Ah, retail therapy! But even more importantly: ah, window shopping!
There’s something enormously playful about exploring a toy shop. You don’t have to buy a single thing to have an enjoyable half hour examining games, new and old. Oh look, they’ve updated Mousetrap (it looks far inferior). Those new robotic toys look amazing! Ah, the classics. Look – that woman has just got very excited about traditional pick-up-sticks. ‘It’s a retro edition’, the shopkeeper informs her.
I spend a good long time traversing the corridors. I have to remind myself I’m not here to find anything in particular, just to take in the sights. We’re so used to spending our time looking for the perfect top, or hunting out presents, that it’s easy to forget that you can just look around.
I snarl at gendered lego – and why do boys get neutral red, when girls get lurid pink?
But then I find Sylvanian Families. Oh, how I loved them. Nobody told me they were supposed to be for girls. I guess I was supposed to prefer PlayMobil!
I thought boxes were the best toy. When my parents got a new car, I ran to my mother and said, ‘Did it come in a box?’ – Colin Angle
Ease of play: 8/10
Resemblance to play: 6/10
Potential frequency of play: Medium