Friday, September 30

This Just In: Safari Dinosaurs, Horses, Dragons and more

Our beautifully detailed Safari replicas arrived yesterday. We now have a nice selection of Dinosaurs, dragons, horses, princesses, fairies, and mythical creatures. We also brought in a large selection of the Safari the mini-animals that sell for only 99 cents each!

99 cent animals include farm, jungle, horses, dinosaurs and more.

Saturday, September 24

Classic Dolls by Corolle

Baby dolls are a timeless classic for a reason. Children love to imitate Mom and Dad, and what better way than in nurturing and cuddling their own baby doll. Doll play is a great way for kids to learn to express their emotions as well as creatively play acting out situations in life. It helps with problem solving and interrelationship skills.

Corolle is our favorite baby doll company. They have been creating beautiful quality dolls for over 30 years now. They pay the close attention to the features of their dolls. The soft vinyl helps the dolls look and feel like real babies. Some of the bodies are soft bean filled and flexible (Calin, Chouquette) so they sit and feel like a baby. They have a nice vanilla scent that does not go away. Their hair is carefully rooted in small amounts. This means their hair looks and feels like real hair. All Corolle dolls are either surface washable or you may wash them in the clothes washer.

We just received a shipment of Corolle dolls and clothing. You can see some of the baby dolls on our website. The Les Cheries Corolle dolls are new for us this year (and not on the website yet). They are a 13" fashion doll, made with exceptional Corolle quality standards. They also have additional clothing available.

Friday, September 16

New Squishables

I've been buying toys for our stores for about 20 years now. I'm not sure that I could even pretend to count the number of times I've been told this or that toy is going to be the new big trend, or a huge hit for the holidays. Mostly I just ignore those comments completely and judge for myself. I also don't go looking in other peoples stores to try to glean off them what is selling.

Instead what I do is try to look at all the toys out there and bring in my very favorites. Sometimes I hit on something that becomes extremely popular. We were one of the first stores (in Akron at that time) to have the Ty Beanie Babies and we were one of the first (maybe the first) to have Webkinz (in our Stow store). In fact, I had both of those in for a while before they went real crazy. They were a little slow at first believe it or now. I started to wonder if they were going to sell well. Then all of the sudden it hit and from then on I couldn't keep them in stock.

That brings us to these Squishables. A fellow specialty retailer (not in this area) told me that these are blowing off the shelves. I took one look and was sold. These guys are so soft and squishy. I love the size of them... big enough to make a nice pillow! I don't think these will be on the scale of popularity with Webkinz or Beanie Babies (especially at around $40 a pop). I do think they are going to do very well though. Stop in and give one a hug.

Wednesday, September 14

New Fixtures, Thanks Borders!

We took advantage of Borders selling all their fixtures off and replaced a few in our store. Here is the before and after. Much neater, better organized, and the fixtures fit more merchandise.

Tuesday, September 6

Purchasing Toys for our Toy Store

This is the time of year I do most all of my purchasing for the holidays. I am just about done with all my ordering, other than reorders. Let me tell you though, that it isn't easy. It isn't unlike coming in our store and finding 10 things you like but only intending to buy one. There are lots of great toys for me to choose from. And just like you, I have a budget. I plan my sales projections and my purchasing budget is based on that. Thankfully, after many years of making these projections, I am often within 5% of my projections.

So this year, once again as I get to the end of my ordering spree, I find myself wanting to bring in a number of toys that just aren't going to make the cut. I am forced to go back to the previous orders and slimming them down a bit to make room for a few necessities (of course there are necessities in a toy shop). I so love these toys, that it makes it hard not to get them all. But I have to stay on budget.

Here is a sneak peak of a few items that made the list: (pics will have to come later).
  • Healthy Gourmet Salad and Pita Pocket Lunch for Green Eaters (love these)
  • A much bigger selection of Corolle dolls AND their much requested clothing
  • Power Poppers (on-the-run rapid fire foam ball gun) in 3 colors including pink!
  • Spooner Boards (you'll just have to see these... cool)
  • Bumpers - new bouncy animals similar to Rody, but $20 cheaper! (and still well made)
  • Blast Pads galore - Stomp rockets, blast pad, air bolt, jr. stomp rocket...
  • Trekbot - remote control bots that power up on your usb
  • Lots of great arts and crafts
  • More Thomas the Tank Engine items in the store
  • More little items that make great stocking stuffers and little gifts
  • Nanoblocks - miniature lego like sets
  • Oh, way way too much to list everything here.

So what didn't make the cut you ask?? Well, I'm hoping you will never know or notice!

(Pictured here is me, Michelle, placing orders at my computer and a big shipment of toys we just received today!)