How would you feel about your child getting an unboxed gift?

edited 31 July 2015 at 1:08PM in MoneySaving mums
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GraciePGracieP Forumite
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edited 31 July 2015 at 1:08PM in MoneySaving mums
My son has 2 cousins, a brother and sister who are the niece and nephew of my ex husband and who live 3 hours away. They are all a similar age and I want to keep as much contact between them as possible. I always send them presents for their birthday and Christmas if we aren't going to see them in person and I find the little boy quite easy to buy for as I normally just get him a toy DS really loves. For the little girl I struggle a bit more as I hate the thought of getting her really girly pink stuff just because she is a girl. In the past I got her things like Little People sets, as DS loved/loves those but I don't think they were a big hit. At their recent birthday I got a Spiderman set for my nephew and what I thought was a pretty cool doll for my niece that came with a car that you design artwork for. It turns out that the Spiderman set was a massive, massive hit with both of them and the doll is largely ignored.

They are both really crazily into superheroes so I decided that for Christmas I'd get them both superhero stuff that they can play with together. I found these really nice early reader books about superheros on Amazon and picked some about Superman and Batman for my nephew and Wonder Woman and Batgirl for my niece. Then I got a cool set of Batman, Superman and Joker figures for my nephew and wanted to get some female heroes for my niece. I already knew these aren't in shops but looked online and was sad to discover that other than a tiny Imaginext Wonder Woman and Catwoman, there aren't really any female figures available. On ebay I can order loose figures from discontinued lines and can get Wonder Woman, Batgirl and Supergirl. I thought I could get the 3 of them and put them in a gift box with the book and my niece would hopefully love them. But would it seem weird to her parents, like I bought them cheaply secondhand or something? Personally I have no problem with secondhand stuff, even as a gift, but I know a lot of people feel very differently.

The only way I could get boxed versions of these figures are as collectibles and they cost an absolute fortune. As it is, getting the female figures is working out quite a bit more expensive than what I have bought for her brother as they are more rare and can't be found in the shops. I'm worried it could be seen as a snub and I don't want to do anything that damages the fragile relationship my son and his cousins have. But I do feel sad that my son and nephew are always able to run around dressed as their favourite heroes, playing with hero toys that represent their gender but that my niece can't do the same and I think it would be really nice for her to have the same chance that they do to identify with her heroes.

(BTW, I'm also planning to get the same toys for DS as it would be great for him to see women having the same potential for action and heroism as men.)
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  • reehsetinreehsetin Forumite
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    No constructive advice but I think the idea is really great. So many people are upset by the lack of female characters but marvel particularly was bought by disney to capture the male market and seem quite happy to ignore the other side (already captured by frozen etc). Definitely send these companies your feedback and let them know how disappointed you are and hopefully the tides will change.
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  • Bluemeanie_2Bluemeanie_2 Forumite
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    I wouldn't mind them getting an unbowed gift at all. I am grateful for anything she receives. You are going to a lot of trouble to make this little girl happy and find her a lovely present, when you could just go to Toys R Us and buy some random tat or get a gift voucher. You sound like a very kind person.
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  • thistledomethistledome Forumite
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    On the subject of the unboxed gift, every parent will have their own personal view, so it only really matters what the parents of this little girl think of it.

    I do understand why you're going to so much trouble to find female figures, but if she really liked the Spiderman set why not just get her a superhero of any gender? If I really loved Spiderman (for example) and somebody gave me a Wonderwoman (or Catwoman etc) instead just because I'm a girl, I think I might be a little disappointed.

    Possibly there is a gap in the market for a female superhero range, but I remember loving Batman as a little girl. I didn't care if he was a Man, Woman or Bat - I just loved him.

    Unless I've misunderstood your OP, in which case apologies.
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  • theoreticatheoretica Forumite
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    I think I agree- why not give each child some male and some female of books and toys? Same presents, just split up differently.

    Would it be less obvious if you unbox the male figures?
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  • GraciePGracieP Forumite
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    I do understand why you're going to so much trouble to find female figures, but if she really liked the Spiderman set why not just get her a superhero of any gender? If I really loved Spiderman (for example) and somebody gave me a Wonderwoman (or Catwoman etc) instead just because I'm a girl, I think I might be a little disappointed.

