We were all children once. Some of us may have children of our own now (not me, just yet). So, you know that feeling of happiness you sometimes get that is comparable to a child at a toy store? That is what this article is meant for. I’m introducing you to some independently owned toy shops that you may not be aware of. You can shop for your child, little brother, little sister, niece, nephew, etc.
You know, I have always had a theory. People don’t actually “grow up,” we just get older and wiser. When you think about it, the power of nostalgia is like nothing else. Everybody remembers their favorite toy as a child. Bring it up to them in conversation and (in most cases) their face will light up like, well, a kid in a toy store. Nostalgia goes way past toys in my opinion, but you get the point. Keeping that in mind; I’ll have a treat for you adults out there later on.
For now my focus is on children’s toy stores. So let’s go over a few.
The Doll Hospital & Toy Soldier Shop occupies 3947 Twelve Mile Rd., in Berkley. I know the word “hospital” has a distinct connotation to it and one that you wouldn’t associate a toy store with. However, if there is a doll that needs to be stitched up, or a soldier in need of repair, visit this shop. In addition to being toy surgeons, Doll Hospital & Toy Soldier Shop also has one of the largest selections of toys and outdoor play sets around. If that isn’t enough, check out the Parent Teacher Resource Center for educational materials. This shop has been trusted by Metro Detroit for more than 60 years, and is in its third generation of family ownership!
Froggy’s Toy Stop is based at 114 E. Fourth St., in Rochester and breaks its toy selection into age groups on its website, making it easy to find what you need. Froggy’s offers high-end toys at a lower price than those old, unoriginal (did I say that out loud?) chain toy stores. Toys, puppets, dolls, puzzles, art supplies and more are all sold here. This is another family-owned shop, servicing Metro Detroit since 1976. Approximately 14 years older than the very person trusted to write this article. Moral of the story: Froggy’s Toy Shop knows the toy business.
Genuine Toy Co. is stationed at 550 Forest Ave., in Plymouth. I decided to put this store in the article for two reasons. The first being that on more than one occasion (although it wasn’t in the exact same terms) the website copy refers to that nostalgia from childhood toys I was talking about earlier. That was a crazy coincidence. The second is that I realized I have been in this store, and it is packed with all kinds of toys and games for me to get my 5-year old brother. If this isn’t enough to convince you, it was also voted as the best toy/gift shop on clickondetroit’s “Vote for the Best Contest.”
Now, I promised the older crowd a bit of a surprise as well. So, I will let you know that you don’t have to be an adult all the time. Check out these “toy” stores for the older folk. You’re welcome.
Vault of Midnight calls 219 S. Main St., in Ann Arbor home (there is a Grand Rapids store as well). I have been looking for a reason to put this place in an article since my February comic book article. Comics/graphic novels, vinyl toys, DIY toys, board games and more are available for purchase here. Everything you need to bring out your inner child is at your fingertips. It is an Eisner Award-winning (awarded to comic shops for creative achievement) store!
Lift Designer Toys & Gallery posts up at 228 W. 4th St. in Royal Oak. It specializes in designer toys and “art” toys. It seems like a place for young adults, but anybody interested in these things can enjoy it. Lift often features the work of many artists and displays it in the shop. Dunny 2014: The Art of War, a midnight release party featuring many artists, is Thursday, June 26 starting at 11:30 p.m. For those of you wondering, a Dunny is a smooth vinyl action figure (which I just learned).
There you have it. Never grow up, Peter Pan! Except when you have to take care of children, have a job to do or are paying bills…then you have no choice!