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Kiddie Koncierge is the SF Bay
Area's premier resource for fun,
interesting, unique, and
creative kids activities.
We provide recommendations,
reviews, and resources on all
sorts of fun things to do in San
San Jose, Marin, and beyond!
Kiddie Koncierge: Resources - Toy Stores -
Resources: Toy Stores - San
Francisco Bay Area
While we try to deemphasize the material aspect of our lives, you
might as well find different things if you have to do it. There are a
lot of places that have oodles of gift ideas for children (big box
retailers, museum stores, online, etc.). But, if you are like us, K-
Mart, Toys-R-Us, Amazon, etc. are a bit too plastic. Besides, it is
nice to browse the merchandise on your own. In an effort to
provide interesting alternatives, we offer a few of our local
favorites. These stores all have unique offerings and good
prices. It really comes down to convenience or if you have a
specific item that you are looking for. Feel free to offer your
Mr. Mopps, 1405 Martin Luther King Way at Rose, Berkeley, (510)
525-9633. Mr. Mopps is a Berkeley institution with a number of
unique toys, games, kits, and books for all ages. This place also
has a bunch of smaller things for goodie bags or to round out a
gift idea. Mr. Mopps’ selection runs the gamut from dress-up to
activities, educational toys, kits, to collectibles. But this is a true
toy store with a very good selection of quality toys. Gift wrapping is
Toys Go Round 1361 Solano Ave., Albany (510) 527-1363. Don't
be put off by the fact that these guys are Toy Consigners. Yes,
wouldn't all of our kids like brand new stuff. But truth be told, most
kids are just plain thrilled with something different. And, if we are
to really subscribe to the Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle thing, this
place is not a bad place to check out. They have great lightly used
toys at reasonable prices. They consign, but they also sell new
stuff too. They are picky about what they sell, so you can be pretty
certain that the stuff you buy there is in great shape. http://www.
Toy Safari 1410 Park St., Alameda, (510) 522-1723 or (510) 522-
4410. Toy Safari is a small, but very thoughtful toy store that sells
new and second hand toys. They have a ton of collectable but
also a great game section. The owner and staff really knows their
stuff and can be extremely helpful. Like Toys Go Round, they tend
to be selective about things that they resell so you aren't getting a
bunch of crap.
The Ark, Berkeley: 1812 Fourth Street (510) 849-1930 (two other
locations in San Francisco (see below). The Ark is a wonderful
place to browse and find a selection of toys for all ages (but
mostly geared towards kids < 8-9 years) and all sexes that you
won’t find elsewhere (as well as a bunch of toys that you will). A
lot of the toys have origins in Europe and are well made. Lots of
creative and fun educational and discovery toys. The stores also
have a very thoughtfully selected book selection although the
Presidio Heights location has a much larger book selection. The
staff is very knowledgeable and helpful. There is no other way to
describe their selection but very cool. Gift-wrapping available.
Jeffrey’s Toys, 685 Market Street @ Third, San Francisco (415)
243-8697. If you work downtown and even if you don’t, this place is
magical. Lots of hard-to-find toys and good pricing. Excellent
selection with a pretty broad age range. But unlike a Toys R Us,
the selection goes a bit deeper and has a lot of surprises that are
sure to engage your child. Games, kits, activities, collectibles, and
more. Not much in the way of books. Free gift wrapping.
Paxton Gate, 824 Valencia Street, San Francisco
Paxton Gate Curiosities for Kids, 766 Valencia Street, San
Francisco, (415) 252-9990. There is a place in Paris which
started out as a taxidermy shop and has become so much more.
It is a natural curiosities shop which, in addition to taxidermy, also
carries lots of nifty natural history art work and gardening tools. If
you are there, check out Deyrolle. If Paris is not in your plans,
Paxton Gate should be on your list. In addition to truly inspired
toys and kits for kids that revolve around a natural history theme,
they have vintage toys and will be hosting cool events in the
future. Check back frequently! This is a special place and should
not be missed! Their website is a work in progress, but is worth
checking out: www.paxtongate.com/kids.aspx
Double Punch 1821 Powell Street, San Francisco, (415)399-
9785. If you just HAVE to have the coolest and most unique toys
and gifts and don’t mind paying for it, then go here. They feature
toys and other merchandise from designers worldwide but with a
particular focus on Japan. Check out some of the stuff they carry
at www.doublepunch.com and http://www.ningyoushi.com/?
Ambassador Toys, multiple locations 186 W. Portal Ave., San
Francisco, (415) 759-8697 and also online at www.
ambassadortoys.com. This place is another store that aims to
provide the unique and the popular as well. Games, dolls, unique
and handmade toys, educational and discovery toy, and books as
well. Definitely not a mass-produced toy store.
The Ark, San Francisco locations: Noe Valley, 3845 24th Street,
(415) 821-1257. Presidio Heights: 3325 Sacramento @ Presidio
(415) 440-8697. See the Berkeley description for more details.
There are a few toy stores in Marin that get high marks from our
A Child's Delight - Town Center in Corte Madera and in the
Northgate Mall in San Rafael. http://www.achildsdelight.com/ A
Marin favorite and for good reason. They have an excellent
selection of toys, games, and kits for kids of all ages. They also
have a decent website if shopping online would be less traumatic.
Doodlebug at 641 San Anselmo Avenue in San Anselmo.
Doodlebug consistently gets top reviews for a great toy selection
and a great shopping experience. And, if you don't like buying
things, then your child can engage in a number of workshops and
classes to make their own gifts. Always a hit. Worth a visit. http:
Five Little Monkeys at 852 Grant Avenue in Novato. These guys
are also in Berkeley on lower Solano and in Las Vegas. They are
kind of a mile wide and an inch deep. A lot of good selections, but
I think you could do better at some of the other retailers in this
For a full list of Marin toy stores, visit http://www.telli.
The Wooden Horse, 796 Blossom Hill Road | Los Gatos, CA
95032 | (888) 356-8821 and online at www.woodenhorsetoys.
com. Excellent selection with a pretty broad age range. Games,
kits, activities, collectibles, and more.
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