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Best Toy Store 

Readers' Pick

First Place: World of Mirth

3005 W. Cary St.

Second Place: Toys That Teach

Third Place: The Toy Center

In a world where big-box chain stores rule, it’s awfully nice to see that people around here prefer independent, locally owned shops for their toy- and game-shopping pleasure. For sheer quirk and fun, there’s no place like World of Mirth, Carytown’s kid magnet. Customers love the way it stocks things as varied as baby rattles and bobble heads, with shelves packed with games, books, puppets, building sets, costumes and every other cool thing you might covet. Silly stuff like hand buzzers and Whoopee Cushions, classics like Lego and Playmobil, and Star Wars merch. Less goofy and focused on educational toys in particular, Toys That Teach gets votes from proud parents and grandparents who are mindful of maximizing playtime’s potential for knowledge acquisition. The sentimental favorite is forever going to be the Toy Center, open in the same location on Patterson Avenue since 1966. Its traditionally great train and doll collections are a mainstay, but it also has a tempting range of in-demand contemporary toys.


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