Cafe 227

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

The Rich. They're Different from You and Me.

I, thankfully, do not have any children. I do have a little brother though. Matty Shades - as he's known around these parts - recently turned 14. I've spoiled him rotten ever since he was a toddler. This Christmas will be no different - he will be getting a hard-to-find video game system* from his big brother this year.

I consider this gift exorbitant. It's certainly more than anyone ever spent on me when I was 14, and it's far more than he deserves. However, according to CNN Money, the money I spent on this video game system is a mere pittance compared to the price tags on many toys for the kids of the uber-rich. I encourage you to look at all 10 of the toys featured in the article. My favorites are below:

* Not the Playstion 3. The other one.

Grand Victorian Mansion

Price: $22,000

Description: "This Victorian house is straight out of a fairy tale. It includes a wraparound porch, a stained-glass window, window boxes, a skylight and a doorbell and brass door-knocker. The interior resembles a real house with sponge-painted walls, simulated hardwood floors, fireplace mantel and an upstairs loft accessed by ladder."

Comment: For an extra $15,000, FAO Schwarz will throw in a team of oompa loompas (here illegally from Loompaland, of course) to tend the garden. Also, I think my parents house in Pittsburgh was recently assessed at a slightly higher price than this.

Lego Life-Sized Batman

Price: $27,000

Description: "This Caped Crusader can guard your child from all that lurks in the night. A statue stands 6'6" tall and is made of Lego bricks, with a yellow utility belt and heavy cape fabric. It comes in three parts to assemble."

Comment: It comes in three parts to assemble? What boring, torpid kid would want a pre-assembled Lego statue? Kinda takes the fun out of the whole Lego thing. More disturbing, what precisely does it do? Are you supposed to just stare at it all day? Does it come alive at night and battle the boogey man and the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man? (Or am I the only one that had nightmares about the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man as a kid?) I'm pretty sure you could actually purchase Michael Keaton at this point for less.

Fantasy Coach

Price: $47,000

Description: "This carriage promises to make your little princess's dreams come true. Handcrafted of wood and fiberglass, the oval-shaped interior measures just over 6 feet in diameter. Linens and interior options can be added upon request."

Comment: Christ almighty. Let's just move on.

Massive Wilbur Piggy Bank

Price: $6,000

Description: "Turn your child's room into a fiscal institution with this all-metal piggybank. Wilbur is made from 100 percent recycled aluminum and painted with nontoxic acrylic paint. Each comes with a brass medallion and announces Wilbur's favorite phrase: 'Some pig!' This extra large pig can be extremely heavy if filled with coins, weighing up to 1,000 lbs."

Comment: I, too, had a piggy bank as a kid. It was about as big as a shoe box. I would fill it with nickels and quarters, with the occassional Susan B. Anthony dollar thrown in. I would dip into it every time I wanted some Sweedish Fish or Lemonheads at the candy store. (Like now, I spent most of my money on food as a kid.) At no point did it approach 1,000 lbs. I guess these kids need something a little heftier to handle their allowances. Some pig, indeed.


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