Petoskey toy store

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The Rocking Horse Toy Co., Petoskey: Tickets, Tours, Address, Phone Number, The Rocking Horse Toy Co. Reviews: 4/5

Great toy store

May 2016 • Couples

It is hard to find an old time toy store nowadays. This one fits the bill. they have a wonderful selection of toys for both boys and girls. They have the largest collection of Bruder trucks I have even seen. They also have a nice selection of dolls. They have a location in Charlevoix also. We enjoyed our shopping here.

Written June 5, 2016

This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.


Unique gifts

Sep 2017 • Couples

We love this store. It's our choice when we are looking for something unique for a special child in our lives. They have educational toys and some retro items too. An entire section of well built toys. It's never a disappointment.

Written September 17, 2017

This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.


Too many toys to count

Jun 2015

This was a pretty impressive toy shop. There are way too many toys to count. The toy selection was unique and interesting. The staff appear to be busy with other patrons.

Written June 13, 2015

This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.


LLPT

Delaware67 contributions

Always helpful

Jun 2013 • Family

This store is a cute little shop filled to the brim with fun games and other diversions. It is a feast for the eyes! Always, the people in the shop are helpful and fun-loving.

Written March 3, 2014

This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Sours: https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g42590-d4736167-Reviews-The_Rocking_Horse_Toy_Co-Petoskey_Emmet_County_Michigan.html

Discover your inner child at Rocking Horse Toy Co.

CHARLEVOIX — At The Rocking Horse Toy Co., it’s all about getting in touch with your inner child, or if you happen to be a parent or grandparent, keeping in touch with the children you love at a place that provides quality toys and sales provided by real, not virtual, salespeople.

With three locations — Harbor Springs, Petoskey and Charlevoix— Rocking Horse has survived and thrived since its inception.

The original store was the brain child of owner Andy Bultman and his wife, Kathy. The Bultmans were teachers in Grand Rapids in their previous careers. In 1980, the Grand Rapids school system settled a strike with its staff, and the resulting contract offered teachers the option to take a year’s leave of absence or “career exploration,” as it was called. The opportunity for the Bultmans to explore something new presented itself.

“We decided that it would be fun to try something other than teaching,” Andy Bultman said. “I had started making wooden toys when my daughter was small, and it became a hobby. One of the first toys I made was a little wooden rocking horse, the first one for my daughter and then other ones for friends on request. When it came time to choose a name, ‘The Rocking Horse Toy Co.’ just seemed right.”

On a whim, during the summer of 1980, the Bultmans opened their first store in Glen Arbor. It featured Bultman’s wooden toys along with kites and other seasonal items. The location offered workshop space, so it served Bultman well. The following Christmas, the Bultmans spent a weekend in Harbor Springs. That was the weekend they made the decision to go into the toy business — at least during their leave of absence from teaching.

The couple was familiar with the area, having been boaters and up-north vacationers while working and living in Grand Rapids. Bultman had experience in business since his parents had owned a grocery store, and Kathy from her early childhood education experience and their young daughter, knew kids’ toys and books. The pieces were falling into place. They found a retail rental in Harbor Springs and got a year’s lease on the building.

“I left over spring break to come up and get things organized,” Bultman said. “Kathy finished out her school year and then joined me. The deal was sealed for the long term when our Grand Rapids home was sold two weeks after listing it.”

Committed to their new endeavor, the couple opened a store in Petoskey two years later (1983) and the following year (1984) in Charlevoix to expand the operation. During the first couple of years, Kathy did some substitute teaching and taught one year at Cross Village School to help them through the long slow months of up-north retail business.

Bultman rotates his eight employees among the three locations to keep them familiar with all stores and the placement of inventory.

“I call them my kids,” he said. “Most of them are in their 20s and they’re all game players ... here’s been a real resurgence in table games in the last few years.”

Bultman’s employees help keep him up to date on the latest trends in toys and games. Rocking Horse also has a Facebook presence which features the store’s most current picks.

“When we first started we didn’t have any guidelines for inventory,” Bultman said. “We bought what we liked. We got into quality suppliers like Playmobil, which was our first major line. My wife was fond of Madame Alexander and other collectible dolls, so we stocked them as well as popular children’s books.”

In addition, The Rocking Horse Toy Company also carries Ravensburger puzzles and Bruder trucks to form a quality base with which to supplement the wide variety of other popular brand name items offered in all three locations.

“Toy stores in big cities are a fourth-quarter industry,” Bultman said. “They make all their money over Christmas. We wouldn’t have been able to survive in a metropolitan area. The only reason we are still here is that we have learned to prepare for the down seasons and concentrate on the high percentage of sales during the summer months, especially July and August.”

The Rocking Horse Toy Co. is proof that knowing the toy market with its supply and demand implications for small-town Michigan can pay off with customer loyalty.

“I enjoy managing my stores,” Bultman said. “It’s a happy business to be in.”

In Charlevoix, Rocking Horse Toy Co., hours are 10:30 a.m.- 5:30 p.m. except for limited hours Tuesday through Thursday. For more information, call (231) 547-5258. Store hours for the off-season in Petoskey and Harbor Springs are 10:30 a.m. - 5:30 p.m. seven days a week.The Petoskey store is located at 201 Howard St.; call (231) 347-0306. In Harbor Springs, find the toy store at 154 E. Main St.; phone (231) 526-7236.

