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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Uncle Goose Unveils Stack and Scare Wooden Blocks

UNCLE GOOSE STACK AND SCAREUncle Goose introduces Stack and Scare, a four-set collection of toy wooden blocks that recast the proverbial bedtime story villain as imaginative art. The set marks the first collaboration with Seattle-based Invisible Creature, the design and illustration studio known for album artwork on behalf of Foo Fighters, Nirvana, My Morning Jacket, Target stores, and Seattle’s Best Coffee.

Stack and Scare will be displayed in its entirety for the first time at the ABC Kids Expo, October 15 to 18 in Las Vegas. Uncle Goose’s traditional alphabet blocks feature non-toxic inks and are made from sustainable basswood sources from the U.S.

Sustainable Product Showcase to Feature 250 “Green” Products

Nearly 250 “green” products have passed the application process and will be displayed in the SustainAbility: Design for a Better World exhibit returning to the New York International Gift Fair (NYIGF), August 14-19 at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center. Accepted products were required to have eco-friendly production processes, exclude certain types of environmental pollutants, and have socially responsible, philanthropic or fair-trade oriented business practices.

The 250 accepted products come from 133 companies and include tableware, stationery, personal accessories, juvenile products, and home décor. The exhibit is located in the Javits Center’s North Concourse near the entrance to the Accent on Design exhibit.

Before the Fair opens on August 14, several products within the exhibit will receive NYIGF’s “Degrees of SustainAbility” distinction, indicating the product and producer’s level of earth-friendly production and materials. Additionally, the display will be complemented by educational programming, which includes the “It’s Easy Being Green—Just Ask the Experts!” panel, held August 16 from 12 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. Retailers will also have the opportunity to vote for the most innovative, environmentally responsible products found within SustainAbility display, and winners will receive Eco Choice Award in three categories: “Most Innovative,” “Most Sensitive Use of Materials” and “Most Sellable.” The awards, sponsored by NYIGF and GREENRetailer, will be announced at the conclusion of this year’s NYIGF.