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Friday, November 10, 2017

The 30 Best Science Toy Stores--Part 2 by Guest Blogger Andrea Cunningham

We continue this week with Part 2 of the 30 Best Science Toy Stores in America, by Guest Blogger Andrea Cunningham.

 This original article was presented at, a great website that is composed of  (in their words!), "a group of science-loving nerds who hand-pick some of the best products on sale today." 

Now, in Andrea's words:

New Hampshire

 G. Willikers! Toy Shop

13 Market Street
Portsmouth, NH 03801
Why kids love this store: Lots of toys to play with and fun events to attend
Why parents love this store: Elite customer service, wide selection of quality toys, gives back to their community
What’s sciencesy about this store: Embraces all kinds of technology including green technology
Must have toy: Snap Circuits Electricity Kits
G. Willikers! Toy Shop’s inventory of science toys is massive. Their favorite toys are “open-ended.” In other words, children are free to create without having to adhere to default endings.  G. Willikers also believes that playing with toys helps children understand their world.  G. Willikers came into this world in 1978.

New York

 Kidding Around

60 West 15th Street
New York, NY
Why kids love this store: Wooden model of the Staten Island Ferry
Why parents love this store: Huge selection of $5 (and under) toys
What’s sciencesy about this store: Big supply of science toys and a staff who knows that supply
Must have toy: Mountain of Doom Volcano Kit
Kidding Around doesn’t kid around when it comes to service and value.  Their expertise and hard work has earned them praise from kids, parents, and the press.  Can’t make it to West 15th street?  They have two other locations: one at Grand Central Terminal in New York and another in Montclair, New Jersey.


 iSpark Toys

925 Northeast Orenco Station Loop
Hillsboro, OR 97124
Why kids love this store: Can play with toys before mom and dad buys them
Why parents love this store: Owner knows and cares about kids, science, and learning
What’s sciencesy about this store: STEM toys comprise a majority of their inventory
Must have toy: Happy Atoms
iSpark Toys started when a mother wanted to buy fun and engaging products for her offspring.  Realizing there wasn’t such a place, she founded iSpark Toys.  Today, her store sells commodities that help kids create, build, and dream.  In addition to science toys, iSpark offers robotics, coding, and engineering toys.

Storefront of iSpark Toys.  Photo courtesy of toy store’s Facebook page.

 Piccolo Mondo Toys

Bethany Village Centre
4768 Northwest Bethany Boulevard, #C5
Portland, OR 97229
Why kids love this store: Always has the newest and awesomest toys
Why parents love this store: Believes in education and strongly supports local schools
What’s sciencesy about this store: Sells toys that are innovated and cater to the imagination
Must have toy: Test Tube Adventures
The family-owned Piccolo Mondo Toys has two Oregon locations.  Besides their store in Portland, they also have a shop in Beaverton.  “Piccolo Mondo” means "Small World" in Italian.  Every month, PM features toys and books from a different country.  It’s a great way for your kids to learn more about other cultures.


 Spectrum Scientifics

4403 Main Street
Philadelphia, PA 19127
Why kids love this store: Cool science toys and cool science equipment
Why parents love this store: Staff is passionate about science
What’s sciencesy about this store: Every square inch—also sells telescopes, minerals, and magnets.
Must have toy: Tornado Tube
Located in the Manayunk neighborhood, Spectrum Scientifics is Philadelphia’s go-to-retailer for science toys and science equipment.  Don’t let that last part deter you from visiting.  Your child will thoroughly enjoy their visit to Spectrum.  Their toys will cement, or further inspire, your progeny’s fascination with science.

South Carolina

 Wonder Works

624 Long Point Road
Mt Pleasant, SC 29464
(843) 849-6757
Why kids love this store: Thousands of toys to sample and try
Why parents love this store: Wonder Works supports toys that are locally created
What’s sciencesy about this store: Carries products that promote science and foster creativity
Must have toy: Talking Microscope
Christine Osborne and Dan Morrisey founded Wonder Works in 1990.  Today, their one store has turned into four (the other three are in Charleston).  Wonder Works is widely regarded as one of the best toy stores in the South.  Their claim to fame is always being the first store to stock the “coolest new specialty toy items.”


 Fundamentally Toys

2401 Rice Boulevard
Houston, TX 77005
Why kids love this store: It’s humongous and frequently hosts cool events
Why parents love this store: Specializes in toys that hold a child’s interest
What’s sciencesy about this store: Oodles of terrific STEM toys in their coveted Science Center
Must have toy: Dig It Up! Dinosaur Eggs
Fundamentally Toys opened in 1995 and moved to their current location in 2011.  Billed as a "full-service, specialty toy store," FT wants children to learn, grown, and have loads of fun.  Their highly-regarded Spark program promotes toys that offer value to both parents and kids (see their websites for more information).

