Checking In With...toy Boat Toy Boat Toy Boat:

Classics still a big hit

December 04, 2008|By Matt Brown and Jennifer Frehn

Most people feel this is the most wonderful time of the year, but it can often be a pain for those trying to find something fun and unique for their little munchkins. So we thought we could help out by checking in with Lori and Mike Curtin, owners of Toy Boat Toy Boat Toy Boat in Newport Beach, to see what might appear under the tree.

Tell us about how Toy Boat began.

Toy Boat has been a local toy store for more than 15 years. In the last seven years we have grown from one to four locations throughout Newport Beach. We feel very fortunate to have the local community support us in each area of town. Our crew members give personalized customer service that takes the guess work out of buying just the right toy.

Tell us about that name, Toy Boat Toy Boat Toy Boat.

It is a fun tongue twister name (go on...try to say it three times fast). It’s so much fun to hear kids and adults try to say it.


What was one of your favorite toys growing up?

Lori: That’s a tough question. Mike and I grew up in the toy business. Both of our fathers spent their entire careers in the toy industry. As kids growing up, we always had first pick of the newest toys. I spent hours playing with my Barbie Dolls. I also had a large collection of Breyer Horses.

Mike: I really enjoyed the Hop Ball bouncing all around the house and into the backyard.

What seem to be the popular toys this year?

EzyRoller, PlasmaCar and Kettler Trikes are our most popular ride-on toys. Thomas the Tank Engine Wooden Railroad, Playmobil and Darda Race Sets for boys. Barbie Dolls, Sticky Mosaic Calico Critters and the Corolle Doll Collection for girls. Ugly Dolls have been really fun and popular too!

What is it that makes some of the classic toys still popular items despite the existence of video games and iPods?

Classic toys are always popular because the whole family gets to participate and reminisce about their own childhood experiences with those toys or games. They allow the child to be creative, spontaneous and expressive within their own individuality.

Considering the state of the economy, are you stocking up on lower-priced items or offering special discounts?

Toy Boat has always offered a wide range of items at various price points for every age category. One of the special things about Toy Boat is the large selection of lower-priced items that can be purchased individually or grouped for birthday party bags.

Silly Putty, high bounce balls, and mini parachute men are most popular. At certain times throughout the year, we offer promotions within a certain brand. Right now we’re offering specials with the Thomas the Tank Engine Wooden Railroad and the Allyson Wonderland Bear and book from our newest vendor, Wonderland Bakery Collection.

Are there any charity opportunities that the store is involved in?

We continue to participate in the Spirit Run at Fashion Island in the spring, which supports local elementary schools. We also participated in the OC Barons Ball, which supports the American Cancer Society. Our “Tower of Toys” was auctioned to the highest bidder, and all of the toys were then donated to CHOC. Every year at the Corona del Mar Christmas Walk, Toy Boat gives a 10% discount on any toy purchased benefiting Toys For Tots.

To reach Toy Boat Toy Boat Toy Boat, call (949) 729-9800 or visit

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