Tonight was a blast! It all started with the final STAR WARS PARTY NIGHT at my house (upcoming post) and then it was off to Toys ‘r’ Us with my sister and friend Mike. Although there were a few cars in the lot, I dropped Melissa and Mike off so we could be the FIRST in line. It was raining, but once we started the line, others came and joined us. We had even considered getting back in the car ourselves after taking a a picture, but once the line started, we were stuck. It was nice to be first!

Me and Mike, unfettered by the inclement weather!

My turn with the camera – that’s Mike and Melissa.

We wondered what we would do with an hour to wait in line, but entertainment presented itself. Not only did we talk with the other fans that showed up, (and confirmed that there are bigger star wars nerds than me!), but we even had some police activity! There was a car with two teen age boys who after stopping to ask what we were waiting for, kept driving by (in fun) and yelling that we were nerds, geeks, etc. Eventually, one of them was in the back of the station wagon with the hatch up and banging on a drum cymbal as they drove by yelling stuff. We couldn’t figure out how driving around in mom’s rusty station wagon, sitting in the back and banging on a cymbal and yelling made them less nerdy than us. So one the guys in line decided to call the cops for fun… they exaggerated a little… soon a police car was
flying through the parking lot and as the people in line cheered we saw them converge on the poor cymbal boys… I guess they learned not to mess with nerds. We couldn’t tell if they actually got pulled over – they were out of site quickly with police in pursuit – I hope they just got a lecture! But when it was all over someone announced, “Hey! They just helped us pass 20 minutes!”

The line steadily grew…

5 minutes before opening, there were 35 people in line.

Once inside, it was nowhere as nuts as when I did this in 1999 – that was hundreds of people and lots of pushing and shoving and hours of bartering… this was crowded, but much more polite and a fun atmosphere. There were only four women and one kid amidst all the grown men rushing to buy plastic toys.

Here is a QuickTime video of me entering the store, but it ends with the store employee telling me to turn off my camera. Being a sucker for kids, I actually was helping the kid get some figures before I started filling my cart. (he couldn’t reach/see over all these grown men, and was about to cry and I was all the way in the front/middle, so I was handing figures to him over the men.)

The strategy: grab as much as you can – if in doubt, grab another – and then once your carts are full, go somewhere else and see what ya got. I used my checklist to mark off what I got. I ended up putting back over a cart full of stuff (doubles) – but I had gotten one of everything that I wanted. The next phase is doing the math and then putting back even more.

To fill your carts, everyone turns a little bit to the dark side…

Since I have a Toys R Us credit card, I have been saving the free money for a year now for this very day. I had a good amount saved up – all money Toys R Us gave me, so most of what I got was free. Kinda nice to have Toys R Us buying all this stuff for me! But I did go over the free stuff a little… but I got out without needing a second mortgage, so that was good!

My reciept – so much for saving the trees!

The store was open until 2am, but I was amazed that we were done before 1am! Not bad! I filled four bags… some of the content coming to a Toybox Tale soon!

Is this a grown man?

Finally, home, I redecorated the kitchen counter with my loot.

My dad had no idea when he took his seven year old son to his first movie in 1977 that it would begin a hobby that would last a lifetime. There is just something powerful about this story.

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Karl Bastian is the founder of, the creator of, and the author of His personal website is He is Big Kid with a passion for equipping and encouraging those who minister to children.


  1. Karl, you’re nuts… but that’s a good thing some times.

    I hope you got some sleep too!

  2. NERD!! (banging on cymbals) NERD!! (banging on cymbals)…

    It’s OK. You and I are both nerds — just my nerdiness is baseball related. Some people might have a hard time deciphering which of us is nerdier!

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