Home » The Toy Place
A World of Pure Imagination
The first thing you think when you step inside Huntsville native Susan Blevins’ shop is, Oh my goodness, my whole childhood is in here! Upon closer inspection, you’ll get verification that’s true, but there’s SO much more than nostalgia on the shelves.
The Toy Place Downtown is tucked away off of Meridian Street, in an area also known as The Lumber Yard. It shares a parking lot with the dog park and is a short walk away from Garden Cove. From retro board games and yodeling pickles to chemistry sets and paper dolls, this toy store is literally stacked from floor to ceiling with cool stuff.
When Susan opened shop last fall, she was hoping to provide a place where the young and young at heart could go to find unique toys at very reasonable prices. “I wanted kids to be able to get something good with their pocket money.” You won’t find video games or cheap plastic tchotchkes here. The Toy Place specializes in carrying well-made toys and candies that make you laugh, think, imagine, and delight.
If you’ve never stepped inside, the next few weeks and months is a great time to do so. The shop is stocked with new inventory after Susan went to Market, and just in time for Valentine’s Day and Mardi Gras. There will be a special Mardi Gras Open House to kick off the Easter season on February 20th, and you are guaranteed an original Easter basket if you pick up things here.
What is the most challenging thing for you about owning a business?
Growing at a manageable level. Don’t be afraid to research the industry and listen to people [in it]. As far as the retail industry is concerned, I’ve had to learn quickly,
What is your favorite thing about owning your own business?
The customers! Parents play as much as the kids do. I just wanted to do something different and fun – and work with people I like! An added bonus is bringing my border collie to work with me.
My son and I decided to take a trip to The Toy Place to spend a little holiday money he’d been saving. His excitement was palpable.
Funkiest items of note known to frequent the shop:
– Bacon strip band aids
– Mystery Date board game
– Invisible Ink activity pads
– A Kitty Cat money bank that swiped the coin with her outstretched paw
– Yodeling pickle
– Chocolate, strawberry, and vanilla straw sippers
After much browsing, my little guy seemed overwhelmed. Susan looked at him, and pointed behind him to a bin full of bow & arrows. BINGO – His face lit up and he pulled out his tiny wallet. She knows her stuff, and she can read a kid.
Stephenie has worked with and around books and authors for over 12 years, both at retail booksellers and public libraries. She is a rare Huntsville native, mother of two high-energy boys, wife of one, and eerily addicted to community volunteering. When she's not being the Managing Editor for RCM she likes to stalk her favorite authors online, cook with way too much butter, and also manages to conduct freelance marketing and PR work.