The Journal News – Toy Stores

Playing Mantis toy stores sell simple, handmade toys that promote an interest in the global community.

Heather Salerno

Walk into Nyack’s Playing Mantis toy store, and you get an immediate feeling of Zen.

That’s not a feeling associated with big-box retailers, which are dominated by aisles of manufactured plastic playthings that honk, beep, flash, bang, clang and cry.

Make no mistake: Playing Mantis has its fair share of cars, trucks, trains, dolls and games. But not a single toy there requires batteries or an electrical outlet – and all still manage to inspire lots of fun.

“I call it an imagination-powered store,” says owner Imelda McCain.

McCain, a former oncology nurse who opened her shop in the fall of 2006, moved last month to a new storefront on Nyack’s North Broadway. At the same time, she opened a second outpost in Tribeca. Read more