Inspiring imagination and community is what we love to do!
Located in Roanoke's historic Grandin Village.

Toylady Favorites: Modarri Cars

Modarri cars.  When I first discovered these cars I instantly decided these are lightyears ahead of other toy cars on the market.  Geared towards "kids" ages 8-108, they are built with suspension systems for both sets of tires and designed to be steered by your finger in the car seat, you can literally feel the car hugging the road.  Just watch this video and you'll get a feel for what I'm talking about...

And the coolness doesn't end with how it drives.  Each car comes with a special little screwdriver which enables you to take apart the car into individual pieces and then reassemble it in different ways to create a completely new looks!  No worries about lost screws, though...these screws don't come out fully so you won't spend hours searching for missing ones.

You can purchase individual cars, 3 packs, which give you tons of possible combinations, or you can buy sets of wheels and separate bodies to expand your options.

Stop by to experience Modarri for yourself.  These are great holiday gifts so be sure to get in on the race so that you aren't left out in the dust this season.

Furniture? On your holiday wishlist?

Perhaps it seems like a strange wishlist item but after seeing this video, maybe it makes a little more sense. I can see many great reasons for having furniture on yours this holiday season, especially when it's from Maxtrix, the brand we carry here at Imagination Station.  They make beds of all sorts, desks, toychests, play tables and chairs, dressers, bookcases that all work together.  It's all very well-made, has the highest of safety standards, and can be configured any way that will best suit your family, space, and needs, not only for this current time of your life, but even after your children have grown or you've moved into a completely different space.  The options are endless.  You can go simple or you can jazz everything up with slides, tents, special drawer pulls - you name it!

I speak from experience because my husband and I, a few years ago, made the regretful decision to pass on buying a Maxtrix bed for our daughter, simply because we didn't know any better.  We ended up buying a monstrosity of a loft bed from a local furniture company that cost the same amount of money, if not more.  Believe me, we had many nail-biting moments when we watched the delivery crew attempting to get the bed put together and were frustrated by the fact that we had screws falling out within 24 hours of getting it.  A couple of years later, as she got taller, we quickly realized that she had outgrown the bed but there was nothing we could do to alter it to make it work.  We ended up having to try and re-sell it which was no easy feat.  We came very close to taking a power saw to it and turning into firewood.

So lesson learned!  And that's why I am so passionate about getting the word out about Maxtrix's line of children's furniture.  I encourage you to come into the store soon to get a firsthand look and feel for what they do and to let me tell you all about it.

And until the end of 2015 we are running a special!  We will provide delivery and setup FREE OF CHARGE as long as you are in the Roanoke area.  Be sure to get your order in soon to get the furniture in your home in time for the holidays!

Toylady favorites: Sleeping Queens

I love games!  I'm not sure how my family feels about that since it means I regularly rope them into trying out new ones in the name of research for my job.  But the most recent one that's made it into our life, Sleeping Queens, immediately won the approval of our 10-year old without any cajoling and trust me, that is saying something!

Sleeping Queens is made by Gamewright, one of my all time favorite game manufacturers.  All of their games have great packaging, many of them in cool tins, and their artwork is always colorful, clever, and whimsical.  This game is no exception!  And one of the coolest things is that the game's concept was dreamed up by a six-year old one night.  How cool is that?

This is a unique card game with a refreshingly different concept behind it than Old Maid or Go Fish.  The purpose of the game is to wake up as many sleeping queens as possible using the goofiest looking kings you've ever seen before, getting to 30 points before anyone else does.  (Each queen is worth a certain number of points.)  Sounds simple but of course there are some cards that can get in your way.  There are dragon cards that can steal a queen from another player.  These can only be stopped by knights.  And there are magic sleeping potion cards that can put another person's queen back to sleep again.  These can only be stopped by magic wand cards.

My daughter and I just love all the funny kings and queens and the illustrations can't help but make you smile!  I also like that the game touches on lots of different skills, especially simple addition skills and memory.  It's a relatively easy game that can be learned quickly and played in a short amount of time.  It's designed for kids age 8 and up but as an adult I found it really fun too.

Right now we are carrying their newly released "Deluxe" edition that comes in a snazzy tin and also includes 2 sheets of stickers of the various characters.
And to make life just a little more fun, I have 3 Strawberry Queen keychains to give away to the first 3 people that buy it!  Woohoo!!

So come on in and let me show you and your friends and family how to play!

Saying thank you to our customers - The Toy Lover's Club

We love saying "thank you!"

