Neighbourhood toy stores celebrate

Kickstart the Christmas season with a customer celebration at the community toy store

Oak Bay and Broadmead store manager Glenn Kolb

Oak Bay and Broadmead store manager Glenn Kolb

Kickstart the Christmas season with a customer celebration at the community toy store.

Shopping local extends to the toy venues that celebrate the support of parents, grandparents and other gift-givers with the sixth national Neighbourhood Toy Store Day.

“It’s a customer appreciation day. It’s a chance for us to say thank you for all the neighbourhood support,” said Neil Rogers, owner of Timeless Toys in Oak Bay and Saanich. “It’s a shop-local initiative. We try and show people that it’s an experience to come to the toy store where you get friendly service. You get to know customers and you get one-on-one help from toy experts who know what toys are appropriate for different ages.”

Timeless Toys will join hundreds of locally owned stores across the country to celebrate the day and kick off the holiday season with special events that also celebrate shopping local.

“Local stores also make holiday toy shopping easier, by offering a personalized approach and additional customer service that contrasts with the sometimes frazzling experience of shopping large retailers,” Rogers said, adding the toys are hand-selected by staff. “We try and go for the toys that stimulate children’s brain. These are toys that last; you need to use your imagination as opposed to flashy toys that do things for you. Our tagline is ‘The classics of yesterday and today.’ … We try and find the best toys in a reasonable price range that are really going to last a long time.”

Oak Bay’s Timeless Toys festivities feature magic with Jason Verners, face painting with Susi Sunshine, Crumsby’s cupcakes, popcorn donated by Seafirst Insurance and giveaways on Saturday, Nov. 14 from 2 to 4 p.m. at 2213 Oak Bay Ave. “Just to make it really fun for people in the community,” said Rogers.

Up the Ave, discover even more gold-starred toys at Buddies Toys, 1831 Oak Bay Ave.

“The main thing we’re doing is we’re launching our Christmas catalogue,” said Lauren Powell, manager of the Victoria store. The catalogue features toys awarded the gold star through the Neighbourhood Toy Stores of Canada membership.

“We’re really promoting those toys,” she said.