10 Christopher St., near Greenwich Ave.
This magical shop offers exquisite handmade toys and mobiles
alongside everyday classics. You’ll find Mozart’s
Magic Cube ($34.95) and Colorforms ($6.95–$20.95) as
well as Steiff teddy bears ($75–$170) and rocking horses
85 Pineapple Walk, near Henry St., Brooklyn Heights, Brooklyn
If you want your Dora- and Barney-loving children to convert
to higher-end imaginative puppets and costumes, this 2,000-square-foot
shop is a good place to take them. You’ll find primarily
European brands like Playmobil, Habba, Brio, Corolle, and
1500 First Ave., near 78th St.
This standard-issue toy store is filled with familiar games,
dolls and movie tie-ins. Upper East Siders may find their
supersize strollers jammed in the narrow aisles, which are
stacked with toys galore, from Curiosity Kits and Playmobil
sets, pink and navy-blue doll strollers (yes, the latter are
for boys), to art supplies, and much more.
56 University Pl., near 9th St.
Come here for a small but eclectic inventory of development
toys, soft books, activity gyms, machine-washable area rugs
in fantastic shapes (fire engines, frog princes), and colorful
kiddie umbrellas and tutus. Also available are the popular
Folkmanis puppets and Gund stuffed animals. Tuffets disguised
as ponies, giraffes, and zebras are around $135.
19 Prince St., near Mott Street
This housewares boutique isn’t strictly a toy store,
but it does stock figurines of the Smurfs, Babar, and the
Little Prince ($4.50-$6.95), and a nice selection of illustrated
books ($9.95). While cartoon characters like TinTin may not
ring a bell with the younger set, parents will certainly appreciate
them–and so will young teens, given the chance.
You’ll find skateboards ($15–$30). You’ll
find water guns, inflatable rafts, stuffed animals, and more
than 300 video games. You’ll find a full line of action
figures, from Harry Potter to Shrek ($4.99 to $29.99). In
short, you’ll find nearly every toy imaginable.
|Toys have an educational slant at Kidding
Around. (Photo Credit: Kristine Larsen)
60 W. 15th St., near Sixth Ave.
Most of the toys here promote learning by doing—kites,
puppets, bug-collecting containers, kits of all kinds. The
Mystery Rock kit ($26) allows kids to act like archaeologists
and dig up bones; a weaving kit ($12–$104) will keep
creative types entertained for hours.
The Laughing Giraffe at the Monkey’s
Good intentions notwithstanding, the online shopping experience
at this virtual store is limited. Categories include Arts
and Crafts, Games, Kites (which, with no images, becomes an
exercise in trust), Puppets (the donkey and badger are our
favorites), Make Believe, Puzzles (from 35 to 9,000 pieces),
and Toys and Trains.
676 Amsterdam Ave., at 93rd St.
If your toddler is bored with rubber duckies, come here for
a great collection of hand, finger, and stick puppets ($4–$66).
Little Extra also has standards like piggy banks ($30–$40)
and growth sticks ($30).
Manhattan Doll House Shop
236 Third Ave., near 20th St.
428 Second Ave., near 24th St.
The final word in spiffy dollhouses has homes modeled on everything
from Colonial mansions to city brownstones ($100–$4,000),
plus unusual accessories (menorahs, musical instruments).
There’s an extensive collection of Madame Alexander
dolls and a hospital to repair antiques.