ooh, I like that Starling!
I think I'll adopt that at our house!
My in-laws also go crazy with gifts. And usually crappy gifts at that. Thankfully they don't live here and don't visit so they don't know that we have pretty much given away everything they've given us.
The one thing they did get is a sand and water table for outside which has gotten a ton of use! It's by step 2 and should last us for years. I watch older kids and they love it too.
Another thing that I wish we had is a nice art easel. I like the idea of something that will last for years through many children. Or if you were giving something like that you could ask for art supplies to go with it. An apron, paints, paper, etc...
And if they are really generous a wooden kitchen would be lovely! Or again, dishes and food to go with it if you thought about giving the kitchen yourself.