Toys. Sweets. Toys. Character Appearances. Toys. Face Painting. Toys. Candy and Slushies. Toys. Magic Shows… Did I mention Toys ?
Think of the coolest, most awesome VIP Grand Opening you’ve ever been to or ever wanted to go to; Toy Kingdom Sandton City’s Grand Opening definitely would top that !
Friday, 30th October 2015 the time, 4pm. We stood on the red carpet and waited for the Sandton City labels to be peeled off from the glass windows and the doors of the new Toy Kingdom store to be opened. A Princess complete with a crown and a winning smile showered us with green balloons and a brochure of the opening specials. A “toadally charming” life-sized Frog greeted us amidst his dancing and ‘wooing’ of the Princess. The Toymaster, dressed in a royal blue suit and hat, entertained us with a magic show and Barbie , who looked glamourous in a pink frilly dress graced us with her presence.
The drums started rolling, literally, three guys with drums started beating them and the sound resonated throughout the lower level of Sandton City. On-lookers walking in and out of the centre or shoppers in the other stores came out to see what was going on. The kids in the line were getting excited and chanted “open the doors, open the doors”. The parents were dancing to beat of the drums (myself included) and the crowd was getting bigger. Flashes went off from all directions, snaps from inside and outside of the store. The final touches were almost done and we were all eagerly awaiting the opening of the doors.
Once the doors opened, I imagined a scene of shoving and running in wildly to find toys from kids and adults alike, but everyone was decent, civilised and treated like royalty. We entered, took photos with an humble King who handed us our Goodie Bag as well as a Gift Card and made our way inside to view all the fun products on offer.
There were face painting, juggling acts by a man in stilts and a man who happily created balloon animals for all the children. A tree house set up with tunnels under and around for children to explore and little tables with lego and colouring books to keep them quiet and entertained.
I explored the entire store with my son and let him pick out the things he liked while my husband surveyed the event and took photographs. After awhile on baby duty, I spotted the Candy Table, so I switched duties with my hubby and made a beeline for the sweets. I'm not usually a candy loving person but I can not even explain the amount of sweets and chocolates there were and I felt the need to taste each one of them! In my defence, the table also held slushies and I was quite thirsty!
Eventually, our little munchkin was showing signs of exhaustion so it was time to choose what we thought appropriate for him to buy with our newly acquired gift card and check out. The cashier was so excited at our savings, first with the loyalty card which had money already in it as well as the voucher we received, it was as if he couldn't even contain himself ! Clearly they love their job.
This is by far the most organised Grand Opening I have ever been invited to, especially considering there were children as well. The characters each came out timeously to entertain the families who were waiting in the queue. The timing of the event was also well thought of and planned with children in mind. The event began at 4pm and was scheduled to end at 6pm which means one can arrive after school and it's before bed time so we don't have over-exhausted kids bumping into things and trying to keep themselves awake just because we're out of the house. We managed to have a good time (our son included) and we also managed to get home in time for him to have a good nights sleep. Now, I'm not sure about other parents, but for me, that is definitely an enjoyable experience.