Magnolia moms and dads can breathe a sigh of relief… with birthday party season in full swing, a toy store of magical proportions is about to swing open its doors in our very own neighborhood!
Nifty Toy and Gift celebrates their grand opening this Saturday, June 15th. Check out the latest in toys, treats and novelties, enjoy refreshments and enter a drawing for prizes. A balloon artist will entertain Saturday from noon until 2pm. Owner Paula Hlastala says this will be a store that young and “not so young” will want to visit again and again:
Whimsical and vibrant, Nifty sets the tone right as you walk in the door. Customers are welcomed by a newly-installed mural of a lively game of Go Fish by local artist Ryan “Henry” Ward. Bright colors abound, and the store hopes to get more “Willy Wonka” over time by decorating with the artistic creations of young customers.
Merchandise will focus on toys and novelties, both classic and trend, with a special eye for what kids really want and can afford. Customers can indulge a sweet tooth with candy by the pound (sold by the piece) including sugar-free options. Gift items for Mom and Dad will increase as the holidays near.
Kids are welcome to explore, interact and create at the store. Nifty will reward scavenger hunters who find certain hidden objects with a treat, and there’s a sticker club for kids 12 and under. Little ones can enjoy a dedicated play area at the back of the store while parents shop close by.
On weekends throughout the year, the store plans to host artist exhibitions or craft demos. The work of Magnolia artist Lynne Alexander, featuring colorful birds and owls, will be displayed throughout the store for the summer season. There is a pass-through space in the middle of the store that can convert to a gallery and Nifty would like to see a variety of local and juvenile artists share their talents with the community.
One additional plan to interact with the community revolves around a special recycling program initiated by owner Paula Elder Hlastala. In an effort to discuss recycling options, and in part to offset the waste that is an unavoidable part of the toy market, this coming August, Nifty is launching a trial recycling program where the first 50 kids who join can recycle things like bottle caps, crayons, bread tabs, and meal toys in return for store credit. These things often find their way into the landfill, but if diverted, can find a second use. Paula grew up in Magnolia, and remembers her Dad recycling glass bottles in the 1970s, long before recycling was the buzzword it is today. Phil Elder worked as a postal carrier on Magnolia for 40 years, and supplemented the family income by recycling. At Nifty, Paula hopes to share this desire with another generation of kids; the idea of finding use or value in items destined for the landfill. See store for more details if your family would like to pre-register. Welcome kids of all ages!
Nifty Toy and Gift is located at 2560-32nd Avenue W, right across from Mounger pool.