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Sunday, March 23, 2014

Planning For Toys

We are in the final days of our life in Argentina and amongst the going away happy hours, despedidas, and last-conversations with people, the questions always arise, what will you miss and what are you glad to leave behind? The list of things we will miss is long and I'll attempt to tackle it in a future blog post, for now, I'll let you in on something that we are glad to leave behind: The price of toys.

Before we had children, I listened to people talk about the expense of having children here and thought, how bad can it really be? I listened to expats talk about how they had to bring all of their children's supplies from the US and thought that they were exaggerating. Then we had children, and I realized how ridiculous the prices actually are. Enjoy these examples:

Or take this 4-pack of molding dough (aka Play-Doh). The low, low price of AR$479 (US$60). You can buy this pack of 24 larger containers off of Amazon for $16.

Have a new baby, your infant can enjoy this baby play mat for AR$2,790. That's only US$350. For an INFANT.

Pink car, made of all plastic, no electric parts or batteries necessary. The doll is not even close to the size of a real child, even a small one. So, it's a medium sized plastic Fiat for - drumroll - $5,999 pesos. At the national exchange rate, that is US$750. Even at the slightly-illegal-blue-market-rate it's still US$600. I can't image these are flying off the shelves.

So yes, toy prices and child items in general are not one of the things that we will miss about Argentina. And I have joined the ranks of those that say you need to purchase most things you want for your children in the US and smuggle them back in your suitcases - though the airlines are making this more and more difficult with the baggage restrictions. One huge relief with our move is that we know that there is the possibility to purchase items that we need for the kids without taking out a second mortgage on our house - and they'll deliver them to our home for free thanks to Amazon.


  1. Wow! Who knew? Gotta love Amazon...

  2. Hi! I love the blog -- I lived in Argentina for a couple years in the mid-2000s. I'm going back this summer with my husband and son (who is the same age as your daughter) and had a question for you. What did you do about taking her in a taxi or remise with her carseat? We at least need to make it from the airport. My Argentine friends take their kids on their laps, but I'm a paranoid American and hoped you might have some ideas. I would really appreciate it! I'm at mollielewis@gmail.com Thanks!

    1. Thank you so much Mollie! We used carseats when available and covenient, though sometimes it was an impossibility. From the airport we always booked a remise either ahead of time or at the airport desk - and told them that we had full car seats. That being said, almost no remise/taxi will fit a convertible car seat facing backward, so that we worked around by having the baby in an Ergo and the parent buckled in. Not US safety standards, but the best with what we had! If you have specific questions, please feel free to email me at dawn.e.gill@gmail.com. Good luck!