So it turns out that it’s nearly Christmas already. How the hell did that happen? I blinked for a moment at Easter and the whole bloomin’ year has evaporated! Honestly, I wouldn’t have known if it wasn’t for a lovely invite that the family and I received, to head on into the big smoke and check out Myer Melbourne’s brand new Giftorium for 2015.
To say that Phenom-A-Mum was excited about our day out is a ridiculous understatement; if only she’d been this pumped about our wedding! Whereas I’d never heard of this ‘orium thing before, and I’m a man, so shopping only exists in my worldview if there’s something I’m going out to buy. Window shopping triggers my retail-narcolepsy.
To this end, I embarked on our Myer Mission equipped with an important goal; to find prezzies for the family. This would be my one opportunity before I forgot completely until Xmas Eve.
We walked in. We saw the Giftorium. My man-mind melted at the thought of it all.
There were more things to buy there than I could bring myself to look at, all decked out in Christmas pageantry, predominantly revolving around the theme of ‘Personalisation'; this year’s go-to word. Phenom-A-Mum thought this was a good thing. Unable to focus, I headed straight to the arch marked ‘For Him’, to hide amongst the testosterone injected goodies until I could face the pressure.
And that’s where Little E and I found the domestic arcade machines. Very cool cabinets with emulators built in, loaded up with ROMs of all of your favourite classic retro video games. I don’t know why Little E got so excited; we’ve had a machine in our place since he was born and he plays Donkey Kong Jr 3 on a regular basis (by “plays” I mean pushes the joystick to the right until the monkey falls into the water. Again and again and again). These new machines would make awesome presents, though the wanker part of me noted that ‘real’ retro gamers want a sturdier cabinet that still smells of fish n’ chip oil. I am such a tosser!
Around the corner was a hub of brand new Crossley turntables. So retro, so cool. Our record player skipped it’s last groove a couple of years back and all of our op-shop vinyl is gathering dust until I replace it. These Crossley ones are gorgeous, looking like they stepped straight out of a 1950’s magazine full of smoking men, aproned wives and kids that never talk back. Unfortunately they’re out of our price range at the moment but you never know what magical money we might find next year (you know, if I sell a kidney… or someone else’s).
One of the best things about going to Blogger events like this is getting to see my fellow parent bloggers face-to-face (I still get weirded out by the whole online factor). Little E and I caught up with the wonderful Georgina from Kidding Around Australia, and her daughter Alegria (above photo) as we wandered the aisles of possible xmas present craziness. We also got hugs from super Debs of Learn With Play At Home as Little E mirrored her little man’s shyness – both boys hiding behind our legs, peeking out at each other. Too cute!
Speaking of the kids, Little E was treated to a wealth of fun and entertainment as a live show played out almost exclusively for a playschooler audience who were captivated by the Frozen references.
And then he was spoilt by the AMAZING Brunetti pop-up ice cream cart, serving teeny weeny cones for teeny weeny people. Flavour? Chocolate all the way.
But nothing mesmerised him like this crazy cool BB-8 remote droid by Sphero. He just squatted down and watched as it spun all over the place:
It’s operated remotely by a smart phone app and may be the most awesome item we saw at the Giftorium, except for its hefty price-tag of $250. Maybe when Little E is older or I’m richer.
Speaking of Star Wars merchandise, Myer has everything you could want from the upcoming Star Wars VII: The Force Awakens movie. Jedis, droids, and Darth Vaders galore. Even this not-a-mad-Star-Wars-fan had trouble averting his eyes from it all.
In fact, you can even get all sci-fi geeky with your very own Chewbacca or Princess Leia bear. Phenom-A-Mum wanted to take them all home.
As a tight-wad Dad I found that there was, overall, a heavy focus on fairly pricey items across the Giftorium but there was a very rockin’ stand-out item that could be your gift to everyone you’ve ever met, this Christmas: personalised Nutella. That’s right! For just $12.95 you get a 1kg tub of nutty-choc Nutella spread, resplendent in a bespoke label bearing the name of your intended receiver.
If you’re willing to part with a little more moolah then they’ve got a Build-A-Bear Workshop, personalised Little Miss, Mr Men & Peanuts prints that are whipped up on the spot and an expansive department of Disney toys, including one that I’m surprised got past the censors:
I really need to thank the lovely people of Myer for their very generous $50 gift voucher which helped us buy Little E a very awesome Buzz Lightyear toy that he will LOVE, almost as much as I will! He jabbed it repeatedly through the packaging, until his Mum dragged him away, and he has no idea that Dad super-sneakily bought it for him for Xmas whilst he was distracted by other Disney merch.
My highlight of the day? The amazing food and service at the Brunetti pop-up cafe and ice-cream cart. I broke my 8 week no-sugar run to gobble some of their amazing nutella doughnuts. Pastries and coffee was was free for us parental-type bloggers and I’ve got to say that Brunetti’s were beyond generous in keeping us on a caffeine and sugar high. I liked them before. I LOVE them forever now.
My family had a tops time at the Myer Giftorium 2015 event and came away with full tummies, big smiles and, more importantly, Christmas prezzies for Little E and Phenom-A-Mum. I went all ninja-styles when I spotted the perfect gift for my wife and got the box wrapped in-store so that she couldn’t sneak a nosy look. It’s driving her insane not knowing what’s inside. Bwa ha ha!
If you are looking for something a little different this year then the personalised items are a great idea. Even if you don’t know someone very well, as soon as you put their name on something, it’s like you’ve known their darkest desires.
Side note: I found the best present ever in normal Myer, outside of the Giftorium. The brand new Lego Advent Calendar! $50 is pretty steep, but for Xmas-themed Lego surprises on a daily basis… worth it! If you want one you better hussle your behind; they expect to be sold out before November.
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