The lazy parent's guide to scoring ALL the Dominos.

Includes helpful tips like “don’t have bratty kids” and “CHEAT”.

Last night I trod on an upturned domino. You do not know the pain of this until it happens to you. I can only just begin to talk about it now.

It was Mrs Incredible.

If you don’t know what I’m talking about, you are clearly not a parent of small children and your house, unlike mine, is not littered with tiny white rectangles, threatening sanity and bare feet everywhere.

If you don’t know what I’m talking about, you are living in some kind of utopia where you’re not spending your waking moments teaching toddlers how to open little tiny packets with their teeth, dealing with the disappointment of getting the chef from Ratatoullie (again) and smiling so hard at the hard-working supermarket checkout person that they think you’re into swinging.

If you don’t know what I am talking about, you have not been indoctrinated into the cult that is the Woolworths Domino Stars.

A full pack of the dreaded Stars. Now on eBay for $90.

An obsession that has seen Facebook groups set up for suburb-wide swapsies with rules like ‘think of others. If you have already completed your set, please still collect and pass them on’ – and where black-market cartoon characters change hands for $3 a pop.

If you don’t know what I’m talking about, it’s this: Right now, if you spend $20 at Woolies, they will give you one – one – Disney Pixar Domino. A tiny plastic slab with domino dots on one side, a Pixar cartoon character on the other.

Related: 7 life lessons every child learned from watching too much Disney.

There are 44 of them (but you just keep getting the same 5 over and over until you’ve lost your mind). Forty-four. And if you’re particularly sad committed, you can buy yourself your kids a special case to put them in, or even a commemorative tin, to forever mark that time in your life where the harmony of your house depended on whether it was Buzz Lightyear or Eve from Wall.E inside a tiny purple packet.


What evil genius this is, to make kids obsessed with collecting something they had no idea they wanted? It’s the genius of the purchase incentive, and it’s taking over every parents’ life. Resistance is futile.

Related: The weird, the gross and the clever: 10 new parenting trends of 2015.

So, if you are, like me, too slack to join a trading group, too disorganised to keep count of what you’ve got, and too cheap to spring for the whole collection on eBay (they’re FREE, people), here’s our completely unofficial guide to getting MORE DOMINOS.

* NOTE: Woolworths staff are NOT allowed to fork out more than one domino per $2o, so all of these tips should be taken with a large grain of ‘don’t get anyone fired’ people. 

1. Don’t have bratty children.

Woolworths employees are NOT ALLOWED to give you any more dominos than you have earned. But you know who’s definitely not going to slip you an extra Domino when you’ve spent $39.00? That checkout worker who your kids have just been deafening with their screams, berating over which character they neeeeeed, and crowding with sticky fingers reaching to ask if they can “push the buttons”. Not. Going. To. Happen.

2. Spend a lot of money and cross your fingers.


When you spend $270 on a a big shop, try to get yourself to the counter with the most knackered-looking worker on the till. At the end of a shift, who can do the maths on how many $20 lots you deserve? A couple of heaped handfuls are waaaay easier.

3. Choose your checkout queue wisely.

Stand back and survey. Then position yourself behind the couple who have just piled their trolley high with all the premium-brand treats that the child-free enjoy. If there’s blue cheese, lavosh crackers, fizzy water and lots and lots of kale in the trolley, they’re your target. These people don’t want their dominos. You do. Swoop on in.

4. Make friends with Supermum.

If you’ve exhausted the possibilities of getting some hard-working people fired for your child’s fleeting gratification, just remember to call that school mum who always gets things right. She will have bought the case, she will know exactly which dominos her kid does and doesn’t have and somewhere in her possession will be a bag of spares to pass along to some hapless sap like you who has lost track of her Meridas.

5. Cheat.

Just head to eBay. But maybe don’t, because we’ll judge you.

On eBay, Dominos are changing hands for $3 each. Yup, you read that right, something that comes free with your shopping is trading at a vastly inflated price online. Right now, you can bid on the whole set, in its case, for $80. If you are stupid enough to do that, we can no longer be friends.

But at least I wouldn’t be treading on them any more.

Are you one of the unfortunate parents collecting the Domino Stars?