Sunday, September 8, 2013

Breaking Bad .....Mickey Mouse style!

Ever go to the thrift store and see a kid tear up the toy department? If you have spent any amount of time in your local thrift store, I am sure you've witnessed this common phenomenon. The unsupervised critter plops down on the floor and methodically rips through the toy shelves, making a mess of some toys while breaking others. While the destruction is going on, mom and/or dad are oblivious, yapping on their cell phone as they wander around the store. (Who are they talking to anyway? Can't it wait?) While a kid busting up toys is bad enough, it's even worse when they're destroying the toy you wanted to buy! Not long ago, I witnessed one little  brat, oops, I mean adorable child, almost ruin one of my finds before I even paid for it. It's one of those, "It could only happen to me" capers.

I was strolling through the toy section of my local Goodwill when I spotted a Mickey Mouse ride-on airplane. I learned from a fellow blogger that the Mickey Mouse ride-on toys are popular to flip on eBay. Recently a Mickey ride-on plane sold on eBay for almost $40 dollars-not too shabby! Remembering this, I gave the toy a quick once over. Although it was missing the play blocks, everything else worked fine including the spinning prop and blinking lights. Priced at only three bucks, I decided the Mickey plane would be coming home with me. But with more shopping to do, I didn't want to carry the bulky plane around the store with me. So instead, I  left the plane in the pile of toys where I'd found it and continued browsing. I figured since the plane had probably been sitting there for the last few days-what's the chances someone would grab the toy while I was browsing? You can probably guess what happened next.

Saved from almost certain destruction! 
Just a few minutes later, I was in the back of the store when I noticed a little kid riding around the sales floor on something. At first, I wasn't too concerned. Goodwill literally has these toys tossed in a big pile, so it's not unusual too see kids grabbing one for a test drive. At first, I could only see the top of his head. I noticed he was having a grand old time zipping back and forth on the floor! I tried to reassure myself that there was no way he was cruising around on my Mickey plane. Heck, I'd just put the plane down only a few minutes before! What were the chances, right? But as I peeked over the sales shelves to see, I couldn't believe my eyes. Of all the countless riding toys in the Goodwill store, the youngster had found my Mickey Mouse plane and was now off to the races!

Peering over the shelves, I did a slow burn. These things always seem to happen to me! And as my bad luck would have it, this kid was not some well behaved little angel. Nope....he was a terror on wheels, running amuck on the floor as shoppers jumped out of his way. After breaking the indoor Goodwill land speed record, he then decided to kick it up a notch. The youngster thought it would be a great idea to smash my Mickey plane into the walls! And he didn't do it just once. For reasons only known to a ten year old, the kid made multiple runs at the wall, reeling back a few feet, then charging at the wall again and again. I was aghast! To make matters worse, the boy had the prop spinning as he continued to crash into the wall. It seemed like he was trying to bust through the wall! I knew with a few more smashes, the kid would break the propeller and there would go much of the value in the plane! Further frustrating me was the fact that Mom probably had no intention of buying the Mickey plane for her sonny boy. He was wrecking the toy out of sheer boredom. I had to think fast!

As the carnage continued, I pondered what to do. For a moment, I thought about tracking his mother down to ask if she intended to buy the Mickey plane? However I wasn't entirely sure who the kid actually belonged to. What if I asked the wrong lady? Secondly, even if I did find the right mom, asking if she was buying the plane was a little forward and could possibly invite a punch in the nose! Tracking down mom could also annoy her, causing her to buy the plane just to spite me. I was in a quandary!

Fortunately fate interceded. The young dare devil had grown bored with his demolition and he abandoned the Mickey plane in the middle of a store aisle. As he disappeared into the clothes racks looking for his mom, I made my break towards the toy plane. My quick actions were something to behold. Like out of spy movie when the hero discreetly switches briefcases, or lifts the wallet of the unsuspecting bad guy, I calmly walked up to the plane and without even stopping, grabbed the rear handle and headed to the cash register. All those years watching spy movies had paid off!

Despite my daring rescue of the Mickey plane, I knew time was of the essence. As was common at this particular Goodwill store, I was stymied by shoppers backed up at the cash register. Nervously looking to the back of the store, I spotted little "Evel Knieval" wandering around in search of the plane. Apparently he was ready to finish his destruction of Mickey!  I began to sweat a bit more, worried that like in the wilderness, baby bear would cry to momma bear. If that happened, I might have an angry "Momma Grizzly" on my hands!
Hey, where'd it go?

