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Toys story concludes

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A sign on the front door of Out of the Blue Toy Shop on Rio Grande NW announces that the store has closed after a 30-year run. (Adolphe Pierre-Louis/Journal)

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Out of the Blue Toy Shop on Rio Grande has closed after 30 years in business. A real estate agent says a sale is pending on the property, which is at Rio Grande and Matthew NW. (Adolphe Pierre-Louis/Journal)

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — With somewhat less fanfare than the shuttering of Toys R Us, one more toy store has closed its doors.

For 30 years, Out of the Blue Toys was a staple in the Albuquerque market as a store devoted to items designed to get children to play and think and learn all at the same time.

But that three-decade run is over.

“We have gone out of business,” according to a message at the store phone number. “We are no longer open. Thank you for your patronage over all these years, 30 good years.”

The store on Rio Grande NW was owned by Stephen D. Dillon, who did not respond to several requests for comment.

The recorded message went on to say the store fixtures are for sale and to leave a message for more information.

The store’s Facebook page announced a store-closing sale Jan. 24-26, with 60% marked off items in stock other than Legos.

Most of the store has been emptied, but some shelves laden with games still clung to the walls.

Real estate agent Dan Hernandez of Burger Briggs Real Estate and Property management, who handled the original sale to Dillon almost 30 years ago, said a deal for the 3,030-square-foot property is pending, with an asking price of $575,000.

The property, which was once a Circle K, actually went on the market about four to five months ago, Hernandez said, and a deal was made, but it fell through. At that point, given the proximity to Christmas, the owner decided to wait until after the holiday to shut the store, Hernandez said.

The location at the corner of Rio Grande and Matthew NW makes it a prime commercial site, he said.

“It’s one of the only commercial-zoned properties along Rio Grande Blvd.,” Hernandez said. The store was originally housed in a unit across the street, somewhat less visible among several other retailers.

“The business really flourished when he had his own building and much greater visibility, and people were much more aware he existed than being in line with other tenants,” Hernandez said.

As for the site’s new owner, Hernandez declined to disclose their name until the sale is final but did say the new business will fit in well.

“I think North Valley residents will be happy with it,” he said. “I should know — I live nearby.”

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