Shawnta' On TV!

If you missed it, you can see Shawnta' on KMOV's Great Day St. Louis!  She's showing some of the cool toys and gifts for the holiday season:


Love Your Local - Shop Small on Nov. 27

Everyone knows all about Black Friday--  Or they think they do.  News reports every year announce the traffic jams at malls. People line up hours or days in advance at Big Box stores for insane sale prices.  You hear over and over about how it’s the day retailers will start to show a profit.

It’s a little different for small businesses.  That’s not really the picture of what’s going on for many of the mom & pop shops around our nation.  For many of them, the day after Thanksgiving is a finish line (whew!  Made it to the Holiday shopping season) and the start of a marathon (egads!  It’s the Holiday shopping season!).  Black Friday represents the moment when all the work and effort and striving of the past year starts to pay off.  You see that new customer come back.  You get to chat with your favorite customers--  the ones who bought baby toys a few years ago and now need something for a teen.  You “rescue” someone by having the absolutely perfect thing for that hard-to-pick-for person on their list.  The Holiday shopping season is the pay-off for those slow as molasses, dog-days of summer.

Of course, none of this means anything if you, the consumer, doesn’t show up.

Do we want you to stop shopping with the Big Box stores?  No, although we wouldn’t mind if you did it a little less.
Do we want you to stop ordering things online?  Not at all.  We want you buying from our website, too!

Do we want you to consciously consider what makes your community unique, what makes it special, what makes it your home?  Yes.

We’re betting some part of what makes your town, city, or neighborhood a dear, treasured place to you is a small business.  Maybe it’s a coffee shop.  Maybe it’s a (ahem) toy store like  us.  Maybe its a gift shop or bakery or bookstore.  Whatever that little store is, you know they’ll always come through for you--  you’ll be greeted with a smile and you know you matter.  With this in mind, consider how you want to spend your Holiday budget.  

Now that you’ve thought about where and how you want to spend your money, think about when you’ll spend it.  American Express, as part of their “Open” Small Business Network, is encouraging communities around the country to declare the Saturday after Thanksgiving “Small Business Saturday.”  As part of this declaration, they’re asking consumers to make a point of spending some money at a small business on Nov. 27.  You can read more about Small Business Saturday on their website and facebook page.

Shop Small.  And watch what big things can happen.


Black Friday & Extended Holiday Hours

The holiday shopping season is starting to get rolling--  Our stores will be closed on Thanksgiving Day.  We'll be opening early on Black Friday, with one-day only sale prices on selected items!

LagoonaMagoo Toys
at the St. Louis Mills - Hazelwood, MO:

Opening Early on Black Friday (11/26)! 7am - 9pm
Sat., Nov. 27: 9am - 10pm
Sun., Nov. 28: 11am - 7pm

Don't forget to visit Santa while you're here!
For additional holiday hours, please visit the St. Louis Mills website.

Once Upon a Toy,
Edwardsville, IL:

Opening Early on Black Friday (11/26)! 8am - 8pm
Extended Holiday Hours: 
Mon. - Sat.: 9am - 8pm

Reindeer Schedule coming soon!

LagoonaMagoo Toys,
Fairview Heights, IL:

Opening Early on Black Friday (11/26)! 7am - 9pm
Extended Holiday Hours: 
Mon. - Sat.: 9am - 8pm
Open Sundays! 10am - 6pm

Reindeer will be here, too--  We'll let you know when!

Hmmm?  Wazzat?  You're wondering what sort of specials will be happening on Black Friday?  This is just a sampling!

As always, our helpful crew of toy experts will be standing by to help you find something for everyone on your gift list!


Once Upon a Toy & LagoonaMagoo Toys Neighborhood Toy Store Day Plans!

Plotting...  Planning...  All we need is you to make it a party!  Here are the events we've cooked up for Neighborhood Toy Store Day on Nov. 13, 2010

LagoonaMagoo Toys at the St. Louis Mills:
10% of sales on Saturday, November 13, will be donated in toys to Toys for Tots.  Start your Holiday shopping early and pay some joy forward.  And Cody Cassiday, a seriously talented Yo-Yo Dude, will be by to amaze and thrill us with his yo-yo tricks from 2pm - 6pm.  We’ll also have free face painting throughout the day (call the St. Louis Mills LagoonaMagoo Toys at (314) 227-5335 for exact times)

Once Upon a Toy in Edwardsville, IL:
It’s a Giant Rubber Chicken!  In our Parking Lot!  Come get a picture taken with our infamous Giant Chicky from 10am - noon.  Rope n’ Ride, from Granite City, IL, will bring Ponies to the party from 1pm - 3pm.  Cody Cassiday, our favorite Yo-Yo Dude, will also be appearing at Once Upon a Toy from 10am - 1pm.  And can’t forget the face painting--  that will be happening from 11am - 4pm.

LagoonaMagoo Toys in Fairview Heights, IL:
Ponies!  We’re going to have ponies (thanks to Rope n’ Ride!) for your kiddos to meet from 11am - 3pm.  The Giant Rubber Chicken will migrate from Edwardsville to Fairview Heights for photos with your favorite goofballs starting around 1pm - 4pm.  Face painting will also be happening from 11am - 4pm.

We're looking forward to seeing everyone on Saturday for Neighborhood Toy Store Day!

Join us in celebrating Neighborhood Toy Store Day!

What, you may be wondering, is Neighborhood Toy Store Day? Good question. I knew our readers were smart people!

Neighborhood Toy Store Day is a nation-wide event dreamed up by the member stores of ASTRA, the American Specialty Toy Retailing Association. The idea is to celebrate independently owned and locally operated toy stores as well as bring attention to the contributions these businesses make to our local communities.

When you choose to shop at locally owned businesses, a higher percentage of your money stays in the community. According to the 3/50 project (read about that in an earlier blog post here: The 3/50 Project) for every $100 spent in a locally owned business, $68 of it remains in the community. This money stays in the form of paid taxes, wages for workers, purchases of supplies and services, as well as charitable donations. This is one of the reasons Mom & Pop businesses are considered the key and lifeblood of our economy. When small businesses thrive, our communities do, too.

So that’s an awful lot of grown-up seriousness happening in that paragraph. What about the infamous Happy Up silliness? Where does that factor in? Glad you asked that! Like all other ASTRA member stores, LagoonaMagoo Toys and Once Upon a Toy are completely committed to seeing children thrive. By offering unique, amazing, imaginative, and creative toys to our customers, we help children grow into unique, amazing, imaginative, and creative grown-ups. By encouraging and supporting the idea of play for people of all ages, we create laughter and lighter spirits. And who doesn’t want more of that in the world?

So Celebrate individuality, silliness, playfulness, and what makes your world unique with your favorite toy store on Saturday, Nov. 13, 2010 and be a part of the first ever Neighborhood Toy Store Day!

You can read more about the event here:  http://neighborhoodtoystoreday.com/

PS--  watch this space for the schedule of events for Toy Store Day at both LagoonaMagoo Toys and Once Upon a Toy!