Rather, the small family store located along Route 10 offers the classic toys that have been enchanting children for generations.
There are new things, hot trends like the tiny rainbow rubber bands of the bracelet-making craze, Stuffies and the spirograph of Gen-Xers childhood that has now returned to fashion. The store eschews the beeping, flashing electronic gadgets of parents nightmares and you won’t find any Brats dolls or video games there.
Each toy is thoughtfully hand selected by Deb Neckers, who runs the store her father opened in 1948, and Kathy Caron, the store’s buyer.
Caron has nine grandchildren who help her stay informed about what toys are popular and help with product testing.
“We always get the regular stock and when we see something new and it’s awesome we add it,” Caron said, adding that crafts for both boys and girls tend to be very popular.
“I make the craft kits and put samples of them over in the area. I can tell if the kits are good or not, if they’re too hard and the quality of them."
The store is separated into different areas divided by age and type of toy, from babies to toddlers, school age and up and by gender.
A little girls’ section is stocked with a diverse wardrobe of dress-up clothes, tea sets, dolls, cash registers and everything necessary to set up house. A boys’ area downstairs runs the gamut of great classic toys, from trains, model kits, Nerf guns, building materials, trucks, spy gear, costumes and even marshmallow shooters. There are separate sections for art supplies, musical instruments, board games, puzzles (some with large pieces for adults) and of course, sleds of all shapes outside.
“We have a lot of stuff crammed into this little store,” Necker said. “Our goal is to help people shop, too. People choose us because they want some advice, a store they can handle and people who will help them carry their packages to the car, too.”
Martha, who said she regularly shops for her grandchildren at Neckers, was just such a customer seeking advice.
“They have all kinds of stuff and they do help you. I didn’t know what to get for a 12-year-old… I saw a few things online I was going to order but I wanted to come here to see it and get their advice.”
Neckers said she enjoys catering to the store’s regular customers.
“We have great customers. They come in, joke around and they wait in line and they don’t care because they’re talking to everyone. I’m very fortunate to work here,” Caron said.
Neckers is at 1591 Hopmeadow St., Simsbury. It's open Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m., Thursday 9:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. and Sunday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.