In a space which has heard the patter of thousands of little feet, Susan Deininger has big shoes to fill. Her store Kandy Kids Toys and Gifts opened March 4 at 5 South Chester Road in the Ville, the location once occupied by the late and lamented toy store T. Bumble’s.
“Everyone loved T. Bumble’s, and a lot of people have a delighted response when they pass by and see another toy store here,” Susan said recently. “I’ve been really pleased with the reception. A toy store is supposed to make people smile.”
Susan said sales were strong in the first month, and she was counting the days until a new shipment arrived to restock the shelves and racks. In a cheerful and bright space, Kandy Kids offers toys both traditional and modern, games for varied ages, and clothing with a whimsical aspect. Susan said she plans to create a book nook in a quiet, windowed alcove at the back of the store.
“I want to go with the flow,” Susan said, acknowledging her predecessor but making this store distinct. “I know Diane Somerdyk, and admire what she did with T. Bumble’s. In fact, we are doing some things inspired by that store. We have Brio wooden trains” — whose track setup was always a big draw in the previous store — “and Ravensburger puzzles, along with games from Peaceable Kingdom and toys from Melissa and Doug.”
A 45-year resident of Swarthmore, Susan and her husband John raised five children (now aged 28 through 45) who grew up playing and shopping at T. Bumble’s. With 13 grandchildren, Susan has a keen appreciation of what makes children happy. She previously operated Kandy Kids in the Media Mall before going into online toy retailing in recent years. This is better, she said.
“If you walk into a toy store, you’re happy. And I’m happy to be part of that reaction.”