Johnny’s Toys Birthday Castle returns with modern makeover

Johnny’s Toys Birthday Castle returns with modern makeover
(FOX19 NOW file)
(FOX19 NOW file)

LATONIA, KY (FOX19) - For many who grew up in the greater Cincinnati area, no birthday would be complete without a trip to Johnny's Toys Birthday Castle.

Kids anxiously awaited a special key and postcard to arrive in the mail during their birthday month. That key would open a castle nestled in the corner of the iconic Latonia toy store.

Needless to say, it was a pretty big deal.

Johnny's Toys closed in 2009 and with it went the beloved Birthday Club. But a new business is looking to capitalize on the nostalgic tradition – complete with one of the original Johnny's Toys castles.

Tech Castle will soon open inside the former toy store location at 4314 Boron Drive.

Part of the building houses Totter Otterville, but the remainder of the space has been vacant for years. Owner Andy Blair, who grew up visiting Johnny's Toys, figured it would be the perfect place to relocate his computer refurbishing business.

"The castle is what really closed the deal because I figured I love the castle and I'd love for it to be open, and I assume everyone else would," Blair said.

Blair says the entire experience will feel reminiscent of Johnny's Toys, but with a modern twist.

He brought in a local artist to help restore the castle to its former glory. Keys to the castle are made on a 3D printer inside the store and will be mailed each month with a postcard reminiscent of the original Johnny's branding.

Johnny's limited the Birthday club from ages 1-10, but Tech Castle plans to allow anyone, at any age, to sign up. The store will have toys for children of all ages as well as gifts for the adults, the website reads.

Tech Castle provides computer repair services and also carries electronic accessories and equipment.

Tech Castle's grand opening will likely be in two weeks, Blair said. An official date will be announced later this week.

Kids and adults can sign up for the modern Birthday Club at the Tech Castle or online here. 

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