Thursday, May 28, 2009

The evil empire of toy stores

Ok, maybe I was a bit more dramatic than I needed to be, but that was my first reaction when finding out today that big box toy store Toys R Us (sorry, my keyboard doesn't do a backwards R) has purchased FAO Schwartz - the iconic New York City toy store.
Apparently, it is part of a TRU plan to consolidate the toy industry. They're trying to fight off the mega big box Walmart - who is now the biggest retailer of toys in the US.
TRU has already adjusted it's model a bit by making a move to retailing non-toy products in some of it's stores - selling things like laundry detergent & cleaning supplies.

TRU says that FAO will keep it's name, it's website and it's product mix, but call me dubious that a toy store who has decided to start selling non-toy product will keep FAO the way it is. I remember when Zany Brainy lost their focus when The Right Start took them over and don't hold a lot of hope for the future of FAO and it's unique way of selling toys.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

We love Keva Planks

At first glance, it's a hard sell. They're little maple planks. They're not colored or varied in shape or size. They're all the same. What fun is that?

More than I initially thought, apparently. For the past couple years at Toy Fair, I've seen the Keva Planks displays. They have these really cool models set up - made up of the Keva Planks. They're a real basic toy - made of plain wood - made in the USA. The fact that they're all the same makes them great for constructing huge towers - even world record sized towers. Check em out here, on our brand spanking new shopping page.

Check out these pics from Keva's flicker page.

Created with Admarket's flickrSLiDR.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Who's the Best?


We are! Woohoo!

Ahem...sorry about that. According to the critics from Delaware Today, we have been chosen as the Best Toy Store Upstate for 2009. Not that we had any doubt, but it's a much better look in print.

I'm still a little muddled how this year's Critics Choice worked, but it sounds like there were some Delaware Celebrities who chose winners. We were chosen by Ciro Poppiti, who was the 2006 Outstanding Young Wilmingtonian by the Wilmington Jaycees.

Ciro and his family came into the store and were part of a photo shoot with Ethan, Emily and I for the July issue of Delaware Today Magazine.

We're excited to be named Best of Delaware and hope it's the start of a long line of "Best of Delaware" awards. Thanks to Delaware Today and especially Ciro and his family for choosing us.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Hangin' with the Kalmar Nyckel

This past Saturday was Family Day at the Kalmar Nyckel. Since we're close personal friends with Captain Lauren Morgens (yea, we're dropping names) , we were able to set up a table at the event. The weather looked iffy when we got there, but improved to a nice sunny day by noon. The coolest thing that happened was that we donated one of our cool pirate ship kites to the ship, and Captain Lauren promptly put it together and got it up in the air. So, I snapped a couple pictures of Captain Lauren flying it. Thanks to Captain Lauren & Marcia Ferranto - the Executive Director of the Kalmar Nyckel Foundation for including us in their Fun Day. 

If you've never seen the Kalmar Nyckel, check it out today!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

The Pure XO yo-yo

We got the limited release Pure XO - Wilmington resident JonRob's signature yo-yo - in and they will be the first item that's live on our website. If you're a yo-yoer, you know exactly what I'm talking about. See this post for info on the yo-yo. They will go live on Wednesday night at 11:59 pm East Coast time. We will have an extremely limited number of these available, and once they're gone, we cannot get any more as no more of this run are to be made. Priced at a cool $284.99, plus $10 shipping (with insurance).

Changes are coming...

We've had our real website in production for a while now. It's almost ready to go live, with some caveats. It's gonna be a real, live shopping website! It will probably go live in the next two days, but it will have very limited products on it. In the coming weeks, we will get the site populated with merchandise. For fans of the blog, don't despair! It's still going to be around, it just won't be the first thing you see when you go to

Keeping our fingers crossed!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Big Time!

One of our favorite games, 'You've Been Sentenced' is on the verge of hitting the big time. Parris-Randall Productions - a Hollywood based production company, has reached an licensing agreement with Wilmington based McNeil Designs to produce the show. They still have to pitch the show to the networks, but it's great news for our friends over at McNeil Designs.
'You've Been Sentenced' was the brainchild of Don McNeil and it was first sold to the public at Mitchell's and it was the first product we got in for YoYo Joe's.

Check out their press-release here.

New spring/summer hours

We just switched over to our spring/summer hours. Which really only means that we'll be opening one hour later each day - 10 am - during the spring & summer months. It also means one hour more sleep for Joe. Yay!

See you a bit later in the morning!