Why the Internet Simultaneously Rocks & Sucks

by heirtoblair on December 10, 2012

It all started about a month ago when we realized that at one point, Disney produced a die cast Frank toy, aka the combine “bull” from the original Cars movie. Frank happens to be Harry’s favorite Cars character, to the point that he renamed CHAR CARS VEHI MEGA FRANK THE COMBINE Why the Internet Simultaneously Rocks & Sucksthe movie “Frank” & puts on full-out dramatic interpretations of Frank’s brief minute in the movie.  Sometimes he even asks me to be a tractor & fall over & it’s pretty damn darling as long as I haven’t thrown out my back.

Doug & I knew that owning a Frank would simply blow his mind, but there was no way we could swing the current price point, so we sent out an SOS to the Internet for any unloved Frank’s that might be lying around. Unfortunately, nobody had one but we were pointed to a blog dedicated to Frank & his likeness, which let us know that Disney was re-releasing Frank alongside a team of 3 tractors & Mater & McQueen.  He’d be out just in time for Christmas at a fantastic price of $39.99.

We had to have him.

Except that he sold out in one hour of re-release.  An hour later, re-release Frank started showing up on ebay for 3-4 times the price.  I completely support capitalism, but part of capitalism is selling goods at a fair price point.  $39.99 set by the manufacturer?  Fair price point.  $120 set by an ebay seller in his basement?  Toy scalping.

The rage was strong in me & before I knew it, I was firing off an email to the ebay seller that had over 21 Frank’s listed at $120.

 carsconvo Why the Internet Simultaneously Rocks & Sucks

I became Hulk-like when he raised the price again.

Y’all, the internet SUCKS sometimes.  More accurately, the people on it suck.  Which just tell me that since these are real people behind computers not caring about other real people behind computers, that people in general just suck.

Die cast miniature Disney cars almost made me give up on humanity but then I remembered that I spend my time being witty & charming on the Internet rather than holed up with children’s toys in their original packaging.  I also spend quite a bit of time Tweeting shit like this to the universe.  Which means that my incredible Internet friends began calling & stalking Disney stores, even DisneyWorld itself, only to be told that they were, indeed, completely sold out of Frank.

It was going to be a Frank-less Christmas for Harrison.

Tiny, sad violins were playing everywhere.

A few days later, a message popped up from my friend Monica:

I have a friend in NYC, with frank the combine in her hand.  Do you want it??

I burst into tears.  A friend who has never met me…her friend, who has never met me, standing in the middle of New York City with Frank the Combine for my three-year-old.

A week later, Frank now sits on the top shelf in my closet, waiting for Christmas morning.  (Monica, THANK YOU.  & hug your pal for me. You brought us so much joy this season.)

This is Christmas, my friends.  It’s not a traditional story of haves & have-nots or serving soup to the homeless or bringing coats to a family in the cold, but it’s a story of making dreams come true for the littles.  Harrison would have lived through the disappointment.  But this Christmas story is about all of us coming together as a parenting community, of using our friendships to raise that darn village.  It’s about looking out for a fellow momma & her tinies.  & about making Santa Claus a real thing.

If anyone else out there is looking for an elusive toy this Christmas, let me know. I will do my best to help pass this brand of Santa on to another momma & babe.

 

So, Labsrock05?  Checkmate.  My Internet is better than yours.

{ 71 comments… read them below or add one }

Corynn December 10, 2012 at 5:21 pm

Capitalism would be the manufacturer listing the toy for $120- considering how fast they sold out it’s clear the $39 price was not an efficient equilibrium, and clearly plenty of moms do want to pay that much. No?

Regardless it still stinks for those who can’t afford it :)

Reply

heirtoblair December 10, 2012 at 5:22 pm

True, but at the same time, they felt it was a fair price point initially ;)

Reply

courtney December 10, 2012 at 5:21 pm

love this story. and the ebay guy was a giant duche! sometimes I love the internets :)

Reply

liz December 10, 2012 at 5:22 pm

Good grief, woman. You made me tear up over Frank the Combine?! ;) Yeah… I did.

