Three-and-a-half hours. That’s how long it took me to put together one of Baby Frugalista’s Christmas presents, the ubiquitous little red car many of us had as kids called the Little Tikes Cozy Coupe. I bought it because I had fond memories of playing with it at my cousins’ house, AND I got a great deal on it post-Black Friday.
It was the last thing left for us to assemble after Christmas. At first, I was just going to leave it in the box until spring, but the hubby suggested we put it together now, and I acquiesced. And I figured I could do it all by myself. With all of our newfound experience in assembling the baby’s other toys, this would be a snap.
Boy, was I wrong.
First of all, we were missing half of the directions. Yes, we scoured the inside of the box to see if it got stuck in the cardboard somewhere. It didn’t. Then, instead of opening the directions flat, I had it folded in half, looking only at the left page. This caused me to put it together out of order and screw it up. But to be fair to myself, the directions were terrible — unclear and almost impossible, even for someone like me, who can put together almost anything with barely a glance at the directions. ::brag::
The problem with putting it out of order? The wheels were now screwed up because I forgot to add the spacer to keep them away from the frame of the car.
After getting to the end of our half of the directions, I searched the Internet, hoping to find the rest of the directions by typing in “Cozy Coupe assembly.” While I did find the directions (printed AND video-demonstrated), I also stumbled upon a whole slew of message boards with comments from other frustrated parents who thought this Cozy Coupe was by far the worst kids’ toy they’d ever had to deal with assembling.
I also discovered that most of the parents also screwed up putting on the wheels. And that the manufacturer included extra parts because they KNOW most people will screw it up. It took both me and Mr. Not-So-Frugal to pry off the “acorn nut” caps that held the wheels to the frame in order to install the spacers, and it involved two pairs of pliers (needlenose & regular), two screwdrivers (for prying) and a hammer. The extra parts? Those acorn nuts caps.
So now, our almost-1-year-old daughter has her Cozy Coupe. She currently enjoys being pushed around the house in it — there’s a removable floorboard so her feet don’t get run over. I’m glad that she likes it and hopefully, she’ll use it for years to come.
A few days later, I was talking to my aunt, and I was complaining about how hard it was to put together this simple Cozy Coupe. Her response? “It was 25 years ago, but I remember it being a pain in the ass for us, too!”
Little Tikes, are you listening? Sheesh.