Thursday, July 24, 2008

Hello from southwest Virginia!
It is so beautiful this morning, I wanted to stay at home and play in my yard.  But, I remembered I had one of our wonderful sales reps. coming today and the thoughts of working in the yard were left behind.  I was excited to come and play with Don instead!  He should have some new toys to show us, and we'll be planning a lot of the Christmas ordering.  I know! It seems too early (and hot) to think about the holidays, but, in retail we have to start working on our 'Hot Toy' list now.

I also thought I would start sharing some pictures of our staff with you.  Our 'Toy Experts' are so much fun!  I hope you'll come in and meet them soon!! 
This is Glisyn.  She is our resident entertainer. She had visions of moving to NYC and being famous, but instead she's wearing a hula skirt and putting on performances for our customers daily!  She started out running our property management office, then was quickly drawn in to the toys.  She still rents our apartments to many of the VT Hokies, but she can't resist trying out all the new games and dress up clothes!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

The Winners. The Losers. and The Ruckus Man.

Happy July! I hope you had a wonderful 4th of July, loaded with family, friends, fun and fireworks! 

I wanted to tell you about a wonderful trip we just returned from.

We traveled to the ASTRA (American Specialty Toy Retailers Association) Conference several weeks ago, at Foxwoods, CT.  Besides attending informative, educational classes, visiting with representatives of the great companies we carry, and meeting lots of other toy store owners, we had the privilege of  spending time with Tom and Marlene England.  (pictured on the right, above, that's Keith and I on the left). Tom and Marlene own Dancing Bear Toys & Gifts in Fredrick, MD.  We met them last year at the same convention, and hit it off right away.  

Before we went our separate ways last year, we had come up with a friendly competition.  One of our favorite games, in both of our stores, is 'Ruckus', a great card game that's easy and fun to play.  Dan Levy (pictured in the center, above) is the creator, and he had just come out with a new card game, called 'Pile It'.  We decided we would see who could sell more of his new game during the holiday season of 2007.  

Well, before I tell you the results, I should say tell you something else.  Imaginations, in Blacksburg, has sold more of the 'Ruckus' game than any other store in the world.  Over 3,000!  So, not to brag too much, but, we a few boxes (okay a few cases!).  Tom and Marlene are great sports, and have vowed to pay their debt; which is a visit to Blacksburg, BEARing the gift of Maryland crabs.  Of course, we just want them to come see us, so crabs or not, we can't wait for your trip to southwest VA, England family!!  Check out their wonderful store if you're passing through Fredrick sometime.   

If you haven't played 'Ruckus' or 'Pile It' before, come on in.  We'd love to teach you how!

Keep checking here, because I'll post more details about the awesome ASTRA conference soon!  

Sidewalk Sale This Weekend!

It's that time of year again- our annual Summer Sidewalk Sale!  Starting tomorrow, Friday, July 11th & Saturday, July 12th.  10am-6pm both days.  There will be tables outside and inside, full of lots of discounts!  25-70% off!!  PLUS, Annie Kay's (our favorite health food store, located next door), will have $1, $2, and $3 shopping carts full of great deals.  Don't miss it!!

P.S- if you're going to be in Roanoke, Friday or Saturday, visit Imagination Station at 2126 Colonial Avenue.  We have set up the 'Bargain Basement', with lots of discounted toys!
It's time to get some good deals, and go ahead...start thinking about Christmas shopping this weekend!