Cherry Bomb Toys in Victoria, BC is expanding. Not only do they have the National Toy Museum of Canada, on the second floor, which showcases approximately 80 years of love for childhood knickknacks, but soon, they will be opening their basement for people to use on a by appointment basis. The official opening is tentatively set for the end of March.
This area will not be limited to families wishing to celebrate their child’s birthdays (or an adult’s) in a venue that does not have to be their home. B Woodword, manager of the store, explained that not everyone has the space, especially if they live downtown, and cleanup for a whole home can be a chore. This operation’s idea is to offer a safe space so people can have fun in. There’s an arcade area filled with classic gaming consoles (Nintendo and SEGA were spotted) and four separate television screens so anyone can game with. People can bring their own next-gen consoles, but the purpose of this space is to stay retro. A dining room type area (with a few basic kitchen essentials) exists so people can mingle in. Of course, washroom facilities is down the hall.
Included in the rental party package ($200 for 2 hours) includes LEGO product promotions. Anyone celebrating a birthday here gets a build-a-fig product to take home. The honouree gets a $20 gift certificate and lots of bricks to play with while here.
2016 has been a cruel year with numerous celebrity deaths. Hollywood is mourning the loss of two legends from early last week, Carrie Fisher (best known as Princess Leia in Star Wars) and her mother Debbie Reynolds (Kathy Selden in Singin’ in the Rain) the following day. Fisher is a mental health and substance abuse advocate, and without Gary, her registered therapy French bulldog to give her that loving support, she might be at a different place.
Cherry Bomb Toys is honouring both these legends by asking fans to donate items (photos, toys, recordings (videos or albums) and anything else in between) in recognition of either performer’s legacy — this store’s own stock included — to raise money for the Victoria Hospitals Foundation. They develop programs, help and treat people who are struggling with mental health issues. Cash is preferred over debit or credit card. That way, all the money goes to where it’s needed instead of covering the fees banks charge.
For the entire month of January, these products will be placed on display for collectors to see. The prices are very reasonable, and most of these items should fly fast. As more product come in, additional space will be made available. The following image is just an example of what is presently there. If anyone is looking for Star Wars themed Dixie cups to use in the next party, they got ’em!
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For support outside of the island and beyond, all you have to do is offer your time by volunteering at a mental health clinic. Donating money does not always provide a solution. It pays for the equipment necessary that not all hospices may have for proper diagnosis and care. As I struggle with my own erratic seasonal depression, sometimes all I need to know is that emotional support is near. Having those close friends that you can speak to help. To know that we are not alone can defeat those demons attempting to tear us down.