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Timeless Toy Treasures
Published: 06/06/2010

The coast offers toy shops that have a sense of nostalgia and promote imagination.

Beach toys are an intrinsic element to beach vacationing for families. Typically these toys are buckets and shovels for creating spectacular sand castles and digging for buried treasure on the shore, or colorful kites that soar above the waves and perform acrobatics in the wind. Of course, toy stores on the coast carry the classic beach toys but many of them offer so much more. The Seaside Carousel Mall is home to Under the Big Top Toys, a toy shop that would make Mister Geppetto himself, proud. While they do carry the traditional buckets and shovels and kites, they also carry engaging, educational and entertaining toys for all ages. These books, games, toys and stuffed animals aren’t your typical big-city mall offerings. Toys and games like Ravensburger puzzles, Folkmanis puppets, Shylling tin toys and Usborne books are prominent features at Under the Big Top. The craftsmanship of these items is evident from their look and feel; made to withstand time as well as a child’s active imagination. "We're big believers in toys that exercise the imagination around here," said Bob Webb, who owns Under the Big Top Toys with his wife, Karin. There are other specialty toy stores located along the coast, as well. Stop in at Purple Cow Toys in Astoria, where they carry a full selection of time-tested, tried and true toys, including a line of hand-made Hula hoops. In Cannon Beach, Voyages Toy Company offers a good collection of seriously fun toys, including building and construction sets and a whole category of toys related to bugs and nature. Also in Cannon Beach, Geppetto's Toy Shoppe places an emphasis on educational toys and games, with offerings from International Playthings, Inc., and Brio. Village Merchants in Pacific City has a children’s section with lots of books, blocks, baby dolls and a collection of the beloved sock monkeys in many sizes. Between Lincoln City and Newport you’ll find another, The Wooden Duck Toy Store in Shops at Salishan in Gleneden Beach. A great board game, books full of adventure, or a puzzle worked on together are your keys to wonderful memories unlocked with these timeless toy treasures. - By Cristine Shade

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