Shop Local On Neighborhood Toy Store Day

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clip_image002On November 12, 2011 toy stores around the nation will celebrate the joy of play on Neighborhood Toy Store Day.

ASTRA, the American Specialty Toy Retailing Association, whose mission is “leading the way through play,” has asked me to share the importance of shopping locally for toys so that we can help save our community toy stores from extinction.

I have to admit, I’m as guilty as anyone when it comes to shopping for toys at the big box stores. But, as in all things, you get what you pay for.

From our friends at ASTRA:


To launch the holiday shopping season with community-minded fun, ASTRA members throughout the nation will host special events at their stores. The festivities will highlight local talent and bring neighbors together in the spirit of giving. Events will include crafts, entertainers, scavenger hunts, and charitable donations. Through Neighborhood Toy Store Day, customers see that specialty toy retailers are more than just stores, they are a central part of a vital community.


Shopping at neighborhood and independent retailers not only increases consumer choice, it also preserves jobs and local character. According to the 3/50 Project, for every $100 spent in local, independently-owned stores, $68 returns to the community in the form of taxes, salaries, charitable contributions, children’s educational programs and more–in contrast with only $43 dollars when consumers spend their money at a national chain.


Although I’ve done my fair share of toy shopping at Target and Toys R’ Us, when I want something special, I always head to The Toy Maker at Stuyvesant Plaza. They carry fun and educational toys, sure to fire a child’s imagination, that last well beyond the five minutes of excitement immediately following the trashing of the gift wrap.

I checked the database at and for other participating neighborhood toy stores and found only one:

G Willikers
461 Broadway
Saratoga Springs, NY 12866
(518) 587-2143

Really? Only one? That’s just sad. I’m hoping that, like The Toy Maker at Stuyvesant Plaza, that the Capital Region has more neighborhood toy stores that just aren’t listed on the Neighborhood Toy database.

Can you help me make a better list? Where are the Neighborhood Toy Stores in the Capital Region? Where will you shop for toys this holiday season?

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Disclosure: In case you’re wondering, absolutely no compensation of any kind was provided for this endorsement.

9 thoughts on “Shop Local On Neighborhood Toy Store Day”

  1. Jennifer – Thanks for the recommendation! And Colleen, that’s great to hear! I’ve never been in G. Wilikers in Saratoga as The Toy Maker is a little closer, but I’m tempted to head out there now!

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