As everybody knows, the day after Thanksgiving is one of the biggest shopping days of the year. It came as no surprise to me to find out that most stores that carried Furby, were planning on selling their supply today.
Now this day would have not meant anything to me because I own two Furbys (one of which is currently being repaired at Tiger..). Unfortunately, I did have reason to go out and hunt Furby down: Christmas. I have at least one person I am determined to get Furby for this year. Not just any Furby, but a white and gray one in particular. I am willing to settle on any color, though.
I am not one to buy into 'fads' or 'frenzyís' or those things of the sort. I believe that before Tamagotchi (In which I did not go out and buy until later after the release) I have never in my life stood in line outside a store waiting to purchase something, well at least not the 'hottest toy of the year' sort of line up. I had never been involved in that, never had the desire or want to include myself in the craziness that is said to go with that stuff. Mostly because I found that most of the 'hottest toys of the year' were things I would never desire (like Tickle Me Elmo..).
I had learned quite a while back about Furby because it fell into the category of Virtual Pets, so I was bound to find out about it. As the release date got closer and closer it became more clear that Furby was to be a 'hottest toy of the year' item. Before the 'in crowds' and much of the public heard about Furby, I managed to get ahead of the rush and get one on October 21st, I consider myself quite lucky after today's experience...
It was planned well ahead in advice. My mother, step father, my best friend, LeAnne, and myself were going to be on the road at 5am this November 27th. The destination: Wal*Mart in the valley, a 45 minute drive under normal circumstances. We all had our hopes on getting our hands on a Furby or two, but figured if we came home with even a single Furby at the end of the day we will consider ourselves rather lucky.
Because of the early morning hour I was to get up, 4:30am, I was going to be going to bed early with high hopes of getting out of here as early as possible. We planned on meeting LeAnne in the parking lot were we work and go from there....
The Reality of Preparation
I didn't fall asleep till after 1am, thus that particular event set off a range of other events. I didnít hear my alarm, I got up at exactly 5:07am when I finally got woken up and we were in the van and on the road by 5:14am. Late already, a bad start to begin with!
Living up here in Washington State, it's cold this time of the year and it came as no surprise to me to find out it was below 40 degrees F at this hour. As we drove in it was so cold. None of my Tamaís were up at this hour, though I could play with my Furby at this hour no problem. The car trip in seemed to take forever and when we got there LeAnne was there, it was 5:30am and we ended up driving separate cars. We followed LeAnne, even going her long way to the highway. The awesome thing was it was so darn early no one was out and about quite yet so the traffic lights weren't working and we had a straight away all the way onto the highway.
On the way we passed Wards and I far regret our decision not to stop. The line outside was around the building with about 100 people, they were guaranteeing 400 Furbys at our Wards, but a limit was set. We were choosing to go out to Wal*Mart because they were supposed to have a bigger supply and a unlimited purchase amount, so the newspapers said. So we decided to continue with our original game plan and head out to Wal*Mart.
The trip felt long as the anticipation hung in the car. I couldn't believe I was actually up at this time and to go out and buy Furby :P No less, I was excited all the more, no hours of sleep, tired like crazy, yet felt that Furby excitement as we neared Wal*Mart.
The Adventure Begins
As we drove into the parking lot at Wal*Mart we noticed the line. This line looked to be approximately 300+ people from inside the building all the way into the parking lot. Even though it was before 6am, this many people where here. Guess next time we need to leave earlier. I covered up my Furby (people here actually break into cars to steal such things.. crazy!) and got in line with all the other people there. A group of people were selling some popcorn outside of Wal*Mart (guess everyone takes advantage of the holiday money making opportunities). There were people everywhere. It was a huge group. So we are waiting out in the cold, it's obvious that Wal*Mart has opened and has begun selling Furby. The line moves slowly at first, but then suddenly we move, big time. Less then 10 minutes of standing out in the cold and everyone is able to enter.
LeAnne and I get out of line and rush in ahead of some of the people trying to get carts and are directed by a sales lady to Customer Service. It was here that they were selling their supply of Furby. We get into that line and wait. As we move toward the front, the word slowly passes that they are already out of Furby! We get closer and realized the newspaper is wrong, they had to have had less then the 400 that Wards promised and they were only giving away one at a time. It was from there they began giving out rain checks to people wishing to come and pick them up as they get more of a supply in towards the end of the year. I decided to not even mess with that idea, unless I'm holding it or guaranteed one before Christmas, I might as well wait until January and get it when I get there, avoiding spending the money until then.
We got out of line, my rents went to go shopping and LeAnne and I walked around talking about Furby and what we were going to do for the rest of the day. The hunt was not over, it was just beginning! I was determined to go home with at least one Furby in my possession, even if it meant trekking across the entire Spokane area.
