Let this be a lesson to you parents trying to fill your children’s hearts with joy by purchasing a gift you know they will absolutely love and cherish: Read the fine print!
Let me take you back a few weeks when I discovered a new little show on Disney Jr. called “Doc McStuffins.” It is animated television gold. Gold, I tell you. The main character, Doc, is a 6-year-old girl. A fully clothed, appropriately dressed girl. Awesome. Finally, a female lead character who isn’t chasing down a sneaky fox or whose only goal is to look pretty!
In the show, Doc’s stuffed animals come to life when no one else is around, and she tends to their boo-boos in her “clinic.” And the gold doesn’t stop there. She is an amazing big sister and her mother, who makes many appearances in the show, is a successful “real” doctor. The lessons of this show are stellar (getting through a check up, supporting sick friends), plus my kids are getting the message that it’s not just boys who can be leaders or have careers. Another bonus: A loveable, purple hippo who is Doc’s nurse features the voice of Loretta Devine! I love it. You get the point.
If it’s possible, my daughter, who is 3, loves the show more than I do! So, being the superstar parent that I am (stop laughing; you’ll spit out your coffee), the other day I decided I’d do a little search online for Doc McStuffins toys. For the first time in my life, I thought, “Hey. I’ll get a jump on holiday shopping.” It wasn’t meant to be.
During my search, I discovered that the show just launched on March 23. And tonight, while writing this blog, I discovered I’m not the only one who loves it. Everyone with a daughter loves it. Everyone who wants to be a doctor when they grow up, loves it. African-American girls love it! What’s not to love?
Um, the price of the very few toys on the market, that’s what! My search revealed a Doc McStuffins doctor’s kit that, with the exception of being pink, seems like every other doctor’s kit on the market. There is also a talking Doc doll, but her level of adorableness compared to the animated Doc’s adorableness just doesn’t cut it. Then there was a Doc McStuffins doll that came with her own doctor’s kit – as a set. An adorable set. A $50 set!
I couldn’t believe my eyes. But I had read that the show was a hit – and just tonight I came across a blog post on Huffington Post raving about the show. The toys won’t stay on the shelves. So, I thought, as exorbitant as it was, it would be a great gift for my mom to buy my daughter for Christmas or her birthday. (What? You didn’t think I was going to buy it, did you?!) My mom agreed it looked like a great gift even if the price was a little questionable. But, hey, we justified, look what people pay for American Girl dolls and the like. At least my daughter would play with this toy.
Well, it turns out that when this awesome doll and doctor’s kit arrived, we could barely see it. It’s like 6-inches tall. Seriously. The “doll” itself seems like a choking hazard. And the doctor’s kit? I don’t even think my 3-year-old has the fine motor skills to pick up tools that small. In all fairness, I wouldn’t pay more than $15 for this thing.
Oddly, today when I do my “Doc McStuffins” toy search, the prices have come down by about 20 bucks, and there’s a crystal clear, bolded description that says the size of the toy. That wasn’t there before, I swear. It’s as if they knew I was going to write this post. Needless to say, our teeny tiny Doc is going back to the toy factory. And until Disney comes up with some better products they can keep on the shelves at a reasonable price, my daughter is just going to have to settle for watching TV. And, I guess, there are worse things I can think of than watching a brave, strong girl make her doctor dreams come true!
Freelance editor/writer and mother of 2, Brooke Bernard blogs most Wednesdays for Mamas Against Drama. Catch her on Twitter at www.twitter.com/BrookeBBlogs.