In December of 2002, in an entrepreneurial frenzy, I bought two (yes, TWO) Midge & Baby Happy Family 3-in-1 crib, table and cradle sets at Toys R Us for $19.99 each. This is a pregnant version of Midge. She pops out a curled-up baby when her belly is opened. Kind of like a Mattel & Co. c-section.
You see, just the day before, WalMart had pulled this product from its pristine shelves because some customers were put out by the thought of their children being exposed to Barbie's pregnant friend, as though it were catching. Never mind that this very Midge was happily married to Alan and already had a three-year old son named Ryan.
I thought I had hit obstetrical pay-dirt when I chanced upon a shelf stocked high with pregnant Midge dolls at ToysRUs. Apparently, while they had been pulled from Walmart, they hadn't been pulled from ToysRUs (or from many other retailers).
I immediately went home to list my find on Ebay, reasoning that Midge's new baby (two of them!) was my ticket to wealth. And I did list it...but not before the other 5,000 "Mint in box - Rare and Banned!" entrepreneurs who had gotten to Ebay before me.
The first dolls to sell did indeed fetch a pregnant price -- about $100 each. But by the time my dolls reached the top of the listing, I would have had to throw in a Medela breast pump and an entire layette to break even. Supply and demand, you know.
So my Midges and their babies were relegated to a shelf in my closet. And there they have sat ever since, retaining water, craving pickles, acting all hormonal and teary with Alan. The longest pregnancy ever known to woman or doll.
But at the urging of Thing 2, I snuck a peek at Ebay this morning and it seems that "Mint in box - Rare and Banned!" Midges are once again in demand! If I list them soon, I may get up to $50 each. That would be a profit of $30 per, which, if amortized, depreciated and stated in today's dollars means that I probably owe ToysRUs about $183.
No one ever said I was a business whiz (particularly my former employer). Maybe I'm more the creative type. How's this for a lead-in to my Ebay ad? "Pregnant Midge! She makes a great stocking stuffer!"