Funky Planet Toys & Gifts, Illinois Toy Store in Downtown Alton
Funky Planet Toys & Gifts is an Independent Toy Store in Downtown Alton, Illinois. We carry fun stuff for the young & young at heart. 

What's new in January 2022?

Not a whole lot yet, so this will be a short post.

Like many, I was hoping that we were through the worst of the shipping issues and materials shortages, but it's still been very difficult. Quite a few of our favorite companies aren't taking orders until March. In addition, Sage and I will be out of state from the 17th to the 24th, so I had to put ship dates for the end of the month for what purchases we could make.

But, we plan on quadrupling our selection of Usborne books and doubling our board game section. We also hope to greatly expand our arts and crafts section. Ever since Karen's Crafts closed, Alton hasn't had a store dedicated to Arts and Crafts. We're going to try to fill this gap as much as we can.

We do have two new games on display, and they're both really really fun.

The first is Super Stadium Baseball. This extremely detailed game pits two players against each other. The fielding team can arrange each of their fielding players in different configurations. Pitching also has a lot of depth, in the form two levers that enable the player to make a variety of pitches (curve balls, fast balls, slow balls, etc.) For expert play there's also the "Miracle Pitch", where a ramp opens up underneath the batter. All the batter can do against these pitches is quickly decide not to bat and get a "Ball".

The batter has to use quick reflexes to decide if a pitch is hittable or will be a "Ball". They can also choose their batting angle, and if they want to swing righty or lefty. It's been a huge hit with the kids, and during this slower post-holiday season I've had a lot of fun being player two.

The second is Crokinole, a Canadian and upper-Midwest classic. It's sort of a mix of billiards and shuffleboard. Two players or teams take turns trying to get their pucks in the center to score as much as possible. The twist is, a player must bounce one of their pucks off of an opponent's, or their disk is taken off the board and scored as a big zero. The boards we carry our made in Canada, and are super quality. There's also a checkerboard printed on the backside of the board, so you get two games in one.


That's about it! Keep up with us on Facebook/Instagram or check back here next month. The next couple of months will be exciting ones.

~David

What's New in December 2021?

Black Friday and Small Business Saturday came and went. What crazy days! Thank you so much to everybody from the surrounding communities who did their Christmas shopping with us. I think we'll be able to stick around for a while.

Well, we have A TON of new items. I don't want to take pictures of all of them (all of the new fidgets will probably be gone before the end of the month) but here are a couple of pictures.


We now have Placemats! Styles include US Map, Solar System, Flags, Dogs, and Cats
We also got transformable wacky track fidget spinners. Bend 'em, Stack 'em, Spin 'em

 
Assemblesaurus Dinosaurs are fun and easy building toys
PicassoTiles Magna Tiles are compatible with Legos, and enable builders to create cool 3D structures

 
It's a Pop-It, it's a purse, it's a Pop-It purse
A Shiba-Inu dressed as a Reindeer

If dinosaurs aren't your thing, we also have take apart trucks
We also have awesomely accurate rubber band guns made in the USA

In other news, we now have Freeway as our arcade game of the month. So far it's been a hit! The goal is to guide your chicken across a dangerous interstate highway. Way back in the day if you got 20+ points on Level 3, you could take a picture of your television screen, send the photo to Activision, and they would send you this "Save the Chicken Foundation" iron-on patch.


We don't have any patches to give out, but if you film yourself getting 34 points or higher on Level 3, you can break the world record.

Lastly, as you could have guessed, we'll be closed on Christmas. We will however be open on both Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve (closing time pending). We've got a few plans for expansion in the New Year, but we want to see how much damage tax season does to us first, so stay tuned! 

Happy Holidays and Happy New Year!

~David

What's New in November 2021?

 Halloween came and went, and with that, our first Alton Halloween Parade. The floats were super impressive! We never had any Halloween parades in Minnesota, probably because it was so freakin' cold by Halloween.

I've said it to a million people a million times now, but what a weird year to open a toy store...