Glad your little will have a magical Christmas morning… :)

Thanks for your little piece of the internet…

Reply

Rebecca December 10, 2012 at 5:22 pm

Love love love this post!

Reply

Erin December 10, 2012 at 5:24 pm

Oh wow…that’s SO awesome that someone helped you out!! And I am with you 100% on the insane markups online…I’ve been in the market for a 2009 Hallmark Fisher Price Chatterphone Ornament for Wesley, but I just can’t see paying $90 or more…it’s crazy!

Reply

Melissa D December 10, 2012 at 6:59 pm

Erin, I have that exact ornament on my tree. I will gladly send it to you if you’d like! (Just please don’t turn around and sell it for $90. :) )

Reply

Kristin @ What She Said December 10, 2012 at 5:27 pm

What a vile piece of shit this Labsrock05 is. Not only with the toy scalping, but the way he responded to your criticism.

In any case, glad you were able to get Frank. And yes, the Internet is both a blessing and a curse.

Reply

heirtoblair December 10, 2012 at 5:31 pm

You saying “vile piece of shit” just made my year. I love it when you talk dirty.

Reply

HayleyM December 10, 2012 at 5:29 pm

SO happy you got a Frank. I totally shed a tear.

Reply

Law Momma December 10, 2012 at 5:32 pm

My sister is looking for a Doc McStuffins doll. It’s sold out everywhere. And currently at twice the price on Amazon and way more than that on ebay.

Stupid consumerism.

Reply

Sarah December 10, 2012 at 5:41 pm

Which Doc McStuffins doll? I just saw the lamb & the dragon at our Toys R Us yesterday…

Reply

Nani December 10, 2012 at 5:44 pm

I know how you feel, I literally stalked walmart on the shipment days until I got my hands on the talking set.

Reply

Heather December 10, 2012 at 6:09 pm

Tell her to keep an eye on KMart. They have the Doc McStuffins line and have been getting the toys in stock periodically (and seems like they have more in store than online). My kiddo wanted the Doc McStuffins doctor bag, which was sold out everywhere and it finally came back in stock online at KMart last week. I just had to keep an eye out for it!

Reply

melanie thomas December 10, 2012 at 7:01 pm

Law Momma,
I sent u a PM on Facebook. I saw them at our Kmart on Friday – Doc, Stuffy and Lambie. Going there tomorrow on lunch – respond to my FB message about what she wants exactly and I will pick up if they still have :)

Reply

KeAnne December 10, 2012 at 5:33 pm

THIS is the power of the Internet and social media. Thanks be to Al Gore for creating it. In all seriousness, I’m so glad you got the toy!

Reply

Dana December 10, 2012 at 5:37 pm

thanks for sharing this – there are some amazing people on the internet – but the douchbags have a special place in hell.

Reply

Abigail December 10, 2012 at 5:38 pm

Yay, I’m so glad you got one! The internet really is both the best and worst.

Reply

Amy December 10, 2012 at 5:42 pm

Can’t wait to see the Christmas morning pictures of Harrison and Frank!

Reply

Sarah December 10, 2012 at 5:42 pm

Twitter saved our holiday season, too! @NYBG was able to help me snag sold out tickets to their train show event.

Reply

jess liv December 10, 2012 at 5:53 pm

while i have never experienced the heartbreak of not being able to give your kid the number one toy on their christmas list that will result in them going batshit-shred-your-footy-PJs-cray-cray on christmas morning, i have experienced the douchebaggery of human beings. people are jerks, scrooges to the 25th degree. however, like you said, there are also internet superheroes — i’m glad you’ve got people on your side to keep the equilibrium!

in the words of mr. clark “OG” griswold, i’m glad you were able to tell the internet what a cheap, lying, no-good, rotten, four-flushing, low-life, snake-licking, dirt-eating, inbred, overstuffed, ignorant, blood-sucking, dog-kissing, brainless, dickless, hopeless, heartless, fat-ass, bug-eyed, stiff-legged, spotty-lipped, worm-headed sack of monkey shit labsrock05 is.

hallelujah! holy shit! & merry frankmas to hibby.

