At Blue Orange Games, we can’t take all the credit for our hot games! We owe a huge debt of gratitude to our fabulous retailers who give us feedback and put energy, passion, and time into their businesses every day. This space is dedicated to a very special retailer each month in order to highlight the stores and individuals that bring Blue Orange games from shelves into homes and that do us the honor of introducing us to families in their area. We are pleased to announce that our Retailer of the Month for August is none other than Toy Town in Idaho!
Xavier, from our sales team, said he wanted to nominate this retailer “more than ever!” because the people at Toy Town are super excited about our games and always welcome us into their stores.
I had the pleasure of speaking with Rose, a dedicated manager at Toy Town who caught me up on their story. Toy Town began with “three guys in a garage,” Rose said, not so much a “town” since they didn’t even have a storefront except for online. It then expanded into a full-fledged family brick and mortar business, with two locations in Twin Falls and Meridian, Idaho. But the fun hasn’t stopped there. It turns out they are opening up a third location just this August!
When asked about what made Toy Town unique, Rose exclaimed that it was the sheer variety of offered products. She then rapidly listed a dazzling array of different games, puzzles, DIY arts and science kits with everything from educational models to rockets, zip lines, and radio operated vehicles. She noted that their stores excel in providing the best specialty games around and barely tends to stock the typical retail items. Upon further independent research, I found this description even downplayed the product diversity at Toy Town. They have a whole planetarium displaying lasers and black lights, a kid play house with movies and toys to enjoy, large in-store demos, and even a candy store that stocks homemade fudge and old fashioned candies. The focus, Rose explained, is to make the store and products as hands on and interactive as possible, and provide knowledgeable staff who can demonstrate products and aid customers like no online shopping can.
After seeing all they had to offer I really began to see what Rose meant when she said that if you want to start a toy and game store you need to be able to do ten things at once, all day every day. It’s complete chaos a majority of the time and so managing people with a firm but patient way becomes crucial, and you need to be totally dedicated and love what you do, because that’s what makes the work worth it. It’s also necessary to have a few new items in every single department. Since toy and game stores rely on repeat business it’s important that a store doesn’t demo the same item to a returning customer year after year. Besides that it comes down to having a good buyer, staff, and merchandise, apart from knowing the answer to absolutely everything and making sure your employees do too, of course.
When I asked what made the staff motivated to keep on top of all the new products she laughed and said “Me, it’s my job to motivate them. I’ve been at this for over twenty years and I remind them it’s not about the money but the experience customers walk out the door with so that they always want to come back and tell you how wonderful a store you are.” She mentioned that Blue Orange helps with motivation sometimes as well. Last December the scratch-off prize tree for selling the most Blue Orange games was a huge success, encouraging herself and even the newest employees to sell 86 Spot Its in just a few weeks. She thought if Blue Orange provided this promo monthly she would use it!
Rose believes games like Spot It and Flash are her favorite type of Blue Orange games because staff can explain them in under thirty seconds and then start playing with the customers, but as for uniqueness of game play, Doodle Quest is by far the best because though it’s initially hard to sell, once people play the game themselves they have a lot of fun. As a child, Rose enjoyed playing jump rope and Monopoly® because they were things she always did with her brothers and sisters. She believes physical board games teach children things that computer games and apps can’t: that it’s ok to lose, patience, taking turns, teamwork, and most importantly of all, they get children to spend time, laugh with, and learn about their family members. Part of why she loves working for Toy Town is because it is a family company and she gets to do what she did as a child, which is work and play with great people all day long!
Thanks Toy Town for being a wonderful supporter of Blue Orange and for making room for us in your hearts as well as on your shelves!