Welcome to Royal Oak, Toyology! The local toy store is expanding – and just in time for the holidays.
"Our mission is metro Detroit," says co-owner Aric Klar, 25, of building out the business, which he owns with mom Nori and brother Jon.
Toyology first opened at Orchard Mall in West Bloomfield in 2011. The Klars knew retail, since the family ran Warren Prescriptions in Farmington Hills for decades, and the boys had a passion for toys (it all started with Beanie Babies).
Aric says Toyology works with specialty manufacturers to pick a variety of toys for a range of ages, always "trying to find new, updated and innovative products that will help the kids grow through play" – though you'll find popular hot toys here, too. He likes to stock items without instructions.
"Kids can just pop (it) out of the box and use their imagination to play." Another unique offering: Parents can get toys for kids with special needs. Learning delays? "We're going to find the tool to help that problem get resolved in the toy store."
They're all about putting smiles on kids' faces, Aric emphasizes.
"We're looking to grow with the kid, (age) 0 to adult – and (when) he's having kids or she's having kids."
Special Needs Toy Picks
Know a child, tween or teen with special needs? Aric suggests these toys you'll find at Toyology.
Squigz. These are great tactile toys. Suction-cup fun from Fat Brain Toy Co. that lets kids stack and build. Ages 3-plus. $24.99-$49.99.
WOW Toys Cars. Different cars featuring a friction-powered motor, meaning no batteries needed. Interactive. Ages 1.5-plus. $9-$60.
Crazy Aaron's Thinking Putty. Comes in different colors; some can change colors, others are magnetic – plus more. Ages 3-plus. $3-$15.