36. Experience Science Toy Magic

So far we’ve covered the smallest bar in Colorado, now we’re moving on to the smallest toy store in Colorado. Although toy store isn’t a fitting name for this place. It’s a Science Toy Magic store and it’s exactly 12 x 6 ft, about the size of  a closet located on the north side of Old Town Square right across  from the Bike Library. Look for the a-frame sign in front of the store because it’s easy to miss. This place makes the Town Pump look like a palace but once again, small turns out to be a lot of fun. A big part of experiencing this shop is the owner, Matt Hannifin. Picture a super fun, quirky and downright brilliant science teacher that’s dying to demonstrate the wonders of physics in the funnest way possible. That’ll give you a feel for what it’s like to have Matt show you around his store. I ask him to tell me a bit about himself and this is what I learn: He has a degree is in laser electro-optics. “Electro-laser what?” I said. He continues with his resume: a commercial hot air baloonist, operator for high powered laser shows, has given a presentation to the top echelon of NASA minds, and the icing on the cake, he’s been the balloon pilot in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade for 20 years! Just look for the guy holding all the balloons with a boomerang hat on. Already I’m hopelessly intrigued and we haven’t even gotten to the best part, the toys! 31 toys in the shop were sold here before they were sold anywhere in the world and many toys in the shop can still be found no where else.

Matt is an inventor and designs, patents and hand crafts toys himself. He also loves going to trade shows to look for the newest and best things. His standard for toys is very high. They must be fun, safe, extremely durable, and demonstrate scientific principles as if by magic. He is obsessive about quality. He personally tests everything he sells and was able to tell me how many rotations his “Jacob’s Ladder” can go through before it fails: 6.6 million. As your eyes wander across the walls of the store you’ll notice multiple objects floating in mid air. Globes, tops, cubes and any object under 3 ounces can straight up levitate! You can test out many types of boomerangs, shoot a ring of air 20 feet, play Aboriginal Digeridoos, see a hydrogen car operate and a lot more. Matt is happy to show you everything and will make sure you pick out just the right toy. For example, if you’re buying for your 5 year old nephew he’ll steer you away from the levitating top because it’s tricky to get the hang of. You’ll find something for all ages but prepared to feel much younger than your age as you explore this tiny space that’s jam packed with scientific wonder. 

Call the store before you go, 970-484-2377. The brochure shows store hours from Wed-Sat 10-6 but I believe Matt may be adding days to that schedule. There’s no website at this time but Sharjah Brand Knew will have it up shortly. I really wish I had more time to spend in the store today, I only skimmed the surface. More fun facts can be learned about Matt Hannifin and Science Toy Magic in this article by Anna Baldwin in Fort Collins Now.

6 Comments to “36. Experience Science Toy Magic”

  1. dondordino 25 January 2012 at 10:02 am #

    send cataloge

  2. Title…

    Wow, I’m so happy that I landed on this site, super info here! Better than http://facebook.com!...

  3. lilachorses 1 July 2012 at 3:59 pm #

    i wonder how much that levitron costs????

  4. Anonymous 2 October 2015 at 4:45 am #

    Can i have a catalogue please?

  5. alberto 2 October 2015 at 4:46 am #

    can i have a catalogue please?

  6. Wendy richards 5 December 2015 at 6:59 pm #

    Sure enjoyed Matt’s fun entertainment while we were in line to visit Santa!! It was a wonderful surprise, and his store is incredible!

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