The Jacksonville-based toy company Safari Ltd. is planning to open its first retail store, called Toytopia, at the Nocatee Town Center in St. Johns County.
Safari Ltd. owners, the Pariente family, said in an email sent to WJCT News that they plan to make ToyTopia a place where families can come together, play and take home quality toys.
When the family moved to Nocatee, they decided to create what they call a local educational toy store in their new community.
“The goal is to become the Cheers of toy stores for Nocatee,” said Christina Pariente, president of Safari Ltd., who is a 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!”
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 this holiday season.
ToyTopia will be an extension of Safari Ltd., which teaches kids about the natural world and encourages its conservation through the joy of play, the owners said.
The company's sculptors and artists research every animal's anatomy — including consulting with paleontologists and zoologists — prior to creating a lifelike model. Each product is then manufactured and 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!"
Safari Ltd. has been manufacutrering and distributing toys for more than 30 years. The company specializes in animal, dinosaur and mythical creature toys.
The store will be across the street from the First Watch cafe in Nocatee.