    Possibly there is a gap in the market for a female superhero range, but I remember loving Batman as a little girl. I didn't care if he was a Man, Woman or Bat - I just loved him.

    She loves all the heroes but her favourites are She-ra, Firestar and Wonder Woman. (They watch the old 80s cartoons on youtube and I think she was a little disappointed Firestar wasn't in the Spiderman set.) The first two are way out of my budget but when I last visited she was looking through a book of DS's and was really into the page about Wonder Woman. So when I saw a story book aimed at young children featuring Wonder Woman and Batgirl, I thought it would be nice for her to have those to go with it as I was getting a book and matching figures for her brother. I'm considering getting Supergirl too as the set I have for him has 3 figures.

    It's an interesting thought to give them mixed gendered toys instead of males for him and females for her. DS will be getting a mix of male and female figures for Christmas and I guess I was thinking that this way my niece and nephew would have a group of figures they can play with together. And Spiderman, Superman, Batman and the Joker are my nephew's favourites, so as he already has a Spidey set, I jumped on the set which had all 3 of his other favourite characters. I could give them one big "Justice League" themed gift but I've read that it's best to treat twins as individuals when possible rather than a joined unit, so I think it might be better to give them each their own toys.
  • Could you box it all as one gift for both of them to share as a joint present if they both like the superhero characters? That way they both get to choose which one they would like to play with at any time & both get characters that they like.


    As for your original question, it wouldn't bother me if they were unboxed at all. In fact I would be grateful that I don't have to take them out of the original boxes with all those annoying bits of sellotape, wire wraps etc. That's all I seem to do after Christmas & Birthdays is spend days taking toys out of boxes & then having to dispose of all the rubbish :rotfl:


    Your post did remind me of something that happened a few years ago when I threw a party for my then 4 year old. As people were arriving they would give me the gifts they had brought, so I would take them in to the other room. One of the parents turned up with their child, looking very embarrassed and handed me a supermarket carrier bag with an opened Barbie inside with the ripped box & wrapping paper. She apologised profusely and said that she had put it in the back of the car while she was driving and her daughter decided to open the gift and completely ripped the wrapping paper apart so there was no way of salvaging it and rewrapping. Of course I told her not to worry and not to be so silly, but your post just reminded me of this Barbie being handed to me in a carrier bag.
  • Personally I'd thank you for not giving my child more rubbish to go in the bin (the box, not the figure!) Would it be possible to buy or make a superhero cape for the child, that could be used to wrap the figure in? If not, I'm sure a cute little gift bag or nice wrapping paper will be fine. I've never heard a child say "I want to keep it in the box" :rotfl:

    ETA: DD got a small doll in a gift box once, she loved it because the box could be the doll's bed etc too.

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  • gayleygoo wrote: »
    Personally I'd thank you for not giving my child more rubbish to go in the bin (the box, not the figure!) Would it be possible to buy or make a superhero cape for the child, that could be used to wrap the figure in? If not, I'm sure a cute little gift bag or nice wrapping paper will be fine. I've never heard a child say "I want to keep it in the box" :rotfl:

    ETA: DD got a small doll in a gift box once, she loved it because the box could be the doll's bed etc too.

    Capes are a good idea. I could get a Super one and a Bat one and they could take turns being whichever male or female hero they choose in them. And I'm thinking of something like a plain gift box that I could decorate as a Hall of Justice for playing with as well as storage for all 6 figures. I also saw a cool jigsaw that has a mixture of the male and female heroes that I'm getting and thought they could share that. It's a bit complicated for a 3.5yo but DS has it and he enjoys joining in with me when I make it. :rotfl:

    The last figure arrived this morning and here they are together; (they look much better in real life, I especially adore the Batgirl.)
    Cte9MYA.png?1
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  • walletmothswalletmoths Forumite
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    My kids don't mind unboxed gifts at all. If they do get boxed stuff, they just rip it up and chuck it. It's all about how you teach your kids about presents. If you teach them that something must be absolutley perfect and in a box, then you're setting yourself up for expensive Christmases.
  • I don't think it matters at all that they're not boxed and they look fine in the picture! Sounds like you've put a lot of thought into the gift :)
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