I grew up in a small town. In that small town, there was a small, independently owned toy store. I remember shopping there when I was little.. about preschool age. I know that sometime in the years between preschool and elementary school that the store closed down. I really am striving to give that "old school" feeling to my kids, and trying to support more local shops, than big box stores.
This Saturday is the third annual "Neighborhood Toy Store Day" brought to you by The American Specialty Toy and Retailing Association (ASTRA). Here's some information from their press release:
Families and independent retailers across the country are celebrating the joy and wonder of shopping at a neighborhood toy store, thanks to the third annual “Neighborhood Toy Store Day” on Saturday, November 10, 2012.
The American Specialty Toy and Retailing Association (ASTRA) established Neighborhood Toy Store Day to introduce families to the fun of shopping at local toy stores and to celebrate each retailer’s commitment to the community. Participating stores will host local in-store events for families, such as face painting, craft projects, live performances or special discounts. “Neighborhood Toy Store Day provides families with an enjoyable and exciting way to support their local toy store,” said Kathleen McHugh, President of ASTRA.
“Local toy stores add charm and character to neighborhoods across the country and provide children with a wide variety of unique and quality toy options typically unavailable at big box stores. Retailers look forward to this special day as a way to celebrate with the community and the customers they value.”
“We are excited to participate in the third annual Neighborhood Toy Store Day,” said Linda Hays, owner of Hopscotch Toys in McMinnville, Oregon. “Local toy stores take pride in providing knowledgeable staff and maintaining a carefully curated selection of toys that are just right for the community they support. This year, Hopscotch Toys will celebrate Neighborhood Toy Store Day with face painting, game demos and a Christmas letter station, complete with elves to help children compose their perfect letters to Santa.”
In addition to fostering a sense of community, shopping locally provides a number of economic benefits to a neighborhood. According to the 3/50 Project, for every $100 spent in local, independently-owned stores, $68 returns to the community in the form of taxes, salaries, charitable contributions and more— in contrast with only $43 when consumers spend their money at a national chain.
“On November 10, we hope that more families will discover the special touches and unique value often found only at local toy stores,” added McHugh. “Shopping locally is a win-win for families – they can find unique toys and receive top notch customer services while supporting the community in which they live.”
About ASTRA Founded in 1992, the American Specialty Toy Retailing Association (ASTRA) is a non-profit organization that provides leadership and resources to grow the specialty toy industry. As the largest association serving the specialty toy industry, ASTRA members include independent toy and children’s product retailers, specialty toy manufacturers and industry affiliates. For more information on ASTRA, please visit www.yourneighborhoodtoystore.org.
I really encourage you all to visit your local toy store and check out the vast selection of toys available, from tots to teens. To thank us for sharing this information with you, we received these toys to review and share with you. Be sure to check our Holiday Gift Guide (which will be released very soon!) for more great gift ideas!
here, and see how the E-Rangers battle the Dark Force. Kids will enjoy reenacting the scenes, or coming up with their own story lines. It retails for about $129.
Mine Shift is a two player game that encourages players to strategically maneuver through the mine to gain access to the gems. How can you forge ahead through the jeweled walls of the mine shaft? Shift them! Rotate a game tile a quarter turn to move the mine wall and allow your gemstone access. Or rotate tiles to prevent your opponent from moving. There are walls everywhere, but strategic miners can successfully make their way through to the other side. With 27 game board tiles, the set-ups are unlimited for a brand new game every time you play. This product is geared for players 8 and up, and retails between $20-25.
nanoblock might have the perfect product to build. Rated on a scale of 1-5 (1 being the easiest to build), each piece is uniquely challenging and fun. The electric guitar is priced at about $12, and is recommended for kids about 10-12. My little man is only 9, and while he loved the Eiffel Tower he built last year, as soon as he took it apart, he lost most of the pieces. A bigger (more mature?) kid might keep the pieces together. My advice, glue them together, or buy for an older kid who can take care of it, or for an adult who LOVES puzzles. (My husband and I LOVED the Eiffel Tower.)