I continued to nervously shoot looks towards the back of the store as the plane wrecker wandered aimlessly searching for Mickey. It was a little embarrassing actually. Here I was a grown man, worried about a ten year old kid tracking me down! After several more stressful minutes, I finally made it to the register. To save precious moments, I passed on the offer of a big bag and slipped out of the store. I breathed a sigh of relief. Operation "Rescue Mickey" had been achieved!

Don't feel bad for the kid. I am certain he found another riding toy to smash into the wall. As for my rescued Mickey plane, I sold him to a happy mom for $20 bucks. She loved the plane and couldn't wait to take it home to her (hopefully) less destructive child. I made a small profit of $17 bucks and learned a valuable lesson. When you find something good-pick it up before some kid does!

Ever observe a toy destroyer at your local thrift store? Share your story below....

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  1. Hey Dude
    I had a similar experience- I found a Little Einstein toy at my local Goodwill- I spotted one of the characters in the appropriate toy area but no rocket- I knew it had to be around cause one figure is not how they package stuff at my goodwill. I found a toddler playing with it in the middle of the aisle- as soon as the child turned his back- I snatched it and just put it in front of me- small enough to be concealed- I too dashed for the register- I do not think the child even noticed- I did one more lap with the bag to see if any more figured were laying about. It was $3- which I sold a friend at cost- because I auctioned off the complete one for $87 a few weeks before Christmas- And really- it was that friend who told me of her desperate peel to find this over priced toy that lead me to look for them- Her daughter got an incomplete version under the tree and they were both excited. Had she never told me, I would have never known!

    As always- I enjoyed the read!

    1. Holly-That's a good friend to have. Educated you on the Einstein rocket and you made $87 dollars. You got to love that. Very nice that you gave her the second one you found.

      And what's an Einstein toy without the rocket, right? Good thing you spotted the toddler playing with it. I agree, thee are so many toys in most goodwill stores that the little kid probably didn't even miss it.

      Thanks for sharing the story. I am glad to see I am not alone in those sticky situations-Ha!


    2. the Einstein figures for the rocket sell well on their own

  2. Dude,

    LOL! A couple of months ago, my sister called me complaining that some kid was playing with and Einstein plush and she knew the parents were not going to purchase it! They were nowhere in sight! The waiting until the kid put it down was killing her, but it eventually ended with her with the plush! Patience usually pays with kids!

    1. CindyLou-Ha! You are right-just gotta wait them out, right? Patience helps too, for sure.

      Thanks for sharing the story...Dude!

  3. I know it wasn't funny at the time, but your story made me laugh. I never understood the need to harness children on leashes until I started my ebay business ;)

    1. Kimberly-It's okay, you can laugh. That's what I am going for when I share my little capers!

      Maybe harnesses should be loaned out to parents when they enter the Goodwill store?! I'd be okay with that-Ha!

      Thanks for writing it....Dude!

    2. Hahaha I harness my kids (not for goodwill but for other places) and OMG the dirty looks I get....but I know my kids are safe....where are yours :) I haven't had that experience at Goodwill but at yard. Sales quite frequently. My general rule with my kids is if we aren't buying it you don't touch it.....or a heap of consequences happen funny how quickly they learn.....:)

    3. Ha! I don't mind the kids playing with the toys, so much as their parents, who seem to completely forget about them while in the store. Especially knowing the way things are these days. So a harness isn't half bad an idea!

  4. I admit I am one of those parents who let their child destroy ooops I mean play with the toys in the toy aisle. I do not do it at Goodwill though but the thrift store by my house. I don't leave him alone. He is in my line of vision and the toy aisle is the last aisle we stop at. Besides all the toys in that shop are already missing pieces or are crap

  5. I sold some bulky toys (too big and not worth enough for Ebay) at a consignment sale a few year ago. One was a ball drop toy with 5 balls. I put them all in a bag and sealed them with packing tape and attached them to the toy. When I went to pick up what was leftover...there was the toy, minus the balls. I could only find two spread around the building. It was so annoying because the toy was pretty much ruined. Seriously, a parent had to have HELPED a kid get into that bag.

    Your story is so funny to read, because it is so TRUE. I am horrified that a kid would do that at the age of 10. Heck, my fairly average sized 7 year old would not fit on that toy (we used to have one.)

    1. Wendy-Stealing the balls from the game is pretty low! No doubt, Momma Bear (or Poppa) had to help baby bear to commit the theft !

      The kid who almost destroyed my Mickey Plane may have been a little younger. As my kids get older and taller, it's hard for me to gauge the youngster's ages.

      Thanks for writing in and sharing your story....Dude!