Toy Box Gifts & Wonder Grand Opening

IMG_1039By: Abbey Holland, Intern, Greater Chambersburg Chamber of Commerce

A new addition to the magic of Main Street opened July 14, Toy Box Gifts & Wonder is excited to bring fun, and a little wonder, to Chambersburg. Kristen and Tony Laidig, along with their team, are proud to officially open their doors to the young and young-at-heart of the community on 42 S. Main St. This location is especially important to them because of the significance of the number 42 in the movie "The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy." 

Toy Box Gifts & Wonder is not an ordinary toy store; their main focus is on S.T.R.E.A.M. Toys (science, technology, robotics, engineering, arts and math) and dinosaurs. When deciding on the toys for the shop, the Laidigs combined their passion for toys with their passion for sparking creativity in others. They decided to “choose something that doesn’t normally fly, which is non-fiction,” says Kristen. Originally, Kristen’s childhood dream was to open a bookstore, which morphed into a bookstore with toys and eventually landed on a toy store with books. After sharing her vision with her husband Tony, they decided to begin the journey as business owners.

Tony, a Chambersburg native, knew that Gettysburg would be an ideal location to have the most customers; yet while the Laidigs explored Main Street in Chambersburg, they stumbled on 42 S. Main St. Immediately, they knew this was the future home of Toy Box.

“I remember going into Uptown Sales as a kid, and I want our store to be like that for another generation," said Kristen. "I hope that our store can make downtown Chambersburg a destination and a place to make memories like mine.” Uptown Sales was a toy and model store, currently where Main Street Deli is located.

In addition to the marvelous location, Toy Box also has a certified Play Expert. Kristen was certified in June 2017 by the American Specialty Toy Retailing Association (ASTRA).

“The most profound thing I learned from that training was that play deprivation as a child can lead to depression and violent behavior, or play can stimulate new neuron pathways and ‘feel good chemicals’ such as dopamine and endorphins. As a result of this research, we not only set out to appeal to children, but also to adults,” stated Kristen.

Tony added to his wife’s comment, “Many adults believe that play is considered childish, but in reality, it is childlike. We are excited to stimulate ‘childlike’ play in adults by having game nights and game rentals, as well as toys for adults to help stimulate the imagination.”

Toy Box will also kick-off monthly activities with Melissa & Doug’s Take Back Childhood Toy Tester Event, held in late July. This event features Melissa & Doug toys that children can sign up to test. Both Toy Box and Melissa & Doug want to create quality products, and cannot do it without the children’s help. Toy Box will also publish their own magazine called “Wonderings” later this year.

Following the fidget spinner trend, you can go into the store and purchase a mystery spinner for $6.99. Randomly packaged in red velvet bags, this mystery gives the adventurous person a one in 10 chance of getting a specialty spinner. Specialty spinners are iridescent, L.E.D. light up or Star Wars. One can also take a picture with Phil, the giant dinosaur inhabiting Toy Box. Photos with Phil can be taken at the shop, then found for free on Phil’s website. Phil made his public debut at Second Saturday, a live music and movie event at Chambers Fort Park on July 8. Toy Box is excited to be a part of downtown Chambersburg, and delighted to bring a little magic and playfulness to the community. 

Please visit Toy Box Gifts & Wonder, and help them achieve their goal of making downtown Chambersburg a destination.

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