Looking for the perfect place to take your child (or yourself)? How about choosing from some of the largest and most unique toy stores in the world? Talk about a toy collector’s paradise! Here are the 9 biggest and best toy stores, each one special in its own way.
American Girl Place (Chicago, IL)
Since 1986, American Girl dolls have been a toy mainstay in the United States. It started with dolls that portrayed girls of varied ethnic backgrounds from different points in American history, before expanding to include dolls representing the contemporary girls of today, each doll comes with its own particular story and background. The American Girl Place in Chicago, Illinois, is the first store to focus specifically on these popular American creations. Within 52,000 square feet, not only does the store offer a wide selection of American Girl dolls and accessories, but children can have tea with their dolls and have their picture taken with them. Kids can also take their doll to the hair salon, pose with them for a magazine cover and design matching T-shirts for them and their doll, making this the ideal place for the American Girl fan.
Charles Ro Supply Company (Malden, MA)
Trains have always held a fascination for kids of all ages. If your child has such a love, or you, yourself, happen to fall into the “kids of all ages” category when it comes to locomotives, you may want to make your way to the town of Malden, Massachusetts, outside of Boston. This is where the biggest toy train store in the United States is located. The largest retailer of Lionel trains and related supplies, the Charles Ro Supply Company has been a family-run company for over 40 years. The store is three floors of locomotive heaven, with trains running on multiple tracks, in numerous settings to the delight of its customers. The store also offers train products from American Flyer, Thomas the Tank Engine, USA Trains and Trainwerks, making it the perfect location for the train aficionado.
LARK Toys (Kellogg, MN)
Known for its wooden toys, LARK Toys also offers a wide variety of toys ranging from the traditional to the interactive. But there’s more than toys for children to enjoy in this 20,000 square foot family-run store. The store also includes an outdoor 18-hole miniature golf course, a hand-carved wooden carousel, and miniature llamas. Children can also buy books and view antique toys in the store’s toy museum. And don’t forget refreshments: hungry children can eat at LARK Toys’ cafe, candy shop or fudge mart, making for a full day of fun.
The Little Dollhouse Company (Toronto, CA)
The largest assortment of dollhouses anywhere may be available at the Little Dollhouse Company in Toronto, Canada. Here is where customers can wander among 85 different dollhouses and watch the craft involved in making each little needed piece. The store is the leading supplier of Dollhouse Miniatures in North America. Kids looking for furniture or other accessories for their own dollhouses can choose from such brands as Real Good Toys, Reutter, Corona Concepts, Greenleaf, and Bespaq. This store ranks among the top 5 in North America for size and selection. Both collectors and children buying their first dollhouses will find what they’re looking for in this store completely dedicated to the creation and selling of dollhouses and their related accessories.
The Hospital de Bonecas (Lisbon, PT)
While the Hospital de Bonecas in Lisbon, Portugal, may not exactly be the largest toy store in the world, it is certainly one of the most imaginative. Where else can children not only buy dolls, but take broken dolls there to be repaired in a doll hospital? Based in the Portuguese tradition of “healing” dolls for Christmas, this doll hospital features staff people dressed as medical personnel who perform the needed “surgery” with loving care. Children watch as their precious doll is given a checkup, has a chart created for him or her and is assigned a bed. Costs for repairing the doll are given up front, and, if needed, the doll remains over for a hospital stay. Children can rest assured that their precious companion will be returned to them as good as new.
Kiddy Land (Tokyo, JP)
Kiddy Land’s flagship store in Tokyo is the place to go for Japanese toys. In some cases, certain toys unique to Japan can only be found at Kiddy Land. The store is also known for its vast array of toys related to characters such as Hello Kitty and Peanuts. Well known Japanese characters include Rilakkuma, chicaboos and PrismStone. Limited-edition items are also available at the Tokyo store. In existence since 1946, no other store allows its customers to enjoy the enchantment of Japanese culture the way Kiddy Land does.
LEGO Store (London, UK)
The fourth largest toy manufacturer in the world has stores located all around the world, such as in New York City, where its LEGO store offers the company’s biggest Pick-a-Brick Wall, and LEGOland Discovery Centres in countries such as Germany, Canada, and Japan. But if you’re looking for the biggest store selling the famous plastic bricks, you’ll have to go to London, England. Opened in November 2016, this grand store boasts 9,800 square feet of LEGO magic. Along with being able to buy just about any LEGO toy set imaginable, kids of all ages can enjoy some of the largest LEGO models ever created, including an underground railroad, London’s famous Big Ben, London’s tube map, and even the English bard himself, William Shakespeare.
Kids Cavern (Sands Coati Central, MO)
Kids Cavern may offer one of the widest varieties of brand name children’s toys and clothing imaginable, but the store is mostly known for its incredible design, displays, and decorations. Imagine the look of magic in a child’s eyes as he or she walks in to find an airplane flying in the air through 35,000 square feet of everything from giant superheroes to the biggest candy store in Macau. You’ll wander happily through the store’s LED light displays, Toy’s Kingdom and Princess Beauty House, among its many offerings. A day of wondrous delight awaits the adventurous child at Macau’s Kids Cavern.
Hamley’s (London, UK)
No other store in the world has the reputation of Hamley’s Toy Store in grand old London. The store boasts seven floors of sheer fun. Each floor is even given its own theme; it’s like seven toy stores in one. Children can interact with staff who demonstrate the toys for them, do magic tricks, and perform puppet shows. Created in 1760, this London institution has been putting smiles on kids’ faces for over 250 years, weathering years of English history, including war and countywide economic depression to become the largest toy store in the world. Whether featuring the latest from manufacturers such as Fisher Price, Disney, Hot Wheels, Leap Frog, or the store’s own unique line of toys, you can pretty much find the toy you’re looking for at Hamley’s.
Did we miss one? Do you know of a toy store that’s bigger? Let us know in the comments which stores we should add.