Sunday, November 13, 2011

Toy testing

Enough with my angst. As I was saying to V after posting last night’s blog – it’s not even a real crisis that I’m stressing over. It’s not like I’ve been offered a demanding career position and at the same time receiving a writers grant from the Canada Council or an invitation to an exclusive writers’ retreat.

Fiona Apples sings: ‘He said it’s all in your head and I said so’s everything but he didn’t get it’.

It’s all in my head. Time to move on.

So, on a lighter note, I applied today to have my family/daughter be part of the toy testing team of volunteers for the Canadian Toy Testing Council (CTTC).

CTTC is a non-profit organization that tests toys for infants to teenagers and releases reports about toys’ durability, safety, design, function, battery consumption and play value.

If we’re selected as a toy-testing family, it’s not exactly like we win the lottery, but it does sound interesting. I’ll have to go to a 2-hour orientation session and pay a $30 membership fee; then I’ll have to pick up a toy, observe my child playing with it over a period of 6-8 weeks, carefully record results on a guided questionnaire and return the report and the toy at a set time. We will have opportunities to buy the toys Miya really liked at the annual fall sale – if she’s still interested in them that is.

CTTC has been getting kids to test toys since 1952 and test about 400 toys a year. Their annual report stands out from the myriad of other similar reports released this time of year – in everything from news outlets to individual retailers (in my Globe and Mail this week there was promotion for Indigo’s pick of top toys). There will also be lists of the most eco-friendly toys, best-buy toys, consumer choice toys... We are gearing up for the Christmas shopping season and toys are a huge market.

Funny in a way that I should be doing this, since I don’t actually think my kid needs high-tech toys or the newest craze. But this could be entertaining – and hey, it kept me from blogging about my own ridiculous problems.

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