There’s nothing quite as magical as stepping through the doors of an authentic, old-school toy store. With warm and welcoming atmospheres, local toy shops are staffed with friendly, attentive folks who love children and genuinely want to make them smile. New Jersey is home to several wonderful independent toy stores that carry a great selection, including many unique items you won’t find in those big retail stores.
Many of these locations also offer personalization and gift wrapping to make your shopping even easier. Whether you’re looking for the perfect gift or just want to treat your kids to a fun afternoon, these shops won’t disappoint.
Big Fun Toys
Location: 602 Washington Street, Hoboken
Details: The motto at Big Fun Toys is “shop yourself silly”! For more than 15 years, Big Fun Toys has been Hoboken’s go-to spot for delightful items that are perfect for both young children and the young at heart. Manager Kathleen Childs works closely with the store owner to find both high-quality educational products, as well as comically random toys. This great neighborhood shop also hosts special events for kids, including craft nights.
More info: www.bigfuntoys.com/big-fun-toys or call 201-714-9575
Location: 25 Palmer Square East, Princeton
Details: To say that the folks at JaZams carefully select the toys and books they sell is an understatement. Store owner Joanne Faruggia and her staff search around the globe for beautifully designed and finely constructed toys and books. They stay up to date on the newest and coolest items and have personally tested nearly all of the products on their shelves. Located in the heart of downtown Princeton, the store often hosts special events such as book signings and musical programs.
More info: www.jazams.com or call 609-924-8697
Just Kidding Around
Location: 507 Bloomfield Avenue, Montclair
Details: Voted “Best Toy Store in New Jersey” by New Jersey Monthly magazine, Montclair’s Just Kidding Around carries a wide range of games, toys, books and puzzles. The friendly staff is always on hand to make sure you leave with the perfect toy or gift to inspire the children in your life. Choose from action figures, puppets, trains and wooden toys, or stop in for some hands-on fun during their craft nights.
More info: www.kiddingaroundtoys.com or call 973-233-9444
Location: 119 Main Street, Manasquan
Details: Named for owner Jenny Robertson’s daughter Quinn, this whimsical store has been a staple of the Manasquan community for more than 13 years. Ms. Robertson personally hand-picks each toy found on the store’s shelves. The eclectic offerings include dress up skirts, marionettes and art supplies. Smiling staff members are available to help guests choose a special present. The store also offers complimentary gift wrapping, as well as free personalization.
More info: www.bigfuntoys.com/quinnderella or call 732-223-1124
The Toy Chest
Location: 335 High Street, Hope
Details: Take a step back in time at The Toy Chest. This adorable store sells toys for everyone, both young and old. Their unique inventory includes both classic favorites and new, exciting items. Specializing in collectibles and reproductions, the store boasts a large collection of mini figures, retro video games and dolls. Customers often stop in to shop for their children and end up leaving with a few goodies for themselves too.
More info: www.thetoychestllc.com or call 908-459-0494
Location: 200 Bellevue Avenue, Hammonton
Details: Toy Market is South Jersey’s largest independent toy store. The 3500 square feet shop features a wide variety of toys not carried by larger retailers, including puppets, games, puzzles and books. The well-trained staff provides a great shopping experience, educating shoppers on buying toys that will be enjoyed for a long time. The shop also offers fun monthly events for customers. Past highlights include arts & crafts activities, a dinosaur dig, American Girl parties and a “Touch a Truck” event.
More info: www.mytoymarket.com or call 609-561-2121
The Toy Professor
Location: 430 Springfield Avenue, Summit
Details: This shop’s owners know that play is “serious business” for kids. The bright and cheerful store encourages children to play and explore, with plenty of demonstration toys and a large play area in the back that features tents, vehicles, dolls, kitchens and more. Owners Geoff and Linda Stern only stock toys that pass their “play value evaluation,” which means each toy is engaging enough to maintain children’s interest. The experts at The Toy Professor make every effort to ensure their customers leave with a toy that is a perfect fit for its recipient.
More info: www.toyprofessor.com or call 908-918-1888
Location: 410 Route 34, Colts Neck
Details: Customers love the Toybox for its great selection of toys, excellent customer service and beautiful gift wrapping. The store offers unique toys and books for children of all ages. Their expansive inventory includes popular items like Pokemon and Shopkins, as well as specialty products and seasonal gifts. They also carry toys for children with special needs. Check their Facebook page for the latest details on upcoming events and new arrivals.
More info: www.facebook.com/Toybox or call 732-866-6676
Wonder World Toys
Location: 23 South Main Street, Medford
Details: Located in the heart of historic Medford, Wonder World Toys offers a wide variety of fun, interesting toys from around the world. They carry everything from Legos and Shopkins to Green Toys that are made in the USA. There’s always something going on at this great little store, including local fundraisers and kid craft days. The staff at Wonder World Toys, known for their great customer service, will even wrap and ship your purchases for you.
More info: www.wonderworldmedford.com or call 609-953-1118
Looking for more locally-owned stores in the Garden State? Click here to find The Best Independent Stores in New Jersey.
Hero (Top) Feature Image: dmitrimaruta/Adobe Stock
Additional Body Images (in order) Courtesy:
Facebook/Big Fun Toys
Facebook/Just Kidding Around
The Toy Chest, LLC
Facebook/Wonder World Toys