Educational toy brand Safari Ltd. is planning to open its first interactive retail store, ToyTopia, in the Nocatee Town Center. The store will offer an immersive, modern shopping experience where children are encouraged to explore and interact with toys off the shelves.
The family-owned creator of Toys That Teach has been making educational figurines for nearly 40 years and recently relocated its headquarters to Jacksonville.
As parents, locals and third-generation business owners, the Pariente family plans to make ToyTopia a place where families can come together, play and take home quality toys.
When the Pariente family moved into the Nocatee community, they decided to create a much-needed local toy store in their new home.
“The goal is to become the ‘Cheers’ of toy stores for Nocatee,” said Christina Pariente, president of Safari Ltd. and mother of three. “Seriously! Toy stores should be fun. We want to be the place families go to relax and let their kids' imaginations run wild — you know, get all that energy out before bedtime!”
ToyTopia will carry the Safari Ltd. signature fan-favorite collections, which are carefully crafted and non-toxic. For years, the company's animal, dinosaur and mythical creature toys have been loved and trusted by parents, educators and creators alike. ToyTopia will also feature other trusted brands and products curated by the Parientes, such as BiOBUDDi plant-based building blocks, Folkmanis plush puppets and other popular, eco-friendly brands for kids of all ages.
The local toy store hopes to become a neighborhood hangout by hosting interactive sessions for kids, parent/child classes and more.
"We truly believe in the value of combining creativity, learning and imaginative play, especially in a world increasingly filled with screens," said Pariente.
The store is scheduled to open in January 2022, but its owners aren't ruling out the possibility of an early opening in time for the holiday season.
ToyTopia will be an extension of Safari Ltd., which has been teaching kids about the natural world and encouraging its conservation through the joy of play. The company's sculptors and artists meticulously research every animal's anatomy — including consulting with paleontologists and zoologists — prior to creating a lifelike model. Each product is then manufactured and delicately hand-painted, meaning no two Safari Ltd. figures are exactly alike.
"We look forward to being a neighborhood hangout where children can unleash their imaginations and create memorable moments in an experimental space," said Pariente. "Nocatee is a perfect community to launch our first retail store, and we can't wait to welcome kids and their families to ToyTopia!"