By Eve Nevelos, Editorial Staff ‘24

Tons of Toys was established in 1988 in Wyckoff by the Maietta family. In 2004, Ken Maietta took over the business. Ken graduated from Ramapo High School and received a bachelor’s degree in economics, with a minor in international business, from Drew University in 2004. 

In this interview, Ken talks about his own business experiences and how teens can get involved.

When asked about a bad business decision that he’s made, Ken responds: 

“When I first took over Tons of Toys in 2004, after I grew our Wyckoff location, I decided to look for a new location. We decided – because I went to college in Madison – on Chatham, which is right next door. We found this small, hidden location and it was cheap but we thought we could make something of it. We were there for almost eight years and unfortunately we were never able to make anything of it because it was just too hidden. Later, we opened up [a location in] Madison, and it destroyed the Chatham location. That was a headache for a while because I cheaped out. We didn’t have a lot of money back then so we were trying to play it safe and it ended up being mediocre at best.”

The Chatham location closed as a result of the competition between the Madison and Chatham stores. The business now has four stores: 315 Franklin Ave, Wyckoff, NJ 07481; 140 Westwood Ave, Westwood, NJ 07675; 64 Main St, Madison, NJ 07940; and 1 Mine Brook Rd, Bernardsville, NJ 07924. The Tons of Toys Wyckoff location is currently doubling in size, taking over a vacant lot in Rock Ledge Plaza. The new space is expected to be refurbished before the end of the year, in time for the holiday season.

Ken talks about the new expansion after being asked about his best business decision:

“Having my wife open up a business right next to me! I mean, in all seriousness though, I can tell you that in forecasting, I think expanding next door is going to really really put us on the map and gives us a lot of opportunities to grow. Plus, we’re right here – as opposed to opening up another location, which I can’t watch over so well.”

Michelle Maietta, Ken’s wife, owns Tons of Treasures, located next door to the Wyckoff Tons of Toys location. Tons of Treasures is a gift store that specializes in high-quality accessories for women and teen girls. Popular items include Jellycat brand stuffed animals, keyrings, slime, and on-trend jewelry. 

Ken explains his relationship with Amazon and online shopping as a local small business owner:

“I love Amazon. I think that Amazon put everybody else out of business, so I’m the last man standing. Due to the fact that we have such amazing staff and customer service and a selection that is second to none, there’s a place for us and a place for Amazon.”

When walking into the store, customers are greeted by a group of friendly faces. The store is packed floor-to-ceiling with toys from every generation, movie, TV show, and brand. Staff are trained to be able to recommend a toy for any age group, at any price point, and in any niche. In addition, Tons of Toys Wyckoff is the only LEGO Gold Standard store in New Jersey. Tons of Toys offers a personal shopping experience that can’t be found online or anywhere else in Northern New Jersey.

When Ken is looking to hire new employees, an outgoing personality is a must:

“Well, when I have my pick of the litter, I would look for somebody who’s charismatic, who’s able to talk to people, who shows some ambition, that doesn’t want to stand still, who doesn’t just want days off, who doesn’t play with their phone on the job, and someone who actually cares about Tons of Toys, cares about selling, and making the best of their life. We’re always looking for better people, so we are always hiring and always interviewing. Right now, we’re primarily looking for someone to work 9-5.”

Call (201) 847-9317 or visit any of the Tons of Toys locations for more information about hiring practices and job opportunities.