Playthings, etc., a hobby and toy store in Butler, Pa. observed their 18th anniversary on Sept. 30, 2023.
The event was birthday party themed and had 18 different types of cake. The company also gave away store gift cards every half hour, as well as free balloons. There were also guessing games and other types of giveaways.
“We have a lot of customers that come just for the cake,” principle owner, Nadine Shingleton, said. “It’s really fun to have two tables full of cakes.”
The store itself opened in 2005 and is a family owned business. It is shaped like a spaceship on the outside and follows the theme inside.
“We handpick everything in here,” Shingleton said, “it’s a store unlike any other.”
The products sold are not just for children, but include craft items for people of all ages.
“We have toys and hobbies of every interest, every category. Something for everybody. We have a lot of unique things besides the classic toys,” Shingleton said. “We are the world’s coolest toy store.”
“Our mission is actually to encourage families to play together,” she said. As a result, Playthings, etc. encourages play within the store.
Many items are out of boxes for customers to try. Shingleton said the store wants people to experience as many things as possible while inside.
“There’s definitely something for everyone here,” she said. “No one walks away without finding something that they find interesting.”
The store also works to keep up with trends in the toy industry. Currently, sensory toys, Jellycat plushies, disc golf and novelty purses are among the most popular.
“[It’s] a lot of anything that you can feel with your hands,” Megan Locke, the store’s operations manager, said.
Playthings, etc. is open from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday-Saturday all year round, and from 12:30-5 p.m. on Sundays during the holiday season.