The Rise of the Independent Toy Store

Category: Shopping + Fashion Articles


Locally owned, independent toy stores saw a stellar year, thanks in part to a growing shopper awareness. But their success is also because of the way they encourage your children’s natural curiosity and sense of discovery, allowing them to create and use their own imaginations so that even you, in hectic schedule mode, will stop, sit and marvel at the world with them in a way you just can’t at Toys R Us. Pick up popular Dunnys or some homemade fortune cookies at Schmancy (Downtown, 1932 Second Ave.; 206.728.8008), or indulge in old-school Bazooka gum and a Tiddledy Winks at Max & Quinn’s Atomic Boys (West Seattle, 4311 SW Admiral Way; 206.938.3255). Each Karito Kids purchase at Precocious (Madrona, 701 34th Ave.; 206.322.9396) includes a donation to KidsGive. Kids can take home European toys and stuffed animals along with Goodnight Moon at Clover (Ballard, 5335 Ballard Ave. NW; 206.782.0715). Owners Mikki and Curtis Kingrey of Urban Kids Play (Queen Anne, 1805 Queen Anne Ave. N; 206.285.7529) feature Automoblox ($35), super-designed race car puzzles, and Haba wooden toys. Over at Planet Happy (Ravenna-Bryant, 2914 NE 55th St.; 206.729.0154), Bridgett and Hunter Brown’s toy shop, pick up a pair of rubberwood elephants from the Wondrous Wilderness figure sets from ImagiPlay ($5.95). And as an added bonus, everything is rated according to seven earth-friendly product keys: green, fair trade, organic, socially responsible, ingenious design, multiuse and natural. You don’t get more Seattle, or more fun, than these toylands!