I am not a Black Friday in-store shopper and never have been, but for doll sales, I made an exception this year, one day early.
Because of their Thanksgiving Day-only, buy one get one 70% off on all toys sale, I visited three local Family Dollar stores on Thanksgiving Day. I arrived at the first store at about 8:05 a.m. (they opened at 8 a.m.) I chose this store first because I had not yet checked their stock of Fashion Madness Kenya dolls and was eager to see what they had to offer.
A few weeks ago, the stock of Kenya dolls was rather depleted at the original store where I purchased my first doll, Movin On Kenya. At the time of Movin On's purchase, that store had only one of the other dolls I wanted, Rock Star, and it had a ripped seam in the side of the pants. I wasn't sure if they had fresh stock available so I traveled to another Family Dollar first on Thanksgiving Day.
This store (the first one I visited on Thanksgiving) had all six girls in stock, but their odd property loss prevention method was disappointing in the eyes of this doll collector. The plastic security sensor was taped to the side of the box with several evolutions of PACKAGING TAPE. This taping method included taping the front center cellophane. This is the only Family Dollar I have visited that uses this security method. Why did I come here?
I was not sure if any of the other stores would have Rock Star at regular price and another doll I could buy for $6 or 70% off, so I relented and purchased two dolls there and painstakingly watched the cashier rip the side tape to remove the security sensor without any apparent regard to preserving the dolls' boxes. "It's a good thing, I plan to debox Rock Star," I thought. I wasn't sure how I was going to handle the remaining tape on Riviera's box since the plan was not to debox her.
I paid for my dolls and left.
Inside the car, I gingerly removed the tape from both boxes, and just as I feared, there was lots of glue residue on the cello of each. As I lifted Riviera's box, I saw her purse fall from her arm, but thought little of it. From that store, my plan was to visit three more Family Dollar stores, but I actually only went to two more only because I inadvertently missed a turn on a street that would have led me to the store I did not visit.
The next store I visited was the store where I had recently witnessed a shoplifter get apprehended
. I went there specifically to see if the boys, T J and
*, were in stock. No such luck. They only had the "same doll dressed in a different outfit," which is what the tall store clerk kept saying as he handed me each doll's box. I had solicited his help because their more sensible security measure is to stock the dolls on an unreachable, overhead shelf in lieu of using a taped-on sensor. I playfully hit him on the arm and instructed, "Stop saying that [same doll dressed in a different outfit
]." I explained, "I'm looking for males. They are supposed to have males. Look on the back of the box and you'll see one of them." He did, and referring to TJ said, "I haven't seen this bald dude. I've only seen the 'same girls dressed in different outfits'" Okay, I did, I gave him a final swat but thanked him for helping me before I left the store empty handed. (Yes, Vanessa... I hit him.)
Next, I pointed my car in the direction of home but dropped in to check the stock of the Family Dollar nearest me where I thought the Kenya stock would still be depleted. Boy was I wrong!
They had a massive Fashion Madness display right at the front of the store across from the first checkout stall. The display was filled with two or three shelved rows of dolls in pristine boxes Unfortunately, no boys were in stock there either. During this visit, I purchased a couple of household things, left, and went home, disappointed in myself for not going there first. Oh well... I'll just have to live with a sticky box
, I decided.
Back at home, I examined the dolls again from inside their boxes to be certain I had not missed any flaws. On closer inspection of Riviera, I noticed the pink plastic handle had broken off her handbag and was also at the bottom of the box with the bag. "Oh heck no," I thought, I'm taking this one back and not to the store where I purchased it.
I made a second trip to the store with the massive Fashion Madness display, the store nearest me... the store I should have gone to at 8:05 a.m. Thanksgiving morning. I handed the bagged doll with receipt inside the bag to the store manager, who was working the register and told her the reason I needed to exchange it. She said, "Here (handing me the empty bag and receipt after removing the damaged doll), just get the one you want and you're good." Now that's what I call customer service. After closely examining three Riviera's, I noticed that one had the same issue of broken purse handle as the one I was returning. I put that one back, examined two others and chose the best of those two. To the store manager as I left, I held up Riviera's box and said, "Got it. Thank you sooooo much!"
|Thanksgiving Day purchases from Family Dollar: Fashion Madness Kenya
Riviera (the one I exchanged for the damaged doll) and Rock Star Kenya.
(If you look closely at Rock Star's box after clicking the image to
enlarge, you might be able to see some of the tape residue on the middle of the box from the store's ill-thought out security measure).|
Rock Star will be deboxed soon. I have special plans for her. I do not have immediate plans to debox Riviera, which is why I wanted a good doll in a good box. It is her picture that appears on the front of the booklet that accompanies each Fashion Madness doll. This is the reason I want to keep her pristine, for a while at least.
*See the entire planned Fashion Madness Kenya line, and scroll to the bottom to see the guys, TJ and
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