World's Top Toy Shops
Christmas is just around the corner and while it may be tempting to purchase all of your gifts at online toy shop, you should really consider buying through brick and mortar stores to experience the traditional holiday magic. Toy stores are perhaps the most magical around the holidays. Thus, whether you are searching for life size LEGOs, traditional wooden toys, or handcrafted teddy bears, the world's top 10 toy shops listed below should have a little something for everyone.
London - Hamleys
One of the world's most iconic toy shops is Hamleys located in London on Regent Street. Over five million people have turned to Hamleys to obtain the latest and greatest or oldest and most coveted toys. Established in 1760 by William Hamley and originally known as 'Noah's Ark', Hamleys profited so well in its first few years that a second location was opened in 1881. Hamleys has gone through many trials and tribulations from economic depressions to WWII bombings, yet it has always remained a London institution. Presently, Hamleys is a seven story toy store featuring toys, puzzles, games, and daily, fun-filled product demonstrations.
Minnesota - Lark Toys
Kellogg, Minnesota is home to the beloved Lark Toys. This larger than life, family run toy store is not only filled to the brim with innovative toys, but also hosts a working carousel, a kids bookstore, an eighteen hole outdoor mini-golf course, and a fudge/candy store. Lark is a great place to find everything from traditional theatre puppets to state-of-the-art interactive toys. Make sure to check out the 'memory lane' section of Larks Toys where you will see amazing antique toys of the past, museum style.
Macau - Kid's Cavern
Kid's Cavern is an extremely chic toy store located in Macau at Sands Coati Central. Founded in 2012, Kid's Cavern is thirty five thousand square feet of bright LED light displays, giant superheros, and toys you have to see to believe, like their flying model plane. The store also carries childrens clothes as well as accessories and deliciously colorful candy.
London - LEGO Store
The LEGO store in London only recently opened during November of 2016. This Leinster Square toy store is the world's largest measuring in at 9800 sq feet. Plus, its furnishings are unreal featuring a twenty ft high illuminated model of Big Ben and life sized LEGO model of the London Underground Train. There are also several displays of LEGO London culture located throughout the store including a LEGO Bowler-hat mascot and LEGO William Shakespeare. Not to mention, customers of the LEGO store will soon discover that they can find just about any LEGO set they desire here.
Germany - Steiff Shop & Museum
Steiff is the world's most famous teddy bear manufacturer. The Steiff shop was founded in Germany during 1880 by creator Margarete Steiff. However, it wasn't until 1902 that their signature 'teddy bear' made its international debut when Hermann Berg, an American toy-buyer, placed an order for 3,000 of these furry friends. It was in America where the 'teddy' bear truly received its name from the former President Theodore Roosevelt. Today, after several years of success, children are invited to take tours of the Steiff Factory and Museum where large displays of many different stuffed animals live. Paired with the museum, is a grand Steiff shop that sells the entire range of Steiff animals, from classic teddy bears to bunnies and giraffes. For those on a budget, make sure to stop in the factory outlet located just outside of the museum where they sell Steiff toys on discount.
Paris - Si Tu Veux
Si Tu Veux is located in the City of Light's 2nd arrondissement within the romantically covered arcades in Paris, France. It is truly a proper old fashioned toy store that will bring on nostalgia at its finest. This vintage toy store is fully stocked with European games, costumes, puzzles and charm.
Tokyo - Kiddyland
Kiddyland is a wonderland. Located in Tokyo within the Harajuku district, this amazing toy store is infamous for stocking original Japanese merchandise, only found in Japan. Here you can walk through four humongous floors of chicaboos, tamagotchis, Hello Kitty, Snoopy, Rilakkuma, and a plethora of various Japanese toy brands.
Toronto, The Little Dollhouse Company
Located in Toronto, Canada, The Little Dollhouse Company is one of the select few toy stores solely dedicated to dollhouses within North America. There are 85 beautiful dollhouses to discover within the store and each are filled to the brim with handcrafted mini - furniture. A workshop is also included within the store where visitors are invited to view craftspeople creating all sorts of miniature goodies from chandeliers to tiny platters of dinner casserole.
Massachusetts - Charles Ro Supply Company
Malden, Massachusetts is home to America's famous Charles Ro Supply Company which is the largest toy train shop in the nation. Charles Ro Supply Company owns thirty thousand sq feet of model trains making it the biggest of its kind. Try to visit on a Saturday between 10am and 4pm when they run their electric train. This impressive train will trail across six different tracks spanning along three separate floors. Each track has its own set of scenery including anything from mountains and waterfalls to towns and depots.
London, Forbidden Planet
Forbidden Planet is the largest chain of comic book stores on the planet. Its megastore is located on Shaftesbury Ave in London and is jam packed with comics and related merchandise. Upon arrival you can expect to see shelves filled with Marvel, Star Wars, Dr Who, Adventure Time and many more series in the like.