Boomers & Beyond: Toy Guy dabbles in melted steel
Sharing time between toy dealing and blacksmithing
Do you know Mike the Toy Guy? Well, maybe you think you do. Dixie thought she did, but she didn't know everything!
Mike Allen has been helping Santa, parents, grandparents, and boys and girls pick out the perfect toys and games for over 18 years in the valley. What’s behind this man who talks like a duck and charms us all with his unique toy store?
“I love to help people find the right toy for the right occasion for the right child," said Allen.
His kind of toy store survives over the years, even during changing and challenging times, in part because he says that he deals in educational toys that keep the mind working. He has also seen generations of customers who keep coming back.
“I’ve seen an awful lot of kids grow up. I’ve had the experience of customers bringing in their children and saying, ‘this was the best toy store when I was growing up and I wanted to bring my kids, my son, my daughter to the best toy store’,” Allen said.
So will the toy guy ever retire?
“Boy, you know I’m going to be here as long as I can stand up and handle Christmas. I love running a toy store!”
That’s not all he does. He’s making another passion come true.
“I’ve been doing this since about 2005, about seven years," said Allen as we talked to him at his forge. His passion is blacksmithing. "I started in a gravel driveway with my grandfather’s old anvil.”
So is this new passion an escape from the toy business and the craziness of the holidays?
“I’m not sure I’d use the word ‘escape’ from the toy store. I love the toy store. I really don’t have the need to escape. I find it a nice break. This exercises a different part of me than what the toy store does. I get to be creative here. I get to be physical here and blacksmithing still is a very physical activity.”
And now words of wisdom from Mike…
“Get out and to it. Go for it! I mean… we’re certainly not getting any younger. There’s no reason not to do what you think you may truly love.”
You can’t help but get the Christmas spirit when you visit the Toy Guy who has the answers for those made to fit toys. Now you know how it works. Get an idea, toy with it a bit and then forge ahead like Mike the Toy Guy!
Toys For The Fun Of It is located at 519 Main Street in Downtown grand Junction. The phone number is 248-3511. You can also find Toys For The Fun Of It on Facebook here: https://www.facebook.com/toysforthefunofit