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Tuesday, 27 July, 2021

In Venezuela, Baby Jesus has no new toys


No more Hasbro, Fisher-Price or Mattel toys in the exhibition. Cavejaf, the association that reunites all the toy distributors, said sales fell by 55%. The reasons, low purchasing power, and closed companies.

By Daniel Benitez.

One of the biggest illusions for a child is to write the letter to Baby Jesus or Santa Claus. Whit the catalogs in their hands, children pick the toys they expect to receive on Christmas Eve. They don’t look at the price or in which store is the toy, they don’t worry about it because the people in charge of that has the money and the possibilities.

In December, the prettiest and expensive time of the year for Venezuelans, parents must face the hyperinflation in Christmas´s decoration, also the limited offer in toys. Years ago, they could choose brands like Hasbro, Fisher-Price or Mattel, but this year there are just a few products related.

Every year, the website Amazon publishes a list called The Holliday Toy List, whit all the newest and seller toys and gifts for children. For this season, the most popular are movie toys, technology products and tables games.

However, most of these products will not arrive in Venezuela. “We don’t have new toys. We only have what left on the store,” Alejandro García said, manager from a toy store located in Caracas.

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Toys are not imported by the United States anymore, now comes from China. A glance is enough for children to notice the difference between an American or an Asian toy.

You can also read: People from Los Andes pass Christmas with blackouts

Green prices

When Nicolas Maduro said that some citizens buy and sell in foreign currency, stores across the country rushed to set their prices in that currency. For a lot of people, it is a good option, for others, prices are too high and hard to pay.

A father named Boris Garcia was trying to know how much money he needs to satisfy his sons’ wishes. “I came to look at the price from Avenger’s toys, the budget must be in dollars, but I don’t’ have such a thing. I’m just looking”.

An Avengers’ toy is an estimate price from $10 to $20. Toy Story characters cost between $20 to $40. For little girls, dolls and barbies are the most wanted. According to the size, may cost between $6 to $40.

Other ways to buy

Parents use creativity to buy a present for their children no matter the price or the strategy to find it. They don’t want to leave their kids without Christmas’s experience.

Oriana González is the mother of four kids, the youngest is only six months old. She is waiting for help from the family in the foreign. “I have a sister in Colombia and another one in Peru. My parents always try to help me. My husband and I have jobs, but we spent all the money at the grocery store”.

Venezuelan parents also use social media like Whatsapp or Instagram. “I had to use an Instagram account to buy the Barbie that my daughter wanted, that model is not available in Venezuela,” María Jose Vasquez said.

Iconic toy stores have no offers

After 60 years, the store El Boton de Oro (The Golden Button) reduced the space. They don’t have new products.
The Tiki-Taka store is in a similar situation. Years before, both places had a lot of glass cases with the most popular toys in the exhibition. Nowadays, it only has a few old toys.

Read the article in Spanish here.

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