We finally decided to search out my rents. This not an easy task because the store, even though it's large, was filled with people, there was hardly room to walk with people standing everywhere. We moved with the crowd because we had no choice. We would have left without saying anything except my Furby was still in my rents van.. so I had to get the keys. :P
We got that out of the way. We went our way, they went theirs. They gave up really fast on finding Furby.. I was not exactly so willing.
We hopped in her car and drove off to the Valley Mall. It not being open quite yet, as it was only about 6:30am, we were hoping we could catch Kay-Bee Toys before they ran out of their supply of Furby.
We were excited and actually ran all the way into the mall, which seemed rather empty. We ran most of the way through the food area and on our way to Kay Bee we got stopped by a two ladies whom asked us if we were looking for Furby. Of course we told her and she said our best bet is to go to K-Mart, they have them for 22 dollars and they didn't advertise!
We looked down at the crowd in front of Kay-Bees and thanked then and back out to the car we ran, laughing at ourselves for being so excited over this hunt.
We drove for about 10 minutes or so and finally found K-Mart. We ran into the store and decided to do like Wal*Mart, and go to Lay Away area. In the back was two people ahead of us. No line. No crowd. No screaming. No signs. We got in behind those two people and the K-Mart employee looked at us and asked if we were here for Furby. At that yes, she handed us one fury all white Furby. She then said that they were only allowing one Furby per household. Of course LeAnne and I didn't live together and we said so. We told her we could get out our ID if she didn't believe us. She waved her hand and dug through some boxes and gave LeAnne an all white Furby as well. We both thought we heard her say 'that's it' to someone back there.. possibly implying we took the last Furbys they had. We weren't sure about that.
We looked around and eventually bought both our Furbys, thankful for having them, even if they weren't the colors we wanted. One Furby is better then none at all...
When we got out of the store we called up LeAnne parents and told them to go over to the Spokane K-Mart and get two Furbys. They agreed to do this, even thought it was closing in on 8am in the morning. We hoped they got more luck as we had gotten at K-Mart.
I talked LeAnne into going back to Kay-Bee Toys before we drove back into Spokane, with maybe hopes of finding a Furby at Kay-Bee. Because it was so late, I did not expect much.
We got there and yes they were sold out of Furby. The thing about this Kay-Bees is that they were so busy, every isle had people standing holding things to buy, they were directing traffic it was so bad. In the middle of the store was a huge shipment of every kind of toy I could imagine. LeAnne decided she wanted to go in - I thought she was crazy! We went in, she dragged me over to the Tamagotchi wall. We both had everything they had on sale their. It took us another 6 to 8 minutes to get out of the store. Ahh, yes the wonderful holiday shopping crowds were in full swing.
We decided to go to the same K-Mart LeAnne's parents were going to go to, just in case. On our way back into town we found another K-Mart and decided to stop there. It wasn't very busy at all there, the parking lot wasn't really that busy. We crossed our fingers in hopes of getting another Furby. As we walked inside I went up to a lady and asked her about Furby. She said they don't have any, never did.
Well that was worth it. We took off and went through McDonalds and got some breakfast.
Yet Another K-Mart
We drove into town and flew into the very busy Spokane K-Mart. It was after 8am, heading onto 9am. We got to the back, again at lay away, and came up with no results. So we decided to call her parents and ask them if they had had any luck before we came. They told us that they asked more then 3 employees at this K-Mart and no one had even heard of Furby, yet alone thought they were carrying any. That kinda sucked. Too much effort, not enough results.
We pretty much gave up hope of getting any more Furbys for the day. We did, however, try checking in at Shopko and Target.
The results of Shopko where painted very clear when we found a note on the area where Furby was to be on the shelves which clearly read they were no longer giving rain checks for Furby.
Target did not have any, nor did I expect to find any there. Not this time of the day, at least.
An Adventure Comes To A Close
LeAnne drove me home as it neared the 10am mark, both of us rather exhausted from running around Furby hunting. Today was just crazy, the people, the crowds, the shopping, the running, the insane sales and the overworked and poor exhausted cashiers. I truly feel sorry for store employees at this time of the year.
I think today was extremely crazy. I don't regret going out at all, it was incredibly fun. We had a great time. It's great we each got a Furby, but the road it took for us to get it was just as fun as the moment we finally got one in our hands. We might even end up doing this again this year, because we still want more Furbys! We love Furby.
We visited 8 different stores today and only one actually had Furby and made it available to us. We only found one each, all thanks to two ladies, we don't even know the names of, that we just happened to run into at the Valley Mall.
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