Big City Kites
1210 Lexington Ave., at 82nd St.
You’ll find a seven-foot shark kite ($25) and jet airplane
kites ($23) in the form of Blue Angels and Thunderbirds. But
there’s also a selection of non-kite toys, like the
Kick It Stick It hover disc, a giant hockey puck that floats
on a cushion of air ($24.95).
636 Hudson St., at Horatio St.
This store is an explosion of toys: Rows of bins overflow
with water guns, pogo sticks, and scooters ($35–$100).
Most popular are gag toys—hand buzzers, fart whistles,
and rubber chickens ($2 and up)—and quirky, ironic stuff
like a pig catapult and a Jesus action figure.
173 West Broadway, near Day St.
This small newcomer opened after the owner realized there
was nowhere in Battery Park City to buy birthday gifts. Popular
with artsy Tribeca moms as well as nearby finance dads, Boomerang
carries a large selection of puppets and quality European
imports, including Kettler trikes.
and the Duck
106 Franklin St., near Church St.
This small Tribeca shop deserves an award for originality.
It’s hard to say what’s cooler: vintage strollers
(averaging $1,000) or handmade Raggedy Ann dolls with personalized
messages embroidered on their tummies ($250). Though it may
seem like collectors’ stuff, the store insists that
it stocks for kids first and foremost.
156 W. 26th St., near Seventh Ave.
Kids who want to add a little flash to their bikes
can request a simple change of color, or go for
something pictorial—from Spider-Man to sunflowers.
After the bike is dismantled, cleaned, and stripped,
graphic artists finish the job; from $250.
Children’s General Store
Grand Central Terminal, in the Lexington Passage
This tiny shop’s curvy aisles have stuffed animals,
windup toys, costumes, and puzzles for every budget. Everything
is organized by category and age so you can zip in and out.
218 Sullivan St., near Bleecker St.
Come here for a mind-boggling selection of new and antique
toy soldiers, windup toys, and model cars for young military
buffs. Historically accurate soldier sets start at $24.95
per item, with military vehicles running $75 to $110. Folkmanis
stuffed puppets are $24.50.
Cuts for Kids
1125 Madison Ave., near 84th St.
448 Amsterdam Ave., near 81st St.
After years of giving skittish tots their first haircuts,
the folks here understand the calming power of mini-bubbles,
bath crayons, and doll strollers (all $2.50–$15). Other
palliatives include sweet handmade tutus (starting at $20)
and party favors ($4 and up).
306 E. 9th St., near Second Ave.
At this whimsical shop, you’ll find unusual handmade
marionettes from the Czech Republic dangling from the ceiling
($21–$90), plus sequined wooden horses from Burma and
Thailand and jack-in-the-boxes (cat-, dog-, and cow-in-the-boxes,
You may have to drag your kids out of these dizzyingly colorful
stores by their mouse ears. The purveyor of all things Disney
offers the widest variety of Disney characters and themes,
both classic and contemporary. The stock changes constantly,
so check in often.
1062 Madison Ave., near 80th St.
Next door to Eli Zabar’s gourmet shop, you’ll
find all sorts of fanciful party-favor treats and trinkets,
and even a selection of piñatas to stuff them in. There’s
an extensive collection of Olivia, Eloise, and Madeline goodies.
Board games ($30), journals ($15 to $25), and dolls are popular
280 Park Avenue, Ste. E (actually on 48th St.)
This store sells high-end, diecast model cars, trucks, motorcycles,
and some planes and boats, in mainly exotic brands (Corvette,
Porsche, Lamborghini, Ferrari) as well as miniature replicas
of what mommy drives (think shoe-size Discovery Land Rovers).
The average car is $20 to $100. Italian models are more expensive,
and if it’s the red Ferrari 12-volt go-cart your 7-year-
old covets, expect to spend nearly $800.
767 Fifth Ave., near 58th St.
Manhattan’s most famous high-end toy store fell victim
to bankruptcy in early 2004. But it’s expected to reopen
under new ownership in late fall 2004, with the same focus
on ultra-exclusive goodies for the little ones.