ANO On Assignment Part 1: Kettlemuck’s Toy Shoppe

Las Vegas:  the city that never sleeps.  Or Sin City.  Or home, depending on who you are.  The city has many names and easily just as many activities to distract one from the day to day, but let’s get to the heart of it:  what is there for a nerd to do in this city?  While out on assignment (or vacation if you want to go ahead and split hairs) it was my honor to go about the area and seek out the activities and corners of the city that were right in our wheelhouse.  That’s right I went in search of Sin City’s nerdy side.  I found some (more than I ever expected or could tell you about honestly) of the most wonderful little bits of the world right here in my old stomping grounds.  Our journey begins in what at first appears to be a rather unassuming toy store out in Henderson (at the NW corner of Eastern and Sunridge Heights in fact).  I’m talking about Kettlemuck’s Toy Shoppe, so come on in and let us take a look around.

The outside of the store is almost misleadingly direct; large letters declare it a toy shoppe (with the fancy spelling and all!) but once you step inside you are almost overwhelmed by the amount of toys, gadgets, knick knacks, gizmos, games, and puzzles that await you.  The store is a more than modest size sprawling back into corners just out of sight; and on every shelf and table along the way there is something else to catch your eye and distract you.  Entire sections of smaller quick dalliances and collectibles lead to wall after wall of games and puzzles.  The brain teasers are some of the nerdiest and most enticing treasures you can pick up (I personally recommend the Perplexus puzzle mazes, one of their top sellers).  There is an entire corner dedicated to LEGOs (one of my personal favorites when it comes to nerdy toys), where you can find some of the bigger sets for better prices than you might at any large chain store.  Stuffed animals can be found literally all over the store that range from exotic and mythological like dragons to rare and lesser known animals like the coatimundi.

Patrons find almost too many cool things here – yes this is a good thing.

The real draw that caught my eye was the center piece to the store: a large pit filled with “sand” and toys.  The toys are buried in the sand and for a set price your little ones can go digging and collect anything they uncover.  They can even keep what they dig up as long as it fits in the pouch they’re given.  Fill that thing up; as long as they can close it they can keep whatever is inside.  This simple yet elegant attraction blew my mind.  The set-up is wonderfully accessible, has a plethora of digging amenities (including a sifter!), and can easily be viewed from anywhere in the store (feel free to keep shopping and perusing the store while the kids dig away!).  While speaking with the owner, Dave, he told me that the idea of digging for stuff appeals to all kids – both boys and girls, so it is an immediately popular activity.  Dave, a self admitted nerd, was one of the most approachable and friendly people I’ve ever met so a huge thanks to him for letting me come in, look around, and take some pictures.

There be treasure in them dunes!

There are other cool things to grab, miniature animal figures (D&D campaign material for sure), magnetic rocks (magnets!  HOW DO THEY WORK?!), and even faux pirate treasure.  The store passed the kid test with flying colors, my little nerd walked away with a sack full of pirate treasure and one full of whatever it was he had dug up in the sand.  For the grown up nerds there are a large assortment of brain teasers (the one I brought home finally stumped me hard on puzzle 14) and board games.  I can’t recommend this place enough, from kid to adult, nerd and norm, there is something here for you.  I’d gladly go back with an entire sack full of money and still not bring home everything I might want, there is just so much cool stuff.  In a city where gambling is a way of life this is one place where fun is a sure thing.

About Jeremiah Cochran

The last minute addition to the party that really brings it all together. Let's face it how else could you get past that Balrog without your Gandalf? (Yes I just compared myself to Gandalf, deal) A fan of comics, video games, sci-fi, fantasy, rolling dice, and tapping cards. Essentially he's the nerd renaissance man. Also he can cook. And do laundry (sort of).

Posted on June 5, 2012, in Occurrences, Tabletop Games, Toys and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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