In early November owners Tricia and Hans Masing, who started the original Tree Town Toys in Traver Village in 2006, opened a second location in Briarwood’s Sears wing.
Briarwood doesn’t attract many mom-and-pop shops; the rent is steep, and the big chains outadvertise the locals. But the Masings are big on Briarwood—before they opted for the Plymouth Road location, they considered opening their first store there. “We see a lot of strollers there and we see a lot of moms and we’ve seen a lot of kids,” Tricia says, “and we haven’t seen a good toy store there for many years.”
The Briarwood space is a bit smaller than what they have on Plymouth Road, but they’ll carry the same product lines, including Haba wooden toys from Germany, Rokenbok construction toys, and Plan Toys, which are made from the wood of no-longer-productive rubber trees. “We basically have to be a bit more selective about what goes in the space,” Tricia says. “We’re picking the best of what we have in the current store.”
Through Dragonfly Depot, a subsidiary business they started earlier this year, she and Hans fulfill online orders for other mom-and-pop toy stores around the country, giving those stores an Internet presence. The Masings also maintain an online store of their own that predates both of their brick-and-mortar stores: brainstationtoys.com launched in 2004.
Tree Town Toys, Briarwood (near Sears), 929–6545. Mon.–Sat. 10 a.m.–9 p.m., Sun. 11 a.m.–6 p.m. treetowntoys.com
[Originally published in December, 2008.]
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