You may have visited many places across the world but have you ever wondered of collecting souvenirs from these diversified cultures. Toys are some of the best souvenirs that you can bring back home just to have an essence of other country’s culture. From the marionettes of Prague to funny characters from Tokyo, toys are surely memorable pieces that will make you happy and brings a smile whenever you see them. Here are some the best toy stores across the world that you should visit.
AMI Marionettes Shop, Prague
You have always seen puppets just as a way of entertainment, but some ethnic groups of Europe take Marionettes very seriously. The Czechs in Prague perform with these stringed actors at National Marionette Theater. If you ever come to Prague then best souvenirs you can collect are these hands carved linen wood Marionettes. Not every toy shop make masterpieces like these, you can only find these in Old town near Prague Castle. This antique art is continued since early 20th century.
Toy Joy, Austin, TX
One unique and strange thing that you can feel about Toy Joy is its philosophy that “Keep Austin Weird”. This Austin’s prized possession is recently shifted to upgrade downtown. The new well-built store consists of glow in dark room flooded by stars, moons, animals and some remarkable tchotchkes and trinkets. These toys are arranged in prize stand manner. Some other strange toys you can explore are Zombie finger puppets, Kahlo tattoos and tongue scrappers.
Schmancy Toys, Seattle
Schmancy Toys is one of best toy shops across world. As the name suggests, toys sold here are design centric but still a little of the track. This shop is not just a mere toy shop for children. However, Kristen Rask has decorated it with her boutique’s lavish creations. Some strange toys and items that you can explore here are cacti, kits for knitting zombies, dumpling magnets and hand-stitched finger puppets of Johnny Cash and Steve Martin.
Watched over by Italy’s most famous, Pinnocchio, Bartolucci is just five minutes far from Pantheon. Initially Bartoluccis were in a business of wood carving. Since 1936, they have been doing well in this business in native Emilia-Romagna. In 1981, this family started constructing Marionettes. There are no high end technologies involved in their manufacturing. Once you enter the store you can explore pine puppets, figurines and clocks, all made by hand with great skill and with tools like saws, planers and chisels. This store is famous among of the streets of Italy because of its unique masterpieces.
Kiddy Land, Tokyo
Harajuku a district of Tokyo is famous for its obsession for cute and cuddly things. The iconic Kawaii subculture has been Harajuku’s prized possession. So it is not hard to believe that this love for Kawaii has given rise to Kiddy Land in teen filled streets of Harajuku. Recently renovated in 2012, this store comprises of 6 story kid land and has various boutiques having Snoopy, Kitty and teddy bear. This store dispenses toys in small plastic capsules that are worth for souvenir collection.
The Doll Hospital, Lisbon
The Doll Hospital in Lisbon made in 1830 is world’s oldest doll hospital. Situated at Lisbon’s Figueira Square, it traces back of repairing broken toys of children by an old lady. Now skilled artists repair these toys like attaching limbs, replacing eyes. Toys that arrive here are from Barbies to vintage dolls. The skilled artists will make your dolls and dolls just like before. It is like giving them a new birth.
Summary: If you really want to have memorable vacation souvenirs then do try these toy shops. They will show you the real essence of their culture.