Reply

Heather Jones December 11, 2012 at 12:04 pm

Jess Liv, I don’t know you, but I love you. You just made my frickin’ day by putting up that quote! Excuse me while I go watch Christmas Vacation for the 1000th time.. :)

Reply

Karen December 10, 2012 at 5:53 pm

In regards to toy searches, does anyone have an old toy called Baby Mozart Mini-Orbiter? I’ve been seeing a request going around the Internet for one. The story of the autistic boy who wants it is so touching! http://m.blogher.com/all-one-boy-wants-christmas?wrap=blogher-topics/family/special-needs&crumb=106875

Reply

Christy December 10, 2012 at 5:57 pm

OMG!! My son loves Frank and I had no idea they re-released it. I had tried to find it on ebay months ago and refused to pay the $80 they were charging on ebay for one little tractor. If some other good samaritan offers you up another Frank – I’ll take it off your hands. Yeah for Harry!

Reply

pemora December 10, 2012 at 6:05 pm

this is an awesome story. you are a great mom for going above and beyond!

Reply

Jenny December 10, 2012 at 6:11 pm

so happy you found one! amazing. See there are still good souls out there amongst the meanies :)

Reply

Stephanie December 10, 2012 at 6:41 pm

I am so glad that Hibby will be getting his most favorite character for Christmas!

Reply

Becky December 10, 2012 at 6:46 pm

I’m totally screwed. My toddler wants the amulet and tiara from the new Disney show Sofia the first.

Do they make these items? No. Disney has: two t shirts and some plush dolls. Oh and I got a PDF of something I can print out and rig. But still. The one time I expect Disneys love of merchandising everything and they didn’t.

I’m contemplating buying a $50 necklace that looks almost identical. But then I’m spending more money on costume jewelry for a toddler who will be pissed its not exactly right.

Argh

Reply

Katie H December 10, 2012 at 10:33 pm

THIS. My 2 year old LOVES Sofia The First and Disney has just a few shirts online! So disappointed.

Reply

Rebecca December 11, 2012 at 10:34 am

Etsy has some fake Sophia amulets and tiaras

Reply

Kelly December 10, 2012 at 7:17 pm

Our toy search has been for Transformers Rescue Bots – namely Bumblebee, Chase, and Heatwave. Our 3 yr old loves that show and all the Transformers on it! My husband finally found Bumblebee (the one we were really looking for!!!) on eBay for a reasonable price, but we still can’t find Chase and Heatwave. They run $9.99-12.99 in the store, but people on eBay and Amazon are selling them for $25-45…ridiculous!!!

Reply

Charli December 13, 2012 at 2:13 pm

Check TJMaxx and Marshalls for the Rescue Bots! They have tons of them at ours for only $6.99 each! My son is in love with them and Care Bears… thank god he wanted Funshine bear – the only “boy” that they manufacture still because all the rest were $60 on amazon.

Reply

Melissa December 10, 2012 at 7:18 pm

Ugh. As much as I’d want to make my kid happy, I couldn’t stomach paying THAT kind of money to THAT kind of jerk for something that will just end up lost/broken/forgotten in a few months.

I love that someone else came through for your little boy… someone with a sincere wish to make someone happy, rather than to make a profit. The internet CAN be awesome. Merry Christmas!! :)

Reply

Christina December 10, 2012 at 7:18 pm

Try being a NY Chase card holding, die hard fan of 90% of the bands at the 12/12/12 sandy benefit concert at MSG this Wednesday and ALSO having a babysitter for thatnight, only to log on to ticketmaster 20 minutes before presale from 3 different computers at the SAME TIME only to get ZERO tickets and see them 15 minutes later on stub hub for 12,000 Yes, that’s twelve with three zeros after it dollars.
Scalpers are assholes and should be scalped. literally

