Moon Marble Company sells more than just marbles

Moon Marble Company sells a variety of marbles, including homemade marbles, in addition to traditional toys and games. Visitors are able to see how marbles are made aside from shopping.  These demonstrations are offered three times a week.  For a map and image of Moon Marble Company, please see the infographic below.  The company has been in Bonner Springs for 17 years inside what was originally owner Bruce Breslow’s wood shop.Screen Shot 2014-04-21 at 7.21.23 PM

“In the woodshop, we had a lot of scrap wood, and I didn’t want to just throw out these pieces…,” Breslow said.  “I started gluing them up and turning them into board games, and I needed marbles.”

Breslow went to a local variety store but found only one type of marbles- green cat’s eyes from Taiwan.  Eventually, Breslow found a company in West Virginia willing to ship a variety of marbles to Bonner Springs.

“Several weeks later, the semi-truck backed up to the back dock and I bought 85,000 marbles,” he said.  “I’ve been in the marble business ever since.”

After starting the business, Breslow came across the idea of showing people how marbles were made.  In order to do that, he first had to learn to make marbles. He read all he could about marbles at the library and called other artists to ask questions.  Once Breslow received a torch from his wife, he made molds out of wood from his shop and melted Coca- Cola bottles to practice making marbles.

Breslow said the first few were hard to shape into a perfect circle, but after a week he got the hang of it.

Three marbles made by Sarah Sally LaGrand, Bruce Breslow and Aaron West from left to right.

These marbles, from left to right, were made by hand by Sarah Sally LaGrand, Bruce Breslow and Aaron West.

Many of the marbles in the store are handcrafted.  One marble takes at least 25 to 30 minutes to make, not counting the small pieces that go inside some marbles.  Those little parts and pieces are made in advance.  Due to the time constraint to make one marble, Breslow has some marbles shipped to Moon Marble Company.

“We never know who’s going to need marbles,” Breslow said.  “[There are] a lot of companies that produce games, and we send a lot of marbles to them.”

Moon Marble Company has sent marbles to collectors from Australia, Africa and Cayman Islands.  Breslow said he has also sent marbles to China.  Fish hatcheries have come to Moon Marble for clear marbles as well.  Theses marbles are placed in the bottom of the fish tank and help hide the eggs from other fish so they aren’t eaten.

Aside from marbles, Moon Marble Company has a collection of games and toys.

“I thought, well, I don’t want to look like every other store…,” Breslow said.  “So I buy toys and games that I remembered having as a kid, things we did when we were kids.… it didn’t take me long to realize I wasn’t the only one with a childhood, so I buy things that I talk to other people about who are younger or older, and then I look for those things too.”

One of the many

One of the many childhood toys sold at Moon Marble Company is the original Slinky.

Lynn Svoboda is a customer from Omaha, Neb.  Svoboda and her family have made it a tradition to by Moon Marble when visiting Bonner Springs.

“It’s just fun seeing all the old toys you remember as a kid,” Svoboda said.  “And it’s always easy to find something for these guys [her three children] that won’t break the bank.”

Manager Melinda Sells has worked at Moon Marble for 17 years.  She loves Moon Marble because of the people, customers and welcoming environment.

“This place is not the same as all other places because when you come in here today, the next time you come in, I’ll ask you how you are?” she said.  “And if you had somebody with you, like if you had your mom with you today, I’d say how’s your mom?  We get to know the people, and we want them to feel comfortable.”

Moon Marble Company is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.  Breslow also gives demonstrations of the marble-making process Tuesdays, Fridays and Saturdays between 10 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. and again at 3 p.m.  Moon Marble will also be hosting a Marble Tournament from 10:30 a.m. to noon on May 3 for the 8th Annual Marble Day in downtown Bonner Springs.  For more information visit the Moon Marble Company online.

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