HobbymastersA distinctive mural dominates the store’s White Street facade.

Toy and game merchant Hobbymasters has gotten a Christmas/Hannukah gift of its own this year: Forbes Traveler magazine picked it as one of the nation’s 10 best toy stores.

Inclusion on the list puts the store in the company of New York’s vaunted toy emporium FAO Schwartz.

The magazine calls out the store’s reliance on solar energy to power itself:

From beads and marbles to paintball and plastic models, this New Jersey landmark covers just about every toy-related hobby there is. Science kits, telescopes and school project supplies round out an outstanding educational selection. And given the fact that Hobbymasters is now 100% solar powered, the store also features New Age “green” hobbies like hydroponics, fuel cell and hydrogen model car kits, and climate change toys.

redbankgreen asked Hobbymasters’ Alan Placer if he knew how the family-owned store came to be chosen. His answer:

No, actually we have no idea. Don’t know if they came in the store anonymously, shopped online, or have some other selection process.

A pleasant surprise under the tree, it seems…

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