When David Schylling decided to delve into the retail end of the toy business, it wasn’t without a bit of trepidation. With more than 30 years spent as the chief executive of Schylling Toys with his two brothers, Jack and Tom, did he really want to get into the daily responsibilities of shop ownership?
Well, it turned out the timing was right, and with the success of the Ipswich-based Fun Among Us, the popular little toy shop that had been carrying Schylling products for more than 17 years, the next step seemed logical: the Green Elephant in Ipswich, and now opening: the Green Elephant in Danvers.
When Schilling saw an available store-front on Elm Street on the historic Fossa block, he saw an opportunity to bring a community toy store to the neighborhood.
“As we have in our Ipswich Green Elephant, we'll have lots of fun community events for kids: puppet shows, face painting, readings and lego club. My nephew Andy Schylling and his fiance Jennifer Lamontagne will be running it, and I’ll help them along. It’ll be their thing, but I’ll be the man behind the curtain,” he said.
What makes Green Elephant special? Schylling said it is the store's unique, timeless toys, commitment to the community at large, free gift wrapping, and "so much more."
“We are the premier place for birthday parties in Ipswich, and we’ll do that in Danvers,” says Schylling. “We ship products, we match prices with local retailers and even accept their coupons for products we have in stock. We have a customer rewards program, so every $100 you spend, you get a 10 percent off coupon, and purchases are tracked, so customers never need a receipt for returns because they’re in our system, so it's very friendly-and gift cards are available.”
According to Schylling, the main objective set forth in 1977 when his brother Jack founded the company, is the commitment to finding the latest and greatest, with a nod to nostalgia.
In an open letter on the Schylling toys website, Jack Schylling stated: “When toys are great, they are much more than just fun. They can take you on an adventure. They can teach you about new things. They can bring friends together. A great toy makes memories that can stay with you the rest of your life.”
With more than 30 years in the business, and 450 different toy companies represented, Schilling Toys is represented in 27 countries worldwide. David Schylling scours cities from New York to as far away as Nuremberg, Hong Kong and London for the most unique collection of childrens toys and collectibles.
“There are toys here that are timeless," he said. "Because we're baby boomers, we tend toward all the classics: frisbees and etch-a-sketches. We have the largest sock monkey on the market, and even the largest rubber ducky. We try to stay true to the fundamental tools for learning to develop those bright imaginations."
Of course there is a huge selection of modern toys with three bays of Star Wars Lego construction kits, baby dolls, Klutz crafting books and Gund plush baby toys as well.
Green Elephant will open it’s doors on Sept. 1, with a special grand opening event to take place on Sept. 9, including door prizes and free give-aways.