Smart Toys

Toys Toys Toys offers educational and creative toys for kids

Colin and Heather Johnstone noticed something missing when they moved to Campbell 10 years ago, shortly after their son was born. The town had no toy store .

They had another son, now nine, and still there was no store for toys.

Finally the Johnstones decided to do something about it and, last month, opened Toys Toys Toys.

"It's a labor of love," Heather says.

The shop, which is downtown at 411 E. Campbell Ave., showcases a variety of educational and creative toys for children ranging in age from 3 months to 12 years.

It is colorful and inviting, and you can't miss the two stuffed giraffes that greet you when you enter. The shelves are filled with an assortment of toys, games, and puzzles, and kids are encouraged to play while parents browse. A train set, doll house and other objects are set up at kid-friendly heights to offer maximum enjoyment.

The Johnstones opened the shop Oct. 2 in the midst of hard economic times in the country, but they aren't fazed by it.

Colin, who has more than 20 years of retail experience, said he's seen toy stores do well in tight-knit communities, like Campbell. 

"Colin believes that if the store can survive in a tough economy, it can survive anything," says Heather, his wife of 16 years. "The town has embraced the store."

The couple has remodeled the space, doing the painting and shelving themselves. Friends donated the flooring, and their sons Thomas, 11, and Erik, nine, are the creative insight behind the products.

"They love working here and playing with the toys on weekends," Heather says.

The shop will work in conjunction with the website, toystoystoysstore.com. When the website launches, the Johnstones hope to be able to deliver toys within a five mile radius, with orders placed online or over the phone. Complimentary gift wrapping is available.

The Johnstones have already made an effort to give back to local school and community organizations. Toys Toys Toys donates to Project Cornerstone, a program that teaches children and parents about positive peer interaction to prevent bullying, and to the Lucile Packard Children's Hospital.

As Heather says, "Living in this area has taught us a lot about giving back."

This holiday season will be their first, and the game plan is in full swing. Toys Toys Toys will offer extended hours, free gift wrapping and shelves stocked with popular products. The store has been invited to decorate a room at the historic Ainsley House, which will be on display during the holiday season.

Campbell resident Suzi Southerland recently took her two-year-old daughter, Kendall, to Toys Toys Toys.

"I'm getting lots of Christmas ideas," she said.

Hours of operation are Mondays through Thursdays 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Fridays and Saturdays 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., and Sundays 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.

As Heather notes, "If there are people here after those hours, we're still open."


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