Toys are a rare treat for my little girl. We rarely buy toys for her, yes even on birthdays. Both me and her dad didn't grow up playing with lots of toys. Truthfully, I don't think I had an unhappy childhood just because I never owned lots of toys. I had my fair share of play fun during my childhood but I think the reason why I am more drawn to Waldorf too is because I grew up playing with more organic and natural toys than commercialized, plastic ones. Having busy working parents, it was my grandmother who exposed us to a lot of natural toys and I thank her big time for that.
My kid however is far from that world. And yes, despite us intentionally not exposing her to a lot of commercial toys, she plays with kids who are really into popular toys (Disney, Barbies, and all that stuff that define modern childhood now). That is a reality I also have to deal with an open mind. I cannot blame kids nor their parents too. It is after all every where.
I'm lucky my tricks have so far worked on my kid. Yes she would express a want to own a Barbie. But she doesn't really demand for us to buy them for her. We try to stir her interest away from it by providing her with alternative play ideas. Right now, if you would ask her what she wants for her birthday she will probably ask you to give her art materials than Barbie. Well ART materials and probably these miniature things that she's currently obsessing about.
My kid is allowed about 4 hours of screen time this summer. That includes computer time. And guess where she'd spend majority of that? She would sit in front of the computer and know where to navigate already. Apart from Starfall, YouTube is another favorite browsing site for her. And she only watches two things there - Re-ment and Konapun videos.
So in my recent trip to Japan, after learning that Re-ment is Japanese, she asked for nothing but mee-nya-choor toys. The first time I was there, I tried looking for it. But being in the company of single ladies I didn't really find time to look for the toys. When I got back a month after though, I requested for a few hours for us to search for the toys and to my surprise there was a toy shop just a few meters from our hotel that officially distributes Re-ment. You should have seen how my face lighted up (I was actually trying my hardest not to jump and hug the guy haha) when the guy from the store exclaimed -- "Oh, oh Ree-men-toh! Yes, yes downstairs!" (Oh the extent you go just to make your kid happy no?)
The toys were surprisingly cheaper than I'd expected. A small box cost 399 Yen ($4) while a big box of 8 small boxes is roughly around 1540 Yen (About $15) I wanted to buy several boxes but I don't really have the space to stuff them in and I didn't want to awaken the long-dormant-mega-shopper in me. So I allowed my conscience to restrain me and just picked 4 small boxes (the size of a box of playing cards) and paid immediately. My co-worker was still trying to convince me to buy more but I grabbed her hand and forcefully dragged her out of the store. Haha.
So anyways, without further ado, I present to you the Re-ment toys that I brought home for the excited little miss (and excited daddy too!).
Just to show how small they are exactly...I took photos with a 10-centavo coin next to the toys.
The husband is now into these also. He's currently scouring Ebay auctions to score more of these super cute toys. Anyone planning to go to Japan soon? Pabili ulit ako!
Here are the details of the store where I bought these babies from:
Basement of Yamashiroya Toy Store
Tokyo Metropolitan Area
Ueno, Taito-ku 6-14-6
Tel No. 03-3831-2320
The store is right across the small Uniqlo store near the Ueno Train Station.
I've frequently passed these on my first trip and didn't realize it had a basement. It carries popular Japanese toys which most collectors will probably go crazy over.
I wanted to actually spend more time there I just got scared I might spend all of my money in just one store. Haha.