 Terra Toys

2438 Anderson Lane
Austin TX, 78757
Why kids love this store: Bright, colorful, lots of candy
Why parents love this store: Espresso bar
What’s sciencesy about this store: Stocks fun, challenging, and educational toys
Must have toy: Solar Mechanic Science Kit
The products inside Terra Toys are beautiful, classic, and fun.  It’s a magical place to visit if you’re young or young at heart.  Their sales staff is second to none and they’re happy to help you pinpoint the perfect toy.  Besides the aforementioned espresso bar, Terra Toys also houses an art gallery.

Storefront of Terra Toys.  Photo courtesy of toy store’s Facebook page.

 The Toy Maven

6025 Royal Lane #225
Dallas, TX 75230
Why kids love this store: Staff always makes them feel celebrated
Why parents love this store: Texas-size selection of toys, welcoming atmosphere, all the top brands
What’s sciencesy about this store: Bevy of toys that enrich and entertain young minds
Must have toy: VorteX 3.0, a Techno Gears Marble Mania machine
A “maven” is a trusted expert.  No toy store has a more appropriate name than The Toy Maven in Dallas, Texas.  They are toy experts you can trust.  Their justly adopted motto is “Bringing the Finest Toys to All Girls and Boys.”  The Toy Maven’s second haven is in Southlake.

 Toy Werks

923 North Loop 1604 East, #106
San Antonio, TX 78232
Why kids love this store: Plenty of toys to test drive
Why parents love this store: Cordial staff who’s adroit in selecting toys for tots
What’s sciencesy about this store: San Antonio’s largest selection of science kits
Must have toy: 14-in-1 Educational Solar Robot
There are three things you need to know about Toy Werks.  One, they are family owned and operated.  Two, they are a "real toy store."  And three, regardless of your age, it’s difficult to leave their store.  Their shelves are teeming with volumes of cool stuff including books, crafts, dolls, stuffed animals, and science kits.


 Kinder Haus Toys

1220 North Fillmore
Arlington, VA 22201
Why kids love this store: They have everything from books to puppets
Why parents love this store: “Service, selection, and style”
What’s sciencesy about this store: Entire store caters to a child’s intellect and imagination
Must have toy: Kidz Labs Balancing Robot
Sue Pyatt and her family have owned Kinder Haus Toys since 1982.  They like to think of themselves as an old-fashion toy store.  Besides their assortment of educational toys, KHT also stocks books, clothes, and sporting goods.  Their toys, many of which are made from wood, don’t take batteries.  They run on imagination.


 Math 'n' Stuff

8926 Roosevelt Way Northeast
Seattle, WA 98115
Why kids love this store: Lots of science and math things to see, touch, and enjoy
Why parents love this store: Educational toys galore
What’s sciencesy about this store: Everything!
Must have toy: Chem C2000
The owner of Math ‘n’ Stuff identifies as a "Math Evangelist."  That’s music to the ears of parents looking to get their offspring excited about numbers.  Be warned, Math ‘n’ Stuff is packed to the rafters.  Don’t be surprised if you can’t see everything during your first visit.  Oh yeah, they carry Magic: The Gathering!

 Top Ten Toys

120 North 85th Street
Seattle, WA 98103
Why kids love this store: Bundles of classic and unique toys to appraise
Why parents love this store: Low-violence policy—that means you won’t find toy guns or swords (unless they’re miniature and part of a themed set)
What’s sciencesy about this store: Toy selection is science-oriented, ecological, multicultural, and imaginative
Must have toy: K’Nex

You can’t have a list of the top 30 toy stores in the U.S. and not include the largest one in the Pacific Northwest.  Top Ten Toys’ mission is “keeping healthy play alive.”  This highly touted retailer also deals in wooden toys, classic toys, and collectible toys.  TTT opened in 1987 and they currently boast more than 25,000 toys.

Staff celebrating Top Ten Toys’ 30th anniversary.  Photo courtesy of toy store’s Facebook page.

Andrea Cunningham is from Boston and holds a science degree in biology. She interested in things that affect her children's educational lives, like schools, children's TV programming, and toys that promote learning. She loves going to new toy stores when she travels and has been to many in America and Europe. Andrea lives outside of Boston with her husband, three children, and two Labradoodles (a mixed lab/poodle dog).

Blog Administrator:  Trisha Roberts

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