Biggest Toy Store
Hamleys of London - Europe's Largest Toy Store
If someone were to ask the name of the biggest toy store in the world, the likely response would be Toys R Us, NYC. And, in America that is certainly true. However, in Europe, England's Hamleys holds the title. In 1760, William Hamley opened his toy shop in London and grew it to become the largest emporium of toys in all of Europe, if not the entire world. There are seven floors of toys and games for every age group, from infant toys to games for older children and adults. Hamleys is considered a tourist attraction in its own right and is full of magic and fun.
Toys R Us - US Number 1 for Toys
Toys R Us, Inc. can claim bragging rights to the world's leading dedicated toy and juvenile products retailer. The mega-group has more than 1600 stores worldwide, including more than 700 international outlets in 33 countries and jurisdictions. Their massive flagship store on Fifth Avenue in New York City features a 60-foot Ferris wheel, a 20-foot animatronics T-Rex dinosaur and a life-sized Barbie dollhouse. Billed as the world's largest dedicated toy store, special attractions and a shopping experience unlike any other are showcased.
Both of these toy store giants have online shopping and an unbelievable number of toys and games available. There is an entire section dedicated to Toy Story in Toys R Us, and both feature educational toys in the stores - whole floors of them. The mind cannot wrap itself around the sheer volume of toys and games in either of these places. You just have to visit the stores to get a sense of it all.
BB Toy Store for Specialty Items and Collectibles
BB Toy Store is yet another well-known toy outlet, only this one is a website that deals in collectibles and hard-to-find toy items. Over time, they have grown to become one of the largest known places to acquire TY Beanie Babies and Pokémon cards. They also carry a huge line of transformer toys, a favorite with little guys and older guys the world over. Action figures are yet another of the hot items BB Toy Store carries online. This site seems to cater more to older children's play desires as opposed to infants toys, although you can find some great treats in their "toy store", especially if you're looking for collector items.
Most of us will not travel to England to take in Hamleys, and we may not get to the huge Toys R Us store in New York, either. But, there are plenty of wonderful toy stores in our home cities - including Toys R Us. There's something about going into a toy store that is magical. Suddenly you are transported into a world of make believe and imagination. Children have little problem "changing location" in their minds - it may be a bit tougher for us adults. Nevertheless, just watching the joy and exhilaration on the face of a little one is enough to become carried away on their imaginary trip.
Bricks & Mortar or the Internet - It's Your Choice
If you are looking for specific types of toys, whether action figures or educational toys, you can find them in specialty stores as well as department stores. There are several excellent educational toy stores that focus their attention on stocking the best educational toys for children of all ages. Check online or in your phone book for a brick and mortar store near you. Toys R Us has physical outlets in many cities and towns, and they carry a full complement of toys. If you can't find what you're looking for, ask the clerk to order it in for you. They should be able to get the toy from another outlet within 24 hours.
Perhaps the very biggest toy store isn't a physical building at all, but the internet. You can find any toy you're looking for by checking what's available via the internet. Amazon.com and other sites offer excellent prices and inexpensive shipping in many cases. You could even shop at Hamleys without having to visit the place in person. Now, wouldn't that be fun?
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