The name conjures up for me those little creatures in “Spaceballs” that said only “Dink! Dink! Dink!” But once you get past that, it’s really a cool place to shop. Located at 264 East Broad Street in the heart of the Westfield shopping district, this is a place parents can take their kids to without dread.
Co-owner Connie Van Epps and partner Ronald Tuchman stock a huge selection of unique, fun, and educational toys for children of varied ages. Shoppers can find puzzles, books, washable paints, sand and water tables, rocking horses, and all kinds of imagination-stimulating toys and games, without the overwhelming feeling associated with stepping into a huge toy store chain conglomerate. It’s more of what hometown toy stores used to be, before the giants took over, and the old-fashioned toy store feel is a great part of this place’s appeal.
They’ve even had a brush with fame. Last year, the store was featured on the show “What Would You Do?,” hosted by John Quinones. Van Epps and Tuchman agreed it would be a fun experience, and agreed to allow the episode to be filmed there. The crew filmed for an entire day, for a 15 minute segment, in which it appeared a woman had abandoned her children at the train table while she left the store. According to the owners, most of the women who entered Thinka Dinka and offered to assist the abandoned children were Westfield moms, and everyone wanted to help them out. Van Epps is quoted as saying, “The reaction was terrific. Everyone wanted to help. That really says a lot about this community. Nobody walked away.”
That says a lot about the community, indeed. As does the success of a store that sells only the most educational and stimulating of toys for children. It’s a perfect fit for this family-oriented community.
And it’s fun to say the name.