Downpour fails to rain on Toyworld's parade
On Saturday, children, parents, friends and grand parents all braved the dreary morning's downpour to get a glimpse inside the region's newest toy store.
Toyworld Gladstone opened its doors at 9am, smack bang in the middle of the first real rain the town has seen in months.
But the weather didn't take away from the grand opening in the slightest, co-owner Dennis Boyce said.
"The store (was) full all day, everyone in Gladstone (came) down and supported us, it (was) flat out all day ...," Mr Boyce said.
Despite getting wetter with every puddle they had to step in to get to the store, the children and adults determined to pay Toyworld Gladstone a visit were immediately rewarded once inside, with free face painting, balloons, a jumping castle and give-aways on offer to customers.
Mr Boyce said the opening had been extremely popular and that the store had almost run out of balloons by 10am because of how many people had already showed up.
"It's overwhelming. It's been unreal."
Mr Boyce and his wife Katrina Boyce opened the store at 89 Hanson Rd together, after realising a lot of Toyworld Gladstone customers were driving up to Rockhampton from Gladstone in order to get their hands on some goodies for the kids.
"We think it's a viable prospect to have a Gladstone store to provide that service for the community," Mr Boyce, who also owns the Rockhampton store, said.
When asked how successful he hoped the store would continue to be in Gladstone, the co-owner said he and his wife knew Gladstone was "a very stable town."
"Sure we had the LNG, it's come and gone, but Gladstone was here long before LNG, so we're very confident in the town being able to support us.
Proving the new Toyworld Gladstone wasn't just a hit with the kids, Manuella Cuda said she was very excited by the opening.
"I collect puzzles, and once I'm finished building them I frame them and hang them up in the house," she said, holding two new 1000-piece puzzles.
Customer Belinda Moore brought four children to the big opening, each of whom was given $20 to pick their own new toy.
"It's really great, it'll save us big time at Christmas too," she said.
As they waited in line, young'ins Ava Hughes and Bri Naggs hugged their new family doll sets to their chests, which they each picked out with the 20 bucks.
Toyworld Gladstone employee Khloe Thring, 15, said it was her love for people and kids that gave her job the most meaning.
"It's my first job and it's also a great way to interact with people and gain customer service skills."
Toyworld Gladstone's opening day ended at 4pm on Saturday. The store's first Christmas catalogue will be released on Tuesday.