The owner of popular Top Ten Toys in Seattle's Greenwood neighborhood has decided to retire after 30 years in the business, but fans of the beloved store — and of locally owned businesses — will be relieved to learn that the shop has been purchased by the owners of Snapdoodle Toys, another local retailer.
Snapdoodle Toys, with shops in Kenmore and Redmond, was founded ten years ago by Rob Pickering and his wife, Cherry, and like Top Ten is popular for its large selection of toys, along with events such as workshops, summer camps and birthday parties.
“I’m enthusiastic about the future of retail, especially the toy sector," Pickering said in a news release announcing the May 1 sale. He said his stores have thrived despite competition from online retailers and Toys R Us, which has gone into bankruptcy and announced that all outlets will be closing. Pickering said that both Snapdoodle and Top Ten Toys stock 20,000 different items, almost double what a typical Toys R Us store holds.
Allen Rickert, who founded Top Ten in 1988, said in the announcement, “It’s great knowing I am handing over the 30-year-legacy of Top Ten Toys to a pair of proven toy retailers, Rob Pickering and his wife, Cherry.”
Rob Pickering is a native Washingtonian who attended Kirkland's Juanita High School and the University of Washington and, before going into the toy business, worked as both a schoolteacher and a stay-at-home dad. Cherry Pickering works in health care.
Details on all the stores:
Snapdoodle Toys (original location), 7330 N.E. Bothell Highway, Kenmore.
Snapdoodle Toys (second store, opened in 2011), 15752 Redmond Way, Redmond.
Top Ten Toys, 120 N. 85th St. (one block west of Greenwood Avenue), Seattle.
Hours for all stores: 9:30 a.m.-7 p.m. Monday through Friday; 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Friday and Saturday.