“I want to get into children’s cartoons because I love animation, especially 2D animation, like Bluey and stuff,” says Morgan. “ So it’s really good to work with kids ‘cause I can also gauge what’s popular because the kids and the parents talk about it with me.”
Morgan has been in EQ for around three years. She started at Plaster Funtime and was there for two years before it was acquired by Monkey Mania last year.
Things have obviously slowed down a bit in the last few months, but there’s still a regular flow of customers.
“Weekdays are a little bit more quiet. We have people come into Monkey Mania to just play upstairs, but we also have Plaster customers come in on the ground floor just to do some painting, so it varies. Basically, we set up the store and people come play and we serve them – we have a cafe upstairs.”
The premises is like a huge warehouse divided into different sections.
Upstairs there’s an indoor play structure, slides, massive ball pit, guns that shoot foam balls, and a massive jumping castle.
Parents are allowed on the structures as well (if supervised by a child. 😉 ). Or, if they prefer, they can relax and have a snack and coffee and watch the kids from the cafe.
“The most common things that customers come in for would have to be to let the children let off their energy upstairs so they [the parents] can relax a bit,” says Morgan.
Monkey Mania also offers a “Drop and Shop” service.
Downstairs is where kids use up creative energy: making slime, painting plaster casts, drawing.
There are also several kid’s conference rooms – otherwise known as party rooms – available for groups, functions, global summits.
“We even have an ‘under 3’ section for little ones which is really helpful,” says Morgan.
Plaster Funtime is for all ages and Monkey Mania is for kids up to 12 years.
Everyday is magic for Morgan. She loves it when the kids yell “Morgan!” when they see her. She thinks it’s funny when they call her “lady”. She loves the expressive, unfiltered way they talk.
“The amount of things kids say just make you laugh so hard, all the time, like daily.”
Morgan also loves being in EQ.
“I like a lot of things!” she says. “I like that we’ve got the cinema and so many different stores. […] But mainly it’s just a really nice area […] Like you can go around to the other stores and the other staff members recognise you because you visit them or purchase lunch. So it’s really nice ‘cause you kind of make friends with the other staff members at the stores, you catch up and ask them if they’ve been busy today…It feels more of a community based area rather than just individual stores put together. Like it’s really nice. I really like it a lot.”
Originally from Bellingen, near Coffs Harbour, Morgan attended boarding school in Sydney and then moved here. Ultimately, she’d like to move again – to America’s west coast to chase her dream of making children’s animation once she completes her uni degree.
“I’ll start small, in Australia, but my 10 year goal would be to go to California, like to Cartoon Network.”
When she’s not at work, Morgan spends her time playing video games and drawing. She has painted decorations on the large windows of Monkey Mania for Christmas and other occasions.
For now, she really enjoys going into work at Monkey Mania and she thinks more kids should go there too.
“Because it’s really fun here!” she says. “They have a creative section, which is Plaster Funtime, so they can make pieces of art that they can take home with them. So for kids that aren’t interested in running around, they can sit down and relax a bit. And then upstairs we’ve got all that play equipment for kids to run up all their energy and enjoy themselves and have fun. And it’s a safe space for them as well.”