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JJ Toys bringing new variety to Charles City’s Main Street

JJ Toys bringing new variety to Charles City’s Main Street
Jennifer and John Eggena, with the help of their children Lily, Leroy, Loren, Henry, and Ervin, are building a place for kids of all ages to enjoy at JJ Toys in downtown Charles City. Submitted photo .
By Travis Fischer, [email protected]

A new business is looking to bring more fun to Charles City’s downtown as JJ Toys opens its doors on Main Street.

Owned by John and Jennifer Eggena, the new store hopes to add some diversity to the city’s retail offerings, selling a selection of new toys and collector’s items.

The origins of the store began as Jennifer was looking for a location to move her dog grooming business closer to home. The Eggenas began looking for a space to rent in October of last year and, in early December, found a building that would serve that need and then some.

As lifelong lovers of games and toys, they decided to utilize the additional space in the building to start a toy shop.

“It just worked,” said Jennifer Eggena. “Everything just fell into place perfectly. It was just meant to be.”

While the rear side of the building will accommodate Jennifer’s grooming business, the rest will house a selection of toys and games for all ages.

The store is located at 312 N. Main St. in Charles City, and will be open from 3 to 8 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays.

JJ Toys opened up just ahead of the New Year and has been steadily building itself up since. The store carries a selection of items, from action figures to toy trucks to puzzles and crafts.

The Eggenas have been working on making contact with a variety of vendors to expand their selection of goods. Video games, comic books, board games, and collectable cards are all on the table as future inventory items.

“We’ve pretty much found access to most things,” said John Eggena. “It’s just a matter of figuring out what people in this town are kind of into.”

Further into the store there’s a space for gaming tables, retro video games, and a large stock of Lego sets.

Right now, the store’s selection of Lego sets is made up of Eggena’s personal collection of out-of-manufacture vintage sets, priced for collectors. The Eggenas hope to soon expand their inventory to include a wider selection of newer sets.

Aiming for customers of all ages, the Eggenas plan to stock a range of items that appeal to different demographics, from early childhood development toys to kid’s action figures to collector’s items aimed for the grown-ups.

“We want to be that toy store for ages zero to 99,” said Jennifer. “Every week we’ve been trying to add a little bit more.”

Outside of selling toys, the Eggenas hope to see their store become a place to host activities, setting up special events from card trading gatherings to a Lego building club to costume parties.

The world of retail is still mostly new to the Eggenas, having only done a bit of e-commerce in the past, but they hope to see JJ Toys grow to become a place in the community where kids can hang out and enjoy common interests.

 

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