Courtesy photoThe Rocking Horse Toy Company owner Andy Bultman stands next to some of the quality toys his stores offer in Charlevoix, Petoskey and Harbor Springs.
Sours: https://www.petoskeynews.com/news/business/discover-your-inner-child-at-rocking-horse-toy-co/article_5fedb02f-6efb-5cc4-a63b-03843ccf21c0.html?tag=makemoney0821-20
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The Little Toy Store That Could

June 1, 2005
Twenty-five years ago, Andrew and Kathleen Bultman opened their first Rocking Horse Toy Company store in Harbor Springs. Located across from The Pier restaurant on Bay Street, the fledgling toy store soon moved on up to Harbor Springs’ Main Street, and just a couple of years later, the Bultmans opened another location in downtown Petoskey. A business risk that they undertook for the fun of it became a lucrative venture that has paid off for the Bultmans in many ways.
Andrew and Kathleen were both teachers in the Grand Rapids area when they decided that a rocking horse would be a must-have for their newborn child. Skilled woodworker Andrew decided to make one himself - and it wasn’t long before friends and family came calling for their own versions of Andrew’s equine toy.
The rocking horses got so popular that the Bultmans opened a tiny store in Glen Arbor, with a workshop for Andrew right in the store, and spent their summer selling the talented teacher’s wooden toys and kites. When the summer was over, they headed back to Grand Rapids to resume teaching - but a teacher’s strike made them reassess their priorities.
“When the strike was finally settled, there was a new option being offered, called ‘career exploration leave,’ Kathleen Bultman explain. “We moved up to Harbor Springs, opened the toy store, and then just... well, kind of kept taking ‘career exploration leaves’ until we decided we really didn’t want to go back to teaching,” she laughs. “We were having so much fun, and as we started to add stores, it became obvious that we couldn’t do it all.”

FAVORITE FIXTURE
Classified as a “specialty toy store,” Rocking Horse Toy Company has become a favorite fixture in downtown Petoskey, especially with the fairly recent demise of Games Imported, another toy store that was only a block or so over, and that was more focused on games.
“Being in a small town, we all try to work together,” Bultman muses, “so when Games Imported ended up leaving, we then felt more free to add more games, to add some things we didn’t have before as we were trying to be considerate of them.” And there are certainly games a-plenty at Rocking Horse. Chess, several kinds of Rummy, Darts, pretty much every card game you could ever think of, and, of course, many of the newer board games. But the fun doesn’t stop there. Rocking Horse is the kind of toy store that both kids and adults can spend plenty of time in. For the kids, there are Brio and Thomas wooden trains, Legos, a large portion of the popular Playmobil line (“We’re just getting our 2005 things in from Playmobil, they’re really great,” Bultman says), Madame Alexander dolls, Corolle dolls (“They have such sweet faces,” Bultman enthuses), science experiment kits, puppets and puppet theaters, stickers, purses and plastic jewelry, play food sets, jack-in-the-boxes, stuffed animals, and toy cars and trucks.
There are lots of craft kits for the more creative kids - fabric looms, beads, rock tumblers, and more. And there are plenty of child-sized dress-up costumes for the performance-inclined, from plastic armor to cowboy outfits, viking hats to pirate gear. It would be nearly impossible for any kid to be bored with all of this to choose from.

CASTLE BUCKETS
For the older set, right on up to adult, there’s plenty to stave off boredom, too. In addition to the board and card games - there is an extensive range of great sandcastle-building items, including “castle buckets” that are good for any age.
“A husband of one of our employee’s makes the most intricate sand castles every year,” Bultman points out, “They’re so cool.”
There are also lots of “fidget toys,” as Bultman calls them. There are Chicken or Pig Catapults with miniature plastic chickens or pigs, brainteasers, bubble-blowing kits, puzzles, and other nifty gadgets. There’s a whole rack of magic tricks - from easy to more “tricky.”
Rocking Horse also offers plenty of outdoor toys, from child-safe balls to giant fabric frisbees and kites. The “Spinmallow” - a fairly new addition - makes campfires more fun by making sure your marshmallows or hot dogs are “heated evenly on all sides,” thanks to this quirky battery-powered device.
“The summer is really the busy season here, as everyone knows,” Bultman says, “but we still have great business all year long, and we’re open seven days a week, year-round, in all locations. It’s just so much fun,” she smiles.
Andrew Bultman doesn’t make rocking horses anymore - with the Rocking Horse Toy Company having expanded to four locations - Harbor Springs, Petoskey, Charlevoix, and their newest location, Bay Harbor - there’s simply not enough time. But the Bultmans’ origins are firmly entrenched in their company name, and in the playful spirit that they bring to all of their young-at-heart stores.

Rocking Horse Toy Company stores can be found at 326 E. Lake Street in Petoskey (telephone, 231-347-0306), 327 Bridge Street in Charlevoix, 154 E.
Main Street in Harbor Springs, on
Main Street in Bay Harbor, and online at www.rockinghorsetoy.com.

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