Best Toy Store (for Kids) - 2005
The challenge was simple: Give a six-year-old and a three-year-old each $5, enter the toy store and have everyone (adult, kids and store staff) leave happy. It was much harder than it sounds, but LagoonaMagoo did itself proud. Located just off the indoor play place at Mills Mall (very clever location), LagoonaMagoo carries everything you considered fun when you were a kid and then some. A long stretch of toy cars of all makes, models and price ranges gave way to a selection of dolls (baby, dress-up, paper), which yielded to a jungle of animals, both stuffed and plastic miniature. Balls, board games, make-believe sets, magic tricks, honest-to-God novelties (like you used to be able to order from the back of comic books), educational toys and a rack of bins overflowing with colorful and cheap gumball-machine type toys -- all of it shelved so the average adult could reach everything (a nice touch, especially when your charges are desperately pointing and asking to see everything). We briefly discussed pooling our funds to purchase a spy kit but ended up leaving with a family of tiny plastic squirrels, an indoor boomerang and a brace of jousting knights -- and with smiles on all faces.