Many classic and new toys can be found at the Magic Toy Box in Eureka Square, but perhaps the most popular toys are the ones that relieve stress, said owner Paige Miller.
For example, Pop Fidgety, where you press the silicone bubbles in and out. Kids through high school ages will like it, he said.
And don’t forget about slime and putty.
“Kids love it,” said Miller. “There’s a lot of stress with the pandemic. This keeps you mentally comforted.”
The shop has been open since July. Miller described his motivation to open the shop, saying, “I have always had a fondness for toys and toy stores. When my son was born, there was no place we felt good buying toys,” he said. “I have a lot of classic toys on back order. I’m happy when people leave the store with a smile on their face.”
Classic games, cars, Ravensburger puzzles, Legos, Folkmanis puppets, Barbie dolls, Breyer horses, Calico Critters, Hot Wheels, green toys made of recycled plastic, Buzzy Seeds and Walkalots Pets are some of the most popular items, said Miller.
A kids’ corner with books includes those about famous women and dealing with stress. A bow- and-arrow set from a Bay Area company is a big seller. In the window, a large watermelon puppet with a mouse in it attracts families.
Miller lamented the closing of several well-known stores in the area during the pandemic. He wanted to fill a need, he said.
“Everyone has been positive about the store. I’m waiting to see if business will pick up over the holidays. The toy industry is in the red,” he said.
“Some kids have never been in a toy store. They have been to a Walmart. Their Christmas shopping was done online,” Miller noted. “There are some amazing products out there that won’t be seen at Walmart.”
Miller’s wife, Gina Arguello, grew up in Pacifica and teaches fourth grade at Ortega Elementary School. Their son is 2.
“She has been influential with her background in child development,” Miller said of his wife’s involvement. “I’ve asked her opinion and she has given me a ‘yea’ or a ‘nay.’”
Miller works with local organizations, such as the Pacifica Mothers Club, and supports other businesses in Pacifica, such as the Royal Bee. When he built out the shop, he used materials from local stores.
If a customer is looking for something, he says he’ll try to find it.
“Grandparents and parents feel nostalgic because they are seeing products that have been around a long time,” he said. “Toys have always been a passion for me. I’ve always loved toys.”
Store hours are Wednesday through Sunday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. The Magic Toy Box is located at 90 Eureka Square.