Monday, June 30, 2008


We had about 15 people over to our place yesterday for the ninth birthday of my girlfriend's youngest. As birthdays progress, they get more and more complex, and this one was no exception. This time he wanted a Kung-Fu Panda birthday, but amazingly the stores were not crammed to the rafters with Kung-Fu Panda merchandise! Is the Dreamworks merchandising machine slowing down? Have they dropped the ball here? What's going on with the commercialization of children's movies? Usually, when a movie like this comes out in theatres, there are lunchboxes, posters, decorations, pinatas, spoons, napkins, plates, stuffed toys, action figures, wallpaper, toasters and fine china with pictures of the characters. Not this time! This time, we found one poster and a series of dinky McDonalds toys. And that's about it. My girlfriend decided to create her own kung-fu panda cake, so she went to the "good" cake place around the corner, the one with the expensive cakes. She found a tiger, a panda and a monkey made of marzipan that could be placed on the top of the cake. Then, because there were a lot of people there, she bought a second cake.

That, plus the three extra-large pizzas we ordered, ended up costing more than the rest of the birthday combined. We ended up putting up the one poster, and the rest of the motif was just Oriental-style. Hanging dragons and Chinese plates and so forth. We had to use a jukebox pinata, because there just wasn't a panda to smash. I had a bright idea this year. Other years, we've used hockey sticks and baseball bats to smash the pinata, but it's always been kind of unsatisfying. The pinata just gets hit until the bottom breaks open and everything falls out. Nothing is actually smashed. Which means you can re-use the pinata, year after year. But smashing it is the whole point. So this year I upgraded the smashing-sticks to golf clubs. Five kids, with a nine-iron and a six-iron, made short work of the cardboard jukebox, and it smashed in a very satisfactory manner.

Then, as most people were leaving, I was out in the backyard setting up the new badminton-volleyball net. You can't get something for your birthday without using it immediately, you see. Which led to an afternoon of playing volleyball and badminton with four kids. It ended when the one birdie landed in the hedge, and the other one on the roof. Then the rain. Of course, during the rain, I was the chauffeur as birthday money had to be spent on something called "chaotic cards". The places we went were sold out. I suppose they are extremely popular, if not popular enough that I would have heard of them. So now, on my way home from work today, I am tasked with picking some up. Apparently, I have to look for a "starter deck", either an "underground" set or an "overground" set, which could be either blue or red but not yellow or green. Then there is a tinfoil package of others, which needs to be either red or green but not blue or yellow. And then...there are more instructions, but I've forgotten them. It's all so very complicated. Moreso even than finding Kung-Fu Panda merchandise.


  1. hey son is into Chaotic cards as well..we sell them at my work..both in individual packs as well as starter sets..the sets only come in overworld and underworld..the foil packs come with a variety of cards so they could get a mixture of all 4..

  2. Thanks! I have had some problems finding and working out the whole system.

  3. not a problem..apparently, there's a new set of them out now in the foil packs lol..
    if your gf's son goes on the site to play the game, etc they were having difficulties regarding uploading some of the cards and the "launch" pad was in the beta stage..not sure if it's still like this cause i had problems uploading my son's so decided to wait until everything was fixed..
    if you're still having problems getting the cards, let me know and i'll hook ya up!!