Official Toys R Us Toy Tester Retires At Age 14, New CPO To Start Next Year

Imagine getting ready to retire at the age of 14. It’s already happening to one Canadian teenager, the current Chief Play Officer for Toys R Us Canada, who takes the opportunity to show us the latest toys on offer for this coming holiday season.

While child labor is normally frowned upon, Alex Thorne reckons it is the best job ever. He has held the enviable position of Chief Play Officer (CPO) at Toys R Us for the last three years. However, under the rules of his “employment,” he has to retire when he turns 14 years of age this December.

According to Yahoo News, it’s a bittersweet experience for Alex, as he will have to pass the torch to the next and newest CPO. Speaking to CBC News about his position, Alex says his job involved testing various toys and giving interviews to discuss the features of the major toy retailer’s latest offerings.

“My job as chief play officer is to test toys. Toys R Us sends me toys; it’s my job to play with them and know what’s really awesome about them.”

When asked what he does with the toys he tests, he said, “I keep a few toys that appeal to me, and the rest I give away to people I know, my old day care or charities.”

Most likely every kid would be keen to hold the title of CPO, and Alex explained he is “kind of sad” that he’s leaving the job but has to accept that other kids should get a chance too.

“I mean, I can’t keep this job forever. I can’t hog the awesomeness of this job.”

Another boy who no doubt will be equally sad is Alex’s younger brother, Carter, who “gets the benefits of playing with all the toys but doesn’t have to do the work.”

Alex completed his final toy test at the beginning of November and now has to think ahead towards his next challenge: entering high school. He said he has found juggling his personal life with his work at Toys R Us quite tricky and always had some catching up to do.

“I have to talk to all my teachers and know the work that I’m missing, and I have to do it ahead of time.”

In the video interview with Global News included below, Alex naturally couldn’t resist showing us some of this holiday season’s greatest toys.

Naturally, with Star Wars: The Force Awakens coming to the big screen, there are loads of great related toys on offer, including some pretty fancy light sabers and a fully functional Yoda. He also shows a great Minion toy and a couple of fun, educational items for the younger kids.

However, speaking like the ideal salesman (you can see he has talents in that direction for this future employment), he does explain that “this year’s hot toy isn’t one specific toy” but 20 different toys.

“You can’t just say that one toy is the hot toy, because the toys can appeal to different people. There is toddlers, there is younger than toddlers, then there is tweens, then teenagers. There are all sorts of different markets. So you can’t really say that one toy is the single hot toy.”

CNN reports Toys R Us Canada is now busy going through the many applications received for the new CPO, who will replace Alex in the enviable position in the new year. Alex, on the other hand, while looking forward to the high school experience, admits he will miss getting all those free toys.

Readers who are parents, what do you think? Would you let your youngster become Chief Play Officer for Toys R Us? Just think of all those free toys he or she would receive!

[Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images]