  • We're still waiting on items we ordered back in April.
  • Many times when we place an order, we only receive 33% of it.
  • Some of our companies stopped taking orders at the beginning of October, and won't resume until February 2022.
Despite all of that, our shelves are still stocked. We go through over 100 different companies, and have access to 100 more, so we should have no problem keeping the store full. But, I strongly recommend people take care of their holiday shopping as soon as possible (be it at our store or anywhere else). It's gonna be a crazy season. All right, here's what's new...

First off, we've got our "Letters to Santa" Gift Registry. Kids go around the store and write down whatever toys they want for Christmas in the book. Then parents, grandparents, and the big man himself can come in later and purchase items from the wish list. In the event a kid writes down an item that we know will be out of stock before Christmas, we'll let their parents/grandparent know.


Second, there are new toys in The Playcade! We're now featuring...

Zolo Blanko and Kwik Stix! Zolo is a bunch of quirky, high-quality plastic shapes that you can stick together to make zany creatures. Commercials were on TV all of the time when I was a kid. I begged and begged for them for Christmas and my parents got them for me. I was not disappointed! My Mom still has them to this day, and they're still a hit with my younger cousins. We carry some of the ones I had as a kid, but the Zolo Blanko are cool because you can draw and paint on them. So, we're also showcasing them with Metallic Kwik Stix, which are awesome, no-mess, washable, paint sticks.


Coilz! Cool springs with a cute design on the top. If you bounce them just right they make a cool sizzling sound. There are a bunch of ways to play with Coilz. At the Playcade you can practice bouncing them into a cup. Or you could play a game of H.O.R.S.E against a friend.


Zoob BuilderZ! An awesome creative building toy. Snap pieces together and move them at the ball-joints. There's not much contrast in this picture, but Sage made a technicolor rooster.


I tried putting an old Drag Racing game (one of my favorites) in the arcade machine, but, to put it lightly, everyone hated it! So now, Outlaw is the game of the month. Two cowpokes face off against each other bouncing their bullets along walls and around cactuses and stage coaches. It's a lot of fun.


Brain Flakes and Daruma Otoshi are still in the Playcades, and the Big Plus Plus are still on display in the creative building set section.

Lastly, we're now carrying cute ceramics by Alton-based artist Jean Curvey! The assortment includes a bunch of cute animals, a melting ice cream cone, snowmen, sea turtles, and a few baby's first Christmas ornaments. At the time of writing this, the Redbird and the Bunny were already both sold.


We're stocking a whole bunch of new items. Puzzles, wooden train tracks, and cute animal miniatures to name a few. The extremely popular marble run that we quickly sold out of will be back in stock and back on display by the beginning of next week. Many more new items will be rolling in throughout the month too. Hope to see you soon!

~David

What's New in October 2021?

Well, this blog is new! You can only say so much on social media, so a blog will enable us to go into more detail. I could fill a book with all of the things that have happened since we opened in July, but I'm going to keep these entries to what's new.

First off, we've introduced the Birthday Bucket! It's kind of like a gift registry, but your kid gets to do all of the shopping. Bring in your birthday child two weeks before their party to fill up the bucket with everything they want. Then your party guests pick out gifts from the bucket to purchase. We offer 10% off every item that fits into the Birthday Bucket, we give the kid a $5 Funky Planet Toys & Gifts gift certificate, and we put all of the gifts in colorful gift bags free of charge.


Second, we now carry yarn and yarn accessories! Other than a very small and sad selection at Wal-Mart, there was no where in the area to buy yarn. The brand we're carrying is Cascade Yarns, who carry some of the nicest and brightest colors of yarn we've seen. Also, Sage will be starting a beginners knitting course starting on October 6th. The class will run once a week for four weeks for about 50 minutes per session. You'll learn knit and stitch techniques, embroidery, and by the end, you'll be able to make something yourself. Hopefully more advanced classes can be offered in the future.


Third, we started carrying Tic-Tac-Match by Alton-based Way Funner GamesThe game is a card-based adaptation of Tic-Tac-Toe that adds way more fun and strategy with action cards and color matching. Sage and I have played it many times, and it's a lot of fun.


Those are the biggest announcements for the month. Backorders that we made in April are still trickling in, so there's always something new in store. We're also constantly trying to keep up with the Fidgets craze, so you can be sure that we'll have some new crazy fidget toys in stock.

~David