Author: Whitney Green

Congratulations to Shenanigans in Charlottesville, VA for Winning September’s Store of the Month

Congratulations to Shenanigans in Charlottesville, VA for Winning September’s Store of the Month

blueAs if it’s name wasn’t clear enough, Shenanigans is all about the funny business. Our sales representative, Bastien, recommended Shenanigans for their character! From being family owned, to having the friendliest staff, and creating a store with a little bit of everything available, there’s clearly something special about this shop! Although its filled to the brim with entertainment, Shenanigans also has the rich history to match.

Shop owner, Kai, moved from Florida to Charlottesville in the 70’s with her 4 week old son. Working as a copy writer there was never a shortage of tasks that she could lend her creative wizardry to, and add some flare. Just like mom, her son was a little go-getter. As a fast learner, he was walking by 9 months and out growing his old toys and games quicker than most. This left Kai having to travel far just to get those toys and games that were developmentally challenging and gender neutral. With other mothers in the area doing the same, it was clear the Charlottesville needed a toy store where the community could find that big city quality, and diversity, without traveling hours north. It was during these pilgrimages in search of fun that Kai saw a future for herself and family. Since she had also been looking for work with a young child, she was able to design a job with built in childcare that was just right for her. Thus Shenanigans was born!

 store 4With it’s door open for over 40 years, this shop knows fun like no other! In 1974 Shenanigans first welcomed those who sought out fun engaging toys and games without the journey. Fast forward to today where they still provide just that. Even though they aren’t the only toy store in the neighborhood, Shenanigans still reigns supreme! Kai states, “what sets them apart is their product selections”. With such a cute, little store, every item within those four walls is curated by their staff with maximum fun in mind. Knowing what makes customers squeal in delight is something that keeps the neighborhood coming back. Tailoring their selection so that games are completely original and never stale is exactly what puts Shenanigans at the top of the list!

Dr Eureka BoxAs far a Blue Orange Games, Kai would have to name Dr. Eureka as one of her favorites. Going into detail, Kai says our games have such bright and nice art and there’s always a great eye-catching factor.  But what truly lies beneath the cover is Blue Orange’s dedication to inspiring STEM and core developmental skills that don’t go unnoticed to parents. Kai motto is that “if it’s boring, it’s not educational, since they’re not going to play it”. This blunt but true statement by Kai really resonates with our product line.

Kai elaborated that the kids don’t need to think about the skills they’re gaining, but rather the fun should conceal it. When playing with building blocks, a child doesn’t necessarily know he or she is developing a basis of engineering, nor do they understand they are growing familiarity with STEM when they play a game like Dr. Microbe. Blue Orange has the same values; learning should be fun, and if kids already want to play the games then half the work is already done. Shenanigans’ philosophy is to leave the term educational out by labeling their games and toys as fun! As a type of parental shenanigans, or a method of mischievousness, kids are left having uninhibited fun without knowing that their developing better motor and strategic, critical thinking skills!store 1

When considering their success, Shenanigans is no stranger to being a community staple. Kai thanks her neighborhood for being the perfect location, as it is a region with few chain stores and many unique shops that are supported by their community. Not to mention being between two hubs of the city, Shenanigans is accessible for all, either for a quick stop in for the grand kids, or an afternoon spent exploring with the kids. Make sure to grab a copy of the original Shenanigans Coupon Book, with monthly deals such as Board Game Discount November coming up, it’s sure to be a good time! 

Working with Shenanigans has been a pleasure and we proudly award them September’s Store of the Month. As a important part of Charlottesville , Shenanigans is a place where you can find something for everyone, from the helpful staff to the perfect game. Shenanigans is always reachable via their website here or at 601 West Main Street, Charlottesville, VA.

Congratulations!!StoreoftheMonth_HiRes

Congratulations to The Book Bin in Onley, VA for Winning August’s Store of the Month

Congratulations to The Book Bin in Onley, VA for Winning August’s Store of the Month

Book Bin Staff

Tucked in one of the oldest regions of these United States, sits the August store of the month, The Book Bin. On the Eastern shore of Virginia, this shop provides the region with all things necessary for enrichment and relaxation. As an independent store, the Book Bin is able to specialize itself to the needs of their customers. This reason, along with being in one of the longest continually inhabited places in the US; make it the perfect place for locales and history buffs alike. From genealogy to ancestry to personal accounts of regional history, The Book Bin is a rare find. Not only does the shop cater to those locals looking to learn more about their history, but also those who want to relax and take in some of that small town charm. With a coffee shop and seating area within the Book Bin, customers are always invited to sit, sip, and even play some Blue Orange Games.

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First opening it’s doors in 1980, The Book Bin has been passed down from wonderful owner to owner and in 2016, Philip Wilson took the reigns. Retiring early from academe, Philip took over the Book Bin with an already established passion for education. With over 25 years experience behind him in college teaching and administration, one of the many initiatives he took on within The Book Bin was to expand the educational games and toys area. He says “it’s important to get familiar with science from a young age”. Dr Eureka BoxGames like Dr. Microbe and other science toys help kids get more comfortable with STEM. His favorite Blue Orange game would have to be Dr. Eureka, expressing that its “absolutely outstanding”. A strong second of his would be Go Go Gelato. It’s games like these that make it easy for everyone to have fun while even gaining some skills.

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Double_Shutter-13 The Cafe

At the cafe, Philip and his amazing crew create a special latte of the week. Never forgoing the chance to get artistic, the baristas at The Book Bin are always testing out unique and risky drink combinations. Philip even agreed to help coordinate a special Blue Orange Latte of the Week at the coffee bar. As a special treat, the Book Bin served the “Blue Truffle” (a mix of Blueberry and decadent dark chocolate) and the “The Creamsicle” (a blend of vibrant orange and vanilla flavorings) in honor of being the Blue Orange Store of the Month! With seats located adjacent to the cafes, it’s the perfect space to play some games. Philip stated that having Blue Orange games like Double Shutter out for everyone to play is a great way to unwind and enjoy sometime with one another.

