Seriously though, I went to their website and checked them out, because yes, free toys are awesome, but if I'm going to review a company or store for you, my awesome readers, I want to make sure that they are worthy!
I imagine that my requirements for an online toy store aren't much different than any of yours. I want to know that they offer educational toys, that they have competitive pricing, and that I can trust them to be responsive to me if I have questions or problems. Its a big bonus if they offer some sort of rating and/or review of the toy. And do I even need to mention free shipping and special deals?
Growing Tree Toys is located in State College, PA and their "brick and mortar" store has been there for over 30 years. They opened GrowingTreeToys.com in 2003. While not exactly "local" to me, they are in Pennsylvania and only a couple hours away. They are also not a huge company (you know the stores I'm talking about) and are able to promise you personal attention.
They even have a Growing Tree Toys Promise, which is to provide their customers with:
- A thoughtful selection of thousands of toys for children of all ages
- 100% safe shopping on our secure website
- An in-stock guarantee - if our site says an item is in stock, and we cannot ship it right away, it’s free!
- Same day shipping for orders placed before 12:00 PM EST
- Easy, hassle-free returns
- 110% superior service – we want to make you happy!
There are two things I want to mention about their website before I show you the toy I'm reviewing. First, they have a gift guide that will help you find a toy by gender, age and price range. I appreciate guidance, especially if I'm looking for something for a child that is not my own. Second, they have a Learning Center where they offer even more information about the toys they sell and their importance to the healthy, happy, and safe development of children. Plus all kinds of other stuff I'm just too tired to write about. You should really check it out yourself!
One more thing I want to mention, they also have a blog which offers even more information, including staff reviews of toys. I appreciate having reviews available, especially if I'm going to be spending more than a couple dollars on a toy. My boys are tough on toys, so I want to know not only are they going to have fun with a toy, but that it is going to last.
Oh wait, just ONE more thing. They also offer a Deal of the Day, where they offer one toy, at a super discount price, until it sells out. You can even sign up to have them email you every day to tell you about the latest deal. I like deals!!
Yikes, can you tell I'm pretty impressed with this store so far? All this and I haven't even shown you what they sent me! And now its past my bedtime so you are going to have to wait until tomorrow for me to tell you about the Dress Up Pirate Toy from Manhattan Toys.
**So I guess I'm supposed to do some kind of official disclosure now to assure ya'll that I'm not being paid to write great things about a company that really isn't so great. So, here is my disclosure. I was contacted and offered a toy to review. I was not given any money. I was only asked to link back to their store. I was not asked to say anything else about the store, I chose to do that all on my own because I like what I see.