Are we turning into some kind of a kid lifestyle store after this entry and now this? We'd like to think not. We would just like to tell mommies out there that we hear yahhh even if we're not yet moms. We'd like to help you keep your children in their happy places. So we'd like you to bring them to Hamleys (without an apostrophe).
Welcome, welcome! You can't miss this store.
Hamleys is one of the world's largest toy stores. Its flagship branch in London is considered as the biggest in the world, an iconic landmark that gets over 5 million visitors annually. Hamleys has branched out to Amman, Dublin, Dubai, Mumbai, and... tsaraaan... Riyadh! As most stores named with a name, this toy store is founded by Mr. William Hamley who started with a toy shop named "Noah's Ark" in 1760. His start-up business boomed into what is now a literal kid's huuuuge wonderland.
The branch in Riyadh opened in Panorama Mall, Takhasussi Street last January 2012. Eyecandy and I visited the store last month and we can assure you that this store will keep your children pre-occupied and happy. Be careful though, your wallet might take a wallop if you give in to your kids' wants. They have a lot of choices and even us, who are ehermn, kids-at-heart, are not prone to the "I want this, this, this, this, and this!" beating of our hearts. I wanted a lot of toys, especially the ones I didn't get to have when I was a kid. Hello Play-Doh, hello Bratz (aren't they scary-looking?), hello Barbie!
It's hard to come up with a reason to build a collection of Barbie dolls at this age (late 20s *cough, cough*) but inside Hamleys, every reason comes to mind: 1. It's Barbie! 2. There are a lot of Barbie dolls to choose and collect. 3. She has lots of other merchandise (hair twirler, c'mon!). 4. Future kiddos can benefit from these (as long as they don't touch them! Haha.) 5. It's Barbie! Who doesn't like Barbie? Anyway, I am wishing too much.
Here are the other toys you'll find in Hamleys and you'll surely have massive attacks of childhood longings, or your children's longings. Whichever applies. Don't say we didn't warn you!
I want to hoard Play-Doh and shape them into food. Gah!
Welcome to our Barbie world! Pink is might! :P
The popular Barbie house.
She's prolly the most recognized doll ever!
My kind of doll.
Wow, she should fix her dress. Lol.
For the young-at-heart
Fun for the family
Lots of toys we haven't seen in our childhood huh. Ganon na kami katanda?!
For the makukulit boys.
For the kikay girls.
For the scientist/inventor to be.
Who doesn't want a rainbow in her room?
Or the moon? I'd love some moonshine please!
Best played outdoors
Ack, I wanna bike around town!
There was once upon a time when Lego was banned in some Middle Eastern countries, Saudi Arabia included. We think it was about this certain 'Lego' figurine. But let's not go into this further and let's just be happy that the kiddos can now enjoy Lego here in Riyadh.
I had Lego when I was a kid. You too? Yes?
The Ferrari cars
I was telling Eyecandy that Shell in the Philippines came up with Ferrari miniatures back in the day as special prizes to those who buy gasoline from them. My uncle had a collection. We love the fiery red color of the Ferrari as well as its smooth finish. Coolio.
Small delights for the boys.
OMG, plastic balloons!
Do you remember plastic balloons? My siblings and I used to hurt our cheeks from puffing into this. They were in teeny containers like the ones above and had small blowing sticks. They sold for 1 peso in the 90s. Hamleys 'magic balloons' are bigger. I wonder if it hurts when it explodes in the face! With that size, the plastic used before might be rubber now. Lol.
Toys for all ages
Even if you don't have kids, you'll enjoy roaming around Hamleys. It sure did bring back a lot of childhood memories for me. It was fun to check out the newest toys too... you know, those toys that were not available when we were kids. (Gawd, I feel so old looking at the toys! Haha.)
Visit Hamleys now!