As Philip and I talked about the beautiful coastlands of Virginia, it became clear that Blue Orange and the Book Bin share much of the same eco-friendly values. The Book Bin takes pride in its surrounding coastlands, islands, and the preservation efforts that enable its beauty to remain natural and untouched. Much like the Book Bin, we believe in sustainable initiatives such as our plant two trees for every one tree used, as well as our policy to make games that last. It shops like the Book Bin, that Blue Orange and our “Hot Games, Cool Planet” ideology is so grateful for. The breathtaking preservation of the Delmarva Peninsula draws visitors from near and far, so whether locales or travelers make sure to make a stop at The Book Bin.

Source: Flickr user Zach Frailey
Delmarva Peninsula, Source: Flickr user Zach Frailey

Of course the Book Bin is only made greater by its outstanding staff. Having such a solid team behind the doors enables the Book Bin to soar. With diverse ages and all the different generations being represented, The Book Bin is able to better cater to each customers needs. From researchers looking for insight on ancestry, to grandparents searching for fun games for their grandkids, or even a teenager looking for something trendy. There’s always a friendly smile and a knowledgeable staff member waiting in The Book Bin.  According to Philip, the nice mix of staff is what enables the store to be so great and personable. You might even catch some of the staff playing some Blue Orange games togetherIMG_1573.

Working with The Book Bin has been a delight and we proudly award them August’s Store of the Month. As a staple of Onley, The Book Bin is a place where you can find everything you need from games, books, and history, to a warm and welcoming staff and environment. The Book Bin is always reachable via their website here or at Four Corner Plaza – 25304 Lankford Hwy – Onley, VA 23418.

 

StoreoftheMonth_HiResCongratulations!!

Congratulations Little Treasures in Bellaire, MI for Winning July’s Store of the Month

Congratulations Little Treasures in Bellaire, MI for Winning July’s Store of the Month

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Little Treasures is exactly what the name states, and in the small town of Bellaire you won’t have to do much digging to find this gem of a store. Louis, one of our sales representatives,  nominated this toy and gift shop for their dedication to great customer service and promoting Blue Orange Games.  Its doors opened 24 years ago, and it has been a family business ever since. When Dick and Sue opened in 1993 they had a goal: to promote imaginative and creative play that helps with the development of children. Now owned by their son, Steve, and his wife, Suzanne, Little Treasures has continued to embody this goal, all while establishing themselves as a nostalgic shop loved by all generations. Located in the quaint town of Bellaire, Michigan, Little Treasures is always a treat for locals and visitors alike. With many people coming in for those hot summer months,  the store originally only opened in the summer, to accommodate the flurry of vacationers.  However, when Steve and Suzanne took the wheel  they decided to open their doors all year long. From near or far, no matter the season, those who flock to the charming village of Bellaire always make a routine stop at their favorite shop to check out cool games.

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Dr. Eureka in the flesh! We LOVE this costume!

One of the many great things about Little Treasures is that they have something for everyone, like those grandparents stopping by to pick up a treat for the kids; the staff takes it personally to find a toy or game that will leave their grandkids squealing with delight.  By engaging with all their customers, Little Treasures always offers hands on fun for both kids and parents. They’re so dedicated to providing fun to their visitors that owner,  Steve, even created a customized gaming table. The table really draws people in, it’s hard to say “no” to a quick round of Gobblet Gobblers when the giant version greets you at the door!IMG_0024Gobblet_GameOpen_layers_opt

Suzanne says that Blue Oranges Games are always perfect for demonstrating since they are simple and easy to learn quickly.  She stated that, “ Blue Orange leaves room for imaginative play”, elaborating that there’s a type of flexibility that enables the rules to be changed and molded to the player. Having the capability for loose play is also great for Suzanne’s other interest, education. Being able to promote games that have more than just surface benefits is one of the main foundations of Little Treasures. While everyone loves fun, there’s something special that can come from encouraging and FullSizeRenderdeveloping skills crucial for development. With 14 years of experience behind her, Suzanne realizes the importance of positively promoting education, and since there are so many different types of learners having a loose set of rules that can be adapted really helps to connect with students. When considering kids with disabilities, Suzanne is always going the extra mile to keep them engaged and interested. She likes to promote simple yet intriguing games for those with disabilities so that everyone can play. Even though these kids can get frustrated at times, it’s still important to have fun and create an environment that’s unique to each individual.

Since Suzanne lives out of town,  Sherri handles the everyday running of Little Treasures. Suzanne described her as a god-sent who is always putting in 210% for Little Treasures. Sherri and her son Mick, have even created a unique kid approved review. Here, on Mick’s Pick, you can find cool new toys and gifts chosen and approved by a boy who knows fun! Its all these creative ways Little Treasures gets involved with their community and customers that make us love them!  With the help of their amazing staff like Rick, Beth and Mary, Little Treasures is able to put their best foot forward. Everyone there genuinely cares for their community, customers, and store. We chose Little Treasures as our store of the Month for their dedication and passion around all things games. In this day and age, Blue Orange Games really appreciates those who take the time to slow down and engage with their customers with so much care.

StoreoftheMonth_HiResWorking with Little Treasures has been a pleasure and we proudly award them July’s Store of the Month. As a staple of Bellaire, Little Treasures is regarded as a top shop for fun. Make sure to take a trip to this gem and be immersed in a place like no other. Little Treasures is always reachable via their website here or at 100 E. Cayuga St. Bellaire, Michigan 49615.

Congratulations!!