Reply

Heather December 10, 2012 at 7:23 pm

While I agree that such toy-scalping is unethical, and especially heartbreaking when it is something like a longed-for children’s toy, I do think that it’s important not to match meanness for meanness even when calling people out on unethical behavior. Most people, when called a ‘dick’ get even meaner, raise their defenses, and are very unlikely to consider what you’re saying. I think it’s valuable to let people know when they are doing something not right, but they won’t hear if we don’t do it respectfully.
I am sensitive to the mean words that can fly out to complete strangers over the internet. Just this week, I was contacted me about something I was selling on Craigslist. Someone else had bought it the day before, which I promptly informed him, and he responded by calling me a vulgar name and cursing at me because I’d forgotten to removed the post immediately. I would have gladly apologized for inconveniencing him, but when I was “yelled at” over the internet, instead being calmly informed that their actions had hurt him, I only felt my blood pressure rise, and I wanted to lash back. I withheld, because it seems like it’s only feeding the ugliness to engage in insults over the internet, and goodness knows we don’t need more ugliness.

Reply

kim December 10, 2012 at 8:32 pm

yeah, I totally agree with this. Christmas brings out the worst in people, and calling people asswipes doesn’t help the situation. You have no idea what the other person is going through on the other side of that computer.

And really? We’re talking about toys here. Commercialism and the human condition at its finest.

Reply

heirtoblair December 11, 2012 at 10:06 am

Noted & agreed. I admit that my rage got the best of me.

Asswipe deleted. Dick? Still stand by it. TOTAL dick move on his part.

Reply

Kami December 10, 2012 at 8:24 pm

I really REALLY want to punch that ebay seller in the balls. REALLY.

Anyways, I love how this story turned out. Harry will be one happy little boy :)

Reply

Lindsay December 10, 2012 at 8:44 pm

Your liberal is showing!!! :P

Reply

Ali @thecoffeeqwwn December 11, 2012 at 8:10 am

Bahahaha!

Reply

Gina December 10, 2012 at 9:41 pm

I’m SO happy that Harrison will have his Frank toy! My son is a Cars addict as well. And yep, buying as much of something as you can get your grubby little paws on and then selling it for 3X the original price is clearly being a dick and Labsrock needed to hear it. Good call! I’m tempted to email that person myself!

Reply

The Many Thoughts of a Reader December 10, 2012 at 11:44 pm

I don’t understand the people who will PAY the 120 plus for a toy. Obviously, they must have more desposable income than I do.

Anywho, I wanted to share this facebook page and encourage you and your readers to spread a little Christmas Cheer for Jayden.

http://www.facebook.com/KeepOnTruckinTeamJayden?ref=ts&fref=ts

Reply

Whitney (imlovinthislife) December 10, 2012 at 11:53 pm

Maybe it’s my post-partum hormones, or maybe this is just that amazing, but I totally have tears in my eyes for you & Harrison. So happy that you got the toy for him!

Reply

Melissa December 10, 2012 at 11:53 pm

When the Black Friday ads came out my 7 year old asked for the Air Hogs hover assault truck. I didn’t worry about it much until yesterday when I pulled it up on Amazon and it was going for 68 instead of the 39.99 I remembered it being. I checked Target, Walmart, Kmart all out of stock. I was able to find it on Toys’R Us for a little more, but by the time I added the protection plan and shipping it was almost 60! I happened across zoolert.com which tracks in stock status of popular toys. I had the page open while I did some more looking around and when I came back to that page I noticed that it had updated and Walmart now had some in stock. Not even 5 minutes before they were out! I managed to get one ordered with protection plan and free shipping. Woot woot!

Reply

Laura December 11, 2012 at 5:08 am

A few years ago my daughter’s beloved Kitty from Ikea got lost at an airport. We had bought that thing at Ikea for $7.99 and by the time Kitty went missing they didn’t sell it anymore. We found Kitty #2 on ebay, for $40….another toy scalper who knew some parent out there would desperately try to replace a lost Ikea lovie. She still has Kitty #2 and I keep an eagle eye on that bad boy when he’s out of the house since we can’t afford to replace it again!

