In trying to clarify what it was that made Kent unmistakably Kent we had some fun coming up with light-hearted comparisions with our neighboring cities. Sometimes it helps to understand what you are not in order to figure out what you are. Hudson, for example, makes for great comparisons. Hudson has raised the bar on being a manicured City. They could charge admission for the museum like quality of their community. Beautiful people with perfect lawns and perfect flowers and perfect homes. We love that about Hudson but Kent would feel stifled by Hudson’s homogeneity. Kent favors eclectic expression and random acts of the unexpected. We felt that where Hudson is off the shelf (albeit top shelf) Kent is more off the wall. Which is why I’m thrilled to see the grand opening of the Off The Wagon toy shop in downtown Kent — it’s the spirit of Kent captured in 1,400 square feet of unmitigated and unapologetic fun.
Off the Wagon in downtown Kent (Main Street) is a Kent adaptation of the successful My Little Red Wagon toy stores in Stow and Hudson. Off the Wagon holds true to its roots of selling great toys at good prices (for 17 years) but the Kent mutation lets the inner child come out and play a little more than the other stores. It features more obscure off the wall gifts, gags, magic, fun novelties, unique and old fashioned candy, and a great game selection.
The owner reports that she’s been really anxious to open the Kent store because the line of toy products that she knows will do well in Kent are just so much fun. She told me that among the favorite items so far are the Freeloader fork (telescoping handle that allows your favorite freeloader to sponge food off someone else’s plate from a distance.), the punching Nun (She’s got a habit of fighting for what’s right!), and the Cupcake bandages.
They also carry a nice selection of games for ages 12 to adult. A hot seller is the new Killer Bunnies game. Players try to collect carrot cards and defend their bunnies, while trying to eliminate opponents bunnies. It’s reported to be a very fun and addictive game. Their game selection includes Settlers of Catan, Risk, Pass the Pigs, Pit, Fluxx, LCR, Munchkin, and more. They even hope to hold game nights in the near future.