LETTER: No batteries required

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In response to Kate Chapman’s column in last weeks edition regarding the perils of noisy high tech children’s toys I have to take issue with her claim that toys without batteries are far less irritating.

I want to make the case here for a total ban on all Sylvanian Family toys. These tiny creatures and their plush habitats require no batteries at all but still remain the most frustrating toy any child can own.

Disregard for a moment the fact that they are extortionately expensive, but how many families of squirrels do you know who require a Morris Minor Traveller complete with caravan to park outside their country house, which is perfectly situated on the outskirts of an idyllic village that boasts better shops than we have in Spalding!?

Add to this the miniscule size of all the parts, the minute labels that need to be put on every tiny jar of badger baby food or tube of meerkat toothpaste and you have a collection of incredibly annoying toys with not a battery in sight.

Mrs Chapman’s admission that before she had children she would buy noisy toys for other people’s kids without a second thought is one I am ashamed to admit I share.

Before I had my children I remember buying a Sylvanian Family deluxe hotel for my goddaughter’s sixth birthday. I was so pleased to see the look of sheer joy on her face as she ripped open the parcel and said: “This was the present I really wanted but mummy said I couldn’t have it.”

Mean mummy, I thought, before revelling in my newfound status of ‘Best Godmother Ever!’ – a direct quote from my goddaughter by the way!

I couldn’t understand the devastated looks that were passing between mother and father of said little girl. Had I overstepped the mark with my extravagant gift? As it turns out it wasn’t any of those things and I really should be asking for my friend’s forgiveness because now I understand. It wasn’t the price or the size that was the problem – it was the thought of spending the next four hours attaching tiny stickers to tins of food, labels onto shoe polish pots the size of your little toenail and trying to put chairs around tiny tables that will inevitably fall over the minute someone breathes on them.

Not to mention the pieces that will get sucked up into the vacuum cleaner and dumped into the bin or disappear under the sofa or get eaten and then regurgitated by the dog/cat/hamster etc. And trust me you do not want to be trying to rescue Mrs Fox after she has passed through the digestive system of a beagle.

Nevertheless my six-year-old daughter adores her Sylvanian Family toys. They are impossible to pick up and take forever to arrange in any kind of pleasing fashion.

I hasten to add here that all of the Sylvanian toys she has have been bought for her by other people – grrr!

Mrs J Crane

Fern Drive

Spalding