Jul 28, 2014
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LagoonaMagoo Toys: Popular Toys, When It's Open

The toy store moved from St. Louis Mills to downtown Clayton last October.

LagoonaMagoo Toys: Popular Toys, When It's Open LagoonaMagoo Toys: Popular Toys, When It's Open LagoonaMagoo Toys: Popular Toys, When It's Open LagoonaMagoo Toys: Popular Toys, When It's Open LagoonaMagoo Toys: Popular Toys, When It's Open LagoonaMagoo Toys: Popular Toys, When It's Open LagoonaMagoo Toys: Popular Toys, When It's Open

LagoonaMagoo Toys isn’t your ordinary toy store. Owners Shawnta’ Ray and Rick Harmon encourage hands-on play—even if it means breaking a toy out of the box.

“Some things aren’t as cool in the box as when you take it out,” Harmon said. “It’s funny for us when parents come in with a gaggle of kids and are like, ‘Don’t touch anything!’ We don’t want to undermine them, but we’re like, ‘Well, we want you to touch things.’”

Harmon's wife, Ray, began selling toys in 1995 as a sales clerk. Rick built experience in sales at Once Upon a Toy before the couple took ownership.

You won’t find video games or the latest Barbie doll in the store. LagoonaMagoo specializes in unique toy and game offerings that are based more in the physical world than the virtual one, Harmon said. Products cater from infant to adult.

One of Ray's current favorite products is a cannonball launcher. Harmon demonstrates impressive skill with a Kendama, a Japanese ball and cup game, and recommends the "airzooka," which shoots a puff of air instead of a projectile.

“I think everything should glow in the dark,” he added.

In addition to quirky toys, the couple offers toy consulting for far-flug relatives who are unsure what to purchase for children. 

“There’s not really a formula for what to get for a 7-year-old girl,” Harmon explains.

Instead, Ray says the key is asking the right questions. While some toys will appeal to a general age group, knowing the child and their current play habits allows her to select a more personalized toy.

Building relationships with repeat customers is also important to Ray.

“When you really get to know a customer… you have a little time to build a relationship about what types of things they like to buy for children, and also get to know kids in the store and find out their likes and dislikes.”

Their other stores, currently located in Edwardsville and Fairview Heights, have built up a dedicated customer base. Some former Edwardsville customers have grown up into employees, Harmon said. Ray also sees longtime customers who are now introducing their own children to the stores.

LagoonaMagoo is located at 8107 Maryland Ave. in Clayton. It’s open on Mondays, noon until 6 p.m.; Tuesday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-6 p.m., and Sundays, noon until 5 p.m. They accept cash, checks, Visa, Mastercard and Discover.

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