Stevenson’s Toys Opens East Hampton Shop

After 16 years at the Southampton Village location, the Stevensons turned their vision of opening a second store into a reality
At Stevenson’s Toys in East Hampton, Colleen Moeller, Roy Stevenson, an owner, and Michael Guglielmo are ready for the shop’s first summer on Newtown Lane. Durell Godfrey

Lobsters in lounge chairs, a grizzly bear driving a Tesla, and squirrels eating off a barbecue. 

While this sounds like plausible satire to describe Hamptons summer antics, this storefront window is just a mere glimpse into the fairyland within Stevenson’s Toys in East Hampton. 

Though many toy stores are disappearing with the prevalence of online shopping, the owners of Stevenson’s, Roy and Polly Stevenson, are expanding. After 16 years at the Southampton Village location, the Stevensons turned their vision of opening a second store into a reality. Their new store opened last month at 66 Newtown Lane. 

It was a plan that had always been in the back of their minds, but they first wanted to make sure that the Southampton store did well. When the opportunity presented itself this summer, the decision was not hard; many of their customers live east of Southampton. 

The couple are balancing their time between their eastern and western stores. 

“Roy tries to come to East Hampton every day and Polly and him are here every Saturday and Sunday,” said Illisa Appel-Timmermann, who works at the shop. “They share the love of both locations.”

Until Stevenson’s opened, there was just one other small toy shop in the village, Steph’s Stuff. “There hasn’t been a large-sized toy store here for years and the Stevensons just had this fabulous vision of opening an additional store,” Ms. Appel-Timmermann said.

Though smaller than the Southampton location, the two-floor Stevenson’s in East Hampton has aisles and walls stocked with toys and games from all over the world and dating back to every generation. 

Stevenson’s was founded in 2001 after Mr. Stevenson parted ways with a corporate career and moved his family from Georgia to Southampton. As coincidence would have it, Lillywhite’s toy store, which was a favorite of Mr. Stevenson’s as a boy, was for sale. 

“That store had been there for nearly 100 years,” Mr. Stevenson said. “I thought, ‘How dumb would I be to pass that up? . . . It can’t be that hard to run a toy store.’ ”

While running a toy store may have been more work than Mr. Stevenson originally thought, he and his wife have learned the tricks of the trade. Not only is their selection wide — books, puzzles, trampolines, Nerf guns, pool floats, Ping-Pong tables, mermaid swim tails, and more — but Stevenson’s is a fit for everyone’s budget. 

It has top-notch toys, like a mini electric Tesla that retails for $895, and it also carries a variety of toys that range in price. “It’s not one of those designer toy stores where you feel like you can’t bring your kid in,” said Colleen Moeller, who also works at the shop. “A little girl came in the other day and said, ‘I only have $5,’ and we found some stuff [for her].”