Like a grown man in a toy store: Mastermind Toys review and giveaway

Friday, June 14th, 2013

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One of the few things I accurately predicted about life as a parent is how much I would enjoy playing with my kids’ toys. There’s really no toy I can’t get interested in. Have a Rainbow Dash pony I can fly over Canterlot? I’ll play with that. Likewise, I would play with a hang glider provided it also flew me to Canterlot. Or, I could stay on the ground and play with Lord of the Rings or The Hobbit Lego for 13 hours straight, until I realized my child had fallen asleep on my lap as I was building.

Well, the perfect store for someone like me is, apparently, Mastermind Toys where I recently visited to take a sneak peak at a now fully opened store in Ottawa. Their Kanata location was the first in our great city and a second is slated to open on St. Laurent in July. When you take a look around the store and talk to the people working there it’s easy to see why they’re in a position to open stores at an impressive rate.

They seem to meet the credo of selling toys that kids want to play with, and possibly without knowing it, have met the needs of adults who like to play with toys too. Personally, I’m a Lego fanatic, and their Lego wall is pretty impressive. After sifting through Ninjago, Marvel Comics, Star Wars, Lord of the Ring and The Hobbit sets, I settled on a recently launched Lone Ranger set. Then me and Leah made it at home the same day.

“Can I help Daddy?” my three-year-old daughter asked.

“Well, maybe you can hold the pieces and I’ll put it together and then I can immediately put it on a shelf and we can stare at it so often that we’ll never need to play with it.”

“No. I’d rather play with it. Mommy said you bought it for me.”

And so it is that the kids win out and we end up playing with these beautiful things. And, there really isn’t much at Mastermind Toys I wouldn’t play with. We were shown gliders, pseudo soccer/golf games, popsicle makers, water balloon stations, Spirographs, slingshot planes and a lot more.

My kids even played with a stick of Dr. Pepper flavoured lip balm until their eyelids were too heavy to properly apply it to their lips and began dragging it down their bodies as they dozed off. Basically, they just don’t sell bad toys.

And, in addition to all the toys, they offer a few services that are sure to appeal to parents who are not as organized as I lie about being. Need a birthday present for your kid and need to give it to them in four minutes? Come in to the store and use their staff, or Toy Experts, to help you find an appropriate gift. And if your gift wrapping presentation is more tape than paper, use their complimentary gift wrapping service.

All those first 450+ words  of this review though can be summed up with just a few: the place is awesome.

What is likewise awesome is that I’m able to give away a $50 gift certificate to a lucky someone who wins a contest. To enter, just fill out the form below. There are two mandatory fields and the rest are “please do that to make me feel real warm,” fields. The contest will close Friday, June 21 at 12 a.m.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

20 responses to “Like a grown man in a toy store: Mastermind Toys review and giveaway”

  1. tina says:

    i loved to build houses!!

  2. Marisa says:

    Is it better than Mrs. Tiggy Winkles? How about PlayValue Toys?

    • Mike says:

      Honestly, walking through there and being able to look without kids grabbing all the toys off the shelf, I really, really liked what they had. Again, prominent Lego displays suck me in big time.

  3. Sabrina Sevigny says:

    houses, farms and then when we started buying the big time kits i liked the space shuttle. 🙂

  4. Kate says:

    I could build an awesome wall. Lol, I was never very good with building lego. My son on the other hand, is wicked awesome already (at 2 and a half). Puts me to shame, but makes me proud at the same time.

    • Mike says:

      I was also a light’s out wall builder. Sometimes I’d add a slightly higher wall and pretend it was a castle.

  5. ashley p says:

    I actually wasn’t a huge lego fan 🙁 I preferred barbies and my little pony. My bro was the lego fan of our house

  6. Alexa K says:

    I loved building houses with little plastic trees in the yard. My brother built a pirate ship from scratch though!

  7. paresh pandya says:


  8. I used to love building houses out of a big box of multi-coloured bricks the neighbours had. They had things we didn’t like windows and flowers and the big flat green base. So much fun!

  9. Melissa says:

    When I was a kid I loved to build little neighbourhoods; houses, stores, gardens, etc. My husband liked to build castles and spaceships. We even incorporated LEGO into our wedding by having LEGO bride and grooms in our centrepieces.

  10. Justin Minnes says:

    When I was a kid it was all about building spaceships and the like. I remember building these crazy contraptions and then keeping them for weeks before “crashing” them and starting over. Good fun.

    • Mike says:

      I was pretty much exclusively a wall builder. Sometime I’d build up the confidence for a roofless house.

  11. Darlene says:

    I didn’t have a whole lot of Lego as a child. The few pieces I did have were inherited from an older cousin. I liked to play with the little people best, and would attempt to build them little roofless houses.

  12. Wendy says:

    Love Lego. No end to the wonderful creations that can materialize in one’s imagination. Lego seems to bring the 30 something male child’s creative imagination into something to behold.

  13. Jonathan says:

    I was blown away by this store! Far better than any other store offerings in the region (Toys R Us – big box store, messy displays), Tagalong (crowded), PlayValue (the climbing strucutres are great, but feels like a warehouse).

  14. Carole says:

    Tagalong must be hurting!

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