They are the toys that not only light up, they light up the imagination. They are toys that keep little (and no so little) hands busy for hours and let the imagination run wild. They are toys that don’t just entertain, they inspire.
If you’re looking for Christmas presents that don’t just involve screens (they have some of those too) but involve actual play and imagination you don’t need to drive to the mall or the big box stores. Drive to Main Street in Phoenixville.
Generations Toy Store at 113 Main St (next to Wells Fargo Bank) is not just a delight for the eyes this time of year, it’s a great place to find the kind of toys that children of the late 20th Century (you know, today’s parents) grew up with before everything fit on a cell phone or iPad screen.
Owner Sue Meadows has created a shop that is like walking into a Hallmark Christmas movie. From the colorfully decorated front windows all the way to the back of the store it is literally like being a kid in a candy store. Ok, to be factual it’s like walking into an old fashioned drug store with a soda fountain. That’s what used to be in the building and there are still plenty of reminders of the old soda fountain-era on shelves that hold the most up-to-date toys of 2013 along with some modern editions of old standards. Where else can you find Erector Sets?
Talk about shopping local, Generations sells Crazy Aaron’s Thinking Putty, which is made in Phoenixville. The store also carries many American-made toys like Maplelandmark wooden toys which are made from trees grown and harvested in Middlebury Vermont.
While the feel is old-fashioned fun, there still plenty of cutting-edge toys that can light up a handheld screen. Some do both. Take the 1000 piece Ravensburger puzzles which feature a video animation component. Once you or your child (or maybe both of you working together) have finished putting the puzzle together, reach for the smart phone and see it come to life. Here’s how the company describes the toy on the Ravensburger website “Our brand new puzzle collection with its ground-breaking Augmented Reality technology makes your puzzle come alive! Download the free AR Puzzle app from the App Store that utilizes the camera function of the iPhone® or iPad® versions 2 and 3 to animate the scene. Experience a totally new visual reality and reveal audio details, sound effects and factual information. Watch these fascinating animals roam through their natural habitat and listen to the sounds of Africa!”
If your young one is dreaming of a white Christmas, be prepared with the coolest sled… ever. The Zippify mini-luge sled will have your child zipping down snowy hills sitting upright and loving life.
Is there someone on your Christmas list who loves things that light up? It’s worth shopping local for toys that you won’t find or can’t find with the level personalized service at the mall. Sue Meadows knows the items she sells, because she’s the one who found them and stocked them in the first place.
113 Main St Phoenixville, PA 19460Phone: 610 933-8100
Holiday Season Hours:
Wed & Thurs 10 a.m.-7p.m.
Friday 10 a.m.-9 p.m.
Sat 10a.m.- 5 p.m.
Dec. 12 open until 9p.m. for a special event.
12/22 10am-7pm and
Christmas Eve 10am-3pm