HAPPY youngsters rushed into Swindon's new Smyths toy shop this morning after queueing up with their parents to be the first through the doors.

A short queue of dedicated families waited outside the latest addition to Greenbridge Retail Park before the ribbon-cutting at 8.30am.

Gia Jones' nine-year-old daughter Daisy had already started picking things for her Christmas list after browsing the aisles of stacked shelves.

Gia said: "Her school shut for polling day. Since Toys R Us closed, there's been nothing similar to it - there's a little shop in town, The Entertainer, but nothing you can wander around in like this and going online is just not the same.

"As a kid, I remember enjoying getting lost for hours in Toys R Us so it will be nice for the kids to have that too.

"Daisy likes everything girly and my son will be amazed by the gaming section."

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Leon Benfield brought his cheerful sons AJ and Ben along to have a look around.

He said: "They're really excited, they like Star Wars and Fortnite and a bit of everything. It's great to have a Smyths that's closer than the one in Gloucester, the kids love it and I think we'll be coming back here a lot. It will be interesting to see if the prices are competitive."

Chantelle Riley said: "Ever since I first heard about this being discussed and knew there was a chance of it opening, I've been counting down the days.

"Swindon does not have a major toy shop so I'm mega excited about this. I was awake at 5.30am because I couldn't sleep and I plan to come back again and again for the next few days.

"I collect a lot of Lego so it's great to have a shop like this so close by, I reckon it will bring a lot more people into Swindon - they just need to fill the other empty shops in Greenbridge now, maybe with another Primark or CEX."

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Three-year-old Marliya Ryan did the honours of cutting the ribbon and received a £50 voucher to spend in-store. Her mum Charley Hibbert is one of 52 staff working for the retailer.

Manager Adrian Brown said: "It's really nice to have a local team and bring employment to the area.

"I was really looking forward to today, it's so exciting. All the hard work and effort has paid off, it's fantastic to finally be open.

"It was good to see people gathering outside, there was a nice atmosphere. 

"There was a big gap in the market for something like this to fill, since Toys R Us had closed and Mothercare shut - we have a brilliant nursery section - so this store is great for customers."

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CocoMelon will be at the shop until 5pm today, then Sonic the Hedgehog will whizz by for a visit on Friday from 10am to 2.30pm before Chase and Rubble from Paw Patrol pop over with Bluey and Bingo on Saturday.

Check out our sneak peek inside the new store.

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