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Oh Pick ‘n Pay, you are a genius. An evil genius, but a genius.
Laura Shortridge applauds Pick 'n Pay as they reveal the next phase of their Stikeez plan.

I thought I was entirely immune to the problems “Stickeez” are causing most parents. I have two children, but they aren’t obsessed with “collecting them all”, and my parents do all their shopping at Pick ‘n Pay and have no use for Stickeez, so they always donate them to their precious grandchildren, my kids.

The only headache these little creatures have caused me is the fact that they don’t always stick very well. Every desk and table that can hold a screen of some sort (they always end up on the top of computers and TVs, don’t they?) is littered with little Stickeez that didn’t stick. Tiny Stickeez graveyards are fulling up behind cabinets and chests of drawers.

But all in all, the fact that Pick ‘n Pay is giving my children essentially free toys is anything but upsetting to me. Besides, some of these little things are really cute.

Of course, now Pick ‘n Pay has revealed the next step in their diabolical but genius plan: For the low, low price of R4.99, Stickeez in see-through packs are now available. “Finish your collection!” the advert I spotted on Facebook shouts at me.

Pick ‘n Pay, I can only applaud you.

Because even though my kids aren’t obsessed with Stickeez at all, my 7-year-old daughter, precious angel, light of my life, really wants a dolphin.

She’s not a particularly demanding child, and not one whose world ends every time she doesn’t get what she wants. She’s very patient. But she really does want a dolphin, and keeps getting the shark and the goldfish instead, and there’s a small sigh of disappointment every time.

So of course I will be paying Pick ‘n Price R5 for a dolphin literally the next chance I get. What’s R5 in exchange for my daughter’s happiness? And I’m pretty certain parents all around South Africa will be dishing out “just R5, or R10, or maybe R15” for those last Stickeez that their children want.

Hundreds of parents. All across South Africa. Paying money for toys that none of us knew we wanted until they were given to us free of charge, toys that most of us wouldn’t have even thought about paying money for if Pick ‘n Pay had just originally said “Here are Stickeez, they’re R5 each, collect them all.”

The funniest thing is, it would be the easiest thing in the world for all of us to complete our collections without paying a cent. All we need to do is get together and swop the Stickeez we don’t have for the ones we have in excess.

Show of hands though, how many parents, with busy lives as it is, have the time or will to even go to that effort? I know that I, for one, would rather just pay the R5.

Genius, Pick ‘n Pay. Evil, but genius.

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