Pieces of Eight (Hundred)

legoshipWhen my kids were little the hardest toys to get your hands on were Legos. Not boxes full of assorted pieces that force children use their imagination —but the elaborate kits where you build something huge. And by “you” I mean mom and dad.

One Christmas the absolute must-find present on the Christmas list was this huge Lego pirate ship. This was long before the days of online shopping so finding it meant hoofing it to five different stores. No luck.

Next step: call every toy store within a 75 mile radius of Albany. Nobody had it.

I finally managed to track one down at FAO Schwarz in Boston. It was December 23 so I shelled out to have it shipped via FedEx. All 865 pieces arrived just in time. Guess how I spent Christmas Eve and early Christmas morning?

These days the hardest things to get your hands on are some of the the Lego Star Wars kits. These are expensive to begin with, so when you’re under the gun and forced to buy them on eBay you know you’re not going to get a good deal. As Yoda might say, “Pay through the a**, you will.”

Now here’s my consumer tip: if you find yourself in a jam with this stuff get on the phone with one of the Lego stores. In the past they’ve had items in stock that were impossible to find elsewhere —and they’ll ship it the same day.

It’s probably been 17 years since pirate ship Christmas. We still have that ship in our house —but unfortunately it’s in 865 different places.

Have a story about finding the unfindable present? Please share!

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