Friday, 14 November 2014


A while back I put out the question are there still Toy Shops out there!
And it would appear not as they used to be! Most toy shops now appear to be incorporated into other shops, they no longer stand alone unless some massive thing like toys r us.

This is the photo that set us on our quest, the window of an American girl shop in the US. Not a traditional style toy shop because they are purely for the American Girl doll and her add ons but being a lover of dolls , it's a shop I would love to enter...whether I would manage to leave without several purchases of their dolls wonderful accessories we'll never know!!

Rosie in Ireland sent us these next photo's of toys again in with other goods.

Lots of wooden toys.

You can see that it's part of a health food shop.

Kendal sent in this one, that's in a beautiful Tudor building in Chester .

This inside looks like a place to wander full of goodies.

From Wales Jenni sent this corner of a shop

We came across this toy shop come newsagents in Whitby in North Yorkshire while on holiday.

In Hertford where I work the local cake decorating shop is the source for the Jelly cat range of soft toys.

Soft toys amongst the cakes.

Also in Hertford is the wonderful shop The Oak Room. I just love this shop, it's sells a selection of small toys and other gift items and cards.

Their summer window with a gardening theme.

A cage of soft toys

I love this old dolls pram used to store bags

Wonderful fun cushions for children and adults!

A wall of mini children's treasure !

Another old dolls pram used to show the wonderful soft toys for sale.Along the back is some babie and young children's clothing.

More children's items

This section is full of books, game's, stamps and ribbon's buttons and fabric for crafting. A truly dangerous shop..every hard to leave without a purchase !

Earlier this year I went with my friend Kim who is into the Kidz n Cats dolls to Framlingham to KRbears and dolls, half way there I asked her if she'd emailed to see it it was a 'shop' and not just an online shop. She had not! but since the address was in the town centre we continued on only to find that it was an Aga shop but luckily the dolls were stored in the loft, so Tricia the owner of KR bears and dolls kindly got out the ladder and found us some dolls and their clothing, we both left with a doll, and I was only going along for the ride!!

So it would seem that the Toy shop as we knew it no longer exists although their are still a few struggling along out there hidden in streets and corners of towns but having to also have an on line presence to make ends meet.
I feel sorry for the children of the future who may never have the joy of entering a traditional toy shop and finding those hidden gems of little beautifully made toys and games.I understand why this as come about , we are now a computer driven society where people no longer feel the need to see it first hand when they can order on line.
But I will miss the joy of taking a child into a shop and them enthralled by the sight of beautiful toys right within their reach and them finding the one that's called to them.

I must apologise to Dollmum, who I am sure sent me some photo's which I cannot find and knowing that she is a busy working mum, have not asked her to send again but should she have time to I will add to this post.

Thank you to all those who sent photo's I am sure now I have written this, wonderful proper toy shops will be found and details sent, in which case we will visit the subject again, but for now with Christmas coming I will end with a couple of Christmas window photo's sent by Carol from Canada of an American girl doll shop from last year.

The American Girl shops Christmas windows



Angela from Adelaide Australia brings our attention to the doll shop in The Block Arcade in Melbourne.

The photo's are a little blurred , I had to enlarge them from the internet.

A Babushkas shop in the Block Arcade.

 This is the Little man who stands in a Chocolate shop in the block arcade

 A place of beauty in it's self , with doll shop and ....

CAKE!!!!  Oh why must this place be on the other side of the world!!! If you google The Block Arcade you can see these images a lot clearer.
Many Thanks to Angela for this addition to our quest

Mary Shortle's shop in Leeds. Full of dolls!

I found this photo of toys from the past, so have included to see how many look familiar !



  1. I would love to open a toy shop in our nearest little town and even have the shop earmarked. Now, if everybody would like to club together and donate £105,000 so I can buy it, I'll open the most perfect, doll filled toy shop in the world - LOL!

    1. With a tea shop! Then it would be a mini Chat N Snap! but everyday! I would be your partner in this venture but you'd have to cross the border into England as it always raining for days when I visit Wales!! :)

  2. Ooooh isn't it lovely to see that there are still some toys shops out there, or shops that at least have some toys in them for sale!
    When I was in England I went to London to visit Hamleys and it was an enjoyable expericence even though it was Half Term and the place was heaving with kids.....well it IS a toy shop!!!!! I went from bottom to top and back again and really enjoyed looking at the Steiff bears, Charlie Bears and dolls. I saw Makie's and was tempted, but then asked myself "Why?" and realised that it was one of those "just because" occasions, so didn't get one, thankfully. I did also see some Girl For Our Time dolls, but they weren't for me, and some other girls like the American Girls but the English versions. They also had some Croelle girls but they were expensive. So I just looked and enjoyed!
    I know that here in Spain there are factories who make dolls, such as the Paola Reina and the Vestio Azul dolls, amongst others, including the Mariquita Perez ones, in a town called Onil I think, but it's a long way from here, so no photos from me....but one day perhaps!

