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Mail call

I’m a big fan of Melissa & Doug toys. Even before I had the store, I always gravitated to their puzzles, activity toys, magnets, etc. Over the past several years, this great company has enjoyed explosive growth by employing unconventionally friendly business practices and carving a solid niche in the market.

Their products have a sort of paradoxical combination of sensibility and pizzaz. The designs are really creative, but executed simply, almost always in wood. Batteries or other electronic elements are extremely unusual, and the prices are always surprisingly low.

Their new Wooden Mailbox is outstanding. Mailboxes are a natural source of curiosity for children, and this version is very well-executed. It has an array of interactive elements, including a door that locks and unlocks, letters of varying sizes that fit, shape-sorter style, into the various slots, and (my personal favorite) velcro-on stamps. For ages 3 and up.

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