Bar at the Old King Cole Room
One of the most read and commented on Global Toy News articles has been, “Toying with New York; 7 places to go during Toy Fair.” Seven places was not good enough for many of you and I thank all of you who have contacted me through the comments section as well as Linked In groups with additional recommendations for toy oriented places to visit in New York. I thought of a few more as well so here is the new and improved list containing 14 places to go.
Well, no it’s not exactly a toy place, but there is something wonderfully whimsical and childlike about having a drink under the eyes Old King Cole. The mural that overlooks the bar was painted in 1906 by noted illustrator Maxfield Parish. It’s not always easy to get a seat but it’s definitely worth a look. Visit it at the St. Regis Hotel, 2 East 55th Street.
The 21 Club is noted for its history as a speakeasy during the Prohibition Era as well as for the bevy of toys that hang from the ceiling in the bar. Located at 21 West 52nd Street, 21 Club is a great place to grab a drink and gaze up at some American toy history.
The Compleat Strategist
Thank you Jeff Bakalchuck for reminding me about The Compleat Strategist at 11 East 33rd Street (between Madison and Fifth Avenue). If you are love games of any kind, this is the mother ship. I don’t know if they carry every game known to man but t sure looks it.
Reader, Matt Morgan, pointed out that I had left out Toy Tokyo. If you are in to urban vinyl or whatever they are calling toys as art objects these days, make a trip to Toy Tokyo located in the East Village at 91 Second Avenue between E. 5th & E. 6th St. While downtown, and also visit Kid Robot at 118 Prince Street.
Several of you took me to task for leaving out this home to toys, comics, graphic novels and so much more. You can visit Forbidden Planet at 832 Broadway near Union Square.
Midtown Comics is purported to be the biggest comic book store in the country. It also carries a large number of “kidult” toys. There are three stores in Manhattan but the one I am most familiar with is the original one located at located at 200 W. 40th Street in the Times Square area.
If you like to drink and play games, then Fat Cat is the place for you. Located at 75 Christopher at 7th Avenue, the club has, according to its website , “10 pool tables, 10 ping pong tables, 3 shuffleboard tables, 3 foosball machines, and enough chess (with time clocks), checkers, backgammon, and scrabble sets to satisfy a mob.” I’ve been there and it’s true.
If you are in need of some super hero supplies, say a “46 Oz. Evil Blob Containment Unit” or an anti-freeze sized bottle of Chaos, make sure you make it to 372 5th Ave. Brooklyn, NY. With tongue in cheek and “real products” you can purchase (the Blob Containment Vessel will run you $25.00), it’s a hoot and you could learn a few things about putting the fun back into merchandising and marketing. If you want to check them out before you make the visit, go to www.superherosupplies.com
No, it’s not your father’s FAO but it still is a great repository of unique toys from all parts of the world. Visit and you may be surprised by what you find. FAO Schwarz is located at 767 5th Avenue, New York, NY.
Scholastic’s flagship store is located in Soho, 557 Broadway (Between Prince & Spring Streets). It contains all things Scholastic from Clifford’s Dog House to the Magic School Bus to Interactive Kiosks and even a Club House.
If you want to visit the Toy Museum of New York you will need to travel to 180 Smith Street in Brooklyn. Once there you will find an array of antique toys but be aware that the museum also houses “Queen Marlene’s Toy Theatre” and you have to attend if you want to see the exhibits. Check out the website before going at www.toymuseumny.org
This 3D Printing Pop Up store is only going to be around from January through February 19 so make the trip to 835 Ave of Americas (6th avenue and 29th street). You can buy 3D printers or objects printed out on 3D printers. If you want to learn about the 3D printing business this could be a good place to start.
Barnes & Noble 86th Street Store
If you want to see the right way to create an "Adult" toy and game department make your way to 150
East 86th Street (near 3rd and 86th). After you're finished run two doors down to Shake Shack and grab a great burger and milk shake (nothing to do with toys, just good food).
Have a good time but remember to go to Toy Fair.