G. Williker’s Toy Shoppe is the newest acorn on Oak Avenue.
The toy store opened Nov. 23 at Second and Oak, and has seen plenty of kids and adults in its first two weeks of business.
“People are really excited to see a local toy store,” manager and buyer Jennifer Wood said. It’s been excellent, everyone coming in and doing their Christmas shopping locally.“
The store, open 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. seven days a week through Jan. 1, carries traditional toys such as Playmobile, Erector Sets and Legos, along with new toys, for children of all ages. Stuffed animals, puzzles, games, train sets, “Mars Mud” (you must squish to believe), dolls, and skill toys are just a few of the selections. As the shop is new and Wood is still learning what locals want, the merchandise will evolve, she said.
“We’re definitely a specialty toy store that offers a lot of traditional toys that maybe a lot of parents played with when they were kids, such as Erector Sets, Legos, and Playmobile,” she said. “We’ll carry more of the trendier type of toys as time goes on, and once we know what customers want. We are open to suggestion.”
Prices range from toys for 25 cents on up to the most expensive item, “Pedal Plane,” which just arrived Monday and sells for $500. Plenty of $2-5 toys are for sale.
The central location has been ideal, Wood said.
“It’s the best location in town. We get great walking traffic, and pretty much everyone who drives through town sees it,” Wood said.
Beckoning are a checked blue awning and picture of a clown — G. Williker’s — in the window.
“We tried to create an nostalgic atmosphere with a lot of primary colors and natural wood to give it traditional old time feel,” Wood said. The store is owned by Glen and Kim Haack.
Wood is a Hood River native who set up and managed shops for Eddie Bauer in the Portland metropolitan area and relished the chance to return home to operate G. Williker’s.
“It’s definitely a change of pace for me, but a great opportunity to not work for a large corporation,” she said. Popular items this Christmas have included Legos, Playmobile, and various toys collectively known as “spy gear”: camera, listeners, night scopes, and pens.
G. Williker’s will also include a candy counter as well as a “birthday club” in which kids enter their names for a monthly drawing for a birthday party or $75 gift certificate. The name “G. Williker’s,” was coined by Jennifer’s sister, Julie Wilson. “We liked the phrase, and turned it into a person’s name,” Wood said.