Reply

Ali @thecoffeeqwwn December 11, 2012 at 8:15 am

I work at Starbucks and I hate seeing our product on eBay, set at ridiculous prices. Some things are collectible a so that I get but when you have 20 of something then you didn’t buy the item for yourself and then decide to sell you bought these items to sell to desperate people. It’s just sad that sometimes people are so lazy that they can’t find a real job and do this instead. I’m glad you were able to get Hibby the gift. Caleb is a huge Cars fan as well. I am a big eBay buyer but I refuse to pay double or more for anything! That seller is a douche and will receive some shitty feedback from me. All over the internets! Rock on momma bear!

Reply

Melissa December 11, 2012 at 8:47 am

You. Are. Awesome. :) Have a great Christmas! So glad it all worked out!!!!

Reply

Jessica December 11, 2012 at 8:51 am

Love this, all of this!

Reply

Arnebya December 11, 2012 at 9:06 am

THIS. Is what is good with the internet and yes, I too got all excited about a damn combine. YOU HAVE GOT TO TAKE HARRY’S PICTURE AND SEND IT OUT THAT MORNING WHEN HE OPENS IT. Zaid is in love with Madagascar and has renamed it Marty. Oh, wait. He renames all the movies. Except Shrek. Shrek is Shrek.

So ok we’re giving out wishes for elusive toys. Here’s mine: I need two Barbie or Bratz (please don’t get the Bratz one) hair styling heads. And then I switch it up and say they want brown ones. Is that racist? That my kids specifically asked for black dolls and now I’m asking the internet for black dolls? Probably. But you know what? It is what it is and I KNOW black Barbie is out there for less than she is currently on Amazon or eBay.

Reply

Beth Anne December 12, 2012 at 5:51 pm
Erin December 11, 2012 at 9:34 am

First of all that person deserved being called a dick & I’m sure given the chance BA would have said it to their face. It’s purposefully taking advantage of people which makes me sick; I don’t care if its mark-up in a store or by an individual person. And yeah, maybe 2 wrongs don’t make a right- or to answer the person above maybe it is fighting & spreading “ugly” but the world can be a really ugly place & why it might always be “right” sometimes it feels damn good to tell someone exactly what you think of them!
Also Jess Liv’s comment above had me cracking up for a good 1/2hr. Good quote placement!

Reply

Aleta December 11, 2012 at 9:35 am

Awesome. My son is TERRIFIED of the Frank scene and insists on fast forwarding. Wouldn’t it be funny if an unwitting grandparent got him Frank for Christmas lol. I’d have to send him to a happier home.

Reply

heirtoblair December 11, 2012 at 10:07 am

That cracks me up! He’d go screaming from the Christmas tree!

Reply

Jean December 11, 2012 at 10:34 am

I kinda think $39.99 is a lot too, but that’s just me balking at the insane price of toys these days!! We would really like to find a Sally, but I just can’t stomach paying $30 – 40 for it on Amazon and wherever. It’s a 4-inch toy!!

So glad you got your happy ending!! My Christmas challenge is of a different sort… we went to Sesame Place and saw Santa, and my 3-year-old asked Santa if he could play with the cars in his workshop. So now H thinks Santa is bringing him those actual cars… oy…

Reply

Jenny December 11, 2012 at 2:01 pm

We have a few of the sally cars. My 7 year old loved Cars but is over it. I would gladly send anyone any of them to get them outta my house!

Reply

Jean December 12, 2012 at 1:27 am

I would be happy to buy them from you!! Can you email me at uncpauper dot com? I could send money through Paypal or something. That would be amazing!!

Reply

Rachel December 11, 2012 at 11:24 am

I just love that you have the guts to take the time to send a message like this. Good for you! You’re right though, for so many people it is all about the almighty dollar.

Reply

E December 11, 2012 at 11:31 am

I felt the same way when I tried to get Fresh Beat Band tickets for my kids. Face value was $30 and people were selling them for $80 a ticket. No way was I going to pay that price.

I don’t know what’s worse, that people feel the need to charge these prices or that parents are willing to cave and spend that kind of money.

Reply

Heather Jones December 11, 2012 at 12:10 pm

We were looking at getting Dax a Grave Digger power wheels for Christmas, but since it is discontinued- all you can find are USED ones for $600+ (with shipping). Um, no thanks. We went with a convertible black camaro instead ;)

So glad you got Frank- I think you are almost excited about Christmas as I am! These sweet little boys make everything worth it, don’t they?

