Real Life

Kid toy testers

Meet the Kiwi kids who scored their dream job.

By Aroha Awarau

The huge smiles and loud giggles coming from four very excited New Zealand children is a sign they might be the luckiest young ones in the country. Ranging from age five to nine, this diverse bunch have scored their dream roles – as the country’s youngest toy testers.

“When my mum told me I got the job, I yelled, ‘Yay!’ and was jumping for joy,“ says Wellington five-year-old Frances Williams.

Frances, along with Jahkeal Evalu (7) of Auckland, Casper Prescott (9) of Wellington and Maya Satake (6) of Dunedin, will be sent $200 worth of toys every month. The group will be the first kids in New Zealand to play with the packages,
which will include the latest in boys and girls toys. And they get paid – in toys!

“For a parent, there’s a dilemma,” says Frances’ mum Tessa. “What are we going to do about Christmas and birthday presents? I can’t match free toys every month.”

The lucky children, who have automatically become the envy of all their friends, beat more than 400 other kids around the country to score the top job for The Warehouse. They applied by sending a video clip of themselves, convincing their new bosses why they would make great testers.

The panel was unanimous with their choices, saying all four successful applicants had great personalities and showed enthusiasm, making them the best candidates.

There's a unique bond between the team - who can't stop smiling.
There's a unique bond between the team - who can't stop smiling.

“It’s really exciting,” says Jahkeal, from Otara in South Auckland. “My family were really proud. We celebrated at my Nan’s house, where she cooked a family meal.”

Each month, the pint-sized employees, who hope to be pilots and teachers when they grow up, will be sent toys to test. Their monthly report will be distributed on The Warehouse website and sent to toy companies. These reports will include what they liked and didn’t like about the latest child-friendly releases.

At the Weekly photoshoot, an instant bond was formed with all the kids, who went straight to the box of toys and started their new jobs straight away.

“I don’t know what I’m going to do,” says Maya, who is an only child and would love to share her girly toys with others. “I’ve got six cousins. The problem is, they’re all boys!”

Along with the amazing job, the four kids also get to travel to Disneyland – the happiest place on Earth – with their families, and they’re very excited about that.

With a huge smile, Frances proclaims, “Not bad for a day’s work!”

Photos: Caren Davis. Stylist: Amethyst Parker

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