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BUSINESS
September 8, 2014 | By Diane Mastrull, Inquirer Staff Writer
The news is bad. Bad for the weary, end-of-day Chestnut Hill West commuters who get off the train at Evergreen Avenue and stop by this fanciful place - not necessarily to buy something, but to be someplace fun. Bad for the legions of frazzled parents of birthday-party invitees who have counted on it for a last-minute present and free gift wrap on a Saturday morning. And bad for the guy who drove the hour-and-a-half to it from Jim Thorpe just to buy six pimple balls. O'Doodles toy store, a fixture on Germantown Avenue in Chestnut Hill since 1997, is the bearer of the bad news: It is closing.
NEWS
December 23, 2001 | By Kristen A. Graham INQUIRER SUBURBAN STAFF
Scott Boren's store hasn't changed much in 20 years. The aisles are narrow and so crowded with merchandise that customers and shopping bags often tangle as people pass one another. But Boren's corner shop at Kings Highway and Haddon Avenue is one of the most beloved places in the popular Haddonfield business district. For three generations of customers from South Jersey and beyond, Happy Hippo is the place to buy pink, high-bouncing rubber balls; velvety-soft hand puppets; and any one of five kinds of jack-in-the-boxes.
BUSINESS
September 8, 2014 | By Jeff Gelles, Inquirer Columnist
I'm probably the last person you'd expect to wax nostalgic about the loss of - what to call it? - a shopping opportunity. I work at the edge of a mall, but I rarely set foot in its stores. When my wife eyes quaint shops on vacation, I've got other ideas. Even craft shows full of beautiful objects tend to try my patience. So why do I care about the closing of O'Doodles, the Chestnut Hill toy store about to begin a going-out-of-business sale? Trust me, it's not just the loss of a favored source for kids' toys and gifts, though I'll miss the convenience.
NEWS
April 15, 1999 | By Robert F. O'Neill, INQUIRER SUBURBAN STAFF
Fire apparently caused by electrical wiring gutted a second-floor apartment and damaged a toy store in the business district yesterday but did not spread to other stores because of the quick response of fire companies, an official said. Three firefighters suffered minor injuries battling the blaze at the apartment above T Bumble's toy store at 5 S. Chester Rd. about 8:40 a.m., said Chief Chris Hansen of the Swarthmore Fire Company. The injured volunteers were treated at a nearby hospital.
NEWS
December 27, 2001 | By Lisa B. Samalonis
Consumer confidence seems alive and kicking to me. Don't let anyone try to tell you we're heading for a recession. Believe me, we're not. My evidence is a trip to Toys R Us last week. After being stuck in traffic for 20 minutes waiting to snake our way within 100 feet of the shopping center, my husband and I innocently walked up to the store with the giant giraffe on the front. We grabbed a blue cart and ventured through the electronic doors. A couple that entered about the same time pushed two carts through the entrance - one for each parent.
NEWS
May 22, 2012 | By Michael Hinkelman, Daily News Staff Writer
A 14-YEAR veteran of the Philadelphia Police Department was arrested Monday for allegedly engaging in an ongoing conspiracy to steal from a local toy store, police said. Bridgette Paris, 48, was charged with retail theft, theft by unlawful taking, receiving stolen property, forgery and related offenses, police said. The charges followed an investigation by the department's Internal Affairs Bureau and the Philadelphia District Attorney's Office. Police have not identified the store that Paris allegedly targeted.
NEWS
June 14, 1988 | By BARBARA BECK, Daily News Staff Writer
You know another summer is here when the new fads begin. The Hula-Hoops and Frisbees, the balsa-wood airplanes that you launched with a rubber band all were born in a summer season. This year the big rage may be Skip Sticks. Here's what will happen: three kids will all of a sudden appear at a Philadelphia public school with a new kind of jump rope. They will show it off at recess. After school, the entire sixth grade will run to the nearest toy store. Skip Sticks will quickly sell out, thereby ensuring their place in the Hall of Summer-Fad Fame.
NEWS
July 26, 1993 | By Daniel Rubin, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
It started innocently enough in May with a brief item in the Chestnut Hill Local, but Wagoneers have been circling ever since. "Chestnut Hill will have a new toy store," the article announced, telling how a prime, top-of-the-Hill location - for decades the home of Dorothy Bullitt's dress shop - would be reopening soon as a Kay-Bee Toy and Hobby Shop. Angry letters to the editor ensued. The first came from Carol Dilks, a free-lance writer and mother of two, who wrote: "This is not an inspired or attractive chain of stores - it is mass market, full of high-priced, well- advertised plastic.
NEWS
January 31, 1993 | By Loretta Tofani, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
With sparkling eyes and excited smiles, the Chen family wandered through the hordes of shoppers at Toys & Entertainment, a type of store unimaginable in China until recently. As in a dream, Chen Chang Rao, his wife, Chen Xianze, and their 5-year-old son, Jian, passed the stuffed animals, the puzzles, the bubble-shooting guns, the bicycles and the robots. Chang Rao, an engineer, had had only one toy as a child - a slingshot made from a tree branch. Xianze, a factory worker, said her favorite toy had been dirt: "You can make lots of animals with it. " The family stopped before a counter filled with toy vehicles and highways.
BUSINESS
September 16, 2000 | By Henry J. Holcomb, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Faced with a string of declining earnings and stock prices, Keith C. Spurgeon resigned yesterday as chairman and chief executive of the Zany Brainy Inc. toy store chain. The firm, which is based in King of Prussia, named Thomas G. Vellios, an executive there since 1995, as acting chief executive. He was also elected to the company's board. Richard Zimmerman, an analyst with Janney Montgomery Scott who monitors the firm, said: "The company's profitability and productivity were lagging.