Reply

Rachel Nehmelman December 11, 2012 at 12:13 pm

I am looking for a plush Sofia the First doll that the Disney store was selling for 20 which are now selling for over 50 on ebay and amazon. I am also looking for a Monster High Scaris Skelita Calaveras doll which no one seems to have now and a Monster High Draculura costume! I wish people didn’t try to rip people off during the holidays.

Reply

Suz December 11, 2012 at 12:48 pm

So glad you got Frank! I can’t wait to see photos of H when he opens that gift from Santa. Priceless I’m sure. Sometimes the internet sucks, but mostly, it does indeed rock.

Reply

olive December 11, 2012 at 1:34 pm

No offense, but calling someone a dick definitely invites aggressive/defensive response. Even if it’s true. :) Still got mad love for ya. So glad it worked out!

Reply

Kimberly December 11, 2012 at 2:24 pm

I love this story! So glad Hibby gets his Frank :) Merry Christmas!

Reply

Rachel December 11, 2012 at 3:01 pm

this just warms my heart….i was following all along on twitter the night you were fighting with this dickbag and i really was hoping with all my might that his black, scroogey heart would get taken down…christmas magic prevails!!! i will be smiling for the rest of the day <3

Reply

Amy December 11, 2012 at 3:29 pm

::sniff:: ::sniff::

Reply

Alex @ Before The Baby Wakes December 11, 2012 at 8:42 pm

Over the summer my son requested Blades a Transformer Rescue Bots for his birthday. It was all he wanted & I couldn’t find it anywhere BUT Ebay for $40+. I continued to bid but not never won. On a whim the day before his birthday I popped in Walmart and there was ONE Blades left for 11.99. I was ecstatic.

While it sucks that the Ebay seller was taking advantage of poor desperate parents everywhere I don’t think your responses we’re necessary especially considering he never got nasty with you. Who knows maybe this was his only way of getting Christmas for his kids. But glad you got your toy.

Reply

Alex @ Before The Baby Wakes December 11, 2012 at 8:43 pm

sorry if this is a duplicate comment.

Over the summer my son requested Blades a Transformer Rescue Bots for his birthday. It was all he wanted & I couldn’t find it anywhere BUT Ebay for $40+. I continued to bid but not never won. On a whim the day before his birthday I popped in Walmart and there was ONE Blades left for 11.99. I was ecstatic.

While it sucks that the Ebay seller was taking advantage of poor desperate parents everywhere I don’t think your responses we’re necessary especially considering he never got nasty with you. Who knows maybe this was his only way of getting Christmas for his kids. But glad you got your toy.

Reply

Cari December 12, 2012 at 8:23 pm

I LOVE. LOVE this!!!

Reply

Nikki December 16, 2012 at 2:49 am

Toy scalping is shitty. & enraging. I mean, c’mon…I know things aren’t great, but seriously…doubling or tripling the price of a toy is bordering on ridiculous. & I’m so glad you called this guy out and sent him a message. His responses were douchetastic and he knows it. Unfortunately, the sad part is that there are parents out there that will validate and reinforce his behavior. It sucks :(

& since you’re welcoming requests, I’ll add mine. My daughter asked for the Doc McStuffins doctor kit and of course, I can’t find it anywhere. It’s either sold out or being sold at an exorbitant amount of money. If anyone can find it, I’d love you forever & ever.

Thanks, internetz!

Reply

Bree P. December 16, 2012 at 4:15 am

It’s not a toy, but I’ve been looking for the #4 & 5 Hallmark “Child’s age” ornaments that were.discontinued last year & replaced with a new line. Hookedonhallmark.com is selling them for like $75! Ridiculous! :(

Reply

Rebecca November 30, 2013 at 11:16 pm

Just saw your post. I feel the same way. I am searching for a hoist or medix rescue bot for my 3 year olds wish from Santa, and the collectors want 70$ each….

Reply

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: