Business

Toy Story: New Oak Harbor shop is kids' wonderland

"Shari and Devin Ossman have spent the last two years dreaming of a place that captures the magic and wonder of childhood.This week they worked around the clock, putting the finishing touches on a new shop in Oak Harbor where the Ossmans hope to do just that.The Freeland couple researched toys from around the world in order to create a truly unique toy store filled with the kinds of fun, adorable and odd things that will make kids' eyes light up as they walk in the door.The Ossmans are opening the door to their new Pioneer Way toy store - Truly Magic Toys - in a very grand way today, Saturday, Sept. 2. The opening event, which runs from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., will include Deano the Clown, free refreshments, free toys, live music and drawings for prizes, including a grand prize worth $100.The idea behind the business, the Ossmans said, is to fill an empty niche on North Whidbey by offering the type of toys that aren't available at stores like Wal-Mart or Kmart.While they stock just a few toys appropriate for infants, Shari Ossman said the store has toys that will interest the young of heart of all ages.There's a jungle of stuffed animals and handmade speciality toys from toy-makers in Europe. There's enough dolls to fill a house, including paper, collectible and Waldorf-approved dolls. There's miniature clothing, tiny tea sets and even a nice wooden doll house to keep the dolls happy.On the other side of the store is a small glow-in-the-dark room, Shari explains, complete with all sorts of things that glow - from nail polish and beads to glow goo. Children can go inside the darkened room to try out their glow.Kids who are going trick-or-treating or just like to dress up can find capes, gowns, tutus or fluffy boas.There's also a lot of toys that Shari calls educational or science-related. Some future astronauts are bound to be delighted by a shelf of space stuff. Budding naturalists might like the nature nets.Then there's books, wood toys, games, puppets, jumping balls and puzzles galore.Some of the stuff is just kind of weird. Bendos are interesting action-type figures - there's a knight, an insect from outerspace and a cowboy - that can bend into unnatural positions.In the back is an activity room where kids can roll up their sleeves and do some serious playing.Shari said she wants the store to be a fun place where families will come to do more than just shopping. She plans on having things like book readings, puppet shows and other events.We have lots of ideas about things to do, she said.For the Ossmans, the store is a dream come true for a couple of self-described diehard toy lovers who don't quite want to grow up all the way. They both still have a closet full of toys from their own childhood.I knew Devin was my soul mate when I found out he has the same Lite Brite that I have, she said.You can reach News-Times reporter Jessie Stensland at jstensland@whidbeynewstimes.com or call 675-6611. "

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