ASTRA is celebrating Neighborhood Toy Store Day on November 13th and are inviting toy/game inventors to share stories about what inspired them to become inventors and a childhood memory of a toy store (a magical experience perhaps) to use in marketing materials. In addition, toy/game inventors who are interested in making appearances at their local toy stores, let us know. I will be compiling this info, so please post to this blog (preferred) or send me a note (or both). I will also be posting outtakes to the TAGI Awards website. This is an exciting as well fun initiative. I hope everyone can help make it a huge success!
I've asked Kathleen McHugh, President of ASTRA, to tell us about Neighborhood Toy Store Day.
Kathleen – "American Specialty Toy Retailing Association (ASTRA) stores in neighborhoods across the nation will celebrate the first annual Neighborhood Toy Store Day on November 13, 2010.
By setting aside the second Saturday in November as a special time for families to enjoy their local toy stores, ASTRA hopes to launch the holiday season with some community-minded fun.
Neighborhood Toy Store Day will highlight the importance of independent toy stores not only to children and their families—but to their local areas as well.
By shopping locally, consumers will find great toys while supporting vibrant communities and sustainable economic development. Shopping at neighborhood and independent retailers not only increases consumer choice, it also preserves jobs and local character. 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 dollars when consumers spend their money at a national chain.
Neighborhood Toy Store Day is about celebrating the role the local store plays in the community—especially in the lives of children.
Remember the magical feeling of shopping in your neighborhood toy store as a child—strolling the aisles, examining the exciting options, finally selecting the toy that promised days filled with discovery and adventure?
Recapturing the wonder and the awe of your childhood is as easy as visiting your local toy store. In this fast-paced world, it is heartening to know that, some good things never change. Today’s local toy store may offer special modern conveniences but they still provide the same personal touch shoppers have come to expect from independent toy stores.
ASTRA is encouraging shoppers to get to know their neighborhood toy store on Neighborhood Toy Store Day. More than 500 retailers will be participating in Neighborhood Toy Store Day festivities. Children will be entertained by face-painting, balloon animals, clown or puppet shows, musical performances, crafts, games or contests.
While each store is planning different activities for the big day, the announcement of The 2010 Best Toys for Kids Award list will be the highlight of all Neighborhood Toy Store Day celebrations. This list honors toys that deliver exceptional value and expand a child’s imagination, invite discovery, and encourage creativity.
ASTRA’s top picks are chosen by over 500 local toy store owners across the country based on their deep understanding of how kids play. What makes this list particularly unique is that most of the toys are not advertised on television. Many are made by small manufacturers and are only available at independent toy stores versus big box stores."
By announcing the 2010 Best Toys for Kids Award list during Neighborhood Toy Store Day celebrations, ASTRA hopes to highlight the expertise local stores have in selecting just the right toy to help children grow and learn through play."
(Neighborhood store pictured is Ann Kienzle's store Play that opened this week in Chicago. Congrats, Ann!)