A high school friend of ours recently opened a small toy shop in an up and coming area of downtown Huntsville. Named “The Toy Place Downtown”, this little gem is located at 110 Cleveland Street, near the Children’s Advocacy Center, the Municipal Dog Park and around the corner from the Furniture Factory restaurant.
When you first enter the shop, its cozy interior is the first thing you notice. As you look closer, you’ll realize that the toys available here are not found in any other shop in Huntsville. All are true originals! Then, as you find the pricetag and begin to cringe, the absolute delight of finding an affordable price makes you want to grab up everything on the shelves and haul them to the cash register! Items range up to $50. That’s right. Most items are in the $7-20 range. Owner Susan Blevins remarked to me once that her dream was to have a place where kids can come with their allowance and actually walk out with a decent purchase. From what I saw, she accomplished her task.
Cool, retro candies are also available. Toys with multiple parts, balls, pieces, etc. are sold with a complimentary pouch (which I particularly appreciated because Susan really listed when I suggested this) and, for every $20 you spend in the store, you receive a “wooden nickel” with the Toy Place logo on it. Each wooden nickel is good for $1 towards your next purchase. Wow…
The enthusiasm that this store has received from the community is contagious. The owner is a great Huntsville personality, too, with a childlike exuberance that few adults who own toy stores can compete with. It’s a hands-on store, too. Plenty of demos on the floor for kids to try out. When I went in, a demo toy broke and Susan said, “Well, we’re not ordering these because if they won’t last any longer than this, they’re junk. I don’t sell junk.” She’s done research on parenting blogs, recall notices and online shopping blogs to make sure that everything in her store is as user friendly and dependable as possible.
So, when you’re in a bad mood and need to escape for a while, stop in at The Toy Place Downtown. Or, if you just feel like too much of an adult and need to feel like a kid again, stop in. I would be willing to bet my wooden nickels that you’ll leave with a smile.