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Foreign Toys

I don’t know how he does it, but Simon is aces at being attracted to toys I can’t get. He had an entire week at camp themed “Disney” and never once asked for a Mickey or a Minnie. They had an Alvin and the Chipmunks week that also yielded no requests. Beach week resulted in no increased interest in sand toys. Winter in July week brought about no begging for shaving cream. Despite regular water play days and the brutal heat, I can’t get the little guy to go to the pool with me at all.

However, ten minutes on YouTube looking for train videos resulted in unseemly supplications for the Takara Tomy Shinkansen Plarail. Got that?

He wanted to watch trains. So I showed him a few. “No mommy, fast trains!” he exclaimed when I pulled up freight trains in Oregon or, worse yet, BART. Mommy, possessing little knowledge about the rails, finally searched for “Japanese bullet train” on YouTube in hopes I’d find videos of sleek, super-fast trains.

And I did! And we watched them over and over and over. And then he started asking for different colors. “I want the fast yellow train, Mommy! Now the blue one!” Somewhere along the line, I pulled up a video called “Thomas and Percy Trainspotting Shinkansen.” Huh? Some toy train enthusiast set up his toy Japanese Plarail set with a Thomas and Percy,  had them watching Shinkansen bullet trains (also toy) race by, narrated the action in Japanese, and then filmed the entire thing.

Simon took one look at those toy Shinkansen trains racing around the blue track and was emphatic that this was the best toy train set ever. I fear the wooden Thomas set downstairs is dead to him.

“Can you get it for me, Mommy? For my birthday. When I have my birthday you can get me this for my present. And it will zoom around really really fast like a race train!”

Cool, no?

This comes with Red Ryder BB Gun levels of devotion and obsession. So I have several choices:

  1. Talk him out of it;
  2. Try to explain it’s Japanese (I can hear it now, “Can we go tomorrow after my nap?”;
  3. E-bay it;
  4. Find a Japanese-reading friend and navigate my way through a Japanese e-commerce site;
  5. Find someone who knows someone in Japan and see what I can pull off.

I’d be much more inclined to opt for 1 or 2 were the thing not so undeniably cool. I don’t get why Simon wants a jail to put Sly and Gobbo into and the allure of the cat toy eluded me, but the appeal of Plarail is pretty undeniable.

One Response to “Foreign Toys”

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