Wonder Works toy store in Charleston, South Carolina, will open the country’s first Mattel store-within-a-specialty-store on Saturday, June 2, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. The free event will feature activities, sweet treats, “the hottest toys of the summer,” and a free toy for every child. All Mattel toys will be 20-percent off, including Hot Wheels, Barbie, Thomas & Friends, and Matchbox.
“We are honored and excited that Mattel has chosen Wonder Works to pilot its specialty-focused programs,” says Christine Osborne, owner of Wonder Works. “In 28 years, we have never had a brand partnership this large.”
By partnering with toy giants like Mattel, Wonder Works can offer its customers the largest selection of the market’s most in-demand toys, as well as interactive shopping experiences. Mattel, looking to strengthen its presence in the specialty market, turned to Osborne, a progressive leader in the industry, to launch this store-within-a-store concept.
The event this Saturday will mark the 50th anniversary of Hot Wheels. To celebrate, a Camaro will be on-site courtesy of Rick Hendrick Chevrolet. The Custom Camaro was the first Hot Wheels car released by Mattel in 1968. Since then, nearly 6 billion Hot Wheels cars have been produced. They rank as the number-one selling toys in the world.
Neighborhood toy stores like Wonder Works are hoping for a business increase this year following the closing of Toys “R” Us, and are implementing ways to attract the chain’s displaced customers. “We’re projecting a 20-percent increase in revenue between now and the end of the year,” says Osborne. “Neighborhood toy stores offer a magical experience for children and adults alike. They can walk along the shelves, make new discoveries, and actually play with a toy.
“When you visit a local toy store,” she added, “you’re not just making purchases. You’re making memories as a family through hands-on play that will last a lifetime.”
She reminds shoppers that bigger isn’t always better. “When big shifts in the marketplace happen, it can be harder for the big boxes to react, but the independent specialty stores – with owner expertise and customer service second to none – are agile enough to respond to changes.