What shocks John Waters these days?
Okay, so this isn’t exactly Baltimore-centric—but we’re putting it in the “worth a trip from anywhere” category. If you’ve visited downtown Frederick any time in the last, say, twelve years, you may have had the pleasure of stopping into Dancing Bear Toys—an old-fashioned, neighborhood toy store. To owners Tom and Marlene England, that means that nothing they sell requires a battery, or a plug, or a screen to attach to. They’re specialists in fun the way it used to be. Ah, the simple things. But why bring this all to your attention on today of all days? Well, today is the very last “Merry Monday” of the season at Dancing Bear. That means that today (they’re open until 8p.m.) they’ll be giving away 17 $17 gift cards (if that strikes you as strange, remember that today’s the 17th) at random throughout the day. That means potentially even more goodies and surprises you can bring home for the holidays.
Even in toy-making class, college is not all fun and games. It’s just… mostly fun and games. “It’s more of a laid-back class,” said Alicia Kim, a Towson University student taking the Designing Toys class, which is run through the school’s art department. (Kim’s project is a plant-girl toy with interchangeable flower heads.) But toys are big business, too, and the class takes that into consideration as well. In lieu of a final exam, students present a prototype and a storyboard to toy-giant Hasbro (My Little Pony, G.I. Joe, Transformers, Monopoly, Playskool…), hoping to win a summer internship at the company’s Rhode Island headquarters.