A few weeks ago, in one of A’s solo trips to the mall since I got injured, he discovered a small toy warehouse outlet tucked in one of the corners of the new Annex of SM North EDSA. Always on the lookout for toy sales, A took a step inside and discovered a goldmine — old Sylvanian Families (SF) toy sets for sale at below market prices. A snatched up every single one he could buy and came home with four huge bags of an assortment of SF, from Japan-released single boxed characters, to Flair theme playsets, even a boat (The Rose of Sylvania) and a house (Oakwood Manor).
Because he had bought so much in one go, the salesperson inquired on his interest on SF. A replied that he was bringing them home as gifts for his poor. sick, SF-addicted wife (okay, okay, enough with the drama, heehee). The salesperson then volunteered a nugget of information — they might have some more SF in their stores in Tutuban and in Festival Mall. A thanked the kind salesperson profusely and filed the information for future use.
Fast forward to the weekend of our church wedding anniversary (November 14). A had promised me a weekend getaway in the city as a gift. I was totally excited at the prospect of some alone time with him. My sister graciously acquiesced to babysit Alphonse for the weekend; Alex volunteered to help his aunt and the remaining nannies with his brother. We felt Alphonse would be in safe hands, so we put a green light to the plan.
A had booked us a room at The Bellevue Manila, a five-star luxury hotel in Alabang. Muntinlupa City. As part of our weekend itinerary, he had planned surprise gifts, movie dates, dinners and lunches, and the special bombshell- a hunt for Sylvanian Families (with the option of buying, of course). I thought that it was auspicious that The Bellevue would be so near Festival Mall, until I discovered that A had it planned all along as part of the surprise for me.
And so there we were, after an hour and a half of city driving, billeted at a very comfortable room (I would have loved to take a snooze, the bed and pillows were enticingly soft and fluffy) but we had a schedule to stick to and time was ticking. We unpacked our gear, locked the laptop in the room safety deposit box, did the restroom stops, quickly tucked Mama Bronte Keats and Sister Shelley Keats in my pocket, and boarded the car again. I was tired from the ride and my neck ached like h**l, but I swallowed a couple of painkillers, slathered an analgesic rub all over my neck and upper back, and hoped adrenaline would be enough to sustain me. The first stop: Festival Mall!
We looked for the store the salesperson told us about and found it in the 3rd floor of a rather convoluted building. This being my first time in Festival Mall, I could not get a good grasp of the lay-out right away; fortunately, A has a keen sense of direction and found the place without any problems.
Wonder Toys is a small store but it comes packed with lots of great items, both at sale and regular prices. I found a wide array of Sanrio merchandise, many of them with negligible defects that cut down the costs measurably.
My SF hunt was a bust this time, though, as they had few items left (we were able to buy most of them at their North Edsa branch anyway; good that prices at their SMNE outlet were also lower) but I did find a Fox father I had been looking for and an extra double pram for my Sylvanian babies.
One salesperson was very friendly to me after finding out that I love SF. We kept making small talk about SF until he happened to mention that he was sorry they ran out of the ‘big house” (referring to Oakwood Manor) which they sold only at half the price. Before I could reply, he also said that the house was so cheap that he had heard of a seller who made a huge profit on the house by selling it online at a shockingly hefty markup to a SF addict. *gulp* I almost choked on his words but managed to maintain my composure. What he did not know was that SF addict he was talking about, alas, was probably me. Sigh. Oh well, you win some, you lose some. I think I lost big time on that one. 😦
Still, if only for Fox father, the trip wasn’t such a bust after all. I did score great Sanrio merchandise, some for Christmas giveaways and some for my collection. One of these days, when A has more time on his hands, he and I are seeking out Wonder Toys Tutuban next.
The Wonder Toys stop was simply the first of a series of SF hunts. In the span of a weekend, we managed to make the rounds of most major stores carrying SF, including Eastwood’s Toy Town, SM Mall of Asia’s Toy Kingdom, and Greenbelt 5’s Kidz Station. Add to that the SF gifts A had purchased beforehand at the SM North Edsa’s Toy Kingdom and I think I made a pretty good haul of Sylvanian items in one weekend.
Best of all, A and I simply enjoyed spending time together. Our weekend jaunt to The Bellevue was truly a relaxing and pleasurable experience. I particularly love breakfasts at Café d’Asie, with their succulent pork sausages and luscious buttered rolls. I think Shelley Keats loved them too.