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ARTICLES BY DATE
BUSINESS
September 8, 2014 | By Diane Mastrull, Inquirer Staff Writer
The news is bad. Bad for the weary, end-of-day Chestnut Hill West commuters who get off the train at Evergreen Avenue and stop by this fanciful place - not necessarily to buy something, but to be someplace fun. Bad for the legions of frazzled parents of birthday-party invitees who have counted on it for a last-minute present and free gift wrap on a Saturday morning. And bad for the guy who drove the hour-and-a-half to it from Jim Thorpe just to buy six pimple balls. O'Doodles toy store, a fixture on Germantown Avenue in Chestnut Hill since 1997, is the bearer of the bad news: It is closing.
BUSINESS
September 8, 2014 | By Jeff Gelles, Inquirer Columnist
I'm probably the last person you'd expect to wax nostalgic about the loss of - what to call it? - a shopping opportunity. I work at the edge of a mall, but I rarely set foot in its stores. When my wife eyes quaint shops on vacation, I've got other ideas. Even craft shows full of beautiful objects tend to try my patience. So why do I care about the closing of O'Doodles, the Chestnut Hill toy store about to begin a going-out-of-business sale? Trust me, it's not just the loss of a favored source for kids' toys and gifts, though I'll miss the convenience.
NEWS
March 16, 2014 | By Suzette Parmley, Inquirer Staff Writer
BURLINGTON TWP. As shopping centers age and competitors apply pressure in luring customers, the former Burlington Center will undergo a $230 million makeover to regain a regional foothold. The mall's new owner, Moonbeam Capital Investments of Las Vegas - known for revamping underperforming malls - unveiled plans Thursday to transform the mall to include 1.5 million square feet of retail space and expand to adjacent land along I-295 with a residential component. That land is owned by home builder Peter Hovnanian of Mount Laurel.
BUSINESS
August 26, 2013 | By Jane M. Von Bergen, Inquirer Staff Writer
At Five Below's busy store in the Gallery in Center City, a grad student stocked up on items for her apartment in Camden - a $2 spatula and a $5 daisy-shaped scarf holder topped her pile of purchases. It's back-to-school season, and the discount teen-oriented store was loaded with $5 backpacks in purple, pink, and glitter, Hello Kitty pencil cases and notebooks in every hue. A year ago, on July 19, 2012, the Philadelphia-based company, founded by the creator of Encore Books and Zany Brainy, held a different kind of sale - an initial public offering, selling 11.06 million shares at $17 apiece.
ENTERTAINMENT
January 8, 2013
I'VE HAD many adventures with my 11-year-old daughter, Eve. When she was 1, I clutched my wallet in horror as she uttered the words "Da-da" and "Boom-ingdales" in the same sentence. When she was 2, she talked me into using her pink feather phone to converse with her imaginary boyfriend, Poo Poo. When she was 4, I videotaped her "Lifestyles of the Not Quite Famous" tour while 1-year-old Little Solomon yelled, "Superman!" No matter how weird the situation, no matter how endless the talking, my experiences with my baby girl were always enjoyable.
ENTERTAINMENT
December 19, 2012
EVEN WITH one week left until Christmas, I refuse to panic like those other parents. You know the ones. They're at Toys "R" Us right now, having sneaked out of work to buy little Johnny that Lego set he demanded. I've seen such parents engage their shopping rivals in WWE-style matches. It's the same every time. The toys run out, the coats come off, and a teenage temp with a Justin Bieber face tattoo gets on the P.A. system. "Security to aisle three," she says in a disinterested tone.
NEWS
May 22, 2012 | By Michael Hinkelman, Daily News Staff Writer
A 14-YEAR veteran of the Philadelphia Police Department was arrested Monday for allegedly engaging in an ongoing conspiracy to steal from a local toy store, police said. Bridgette Paris, 48, was charged with retail theft, theft by unlawful taking, receiving stolen property, forgery and related offenses, police said. The charges followed an investigation by the department's Internal Affairs Bureau and the Philadelphia District Attorney's Office. Police have not identified the store that Paris allegedly targeted.
NEWS
December 22, 2011 | By HELEN GYM
WHEN I was a schoolteacher in Olney, a fellow teacher used to regale the staff every September with stories about his travels to Mexico and South and Central America. Relaxing! A journey he'd never forget, he'd crow a little too loudly in staff meetings as he passed around pictures. I still remember the nausea I felt when I opened a national news magazine a few years later to see his face on a story about international child predators. He was serving 10 years in a Mexican prison for soliciting sex from children the same age that he taught at our school.
BUSINESS
December 12, 2011 | By Diane Mastrull, Inquirer Columnist
In Matt Kriebel's world, stuffed microbes are cuddle toys. After all, there's nothing more adorable than a plush salmonella or methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus , also known as MRSA around school gyms and nursing homes. But for endless hours of amusement, Kriebel recommends Buckyballs, a cluster of 125 highly magnetic spheres the size of BBs that can be assembled in as many ways as the mind allows. He also likes the fake butterfly in a jar that appears to take flight (thanks to electronics)
NEWS
November 28, 2011 | By Miriam Hill, Inquirer Staff Writer
Imagine strolling through Chestnut Hill's shopping district, where quaint is the reigning aesthetic, and suddenly seeing a six-story development, including a 20,000-square-foot grocery store, hard up against Germantown Avenue. That is what Richard Snowden, a developer both praised for his dedication to historic renovation and criticized for antagonizing neighbors, wants to build where the long-vacant Magarity Ford stands. Current zoning would not allow that. To help him realize his goal of bringing a Fresh Market store, eight townhouses, plus additional retail and apartments there, Snowden has enlisted departing Councilwoman Donna Reed Miller.
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