    1. It is lovely to see some are still out there! I am sure there are more but we just do not know where they are! Hamley's is of course the famous one in London and I do't know why they have to let the children in!! Joking! I think I would have bought the Makie , just because!! :)
      I think looking round really nice toy shops is great.
      hugs Dee xxx

  3. I had completely forgotten about this topic so it was a very pleasant surprise to see it finally featured here today.
    The Toycraft shop in Chester is a truly magical shop full to the brim with toys of every kind imaginable and run for generations by the same family.
    My daughter used to love her visit there during the school holidays when I would stock up with toys etc for Christmas and birthday presents.... and my now ex-Steiff Bear collection, as I always liked to personally choose their faces.
    Unfortunately they never actually got round to selling The Sasha Dolls although I did mention and ask them on several occasions.

    I too would love to visit an American Girl shop, NOT for the dolls though as I'm not at all keen on them BUT for their accessories as personally I've always thought and found them a much more suitable size for the Sashas. I've often wished that the Sashas had a similar shop but then we might miss the excitment that we so often get when we discover an item that is perfect to use for them.

    My very favourites of these were the Harrods tote bags that I discoverd on one of my visits to their Knightsbridge shop, the tiny little Mini cars, the little knitted striped cats (like the one in Sharon's photos of Steve's dolls that I actually gave him although he couldn't remember my name at the time) the furry bunnies in brightly coloured raincoats, the tiny little wooden colouring pencils, the Anglepoise lights and mini torches......that I gave as Christmas presents over the years to my Sasha friends.
    I too loved the Mac Apple and Sony make-up mirrors that made a perfect laptop for them.

    I have managed to have found a little something this year quite by chance but unfortunately I'm unable to send out any Christmas presents this year ....but I'm sure that they will come in useful for some other odd Sasha occasions that often arise.

    1. It does look like it's worth a visit and lovely that the same family own it still. I'm the same I would not want to buy a doll in the American Girl shop but would come out with way too many other items!

      It is lovely to find things that are the perfect size for the Sasha's even if not meant for them, I would love a shop that stocked lots of things that were the perfect size, you'd be able to visit often and purchase an item now and then and one's for Sasha friends etc.
      So I take it we'll not be let into this perfect sasha sized item? :)

  4. It's lovely to see the toy shops/departments which others can visit. I could spend hours looking at all the toys.
    I too would love to visit an AG shop- not for the dolls but the accessories!
    I have been to Chester but missed that fab shop!
    In the same town as Iona, there used to be a real toy shop but sadly it's now on line only. I suppose that's the problem - it's so much more convenient to shop on line and for the owners the overheads are lower. It's a shame though as especially young children love to touch before they buy!
    I couldn't believe the Matryoshka shop - that would be one I'd make a bee line for. I could eat some strawberry cheese cake when I was deciding!

    1. It sounds like if we all came across a proper toy shop, it would be us hoo-ing haa-ing not the children! It's a shame we could not take a group trip to an American girl shop mind you we may all want to buy the same things!! :) and yes then a trip on to Melbourne for cheesecake and a cup of tea!
      Now where's my euro mill's ticket if I'm to hope to invite you all for this trip of a dolly lifetime! Oh and we must stop over in Switzerland to look in the Sasha museum display! :)

  5. Here's the link to the last toys only shop I went to. I knew it was in Yorkshire but bird brain here couldn't remember which town it was in!

    1. That looks like a great shop to visit full of wooden toys and nice games etc. I was so close to Harrogate on holiday this year but did not visit!! drat! :)

  6. Great topic Dee, we have a few toy stores that have maintained their independence but not as many as we had when I was young. I agree that it is sad to watch them slowly disappear. I always visit when I am in the neighborhood of a toy store! It is a great, happy time even today!!! :) xxx

    1. That's so good to hear Ginger. If you ever get a photo of one of them send it to me and I'll add it on here.
      Toy shops are just the perfect place to visit :)xxx

  7. Dee, I think I may have deleted the photos I sent as they were very rubbish and yet another illustration of 'toys within another shop'. As it happens this lucky dollmum is currently stateside for work for the next few days (for the first time in her life) and might just be visiting the AG doll shop ... But don't tell little miss Dmd where I am going as Christmas is coming ...

    1. Maybe you could get some photo's of the Christmas windows of the AG shop should you happen to pass by one ;) Lucky you to be over there at this time of year , I'll not say a word to little miss Dmd...or she'll send you a long list of things her Sasha family just have to have.... :)

    2. Camera is at the ready (as is the wallet...)

    3. Just back from a wonderful day out with Norvell, photos taken of AG doll shop window and inside, a few gifts for Dmd purchased.

    4. That's great that you had Novell to show you around, sounds like you had a great time, look forward to seeing your photo's once you are back home. Of course Mum's the word on the other items.. ;)

  8. I enjoy visiting (on a regular basis) the BIGGEST toyshop in the world......................EBAY ! :)

    1. It NOT the SAME Icy! A toy shop is a place of wonder and joy because you are there wandering among the toys and buying things you just do not need! but just because you love them :) A lot like Sasha's really :))