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A Phoenixville Toy Story

Sue Meadows of Generations talks toys.

Fresh off the International Toy Show in New York City,  owner Sue Meadows picked out lots of goodies to bring back to her Main Street toy shop.

The building has been in her family for three generations—hence the name of the store, which features toys for kids and gifts and novelties for adults.

Meadows spent time in the shop as a youngster, when it was her grandfather’s drug store. Now, the former pediatric nurse watches her own grandchildren play in the aisles.

“When my grandchildren come in, they grab the toy shopping cart and off they go,” she said.

She stocks the toy section with educational items and “toys that inspire.” You won’t find any video games tucked in the back. Her past career also keeps her interested in toys that can help kids develop mentally.

“I spend a lot of time looking for items that would be of interest to parents of autistic kids or those with developmental disabilities,” Meadows said.

Puzzles, including the puzzleball® line by Ravensburger, deck the shelves, along with crystal growing kits, art supplies and puppets. Classics like erector sets and tea sets are also offered up, along with a large line of Melissa & Doug® products, from a company specializing in educational toys.

When the toy show shipments hit the shelves in a week or two, you’ll find nostalgia items like lava lamps, sock monkeys and jack-in-the-boxes. Meadows picked out a line of bath toys that change the color of the water and another group of tablets that can help with potty training. Meadows’ husband attends the show, too, and this year he chose mufflers that attach to bicycles to make them sound like motorcycles. Pouch games, like Bananagrams, will also hit the store in a few weeks.

“The great thing is any age can play them,” Meadows said.

Many of the toys she chose at this year’s International Toy Show were made in America. Some were even made in Pennsylvania, like marble run toys made in Pittsburgh and a line of candles from the Keystone State.

“I have put a lot of effort into finding things that are made here,” Meadows said.

That meant picking out a few vendors out of the 1,500 at the International Toy Show to focus on, and then strolling the aisles. Last year, Meadows and her husband spent one day there. This year, they spent two.

“You walk in and it’s just amazing when you see that many toys,” Meadows said. “In one day we kind of ran through it. With two, we had a little more time.”

Generations opened three years ago on Black Friday and is located at 113 Main Street, Phoenixville.

“My goal is to find different things, stuff you won’t find at other toy stores,” Meadows said. 

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