The Blind Bag Secret That Has Saved My Sanity


My daughter is a collector. She collects all sorts of things but her most favourite things to collect are small, inexpensive toys she can put in her pocket and carry around. She loves little animals, little cars, small trains, little figures of all sorts and superheroes…she is what is known as blind bag heaven! 

She begs me constantly for these little bags you find in toy shops, corner shops, newsagents and at the cash desks at supermarkets. She loves the surprise, the fact you can collect them all and the magic of opening those little bags. 

Like so many children around the world she even spends hours watching others opening and ticking off little toys on collectors lists. There is just something special about these surprise bags that seems to bring her great delight….

Until that is she gets a duplicate! 

Then she gets most upset, feels let down and begs for yet another bag to try again. 

I had so many discarded toys, so much disappointment and so much money wasted that I was so close to saying she could never have one of those crazy bags ever again. 

Seriously I was finding myself in shops feeling those things trying to figure out if I could guess which one was inside! The more she would collect the harder it got and I would shake those bags, try peeking inside and be so mad at myself if I purchased a bag only to find yet another duplicate to be forgotten about and tossed to the bottom of the toy box. 

My daughter has autism and so swapping her duplicates was never an option as her friends were not interested in the same things she was. So the pile of excess figures, trains and cars just kept growing. She never ever asked for anything else and she delighted herself in lining up her treasures eagerly waiting on the last few to tick off. It became an obsessions for her. 

Then one day as I stood in a shop pulling bags off to feel and shake I could hear footsteps coming towards me. A hand tapped me on the shoulder and politely asked me if she could help me. I was sweating but explained how my daughter loves blind bags and was looking for a certain character and I was hoping to be able to figure out which one was in the bag for her. 

And that was when I was let into the secret that saved my sanity.

It IS possible to know what is inside those little bags and here is how:

The bags are coded. Seriously every one of those bags whether it is Thomas The Tank Engine or My Litrle Pony or Imaginext figures…every bag has a code hidden somewhere that prevents you from purchasing endless duplicates. You just need to know where to look! 

 
I walked out that shop like I had just been given a million dollars! 

I got home and did a quick google and low and behold I may not be the first person to have unlocked this mystery but it still appears so many others have no idea! 

So I wanted to share, not to be a spoil sport and take away any of the hidden surprise element to these bags but simply to let others know and give them an option to check if they wish.

My daughter has autism and duplicates to her have caused so many meltdowns that I would hate others to be going through the same when there is a secret to save parents sanity. 

You may wish to read this and keep the secret to yourself or you may feel this is something that could help a friend. What you do with this information is up to you. 

For me this blind bag secret has saved my sanity so much I HAD to share incase someone else was fed up with the tears and tantrums of duplicates too.

They do say these things are a numbers game..they were right after all! 

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The day he chose his own birthday present

imageI had waited for this day for many years.

He has yet to tell me what he would like for Christmas or a birthday. He has yet to speak, period. He isn’t able to look through a toy catalogue and mark the things he likes. He has no concept of adverts and no interest in toy shops other than the automatic doors or the lift.

Birthdays and Christmas are therefore hard. We basically guess what he might like based on observation and knowledge of his sensory preferences. Sometimes we get it right. More often than not we completely waste our money on things he never goes near.

If we find it hard how much harder do relatives and friends find buying for a child who never plays with toys?

So at his birthday party this year lots of people opted to give him money. And I totally understood why.

But that left me with an even bigger problem: now we HAVE to do something and get something for him.

I was stuck.

So in desperation I decided to venture into a shop with him. That meant pushing him beyond his comfort zone of the automatic doors at the entrance. It meant picking a time when the shop would be most quiet, not only in terms of people but also in terms of tannoy announcements, music, and noisy technology. It meant risking a huge public meltdown.

I tried to prepare him. It’s not like I can tell him he has birthday money and he can come choose a toy. He has no concept of what a birthday is let alone what money is. I am not entirely sure he even realises what a shop is? So I kept it simple and told him he was coming somewhere special with mummy to get something he would really like.

He loves his mummy does that boy.

So I searched for his socks and shoes and lifted him into the car. At seven this gets harder by the day. I took him to a shop we have been to many times before. The whole journey I kept repeating that today we were going into the shop and he could chose himself something nice. As I glanced at him flapping in the mirror I thought for a moment he may actually have understood me.

I think I was right.

He took my hand. He walked right through those beloved doors and he smiled and laughed and flapped like he had just won a coveted prize.

Then he stopped right where he was. He picked something off the shelf and he took my hand and dragged me to the checkout.

I was so utterly in love with him. I was bursting with pride! I wanted to shout about this magical achievement to the ends of the world.

My son has just chosen his own birthday present!

I had no need to worry about the cost. Or wether he needed batteries. Or even if I needed scissors or a screwdriver to get through the packaging. I never even needed to purchase a carrier bag!

He held his prized possession all the way home in the car, turning it, licking it, and smiling at it.

He knew he had chosen well. And so did I.

I actually wonder why I never thought of this before…

After all surely every seven year old wants a tin of baked beans for their birthday present!

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