Kevin Bacon Visit a Highlight of Neighborhood Toy Store Day

kevin baconShoppers at Kidding Around! toy store in Greenwich Village weren’t kidding last Saturday when they rushed home to tell friends and family they were one degree closer to actor Kevin Bacon.

To mark the American Specialty Toy Retailing Association’s Neighborhood Toy Store Day, Bacon stopped by Kidding Around! and took a turn as a cashier and a gift wrapper. Bacon’s charity, sixdegrees.org, connects celebrities with socially-conscious causes that can use a boost from celebrity events or drop-ins.

 

IN THEIR OWN WORDS: Neighborhood Toy Store Day Lets Independent Retailers Shine!

by Phil Guie and Deanna Atkins

ExteriorofKaleidoscope(Editor’s note: This article was updated on November 11, 2014)

This past weekend, playtime was definitely on at mom-and-pop toy stores located throughout the U.S.

Saturday marked the fifth annual Neighborhood Toy Store Day (NTSD), an event started by the American Specialty Toy Retailing Association to support locally owned toy retailers. Community members were encouraged to visit the independent toy store in their midst, and in return, participating retailers hosted in-store arts and crafts, games, and other activities that appealed to families.

In honor of NTSD, The Toy Book’s editorial staff interviewed owners of several neighborhood toy stores in their home communities. In their responses below, the store owners touched on their NTSD plans, the support they give and receive from their neighborhoods, the reasons why shopping at a locally owned toy store is a great experience, and more.
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ASTRA Retailers Set to Promote Specialty Toys on Neighborhood Toy Store Day

ASTRAlogoHundreds of independent toy retailers in the U.S. and Canada will mark Neighborhood Toy Store Day with special in-store events and activities on Saturday, November 8.

Neighborhood Toy Store Day is an annual American Specialty Toy Retailing Association (ASTRA) event that occurs on the second Saturday in November. It is designed to help independent toy retailers spotlight attention on the quality and play value of specialty toys, plus the advantages of shopping at locally owned toy stores.

ASTRA retailers create activities around Neighborhood Toy Store Day that will engage their customers and communities. Meanwhile, ASTRA supports retailers by providing professionally designed, downloadable posters; post cards; ad slicks; and other images along with draft emails; social media posts; and press releases that retailers can use to promote their store.

To find an ASTRA store to visit on Neighborhood Toy Store Day, visit www.neighborhoodtoystoreday.com.

ASTRA’s Neighborhood Toy Store Day Celebrates Fourth Year

ASTRAtoystoredayOn November 9, independent toy stores across the U.S. will participate in the American Specialty Toy Retailing Association’s (ASTRA) fourth annual Neighborhood Toy Store Day. The initiative raises consumer and media awareness about the positive influence that specialty and independent toy retailers have on the local community and economy.

Local toy stores will mark the occasion with special in-store events, including crafts, entertainers, scavenger hunts, and more. Participating ASTRA store owners can download banners and graphics and access sample promotional language on ASTRA’s website for members. For more information about Neighborhood Toy Store day, visit YourNeighborhoodToyStore.org.

Learning Express To Celebrate Neighborhood Toy Store Day

The 2012 holiday season marks an important milestone for specialty toy franchise, Learning Express Toys. Founded by CEO Sharon DiMinico in 1987, the Massachusetts-based company is currently celebrating its 25th year at play. Originally started to raise money for a local nursery school, the franchise is now 135 stores strong and spread across 28 states. Despite its growth, Learning Express still maintains its identity as a genuine neighborhood toy store.

The franchise will be debuting a new website in the coming weeks, and creating online communities through social media platforms has become a priority on both the local and corporate levels. Most recently, the company released an online Skill Building Toy Guide for Children with Special Needs to help parents and caretakers find appropriate toys for the children in their lives.

Safari Honors Teachers, Supports Neighborhood Toy Store Day

Safari Ltd., manufacturer and worldwide distributor of museum-quality educational toy collections, has been busy with giveaways. In August 2012, Safari Ltd., manufacturer and worldwide distributor of museum-quality, educational toy collections, honored inspirational teachers in a Back-to-School Giveaway Contest on Facebook.

Based on fan nominations, Diana Mount, 3rd grade teacher at Chinook Elementary School in Vancouver, Wash., was selected because of her ability to recognize strengths in children that may be viewed as weaknesses. Mount won an assortment of educational replicas and posters to accommodate her classroom of approximately 30 students. Each nominated teacher also received a gift to recognize his or her dedication in the classroom. [Read more...]

November 13th Named Neighborhood Toy Store Day

The American Specialty Retailers Association (ASTRA) has announced plans to make the second Saturday in November an annual and nationwide celebration of local toy stores. During this year’s Neighborhood Toy Store Day (NTSD), ASTRA will announce the winners of its 2010 Best Toys for Kids awards. ASTRA is also providing its member retailers with ready-to-go press releases and a step-by-step retailer guidebook filled with tips on how to use the event to attract new customers. For more information on NTSD, visit ASTRA’s website.