Friday, February 6, 2009


* Greak Bakugan Hunt of 2009

It began at tae kwan do that fateful Saturday morning. J Boy saw another kid's Bakugans. Bakugan is a TV show the kids have been watching lately. There are battles when these spherical things morph into some kind of creature. I don't really know if the Bakugans are robots, magical creatures, toys or humanoid. I really don't.

The kids have been playing a poor man version of Bakugan for weeks. They find every ball, marble or vaguely spherical item in the house and line them up each with a corresponding stuffies. They say "Bakugan battle" and pretend to throw the selected marble and then throw down the stuffie. My only real objection to this game has been the mess it creates as about 15 balls and stuffies are constantly lined up in our family room. Actually, not lined us, more like strewn about.

Anyway, J Boy saw these actually morphing Bakugans at tae kwan do and decided he must have them. He even considered them worthy enough to spend his allowance, which means the defferal of buying his Nintendo DS (handheld game every other 7 year old on the planet owns. Or more accurately, every other 7 year old in his school).

So, J insists that I speak to parent at tae kwan do to find out where the precious morphing creatures were acquired. I asked a Dad who said with little conviction that made me believe it was more of a guess "Toys R Us". On the drive home J excitedly and generously says he must buy 4 so he and S will both have 2 Bakugans each when they play.

Getting J off any fixation such as this is harder than getting Republican support for an abortion rights bill. So we devised a plan. The whole family would go to Superstore, where we would look for Bakugans. While we were there we would do the weekly grocery shopping. If Superstore didn't have Bakugans, we would go to Toys R Us.

I checked on the Toy R Us website and found a vast selection of all things Bakugan. One game looked like a good deal as it had a number of cards and 6 Bakugans. Cards are required to make the Bakugan's morph. I called and found out they had one game left. I had it put on hold and went over the game plan with J:

Plan A: Go to Superstore to look for Bakugan.
Plan B: Go to Toy R Us to buy Bakugan game.

While Husband and S tackled the groceries, J and I headed to toy aisles. We found a few 3 packs of Bakugans for sale for $13. So the options are to buy 3 Bakugan for $13, 6 for $26 or go to Toys R Us and buy the game for $25 which includes 6 Bakugans.

It was then that J Boy tells me of an additional requirement that one of the Bakugans must be Drago. Who is red. You don't really know who any given Bakugan is unless it's morph into its creature and of course the creatures are not morphed in their titanium packaging. They just look like plastic balls.

So J comes up with his own to do list:

1. Ask S if she really will want to play Bakugan. If so he won't buy the 3 pack as they won't have enought to share.
2. If S does not want to play, then he'll find a minimum wage worker (or Superstore lady, as he calls them) and ask her if the red one in the pack he wants to purchase is Drago. (I do not try to advise J on the equal unliklihood of a) finding Superstore lady and b) finding one who knows who Drago is.)

We track down S and Daddy in the bakery aisle and discover S does want to play. So we are settled on Plan B, getting the game at Toys R Us.

J is already one step ahead and says "What if the game isn't the right thing?"

"Then we'll go to Plan C", I say confidently. "we'll check out the Bakugan aisle at Toys R Us and find the right ones".

J is getting more and more tightly wound as we head towards Toys R Us. I have a bad feeling. On top of looking for a minimum of 4 Bakugan with one being Drago, S has decreed that one of hers must be Tigrera. They kids are a little fuzzy about what colour Tigrera might be. Bad feeling grows.

At Toys R Us ustomer service we examine the game. I read carefully to see the contents and hope against all that is rational that Drago and Tigrera are both in the box. Box reads "6 Bakugan, non-morphing". Not what we are after.

I catch J as tears form in his eyes and steer him towards Bakugan aisle. Apparently Bakugan sales are not affected by the worldwide recession as they have none of the small morphing Bakugans for sale. They have belt holders, carrying cases, battle stations, large forms, cards and a half dozen other accessories, but no 2, 4, of any other size pack.

"Plan D" I say quickly to J Boy, sensing him tottering toward the precipice of discombobulation, "is to go back to Superstore and look again at their selection".
J Boy is listening. So I continue, "Plan E is to keep looking at other stores or online for the right ones. And Plan F", I say with my best sales pitch voice, "is to keep saving your money for the DS".

Before going back to Superstore to work on Plan D, I study packaging and try to divine who the @$#%$^& are Drago and Tigrera. My good fortune is we see a giant sized Drago. It is red with orange lines and I memorize the symbol on the outside.

Husband drops J Boy and I off at Superstore for our second go at the Bakugans. I cannot believe our good fortune when I realize the red one we had seen looks like it's Drago. Red, check. Orange stripes, check. Right symbol, check.

J Boy only has to decide how many to buy and what to do since Tigrera did not appear to be available. J showed remarkable flexibility when he decided that one pack would do and we could just keep looking for Tigrera another time.

I'm pretty sure I did a little jig on the way to the checkout. 2 plus hours and we had reached a mostly successful conclusion to our hunt. We paid and tracked down Husband circling the parking lot.

We're about a block away when all the tension, stress, and worry of the past two hours erupts in the booster seat behind me.

"It's not Drago!!!"

Postscript: Even though it was not Drago, J did recover and even figured out a sharing system for the 3 Bakugans and 6 Bakugan cards. The system favoured his sister with any extra Bakugan. Such generousity and inclusiveness for his sister, made the GBH'09 worth it.

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