Today Toys R Us touted a Thomas (the train) playdate, and it sounded great, “storytime, games, special offers and coloring fun”! Sure, I know damn well that I will end up buying the kids a train of some sort, but for my Thomas fanatics, I’d be willing to do that. We were all excited and planned to get there early to ensure that we would be there before the craziness. As we pulled up to the Western Ave. location in Chicago, I was pleased to see that there was ample parking, and we would therefore have an enjoyable time since we had beat the crowds, so we rushed in the store to find…
Two helpless Toys R Us employees that seemed intimidated by the throngs of screaming children who were vying to play on the GAME (singular, not games as stated), and the “game” is the train table with oh…6 trains on there. What is that a 6:1 child to train ratio? Kids were screaming, crying, parents were stressed, disappointed, wanting to flee, and the employees? Ensuring everyone was signed up for the birthday club (because that has what to do with Thomas?). When I asked them if there was anything else, she showed me a little packet of sticker? poster? who knows, she just picked it up and put it back on the table, and showed me that she had a book, but the kids were out of control, so…? She just shrugged her shoulder.
Oh and the special offers? On the large table sets, or if you buy a $40 set, you get the second one half off. Imagine that, I get to spend $60, now isn’t that special?! I believe the single trains may have been on sale, but since I arrived 15 minutes into the screamathon all of the lower priced Thomas items were no longer in stock.
Many other parents were turned off, as I was, by this faux-vent, after all an employee with a conductor hat and copies of a coloring page with crayons on a card table next to the train table (which is normally there anyway), does not an event or playdate make.
Toys R Us, if you would like any input on how to put together a successful playdate, I’m happy to help, or can recommend someone to you, otherwise, I’m sticking to my online shopping.