DETROIT (WWJ) – A Detroit man is hoping to bring a little magic back to downtown.
Spielhaus Toys, located on Woodward Avenue near Campus Martius, will be open through Christmas Eve, offering local families the chance to buy popular toys from years past. The whole thing is the brain child of stay-at-home dad Kurt Spieles, who said the store will feature nostalgic toys, with an eye to keeping away from what the big box stores sell.
“We have Slinky and the Slinky Dog, we’re going to have Etch-a-Sketch, Silly Putty, Super Balls and just a lot of fun things that, you know, are low priced,” he said. “We’re going to have puppets, plenty of puppets, we have marble mazes, we have circuit kits, and we’re going to have dolls houses and cars and trucks for the toddlers to play with.”
Spieles told WWJ’s Sandra McNeill he remembers visiting Hudson’s at Christmas-time as a kid — and sees a need for a place for Detroit families to shop today.
I reminisce about Hudsons because I was about 8- or 9-years-old when it closed, and we came down every year to shop,” he said. “There are plenty of Detroit families living not just downtown and in midtown but in some of the other neighborhoods nearby.”
As part of the D:hive Detroit Pilot project, Spieles gets free rent and utilities for two months to open his pop-up toy shop, which also includes a spot for kids to play with new toys. It’s an opportunity for Spieles to test his brick-and-mortar potential in a prime location downtown.
“One of the things that I’m trying to do is locate as many local toymakers as I can, like some who make wooden blocks and wooden toys and a woman who makes dollhouses and little peg dolls,” he said.
Spieles said he hopes to one day have a permanent location for Spielhaus Toys in Detroit.
The public is invited to Grand Opening party Friday 5 to 8 p.m. After that, the store will be open 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday.
For more information, visit Spielhaus Toys on Facebook.