It’s that cool kid Owen’s bday at school, so we had to hit up TRU to get a present for the party. We didn’t feel like dealing with maelstrom child in the toy store, so we told our kid that he had to ride in the cart because it was store rules on the weekend that no children could touch the floor. He wasn’t buying it, so we offered him the opportunity to earn a small reward with good behavior. He sat still and silent in the cart the entire time — you could hear a robin land in a fresh blanket of virgin snow, that’s how quiet he was.
Well that’s not true, but he did enough to earn a small toy, considering he had to sit by idly and watch his parents buy Owen the tricked-out motorized driving Road Ripping Street Beatz car with pulsing speakers. My kid’s reward was a PJ Masks Blind Bag toy.
If you don’t have little kids, PJ Masks is that stupid-looking cartoon with goober CGI animation that’s not half as cool as all the cool shit we had back in the day.
And if you do have little kids, PJ Masks is the hotness. Paw Patrol is over. It’s for babies. PJ Masks is big league big kid territory. It’s about these six-year-olds that turn into superheros when they go to bed at night. They also learn about getting along and gardening and crap. PJ Masks comes bearing multiple gifts to us as parents — twenty minute blocks of sanity and a theme song that is catchier than an airborne mutation of the bubonic plague.
Once at home, I sit down to explain blind bags to my son. They are a pestilence, a scourge, a way to collect things if you hate yourself. But he’s three, so I don’t say that, I just say in my chipper voice “you don’t know what you’re going to get,” as I begin to twitch subtly. My chipper voice is veneer-thin, and I might actually be sobbing, so my wife chimes in “they’re like a mystery!”
I imagine some people just have a luckiness, a blessedness bestowed upon them at birth with these blind toys. I always get the worst one, the very one I want absolute least. Or I get one I already have. Yet these little pestillent crap bags have a magnetic pull on me. I can’t resist them.
They’re not fun to play with, they’re not fun to collect, they don’t display particularly nice. They do nothing, they are nothing. They are like the junk toys you get for a quarter out of a prize machine — except THEY COST FOUR DOLLARS NOW HO HO HO!
It’s like gambling, only there’s no magical hope of hitting a jackpot and spontaneously turning into the Busta Rhymes music video Pass The Courvoisier. The only hope is opening an utterly useless choking hazard that I don’t hate more than the other ones taunting me on the back.
I also secretly hope that maybe it will fill in a tiny part of the gaping hole in my being, like a bit of spackle.
Got that son?
I explain he might get Cat Boy, or he might get Owlette. Or maybe Gekko! Or Luna Girl! Or Romeo. Romeo is the generic lame-o mad scientist. the hate-most one that is 100% guaranteed to be in the bag.
“Or Night Ninja! It’s going to be Night Ninja! I want him!” my son exclaims.
No, no no no. Nah kid. That’s not how it works. I mean, yeah, maybe Night Ninja, but it’s not. It’s not ever the one you want. Night Ninja is probably the chaser figure thats only in one out of every two hundred bags. It’s gonna be Romeo. You better be prepared to feel content with Gekko, the third-billed kid but hell at least he’s one of the main ones.
I want to prepare him more, but he just wants to rip into the bag,
so we pull apart the plastic …
and it’s …
He beams with pure joy. He who hath been bestowed with the blessedness of blind bag toys.