Our first Store Spotlight feature for this year is on Magic Beans, based out of Brookline, Massachusetts. Magic Beans has a few stores in the area that all carry Gamewright games. In fact, they just celebrated the grand opening of their 5th store in the Prudential Center in Boston this past Saturday by hosting several fun events, including a kazoo flash mob!
Magic Beans is owned by a husband and wife team that envisioned a retail experience designed for kids. I recently had the chance to catch up with one of the owners, Sheri Gurock, who had lots of great things to say about owning a specialty toy and game business.
Why did you decide to open Magic Beans?
I was pregnant with my second child at the time, and spending a good amount of time researching double strollers. Then, the Imaginarium toy store in our neighborhood closed, and I really wanted our community to have a great toy store. I realized that there was an opportunity to create something new, a store that would combine specialty toys and games with baby gear.
Do you plan on continuing to expand and grow to more stores in the future?
We hope so!
What are the challenges of owning a specialty shop?
In this day and age, the internet is a bigger threat to specialty shops than ever before. So we have to make a great case to our customers for why the quality of our selection, our services, the expertise of our staff and our contributions to the community are all important and worth the investment on their part.
What is the most rewarding part?
There are too many to count, but here are two big ones. We are in business to make life easier for parents. We accomplish that by doing a lot of research and product testing to make sure that every product we sell is worth considering. Every time an overwhelmed parent (or parent-to-be) thanks us for helping to navigate these complex purchase decisions, it feels so good. We are also so fortunate to have an incredible team of people working here at Magic Beans, from our stores to our warehouse to our office. It’s incredibly rewarding to be a part of such a creative, hard-working and loyal team.
Magic Beans has a great selection of Gamewright products! What are your best selling Ceaco and Gamewright products? Do you have any personal favorites?
I’m a huge fan of Gamewright, going way back before Magic Beans was a twinkle in my eye. I have a sister who is 16 years younger than me, so when I was in college, I spent my summers playing games like Rat-a-tat Cat and Slamwich. These days, my children are 9, 7 and 3, so we have plenty of opportunities to play Gamewright games. Our favorite right now is probably Order’s Up! (they are obsessed with that bell and they use it for all kinds of games beyond just the one it’s designed for). But we also recently brought Mermaid Beach on a family vacation and we had fun with that too. My oldest daughter is really creative, and doesn’t like competitive games much. So she loves Rory’s Story Cubes. In the stores, our best sellers this holiday were Rory’s Story Cubes, Forbidden Island and Scrambled States of America. Flip Out, a newer game, was also a hit with our customers.
Thanks, Sheri for sharing your insight with us! Magic Beans is a fun store that we encourage our readers from the area to visit. They also have a calendar of events to keep an eye on, you don’t want to miss their next fun event!
To our retailers: If you carry Gamewright games and/or Ceaco puzzles, and would like to be featured on our blog, contact me at pr [at] gamewright [dot] com.
And now for our winner of the Rory’s Story Cubes – Actions contest: Congratulations to Brian W. for coming up with a fun story! Now that Brian has his very own copy, he can roll the dice and finish this cliffhanger….
Carolyn listened carefully to the noises coming from her dollhouse. She carefully pushed back the covers from her bed and tip-toed across her room. Peeking inside the windows, Carolyn saw something quite amazing! Her dolls had come to life! She wanted to yell for her parents to come and watch, but didn’t want to scare the little family.
In the living room was daddy doll, relaxing in his chair, rustling through the newspaper as he read. Baby doll was crying in her crib. Mommy doll was in the kitchen, putting dishes away – lifting the pots and pans high into the cupboard above the fridge. The kitty was in the corner, eating from her bowl. Sister doll was rolling balls down the stairs. Brother doll was trying to catch them.
Carolyn wondered if the family would talk with her. She decided to knock on the front door and introduce herself. What happened next is something that she will never forget…