This isn’t easy for me to write but I want to say something about it. This Christmas will be my last in the toy shop. For the past nine years I’ve been ‘the toy shop guy’ and I wanted to say thank you to all of the people who have made it such an amazing experience.
I’ve already written about the strangely slow process in which kids grow out of toys and then disappear from the shop but at the time of writing I never would have thought that I would be moving on too. I’ve been given an amazing opportunity to do something that will be a huge challenge but which I expect will also be extremely rewarding. However, the toy shop will always be something very dear to me.
Who wouldn’t love the chance to test-drive toys and play games for a living? I’ve enjoyed nine years doing a job that, as a kid, I would have gone crazy for. During that time I even had two kids of my own who have let me see toys through new eyes and who taught me more about the simple joy of play than I could have expected. I know they’re going to miss having their dad working in a toy shop too.
Being a “toy shop guy” is a job with a very transient clientele; every year our customer base shifts as children grow up just that little bit more. There’s something sorrowful, yet wonderful, inherent in watching kids grow up. Obviously as a parent I experience that every day with the little people in my house who are steadily getting less and less little. However, I feel honoured that I’ve also had the chance to share that a little bit with our customers.
I can’t list everyone I’m going to miss here because there are so many. To the parents and grandparents reading this I just want to thank you for the stories and the laughs we’ve had over the years as the children accompanying you grew with each visit. If it weren’t for all of you I would have just been some guy moving boxes around all day. You made my work in the shop what it was and for that I want to thank all of you.
You have also been amazingly supportive towards my series of children’s books. I can’t imagine a situation where getting a story out into the world would have been such a pleasant experience. Jack Reusen and the Fey Flame was my first proper jump into the world of writing and I wouldn’t have enjoyed anything close to the response I got if it wasn’t for you all.
For almost a decade I’ve made toys my life, I did everything I could to understand the ways that different types of play can help children develop their skills and talents, and more importantly learn things about who they are. I’ve always prided myself on the fact that I would be able to find something to fit a child’s needs. This is part of what’s involved in being part of the amazing team at Fun Junction.
To be honest the most important thing about Fun Junction‘s staff has always been that we’re kind of big kids at heart, we love our toys, we’ve played with most of them, and we want to make sure we get the very best products around, so that we can be sure that we have something for everyone. You can’t go wrong in getting a toy at Fun Junction.
I was so happy to hear that I would be getting the chance to enjoy one last Christmas at the shop. It is honestly the best part of the entire year; not because of sales or footfall, but because of the magic of Santa lists, siblings secretly picking out presents for each other, and of course the odd flying visit as some of the bigger presents are picked up by the big guy before the big day ;) I would have been devastated to have missed all this.
My last official day as John the toy shop guy will be on the 31st December (Hogmanay). It’s normally one of the quietest days of the year (and we normally close at about 4pm because of that) but I’d love it if you could pop by for a quick wee visit if you’re about (I’ll pop the kettle on). Again, thank you all for an amazing nine years, I really will miss all of this, it’s going to be very strange not spending my days in the toy shop. Hope Santa is good to you all, Merry Christmas, all the best, John the Toy Shop Guy.