Neighborhood Toy Store Day 2012: Introducing #shoplocal NOVEMBER 10, 2012


Do you like toys? So do my children!

I am excited to announce that Neighborhood Toy Store Day is almost here and ASTRA- American Specialty Toy Retailing Association has some great toys to showcase and to point out how important it is to find local businesses to support.

Where do you take your children to shop for toys these days? Are you frequenting your local retailers or do you have a local speciality toy store in your area. I am fortunate enough to have a fabulous speciality toy store near my house. I actually used to have two, but sadly one closed down a few years ago. I have to say that I nearly wept! Thankfully there is still one open and I pray everytime I leave that their doors remain open as long as my children still enjoy playing with toys.

The Benefits of Shopping Local . . .

I'm not sure if you are aware that there are benefits to shopping locally at independently owned stores. According to the 3/50 Project, for every $100 spent in local stores, $68 returns to the community in the form of taxes, salaries, charitable contributions and more --in contrast with only $43 when consumers spend their money at a national chain.

My favorite aspect of shopping in local independently-owned  stores  is they tend to carry many high-quality, boutique and speciality products not typically found at big box stores. My girls love speciality dolls and the local store in my area is the only place I can locate these luscious dolls.

Another thing I would like to point out about shopping locally is that is fosters a sense of community and provides economic stability in your home town. Shopping locally develops your own communities and offer reduced environment impact. In addition, as I stated above you will have a diverse product selection and frankly, you get better customer service.


About Neighborhood Toy Store Day . . .

Neighborhood Toy Store Day introduces families to the fun of shopping locally and celebrate each toy stores commitment to the community.  The annual event is coordinated by the non-profit organization ASTRA, the American Specialty Toy Retailing Association.

The 3rd annual Neighborhood Toy Store Day is on Saturday, November 10th. This special day helps celebrate the benefits of shopping local. Participating toy stores will host in-store events and activities for the entire family such as craft projects, live performances and special discounts. Get ready for the holiday shopping season and celebrate the joy of shopping for toys!

About . . .

The mission of the website is simple:

“To help parents discover the “woohoo factor” – or the delight, the joy and the excitement – of finding and playing with today’s best toys!”

To find a local Neighborhood Toy Store Day event near you, visit ASTRA's new website. Additionally, website is packed with expert advice on toys and play for children of all ages and toy buying guides. is an online resource for parents interested in learning more about the best toys on the market and where to find them.

The mission of is to help parents discover the 'woohoo factor' -- or the delight, the joy and the excitement -- of finding and playing with today's best toys!

I had the pleasure of reviewing some of ASTRA’s “Best Toys for Kids 2012” that could be found at neighborhood toy stores.

Nanoblock Violin


My daughter loves Nanoblock sets and we were so excited to have received a Nanoblock violin. My daughter actually plays the violin! This little building set is a winner of ASTRA's Best Toys for Kids 2012. Currently this little violin is sitting in my daughter's room.

This building set invites kids to build a detailed 3-D violin with microsized building blocks. The kits includes over 160 tiny pieces and comprehensive instructions so kids can build. The Nanoblock Violin promotes open-ended and creative play, it's creative design features  and its exceptional safety standards.

Create 3D works of musical art with nanoblock! These micro-sized building blocks will enable you to execute even the finest details like never before! With over 180 assorted size pieces, you will be amazed as this musical instrument takes shape right beneath your fingers tips! With a finished size of H: 4.3125” W: 1.625” D: 0.75”, this violin is able to fit perfectly in the palm of your hand. Includes detailed color instructions. Not designed for children under age 8. Level of Difficulty: 2 (on a scale of 1-5 with 5 being the most difficult)

Mine Shift by Mindware


I have been ordering from Mindware for years. My kiddos gobble up the magazine every time in comes in our mailbox. The magazine is usually so marked up and circled I can barely decipher what my kiddos have marked off as "I WANT THIS"!

We are a family of gamers. I am not referencing online games or video games, but actual games. We have shelves and shelves full of entertainment in the form of games. Every night after dinner the kiddos get to pick one game to play prior to the three B's {Bath, Book, Bed}. Mine Shift was a great addition to family game night. Basically you  move the mine walls to master the maze.

Move a jewel, rotate a tile, or shift the board. Your choice of these three basic moves lets you navigate your jewels through the mine shaft maze. The simple rules will have you playing in minutes but you must dig deep to master a strategy and outwit your opponent! Ever-changing tiles create a new game every time you play. With 27 game board tiles, the set-ups are unlimited for a brand new game every time you play. 2 players.

Once again these games are chosen for the ASTRA Best Toys for Kids 2012 award for its ability to promote open-ended and creative play. As well as family bonding and loads of laughs. I happen to think it also promotes brain cell growth in my slow mommy brain!

Playmobil: The Future Planet E-Rangers Future Base 5149


Did you know? PLAYMOBIL play sets help prepare children by developing cognitive, social, emotional and motor skills. Enhance the educational experience by getting PLAYMOBIL in your children's lives today. We've been huge fans of Playmobil for years and my basement is full of pirate ships and the like. This set is just another happy addition to our ever growing plethora of Playmobile toys.

Touch down at the Playmobil: The Future Planet E-Rangers Future Base 5149 and start exploring. This cutting edge base is bursting with features, and provides everything the E-Rangers need to research alien life.  This set has a working solar-powered fan, light up red crystals, an infrared knockout cannon The working solar panel powers the ventilation fan and the lighting so the Rangers can stay cool and read the changing display on their computer screen. This set includes four E-Rangers, a robot and 26 accessories. Requires 3 x AAA batteries, which are not included.

Please check out the new WWW DOT YOURNEIGHBORHOODTOYSTORE DOT ORG website where you can find many types of products, some of which I have highlighted here, typically found at your local toy store. Discover the whoohoo factor of shopping and playing -- for your children! Be sure to visit the website to locate whihc stores in your area will be participating. I found 13 stores in my area! Woohoo!

Disclosure: informational post only. I was given some toys to review for an honest opinions. Please see my disclosure policy. Images provided to me by Neighborhood Toys.