Neighborhood Toy Store Day 2012
I demand one-on-one customer service and satisfaction. ? ? I am a touchy-feely person who evaluates every purchase by how its built as well as its price. ?I try to avoid sight unseen catalog and online shopping. ?I prefer to shop locally. ?Small businesses help my town thrive economically with customer convenience a big plus factor. ?No pig-in-the-poke for me unless it is a game.
I know how frustrating it can be to find the?right, no correct that to?perfect?toy high in demand but low in supply, at mass market retailers. ?Even more frustrating is giving it to a child and finding it does?not work. ?Return policies too often send a message: ?DON’T! ?Even with a gift receipt, too many big businesses not only limit exchanges and returns but also ?insist the product be returned to the manufacturer at the customer’s expense.
Nothing quantifiable like ?checks, plastic, cash, or practical like clothes for ?the family–hubby, the children, their mates, and the grandchildren. ? I want to see joy, delight, and excitement in their faces. ?So I favor fun things with ?woohoo factors and?frequent?storekeepers who know my face, likes and dislikes, and pocketbook. ?I look suspiciously on words like ?”Assembly Required,” “Small Parts”, and “Needs Batteries”. ?Long ago frugal me discovered buying high-quality toys is an investment.
I recently learned that The American Specialty Toy Retailing Association (ASTRA) launched its Your Neighborhood Toy Store website. I recommend it to anyone and everyone who wants to find today’s best toys. The best thing about the site is its toy store locator. ?Look to its feature articles, play news and resources, calendar of events, and toy buying guide for ideas on what is smart, local, and unique.
Saturday, November 10, 2012, is the Third Annual Neighborhood Toy Store Day. Participating stores are hosting activities, craft projects, live performances, and special discounts to kick off holiday season buying. ?What is printed on the toy packaging itself, example design features and safety standards, is too easily overlooked. ? Therefore, an?opportunity at hands-on events allows me to watch children young and old at play and check out working toys myself.
Building eye coordination and manual dexterity never begins too soon. ?As ?toddler I remember having a crib and a playpen, books, blocks, puzzles, top, ball, dolls, doll houses, and stuffed animals but no crib toys whatsoever. ?Maybe that is why I am such a klutz at athletics. ?Bet a single toy that could mysteriously stack, balance, nest, and spin would have developed more than just my curiosity. ?Accordingly I pick Tobbles Neo (SMRP $27.99) by Fat Brain Toy Company as my second top recommendation. ?It won ASTRA’s Early Play/0-3 Award with good reason. ?Babies 6 months+ will explore their senses and gain spatial awareness ?as thy interact with New Tobbles six graduated two-color spheres multi-textured, weighted balls.
Frequent readers know Santa Claus never got me the toy train I requested year after year until I bought one of my own. ?My grand babies, not to experience the denial of my youth, all get toy trains sooner or later. ?Accordingly it is not surprise that that the BRIO Classic Figure 8 Train Set (SMRP $49.99) by Schylling Toys is my top recommendation. ?It won ASTRA’s Classic Play/0-7 Award with good reason. Not only does this classic wooden railway set with 15 track pieces, engine, two cars, and accessories promote open-end and creative play for children 2+, it ?also builds coordination and thinking skills.
The product(s) featured in this review was provided free of cost to me as a member of Team Mom for the sole purpose of product testing and review. This review has not been monetarily compensated and is based on the views and opinions of my family and/or self. Please note that the opinions reflected in this post have not been influenced by the sponsor in any way.