All to play for after 50 years in business

Fri, Sep 28, 2012, 01:00

THE DILEMMA facing Oscar Forsyth (4) is one that has weighed on the minds of visitors to Nimble Fingers for 50 years: What is his favourite toy among those on the ceiling-high shelves, and therefore the one he gets to take home?

After moving through several Playmobil sets, which he may decide to ask Santa for, Oscar finally lands on a small, brightly coloured toy gun hanging on the wall.

Holding it up in victory he tells his mother Ruth, who has been coming to the toy shop since she was a child: “This is my favourite thing in the shop.”

Oscar, his older sister Mabel (5) and his younger sister Bonnie (nine months) are some of the latest in a long line of children who have filled out Christmas lists at Nimble Fingers over the years. Since opening in 1962, the shop has served as the initial home of first skateboards, well-loved dolls, paint sets and a wide range of quality toys.

While the store’s inventory has changed over the years, customers are still more likely to find vintage toys and board games than a wall of the latest video games and gadgets.

“I think these games that we have here, you have to interact between two people,” says store proprietor Gareth Staunton. “With the machines, you don’t . . . It’s very important that kids who are growing up interact with each other.”

Now in its 50th year, the shop has passed into Staunton’s hands from his father and founder Pat. And Gareth hopes to pass it on to his daughter.

“Business is tougher, of course, when you’re up against bigger competition,” he says. “But I think once you provide the service, the personal touch and the right products, there’s always a place for you.”

Nimble Fingers is holding special events on the last weekend of each month leading up to Christmas and a mini-family festival this weekend. See

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