Area Toy Stores Create Personalized Holiday Shopping Experience

Figpickels Toy Emporium in Coeur d’Alene creates a sense of wonder for customers of all ages.

The family store located at 210 E. Sherman Ave. Suite 103 houses convenient displays, shelves of unique puzzles, action figures and plush toys as well as a working German carousel, creating a shopping experience that is hard to replicate in an online or big box store.

“We’re definitely emphasizing unplugged play,” said Devin Sommer, whose family owns the store. “It’s something that a lot of people appreciate. We often hear customers tell us, “We don’t want what everyone gets at Walmart and Target. ”

Figpickels offers a diverse mix of products, some of which include Odyssey Toys’ popular Jellycat and Creepy Critters stuffed animals, a line of remote-controlled interactive toys, including a gliding snake and mouse, Sommer said.

To prepare for the upcoming holiday shopping season, Figpickels stocked up on inventory throughout the year and began decorating its store the week after Halloween, Sommer said.

“We’ll have a lot of product,” Sommer said. “We have offsite and onsite storage that is full and ready to deploy as needed.”

More than 166 million people nationwide plan to shop from Thanksgiving Day to Cyber ​​Monday this year, according to an annual survey by the National Retail Federation and Prosper Insights & Analytics.

This is an increase of more than 8 million people from last year and is the highest estimate since the National Retail Federation began tracking data in 2017.

“While there is much speculation about the impact of inflation on consumer behavior, our data tells us that this Thanksgiving holiday weekend will see robust in-store traffic with record numbers of shoppers. . take advantage of value prices,Matthew Shay, President and CEO of NRF, said in a statement.

The NRF says the top-selling toys this year will be Legos, Hot Wheels, dolls, Squishmallows, video games, dinosaurs and Disney-related items.

The general store expects strong sales at its children’s toy park at 2424 N. Division St. in Spokane, co-owner Tom Barany said.

The general store added its toy section after longtime toy mecca White Elephant closed in 2020. Since then, it has expanded to over 4,000 square feet on the top floor of the store.

The general store differs from big box stores and large online retailers because of its ability to be nimble and responsive to current toy store trends, Barany said.

Big-box stores can be locked into partnerships with distributors, making it more difficult to diversify product lines, he added.

“For toys, we probably have 300 suppliers that we can go through and 15 different distributors,” Barany said. “If there’s something hot and trendy, we can get it in a week.”

Legos, Pokémon, Shashibo puzzle boxes, model kits, board games, action figures and Magic the Gathering trading card games are expected to be top sellers, Barany said.

Additionally, Super Impulse’s World Smallest Toys collection appears to be a hit with customers, he said.

The World’s Smallest Toys collection includes retro brands in both miniature and working versions, including Rubik’s Cube, Lite-Brite, Etch a Sketch, and an Atari console that comes complete with a vintage-style joystick and TV.

“We have a huge selection of the world’s smallest toys,” Barany said.

At Boo Radley’s novelty store at 232 N. Howard St. in downtown Spokane, customers can expect to find unique gifts and personalized service, owner Jen Menzer said.

“We’re a small store,” Menzer said. “We greet every person that comes in. We check and say, ‘We’re here to help if you need any gift ideas. We can usually find something off the beaten path for that person.

Boo Radley’s selection of wacky socks and pop culture candles are always top sellers for people of all ages this holiday season.

“We try to have things in the store if we see them popping up in other places,” Menzer said. “And we try to get things that people can’t find anywhere else.”

Squishables, a line of plush toys that includes dragons, unicorns, bumblebees, sea turtles and more, is in high demand among customers, Menzer said.

“Everyone is looking for comfort these days, that’s what I’ve noticed – whether it’s a nice pair of socks or a cool stuffed toy,” she said.

Menzer, like Barany and Sommer, is hoping for a lively holiday shopping season. “I think it’s going to be busy everywhere,” she said. “Everyone is going out, and it looks like there are a bunch of really good events happening downtown.”Amy Edelen can be reached at (509) 459-5581 or