Kids win dream job testing toys

By Abby Gillies, Otago Daily Times

Four New Zealand children have won every kid's dream job - testing toys. Photo / Thinkstock
Four New Zealand children have won every kid's dream job - testing toys. Photo / Thinkstock

Ten-year-old toy lover Bella Fong has beaten hundreds of others to win every child's dream job.

The Auckland girl is one of four children in the country who have been selected as a toy tester for The Warehouse - and it could be the start of a career, she says.

One of 700 children who entered the competition by submitting a video about why they would be good at the job, Bella was shocked to learn she had been chosen.

"My dad rang me and said 'Bella, you're one of the toy testers. I was like 'oh my goodness, I can't believe I got selected'."

Bella's new role, in which she gives feedback on the latest toys on offer for girls her age, was one she takes "very seriously," said her mother Rochelle Wong.

Bella and the other winners stood out because of their passion for toys and descriptions of what made their favourite toy special, said The Warehouse toy buyer Lisa Coe.

The Balmoral School student has already received her first haul - the first of 12 packages she will get over the next year totalling $2400.

Her brother Lucas, 4, and classmates have been quick to offer to help test out the toys, with soft toys, a talking teddy, Twister, Angry Birds, and a Friends Lego set among the first instalment.

Bella said she had no qualms about being upfront in her reviews.

"I think I'll give good feedback and I think I'll know what's right.

The lego was one of her favourites, and becoming a toy tester could be the start of a career she hinted could involve construction and using her imagination, "because I like making things".

The other winners were Meleki Schuster, 7, Auckland, Hana Pilkinton-Ching, 10, from Wellington and Tom Gold, 9, from Dunedin.

Hana said she was speechless when she got a call to say she was a winner: ""I just couldn't really believe it".

"My friends are really excited for me. People at school are like 'lucky Hana'," she said.

Like his fellow winners Tom is a lego fan, and was delighted to discover the latest Lego Monster Fighters set among his first toys to review.

Others submitted for testing included a talking teddy bear, which recorded voices, a dart gun set complete with safety glasses and T-shirts, an Optimus Prime transformer and an Angry Birds card game.

Tom's criteria for a good toy was simple.

"It has to be fun to play with and not break really easily, or run out of batteries super fast," he said.

The testers will also help to choose $2000 worth of toys to donate to Auckland's Starship Children's Hospital.

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