Move over Willy Wonker… in New Zealand the job that every child wants is to be a Toy Tester for The Warehouse. It comes with $200 worth of toys every month, plus a trip to an exotic locale…possibly Disneyland. And no, this isn’t an endorsement.
It is the tale of New Zealand’s youngest official Toy Tester… who I have known since she was knee high to a cupcake.
From an early age it was obvious that Frances Williams was destined for great things, either as a future prime minister, matron of an institution, or possibly the world’s best dominatrix. Now, aged five, she has struck the jackpot, being one of four children (aged between five and nine) to win the coveted job of Toy Tester for the Warehouse.
Thanks to Frances and mother Tess for this expose:
So, how did it all happen?
Frances has just recently learnt how to read. One day in July she went into the Warehouse with her Dad to buy some winter thermals, and read a poster in the toy section that was advertising a competition to become a Toy Tester. On the poster was a picture of a big fluffy lion. Frances decided she really wanted to meet the fluffy lion and to do so she needed to enter this competition.
She left the Warehouse in tears after we refused to let her enter the competition (you had to spend $30 on toys and submit a video of your child talking about why they’d make a good Toy Tester, which I thought was a bit steep). In the end we came to a compromise: I said we’d make the video and if it was really good then I would go and spend $30 on toys.
The video was good. I bought the toys.
Frances – what did you imagine being a Toy Tester would be like?
I imagined a big fluffy lion would be walking around the house.
And what is the reality of being a Toy Tester?
No big fluffy lion walking around the house. Just testing toys. We had to fly to Auckland to get a photo taken for the New Zealand Women’s Weekly, and me and the other Toy testers held a clipboard and a pencil that wasn’t even sharpened.
What did you have to do for the Woman’s Weekly photo shoot?
We had to hold the clipboards and they had a boy bedroom and a girl bedroom. Just fake bedrooms, like the bed wasn’t real. It had a mattress on top of cartons and pillows and lots of things from the Warehouse everywhere.
Are you enjoying the job?
We get to go to a country. Any country you want. We might go to Japan.
Do you think it will change your life?
Yes because we will buy lots of sushi and castles!
Do you still pick your nose?
And on that cliff hanger we leave Frances, surrounded by the latest batch of toys that just arrived by courier.