Need gift inspiration for a niece, nephew or new baby? Try one of these toy shops for size.
The CBD shop stocks dress-up gear, instructional kits and magic literature. And there’s every sort of trick you can imagine using cards, ropes, and, of course, bunny rabbits (usually not real ones!). You can even take a private magic lesson. Go home with... a ‘Svengali deck’ (from $20) of altered playing cards.
The very first Kidstuff store was opened in Paddington in 1969 and now the well known toyshops can be found in more than 20 locations around Australia. They stock musical instruments, books, dolls, educational toys and international brands that span generations, from Sylvanian Families figurines to Meccano sets. And there are plenty of modern characters, like the Gruffalo, Toy Story’s Buzz and Peppa Pig. Go home with... a mini Stegosaurus, Baryonyx, T-Rex and a Pteranodon for $18.99, or a vintage French skipping rope ($12.99).
Kids grow fast, and as they do that must-have trike will soon enough need to be replaced by a bike. These guys specialise in both selling and hiring toys out so you won’t always have to suffer buyer’s remorse. There are big outdoor playsets (perfect to borrow for kids’ parties in the backyard), mini cars (hire cars for kids!), nursery and travel needs and cubbyhouses galore. They also have a retail store that stocks craft gear and more plush toys than you could (softly) poke a stick at. Go home with... a large and colourful sports parachute ($18 for a week) and the Rev ’N Roar Mechanics Workshop for your budding grease monkey ($22 for a week).
If Phineas and Ferb could own a shop, Professor Plum’s would be it – DIY experiment kits and remote-controlled gizmos fill this kookster. They also stock most of their products online and whiz kids will love their holiday science workshops, including ‘Gross and Gory Science’. Go home with... some Make Your Own Slime ($4.95).
They’ve got mad-sciency stuff like the static electricity plasma ball (when in stock) plus hard-to-get board games, soft-toy viruses and molecules – who knew penicillin was so cute? Go home with... a Clip Circuit electronics kit ($15-95-$79.95), which features safe elements that clip together to make a working circuit.