Tree Top Toys features old-fashioned toys that spark imagination

Summer's hit movie "Toy Story 3" was a bit of a tear-jerker, brilliantly capturing themes of how quickly children grow up and lose interest in imaginative play.

Downtown Redmond's Tree Top Toys owner Blanche Snipes and her staff specialize in friendly customer service and 'hands-on

Downtown Redmond's Tree Top Toys owner Blanche Snipes and her staff specialize in friendly customer service and 'hands-on

Summer’s hit movie “Toy Story 3” was a bit of a tear-jerker, brilliantly capturing themes of how quickly children grow up and lose interest in imaginative play.

Grown-ups who pine for the sweet, old-fashioned toys of their youth, as well as those who want their kids or grandkids to experience those kinds of toys won’t be disappointed by a trip to Tree Top Toys in downtown Redmond.

Owner Blanche Snipes has been in the toy business 26 years, including 17 years at 15752 Redmond Way. As a proud member of ASTRA (American Specialty Toy Retailing Association), she and her Tree Top Toys staff will participate in the very first National Toy Store Day on Nov. 13.

“ASTRA has about 1,000 members and this is the first time for this event, to highlight quality toys and outstanding customer service,” Snipes explained. “Every year, ASTRA has a best toys list, but this year, the list will be announced on the day of the event.”

Snipes noted, “If people only support big-box toy stores, they will lose these choices. The primary thing here is great customer service. All of the staff knows all the products. We play all the games, know what we’re selling. In this economy, a real resurgence is people playing games at home. Technology and big-box stores have their place, but we want to provide hands-on, quality, safe toys that you don’t see everywhere else. These are toys that educate, stimulate and are just plain fun.”

Unlike big-box chain stores that pull some products off the shelves when they’re “not in season,” Tree Top Toys sells outdoor toys all-year-round to encourage kids to be physically active and develop large motor skills.

Tree Top Toys sells the Bruder line of toy cars and trucks that are extremely sturdy and made from light-weight materials so they won’t damage floors, furniture or small feet.

The shop has the biggest selection of Playmobil toys in the state, as well as large numbers of Lego, Erector and ZOOB sets.

There are bath tub toys, toy musical instruments, the Breyer line of collectible horse figures, board games, puzzles, science kits and beading and weaving kits.

When’s the last time you saw yarn lacing cards in a store? Tree Top Toys has them, as well as adorable “dress-up” clothes to let little ones step into their fantasy worlds.

“It’s sad to see kids who don’t know how to play with a toy that doesn’t ‘do something.’ Imagination is such a big part of life. Without imagination, there is no innovation. When I see children using their imagination, it makes my heart sing,” Snipes said.

While certain classic toys will always be in stock, Tree Top Toys got lots of new products in October, leading up to the holidays.

“Most things here are not seen or advertised on TV,” Snipes remarked. “And all year long, we wrap for birthdays. People are so busy, a lot of them are 15 minutes out from going to a party. They can stop in, get what they need, have it wrapped and be on their way.”

For more information about Tree Top Toys, call (425) 869-9713, e-mail or visit

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