A toy store represents so much more than a place to buy things to amuse children. It’s an opportunity, the chance to nurture a child’s curiosity and feed his or her imagination. Too often, the endless bland aisles of retail shops – or the boxes of goods ordered online that arrive on our doorstep – short circuit this marvelous opportunity.
Not so Adventureland Toy Emporium, coming soon to downtown Los Aneles. This “8,000 – 10,000 square foot toy store celebrating play” promises to delight, engage, teach and inspire. Designed to be an experience as much as a shopping trip, the fun will begin with several areas devoted to different interests, each with a separate entrance for adults and children so that children will feel transported into magical realms.
These areas will include a Designer Room where children can paint on the walls, a Laboratory full of science-related toys, a Makers Room for budding engineers, a Thinkers room containing puzzles and games, as well as a section of developmental toys for children ages three and younger.
A huge tree will occupy the center of the store, which children can climb. Inside the tree they’ll discover wooden toys. Founder and President Annamarie von Firley has has a BA in Wooden Toy Design & Construction from Hampshire College, where she spent four years studying Child Development. (She also has a BFA in Furniture Design from the California College of the Arts).
Plans include for the store to host monthly clubs (such as a Construction Club), weekend game nights, as well as both daily and weekly classes centered on topics like robotics. Instead of registers and lines that could dull a visit to Adventureland Toy Emporium, store employees will walk around and assist customers.
Especially since the closing of FOA Schwartz, von Firley was frustrated by the lack of spaces that allowed children to explore and made it easy for parents to cultivate their child’s curiosity and unique interests. In the spirit of involving everyone rather than remaining a spectator, she decided to fill the void by creating Adventureland Toy Emporium.
If you won’t be able to make it to LA soon enough, you’ll be able to support the venture by shopping at either their online storefront or on Amazon. A crowdfunding campaign is also on the horizon to help open the Adventureland’s doors. Visit adventurelandtoys.com for more details.