Nordica Toys in New Milford caters to ‘generations past, present and future’
A life-sized Playmobil character greets patrons outside Nordica Toys in New Milford.
Once inside, an expansive inventory of colorful stuffed animals and toys catch one’s eyes.
Whether shoppers are looking for something special for themselves or for another as a gift, Nordica Toys is the go-to place, according to local residents.
Under the ownership of Marie McCarthy, who marks her 15th year as owner, and in the spirit of the store’s founders, the late Christian and Aviva Trost, Nordica continues to cater to generations of toy enthusiasts.
“The tradition continues,” Joe Fitzgerald said of why he recently introduced his grandson, Owen Fitzgerald Burke, 2, to the longtime store.
Owen’s mother frequented the store when she was a child and once wrote, “Nordica, where all my dreams come true,” Fitzgerald said.
His daughter’s son, Owen, carries on the tradition. He happily hugged the new stuffed Elmo Fitzgerald purchased for him during his first visit to the store recently.
“Elmo, Elmo, he’s red,” Owen cheered.
Toys, puzzles, arts and crafts, wooden toys, puppets, traditional and modern games, dinosaurs, Raggedy Ann and Andy dolls, musical instruments, books, action figures, trucks and cars, infant and toddler toys and stuffed animals, and so much more line the shelves of Nordica.
In addition, Nordica carries all things Girl Scouts, including uniforms and books, and can order badges.
“I feel a responsibility to the community of the New Milford area to maintain the store with high standards and continuity for generations past, present and future,” McCarthy said.
“Nordica Toys is a real gem started by the Trosts and it is up to me to continue with that legacy,” she said. “People come from all over to revisit the store and remember their past visits with children and grandchildren.”
The Trosts opened the store in 1981, moved it from Bank Street to its present location at 7 Main St. in 2001 and retired in 2003, selling the business to McCarthy.
Karen Larson of New Milford has been a customer of Nordica since her children were young. She remains a loyal customer, now buying gifts for her 12 great-nieces and -nephews and other family members.
“I like that it’s small,” Larson said of the store. “It’s not your typical commercial toys.”
Larson said she also appreciates the free gift-wrapping services available at Nordica.
Big-name brands such as Lego, Callico Critters, Playmobil, Ty and Melissa & Doug are among the brands carried. Luke’s Toy Factory in Danbury and Green Toys are among the newer lines McCarthy has added.
As a small business, McCarthy said she tries to support other small companies.
“There’s always something new coming in,” McCarthy said of the store’s inventory.
McCarthy said business has ebbed and flowed over the years, depending on the economy and people’s buying habits. But Nordica keeps up with the times.
The store follows all the latest toy trends, by carrying things like fidget spinners and other fidget toys, body glitter, sunscreen glitter and lip gloss glitter.
“Every day is different,” McCarthy said.
Nordica’s customer service is something customers appreciate, too. Nordica provides free assembly of products, and will not charge a service fee for shipping customer gifts.
The store offers a Loyal Customer Club, which features a periodic newsletter. And if a customer spends $30 or more, he/she will get 10 percent off .
Nordica, located at 7 Main St., Suite D, New Milford, is open Mondays through Wednesdays from 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., Thursdays from 9:30 a.m. to 7 p.m., Fridays from 9:30 a.m. to 9 p.m., Saturdays from 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. For more information, call 860-355-2034. For more information, visit www.nordicatoys.com or follow the business on Facebook.