At the start of every Christmas season, my first stop for filling the six plus stockings, I’ve become famous for, is the 2 boutique toy stores in Bloor-Yorkville. Adding goofiness and whimsy to Christmas morning comes easily, with a trip through both of these unique stores.
For one stocking, the goal is a new and different green army man, so I always drop into Game and Hobby Zone, on the lower level of 2 Bloor West – Cumberland Terrace, to discover a unique addition for his stocking. Then it’s 2 aisles over for an expansion pack, to the latest board game, featured on Family Games Night. Circling the store, it easy to lose track of time finding something for everyone whether it’s a jigsaw puzzle, board games, playmobile, action figures, model kits, collectible cars and planes, crafts, remote control products, figurines, toys … the selection is boggling. Whether iconic or cutting edge, Game and Hobby Zone has high quality brands from around the globe to please everyone on Santa’s list.
Describing the numerous benefits of shopping at Game and Hobby Zone versus online or big super stores, store owner Camran Rod says, “we really do carry an array of products that suit age ranges from newborns to adults – we are known for having a little bit of everything, which makes holiday shopping that much easier.” Camran adds that “it’s all about customer service. There isn’t anything better than the personal touch one gets while shopping in person. We really do want to help our customers find the best gifts for their loved ones. Not only can we recommend the hottest items on the market, but we can recommend products we’ve used, games we’ve played, unique items that no one has, but we know will make great gifts.”
Game and Hobby Zone is a strong supporter of the Bloor-Yorkville BIA’s IceFest event, held every February, by providing 600 various toys from Smurfs to Hot Wheels and Matchbox cars, which are frozen into ice blocks, AKA Kiddie Cubes, and given to children for a small charitable donation to Heart and Stroke Foundation.
Game and Hobby Zone – 2 Bloor Street West – Concourse 416-413-1511
When I’m looking for that playful Harry Potter item to surprise my daughter, or something a touch racy for my husband, I visit the jam-packed, quirky Kidding Awound. Nestled on the south side of Cumberland, just west of Bay Street. They literally carry something extraordinary for everyone. Since toys aren’t just for kids, Kidding Awound’s tiny 600 square foot store stocks fun and unique toys for all ages with over 4000 exceptional products. You’ll find a perfect gift or stocking stuffer for everyone on your list.
Kidding Awound provides an expansive collection of funny, cool, and distinctive toys, gifts, cards, and magnets. It’s a blast to shop for all the fun toys in the store and there’s never a shortage of laughter from customers reading or trying out our outrageous greeting cards, magnets, socks, and toys. From classic toys, to rubber chickens, to whoopee cushions to the latest party games, Kidding Awound is the place to enjoy Christmas shopping.
Store Manager Kevin says “Our customers describe us as an institution, since we’ve been in business for almost 40 years now and one-of-a-kind stores like us don’t exist anymore.” They do their best not to carry mass produced toys that you see everywhere. “Every one of us is special because we are unique and toys should be the same,” says Kevin. “A lot of thought goes into picking toys for the store and our customers return year after year because of it.” He concludes by saying “I still have and remember the toy I received from my Grandmother 28 years ago. Toys bring us joy and memories. We are in business of selling love and joy.”
You can even order online, but why would you – it’s much more entertaining to visit the store!
Kidding Awound – 91 Cumberland St. – 416-926-8996