Kids drag their parents out of bed for opening of new Smyths toy shop in Portsmouth

WHEN it comes to weekend shopping, it is usually the parents dragging their children out of the house.

Saturday, 9th November 2019, 2:45 pm
Updated Tuesday, 12th November 2019, 5:24 pm
Asia Kisiel with daughter Lilly-May and a toy she would like. Picture: Keith Woodland (091119-56)

But yesterday saw a major role reversal as youngsters from across Portsmouth hauled mums and dads to the new Smyths Toys Superstore in Ocean Retail Park, Burrfields Road.

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An opening party with the Fat Controller, Jett from Superwings and the Elf on the Shelf drew in huge crowds, as children collected goodie bags, candy floss and danced to live music from a DJ.

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Lucas Gilkes with store assistant Charlie Cook with some of his purchases. Lucas received a £50 gift card for being first in the queue. Picture: Keith Woodland (091119-46)

Jessica Harris, nine, and three-year-old brother James made sure their mum Corrinna brought them to the new store.

Jessica said: ‘I really like the shop.

‘I don’t really have a favourite bit because I loved all of it, there are lots of toys and it has been fun.

‘I’ve got a long list for Father Christmas now.’

Mia Hillier opens the store. Proud Mum Mel, Store manager, behind her looks on. Picture: Keith Woodland (091119-15)

Corrinna admitted that ‘the kids definitely encouraged me to bring them here,’ but was also a fan of the shop.

She said: ‘We got here for 9am and I was worried about how busy it was going to be, but the staff have managed it all really well and it’s actually a great shop too.’

Maisie Winkley, six, came to the new store with her parents, Paul and Sophie.

The Southsea youngster said: ‘The shop was really nice – I found an American dolls house and that’s going to go on my Christmas list.’

Dad Paul, 42, added: ‘This place is brilliant and it’s nice to see all the kids having a great time here.

‘When Toys R Us went we had nothing here for the kids, so this is a great replacement.

‘It really opens the place up too.’

Nick Ayre, 47 from Portsmouth, checked out the store with wife Susan and son Charlie, age nine.

He said: ‘We’re outside having some candy floss but are going to go back in for another look.

‘Charlie got a huge goodie bag – the store opening has been fantastic for everyone.’

Eastern Road has seen traffic queue up in both directions to access the retail park today, with drivers warned to expect delays.