Toy shop owner recognized internationally



Terri Bracken, owner of Earth Explorer Toys, was one of a dozen retailers chosen out of 14,600 by the national online toy trade magazine,  to give unbiased feedback on the new toys and games that were unveiled Feb. 16, at the 111th American International Toy Fair in New York City.

”We chose 12 highly experienced toy-store owners to act as our reporters on the trade-show floor and share their opinions with other retailers via our Twitter page and magazine articles so that unique and inventive toys get out of the booths and into kids’ hands more quickly,” said Alison Marek, director of videography at ”We also want to raise awareness in individual communities about how their specialty toy-store owners fly across the country just to hunt down the next great thing for their customers. That’s really an amazing commitment to finding the best toys out of thousands of possibilities.”

Why did Terri brave the blizzards and crowds in New York, instead of sitting at home and ordering from a catalog?

“We are always looking for new gems that nobody has seen before,” said Bracken. “One of the main reasons I go is to feel and touch and play with the toy and know that I can truly back it as an owner of a store. I’m especially looking for more games. We do a nice business in all kinds of games and are trending to the more gamer games now.”

Sponsored by the Toy Industry Association since 1903, Toy Fair is one of the largest toy trade shows in the world and is the major annual toy event in America. More than 1,000 vendors display dolls, plush, science toys, active toys, games and other inventive products. Approximately 7,000 retail outlets attended the show as buyers.