QUICK-moving youngsters scooped up over £300 worth of goodies for a children’s charity in a frantic trolley dash at the opening of a toy shop in Wrexham.
And later hordes of adoring young fans were on hand to see sword-wielding superhero Kai, the Lego Ninjago warrior, help The Entertainer make its fanfare debut at the Eagles Meadow shopping centre.
To mark its move to a bright new base at Eagles Meadow, The Entertainer decided to stage the trolley dash to benefit Wrexham charity Dynamic, a unique resource that provides out of school activities for over 100 children and young people with special needs.
They have a range of disabilities from physical, intellectual or sensory impairments, to life limiting illnesses.
The idea was to give two teams of two young people connected with the charity a total of two minutes to hurtle around the aisles of the new store gathering up as many toys and games as they could.
The first Dynamic duo to hit the floor running was 12-year-old Tamsin Smith, who is a regular user of its services, helped by her big sister, Elinor, 17.
After a nail-biting countdown the pair, who live in Wrexham, burst in amongst the stock, throwing a whole bunch of items, large and small, into their trolley in their allotted 60 seconds.
At the end of the dash a breathless Tamsin said: “I think we did quite well and managed to get quite a bit of stuff, including some Minions dolls, which I love, and even a basketball set.
“I’ve never done anything like this before and it’s been a lot of fun.”
Next to thunder around the store was 14-year-old Luke Roberts, also a Dynamic regular, aided by his little sister, Ella, 11, who are from Wrexham.
Their trolley was crammed to capacity with a big haul including soft toys and even a large plastic dinosaur at the end of their lighting foray.
Luke said: “I really enjoyed myself and my sister and I tried to get lots of craft things like paint, pencils and paints which we both love to use.
“It was so good I’d like to do it again.”
When store manager Karen Clutton and her team added up the contents of the two groaning trollies it came to a very impressive 42 items worth a total of £315.98, which drew cheers from the dashers and their parents when it was announced.
Carol Gardner, charity manager at Dynamic, said: “Everyone’s had a fabulous time doing and watching the trolley dash and I’d like to say a big thank you to all the staff at The Entertainer for letting us to do it on their big opening day.
“The two teams managed to collect a fantastic number of toys and other items which will come in handy for all the children who will be taking part in our summer holiday programme.
“All the items will help to keep them very busy during the programme which lasts until school starts again.”
No sooner than the trolley dash was over than Kai, star of TV and film, made the first of a series of personal appearances outside the new store, where a long line of adoring fans and their parents were waiting to greet him.
Kai, the red ninja of fire, is a key figure in Lego Ninjago: Masters of Spinjitzu.
His father was a friend of Sensei Wu and his parents are the previous Elemental Masters of Fire and Water.
He and his teammates battle to protect the Green Ninja.
He was the last Ninja to join the team, last to get his Golden Weapon, and the last to unlock his true potential.
One of the first to meet him was six-year-old Kayden Harry from Borras in Wrexham, which was cause for a double celebration as he had earlier won a £100 voucher to spend on toys in The Entertainer’s opening day lucky dip.
His gran, Tina Harry from Acton, who brought Kayden along, said: “It’s been a really special day for him because he won the voucher and got to meet Kai who is his big hero.”
Kayden said: “Seeing Kai here was really great because I think he’s fantastic and I’ve been waiting all week to come.
“I’m going to spend some of my prize straight away and keep the rest for my holidays.”
Just to prove how big a Kai fan he is, seven-year-old Josh Harper, from Gwersyllt, was wearing an orange teeshirt proudly bearing his hero’s name when he turned up for his photo opportunity.
He said: “I love kai because he moves around so well when he’s fighting and I’ve got loads of his DVDs which I watch all the time.”
Mum Emma Roberts from Wrexham said her eight-year-old son, Zak Graham, had been excited all week about meeting Kai but also a little worried about fitting in his visit to Eagles Meadow before going off to camp with the Cubs.
She said: “Thankfully, he made it in time and is now very happy.”
A delighted Zak said: “I like Kai because he does things with fire.”
Karen Clutton, manager of the newest branch of The Entertainer after the move from Henblas Street, said: “It’s been a great day all round, first with the successful trolley dash and then the appearances by Kai.
“We wanted to do something really special to mark our opening day and we’ve certainly achieved that.
“Our group is a big supporter of children’s charities and it’s become traditional for us to stage a trolley dash on our stores’ opening days.
“We chose to support Dynamic because it’s a Wrexham-based charity which does some amazing work and benefits so many children.”
Karen said that she and her team of nine staff were delighted with their new store which carries a wide range of toys, from traditional ones like Monopoly board games to the latest branded lines from Lego and Disney’s Frozen.