Several years ago, when the toy store behemoth known as “Toys R Us” closed, many people wondered where they would find toys for their kids. Sure, many grocery stores and department stores have toy sections, and there’s always the online space, but there is nothing quite as special as visiting a dedicated toy store.
Fortunately for us living here in the Treasure Valley, several locally owned toy stores help fill the void left by Toys R Us. While the toy stores are definitely geared toward the kids, many of them offer delights that appeal to those big kids at heart, too.
Boise Area Toy Stores
Read on to discover some of these local places as we take a tour around the valley, exploring some of the best local toy and game shops.
G. Willikers Toy Merchant
1508 N. 13th St. Boise, ID 83702
Nestled in Boise’s historic Hyde Park community is G. Willikers Toy Merchant, a quaint little toy shop offering something for kids of all ages. Located in Hyde Park’s business district off 13th Street, the toy store features various products that are sure to captivate children’s minds.
G. Willikers has a friendly staff who enjoy watching the children play and explore the various areas of the store. “One of the things I enjoy most about working here,” said one staffer, “is watching the joy the kids have playing.”
From games to puzzles, creative pursuits, imaginative play, and outdoor activities, G. Willikers has many fantastic toys spanning many generations. And during a recent visit, I couldn’t help but pick up a 30-inch Beamo flying disc. Since its opening in 2013, G. Willikers Toy Merchant is a family favorite to visit, and my daughters would spend hours there if I let them.
3327 N. Eagle Road, Suite 120, Meridian, ID 83646
On Meridian’s busiest Street is Toy Town, our next stop in our tour of area toy stores. Toy Town boasts an impressive selection of games, toys, and activities that are sure to satisfy the most discerning enthusiast.
Toy Town is one of the larger toy shops in the area, boasting a wide assortment of games, puzzles, and toys for all ages. The shop is very interactive, with many toys available to “demo” before purchase. One favorite is the rideable horses that allow smaller kids to zip around the store like they’re riding an actual horse.
Toy Town is another favorite place to visit and is an excellent place to see if you’re looking for a unique birthday, holiday, or “just because” gift.
Time Zone Toys
1760 W. Cherry Lane, Suite 120, Meridian, ID 83642
If you’re looking for a toy store that gives the nod to toys of the past, Time Zone Toys does that. The locally-owned shop has an array of vintage toys, and the owner actively buys collections from people looking for their toys of years past to go to a good home.
Toys from year’s past include G.I. Joe, Masters of the Universe, Matchbox cars, and others. Vintage games and other toys are available at Time Zone Toys.
Time Zone Toys is definitely worth visiting if you’re looking for some nostalgia or hard-to-find toys to complete a personal collection.
Bricks and Minifigs
10150 W. Fairview Avenue, Boise, ID 83702
Ok, by a show of hands, how many of you played with Legos when you were younger? And how many of you have had the unfortunate experience of stepping on Legos in the middle of the night left on the floor by your kids?
Bricks and Minifigs is a family-owned store that sells, you guessed it, Legos. Many of the Legos are old sets that have been sold to the shop. They also put together sets and buy Lego collections to resell. Legos never seem to age, and the shop has a variety of bins containing assorted parts and Minifigures to replace missing pieces or to create your own Lego masterpiece.
The family-run business has occasional events and birthday parties in the store. So, for anyone looking for Legos or Duplos, Bricks and Minifigs is conveniently located and a must-visit.
228 E. Plaza Drive, Suite P, Eagle, ID 83616
Since we’re on the topic of Legos, it’s probably best to discuss the most well-known Lego shop in the valley, Bricknowlogy. Located in Eagle, Bricknowlogy is a “Lego Certified Gold” store, meaning they only sell products that come directly from the Lego warehouse. The locally-owned shop has more Lego sets, Minifigures, parts, accessories, and retired products than anyone, which is part of being a “Lego Gold” store.
Authenticity is essential as there are other Lego competitors that look similar to the real thing. You get peace of mind knowing that everything sold at Bricknowlogy is authentic and not comingled with some other Lego imitator.
With lots of interactive displays, it’s easy to spend a lot of time at Bricknowlogy. In addition to selling various Legos, they also offer great birthday parties and classes, and camps for budding Lego enthusiasts. Their classes are available to “kids of all ages.”
Whether you’re a Lego fan or not, Bricknowlogy is worth visiting.
Phoenix Fire Games
44 E. Fairview Avenue, Meridian, ID 83642
If you’re looking for a locally owned shop specializing in nothing but games, Phoenix Fire Games in Meridian is definitely worth visiting.
Phoenix Fire Games sells all-things gaming, from traditional board games to card and roleplaying games. The shop even hosts tournaments and game nights for people looking to play against other gaming enthusiasts.
The company touts that it focuses on “tabletop gaming” which is evident in its selection of games.
They will also stock a variety of accessories to support their gaming customers.
The Last Word
The Treasure Valley is home to a variety of unique and exciting shops and dining experiences. The Boise area is also home to some fantastic toy and gaming shops, which are fun to visit, whether you have kids or not. When moving into a new area, there are many amenities and services to consider, and toy and game shops shouldn’t be overlooked.