The Great Rocky Mountain Toy Company

Still a Big Part of Bozeman

Can you imagine owning the very toy store that you once visited as a child? That is exactly what Sam Rickenbaugh, owner of The Great Rocky Mountain Toy Company, did just two years ago.

“I’d been working in real estate for years and I saw the listing come up,” Sam said. “I could remember being a kid and visiting that store so many times with my mom, so I actually joked with her about buying it.” But the more he thought about it, the more the idea took hold and, in February 2021, Sam made the purchase. “Since the store first opened in 1992, I got to see it in its heyday,” he said. “The original owners did such a good job that the bones of the business are still there, and I didn’t have to do much more than change some of the displays.”

Sam loves how old favorite toys and games are still around for this generation. Some of his favorites that the store still carries are Rubik’s Cubes and the classic version of popular board games such as Monopoly and Sorry. “And don’t forget the Legos,” Sam added. “So much has changed and evolved with Legos over the years and it’s really incredible to see. In fact, they even make Legos for adults now, so it’s fun to watch people who grew up playing with them now enjoy them as a grown person.”

Another one of Sam’s favorite things about The Great Rocky Mountain Toy Company is the abundance of arts and crafts supplies. “It’s no longer just coloring books and crayons,” he said. This December, the store will be hosting some Christmas arts and crafts activities, including a build-your-own ornament event and a build-your-own snow globe event. The Great Rocky Mountain Toy Company will also be participating again in this year’s downtown Christmas Stroll. 

“I really like to focus on shopping local,” Sam said. “I know, with Covid, there had to be a lot of online ordering, but now that we are able to be back inside businesses, it’s really good to see people want to continue to shop downtown.”

One other nostalgic part of the store is the “Toy Club,” also known by many locals as the “Juggle Bear Birthday Club.” The juggle bear has been a part of The Great Rocky Mountain Toy Company since the 1990s and shoppers can sign up online or in person. Each child, during their birthday month, will receive a coupon for 20% off and, for every $200 spent, will receive an additional $20 credit for the next purchase. “It’s great to see people come in and actually remember the Juggle Bear Birthday Club from their childhood, the same way I did growing up,” Sam said. “ I’m really glad I was able to take this opportunity to own and manage a well-loved toy store and keep it a big part of Bozeman for years to come.”

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