Walking into a big chain toy store or even the toy department at your favorite place to shop can sometimes feel more like walking into an electronics store. With video games and electronics taking over where toys used to dominate, it can be difficult to find a toy store that truly understands what it means to have a designated children’s play thing that remains popular no matter how much the times change. Chicago has some unique toy stores that each have their own specialty. Whether you’re looking for the standard stuffed animal or an overly elaborate model train set, there are a number of different stores to choose from.
4749 N. Lincoln Ave.
Chicago, IL 60625
While this toy store isn’t exactly the size of some of those big chain stores, it more than makes up for it in how jam packed the merchandise is. One of the biggest draws to Timeless Toys is the fact that the products are categorized by age group. This can make it super easy to pick out birthday and holiday presents and the free gift wrapping is a definite bonus. The toys seem to cater towards children under the age of 12 and stick to timeless favorites rather than what seems to be popular at the moment.
Marbles: The Brain Store
Water Tower Place
845 N. Michigan Ave.
Chicago, IL 60611
Featuring games, toys, gadgets and more, Marbles: The Brain Store is more than just a place to buy the typical stuffed animal toy for a little one. It is perfect for the older child that has tastes that have evolved from the standard toy or the child looking for something a little more challenging. This is also a great place for adults looking to stimulate their brains while having fun and playing like they did when they were kids. If you’re looking for a truly unique gift that won’t likely be duplicated, this is the store to get lost browsing in.
4628 N. Lincoln Ave.
Chicago, IL 60625
Don’t let the name of the store fool you. While many people think of collectibles as being rare and expensive items that require a sealed glass box for display purposes, Quake Collectibles has all of the favorites from your childhood without the jacked-up price tags. There is everything from old school Barbie items to original action figures. Price tags are negotiable for those willing to haggle and the shop is always willing to buy old toys. If you’ve been wondering if those old toys of yours are worth any money, take them into Quake Collectibles and make sure to browse around while you’re in there.
520 N. Michigan Ave.
Chicago, IL 60611
From the outside, it can seem like this is just another toy store. However, looks can be deceiving in this downtown eclectic children’s store. It offers accessories, clothing and specialty items apart from the toys and books. Perfect for the younger child, the plush toys are super cute and soft for your little one. It seems like each toy is handpicked for Kooky Kids. Visitors can expect to see specialty items like a finger puppet set or even over-sized items like a giant zebra or a stuffed giraffe.
Berwyn’s Toys & Trains
7025 Ogden Ave.
Berwyn, IL 60402
This monster-sized retailer offers everything you might want in a regular toy store and a hobby shop combined. Specializing in trains and toys that spark imagination, Berwyn’s offers a huge selection of toys and coordinating accessories. Parents will love the elaborate model train display, while kids will love the three children’s train tables set up to play with while shopping. For those looking to truly start being the hobbyist they’ve always wanted to be or just the parent looking for more of a selection when it comes to Thomas the Tank Engine, this is the place for you.
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Sara Lugardo is a professional writer out of Chicago, Illinois. She has a Bachelor’s in Communication and is currently working on her Master’s. Her work can be found on Examiner.com.