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New toy store aimed at older kids to open in former Peapods site in St. Paul

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The owners of the now-closed Peapods store in St. Paul are turning their attention to older children with the Oct. 1 launch of a new toy store they're calling Mischief.

Peapods Natural Toys & Baby Care, which specialized in baby and early childhood products, closed in June after 16 years in business.

But the owners, Millie Adelsheim and Dan Marshall, are trying again with a different target audience – teenagers and young adults.

Marshall said it was a natural evolution as the couple's four children got older.

"We’ve discovered how hard it is to find great toys for older kids," Marshall said, according to the Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal. "Most toy stores nowadays only cater to younger children. We think that big kids and teens deserve better than iTunes gift cards for their birthdays."

The Mischief website says it'll be a toy store for all ages, "encouraging kids and grownups to unplug and make a little mischief."

The store in the St. Anthony Park neighborhood will carry games, art supplies, pop culture and anime gifts, outdoor adventure gear, jewelry and kinetic toys.

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Adelsheim and Marshall closed Peapods under pressure from big-box retailers and Amazon, which are now selling natural baby and children's goods that were considered niche products when the couple opened their store in 1998.

Products like baby carriers, cloth diapers and wooden toys are now considered mainstream and available through many retail outlets.

Even back in June when they wrote about closing Peapods, the couple gave some hints about what they might be doing next:

“We are no longer the parents of babies and our kids are interested in lots of awesome teenager stuff that doesn’t connect at all with Peapods. We’re ready to move on, even if we’re not sure where we’re going.”

Now, Adelsheim and Marshall are hoping to fill another niche – with toys and games for older children – that isn't being served by large retailers.

The building, at 2290 Como Ave. is for sale, Marshall said, noting that the new store doesn't need all its floor space – 3,200 sq. ft.

The Park Bugle reports that when the building is sold, Mischief will move to another location.

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