At Imagination Station we have a way of saying thank you to our loyal customers called the Toy Lover's Club card.  We keep your card here at the store and every time you make a purchase of regularly priced items (excluding furniture) we'll write down the pre-tax amount in a box.  When you have made a total of 6 purchases, we add up all of the amounts and give you 10% of the total in store credit for you to spend the next time you shop with us.

What's even cooler about the club is that when you have earned a credit with us you have the option to spend any portion of the credit or all of the credit to purchase toys, books, puzzles, games, and art supplies for the wonderful folks at Children's Trust - an incredibly important organization that deals with child abuse prevention, intervention, and advocacy.  Items purchased for the organization will be put in their waiting room so that children being helped and their siblings can be put more at ease during what is more often than not a very challenging time.

So the next time you're in the store, if you don't already have one, ask to sign up for a card.  Kids can have their own cards if they wish, family members can share a card - it's up to you!  As long as you have fun shopping here we are happy!

Toylady favorites: Crazy Aaron's Thinking Putty!

There is a craze going on right now, and understandably so, for Crazy Aaron's Thinking Putty.  There are lots of types to choose from.  There are some that glow in the dark (and we're talking major glow in the dark), some that change color in your hands based on your temperature, super magnetic ones, special illusion ones that look like lava, scarab beetle shells, or oil slicks, and phantoms that you can use a blacklight flashlight that comes with the putty to write special messages or draw pictures in the putty.

This stuff is kind of like that classic silly putty gone wild!  Here is what we love about it:

  • Never dries out, even when it is not in it's tin or it's left uncovered
  • Small tins are great for traveling, for keeping your concentration at work or school, and as little gifts or party favors
  • Made in the USA 
  • You can test your ability to roll a perfect sphere and bouncing it just like you would a rubber ball
  • The website for Thinking Putty is chock full of videos and ideas for what to do with your thinking putty in addition to providing a little dose of science
  • It's just plain, simple fun - the best type!  
One question we do get a lot is about what age is too young for this product.  Each parent knows their child best so generally I tell parents that if their child is at the age where he or she can be good about putting the putty back in its home when they are done playing with it, then they're old enough.  If the putty is left on clothing, carpet, eyebrows, or hair you might have a mess on your hands.  

So come check it out.  We have a big bowl of their Platinum putty.  I have a feeling you'll get hooked pretty quickly regardless of your age.

And in case you're curious who this Crazy Aaron is and whether or not he's a real person, here you go!  (He's the one in the middle in between your crazy toy ladies!)

From left to right: Paula Bolte (owner of Imaginations Toy & Furniture Co. &
Imagination Station), Crazy Aaron, and Erica (Roanoke's toy lady!)

We are ready for business!

As of Tuesday, October 6th at 10am we are open for business, which for us translates into play!  Our grand opening will be on Saturday, October 24th, the same day as Grandin Village's big Chillagefest so stay tuned to upcoming news about that on Facebook or here on our website. 

Can't wait to share our store with you!

Getting to know the new toylady in town!

It's difficult for me to believe that it's really going to happen but it is!  I'm going to be the new toylady on the block...on the 1400 block of Grandin Road, that is!!  

Paula and Keith Bolte, the owners of many local businesses including Imaginations Toy & Furniture Company in Blacksburg, are thrilled to be returning to Roanoke and to be joining the Grandin Village community.  

As for me?  Well, the path has been a crazy one and I'm thrilled that it has landed me here.  

Up until the past year much of my life has revolved around music.  I'm a trained classical pianist and have worked as a freelance musician many places.  Most recently I worked and taught at Radford University.  A year ago I decided I needed a change so I dropped most of my musical work and began working for the Bolte's at their Blacksburg toy store.  I fell in love instantly with my work there. Having frequented the store for many years with our now 10-year old daughter, I was attracted by the environment that the staff at Imaginations create for children and their families.  It is a unique store, one that encourages kids to be themselves and to play when they're there.   And the gift wrapping!  I have to admit I was scared that I would never be able to gift wrap as well as Paula and the other staff but with some hard work and many wrong-sized pieces of wrapping paper and ribbon wasted, I can now proudly say that I love handing a customer something we've wrapped and seeing their appreciative face!  

Fast forward a few December of 2014 my family decided we wanted to move to Roanoke so that our daughter could attend the Community School.  When I told Paula our plans she jokingly(?) asked if I'd like to be a toylady in Roanoke.  I laughed her question off until I couldn't get the idea out of my head.  In January I informed the Bolte's that they may have been joking but that if they weren't, I would definitely consider.  We decided that if it was meant to be, it would all work out and it has!  

So soon, very soon, we will be opening the doors of Imagination Station to all of you and we will grow this little store together!  

Storytime in Blacksburg!