox models, we have decided to have a look 2 Saturdays ago.
It was supposed to be the very first day and the warehouse would start from 10 am to 10 pm. So, when the Saturday arrived, we woke up leisurely and after getting Ryan ready, off we went to Atria. I thought we were early. It was barely 10 am. I figured we could have a good breakfast at Seri Penang before heading up to the warehouse sale held on the 1st floor.
When we reached Atria, we could not find an empty spot on the ground or the 1st level car park, which is highly unusual at 10 am on a Saturday. With no other choice, we drove up the open car park on the highest level and found ourselves a empty slot. As we were making our way down, we saw parents carrying bags after bags of ....TOYS!!!! (and it was only 10:30 am)....
I told my wife that we better head on to the toy fair first before having our breakfast. I was shocked when I reached the entrance. The entire floor was packed!!!! There were empty boxes everywhere and there were also parents hanging on to boxes filled with toys and they were still grabbing for more! I could hardly get near to see what is on offer. It was like a big mad house!!! My `kiasu' gremlin got the better of me that very second. With one hand hanging on to Ryan, I squeezed myself in between some grumbling mothers, fought my way past some frowning fathers, and grab whatever Hotwheels or Matchboxes that I could laid my hands on. There were no price tags. I asked and nobody seemed to know the actual price and by the way everybody is buying, nobody seemed to care.
While I was busy scanning for more toy cars, my wife was on a mission of her own, squeezing in between humid bodies grabbing whatever she thinks will be a good buy (with absolutely no idea of the price ... go figure). After 30 minutes, I had enough. We have managed to grab about 15 items in a small little box, a pale comparison to many who have theirs in two or three large cardboard boxes.
I signalled my wife that we should pay and get out as Ryan is starting to get rather impatient, not to mention me. When we got to the payment line, another shock awaits us. 5 long queues, all waiting to pay. It was another 25 minutes or so before I finally got to pay for my stuff. Were they cheap? I have no idea. I spent over RM300 on toys that morning. But judging from the boxes others are pushing along with their feet, it's merely kacang puteh (peanuts) to Mattel.
As I was about to make way out, I remarked to the cashier that it was quite shocking, looking at the crowd at 11:30 am on the first day of the sale. She looked hardly surprised and calmly told me that people were already lining up waiting for the warehouse sale to start as early as 8:30 a.m!!!!
We walked off, leaving behind scores of parents still waiting for new boxes and bargains to be offered and long queues of parents still waiting to make payment for the toys they thought were a real bargain. As we walked past parents just arriving with their children, I said a silent prayer and wishing them good luck, all the best and happy squeezing and shopping.