It’s that time of the year again when parents have to dig deep into their pockets before the neatly wrapped packages under the Christmas trees are ripped open… and forgotten a few days later.
Gumtree South Africa’s general manager, Claire Cobbledick, says toys which don’t live up to expectations can easily be spotted by analysing listings on the site.
She says parents start listing “abandoned” toys from as early as the end of December to the end January, once it becomes clear their children are not as enthusiastic about their expensive toys as anticipated.
According to an analysis on the site from 2018 to date, she says the following toys are the most frequently listed for sale:
* Hatchimals – these electronic animals remain a surprise until they noisily hatch from their eggs, but that is usually where the excitement ends. Starting price is about R1 000 and once hatched they are resold for R250 to R500.
* Build-a-Bear – similar to Hatchimals, the fun of this toy lies in putting it together and customising it. Build-a-Bear ranges from R250 to R1000, depending on the bear’s accessories and type.
Ms Cobbledick suggests parents taking their children to build the bear buy the accessories second-shand on Gumtree.
* Hoverboards – A self-balancing scooter consisting of two motorised wheels connected to a pair of pads.
“Last year we had dozens listed by Boxing Day for half price,” says Ms Cobbledick.
She says the cause is unknown but reports of injuries and accidents might be behind it.
* Lego – while Lego is very popular, once assembled pieces can go missing and the novelty wears off.
The Southern Mail asked far south moms on social media what is on their children’s Christmas wish list and what they are prepared to spend.
Jahrelle Heim says her son wants Lego, which costs around R500 to R700 every year. She says he does not grow bored with it and the family usually clubs together to buy it.
Jacqueline Hinz-Peter says her children usually want Playmobil (small human-like figures with accessories similar to Lego).
“There is an awesome online shop called Table Mountain Toys which has a huge range of Playmobil in all price ranges. My children play with their Playmobil over and over again. It’s the one option that they don’t lose interest in,” she said.
Natasha Malherbe agrees with Ms Hinz-Peter. Playmobil is the one toy her almost 5-year-old son never tires of, she says.
Kaylee Bremner says her children want expensive collectables they see on YouTube.
Her son, who will be 9 in January, likes Funko Popz (pop culture collectibles, best known for its vinyl figurines and bobbleheads) and Pikmi Pops (a range of sweet-scented miniature plushies that come with surprises hidden inside a big lollipop), Hatchimals and Wrappels (a stuffed animal that slaps onto your wrist. They cost R400.)
Her 5-year-old daughter wants Lol dolls (small collectible doll figures that come in a ball and start from about R300), Hatchimals, Jojo Siwa (an American YouTube personality), merchandise and Wrapples.
Ms Bremner said she managed to buy a few of these items second-hand.