Locally owned stores stock a different kind of toy

Old-fashioned items popular at independent shops

— The Parent Teacher Store located on Troy-Schenectady Road in Latham focuses on educational toys, said Store Manager Andrea Neal. No electronics are carried in the store, but customers come in looking for niche products, she said.

“The buyer tries to get stuff you can’t get … at big box stores,” said Neal.

Lisa Rex, store manger for New York Toy & Hobby at Clifton Park Center, said focusing on the shopping experience is important.

“It is a very interactive store. We want kids to come in and make a mess,” said Rex. “We are just trying to keep up with the big boxes but we are trying to keep it a real shopping experience when you come in.”

Rex said the store doesn’t carry battery-operated or electronic toys. Some of the popular brands such as LEGO can be found amongst classics like a Barrel of Monkeys. She added the store also focuses on trying to get green toys.

“We are very nostalgic, but we are very hip in having the newest and hottest toys,” she said.

All of the store managers and owners said the holiday shopping season has started off good. Having Chanukah celebrated later than usual also condenses some of the frantic holiday shopping, said Murphy.

“It is always said people find a way to make Christmas happen … Santa has to come,” said Murphy.

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