High street shopping in the UK definitely is not how it used to be.
When do we go out these days and actually come back, with a truly treasured or rare item.? Not very often..
No more than two decades have passed, since I actually looked forward to dragging my parents around Toys R us, Woolworth’s, markets, charity shops, for Nintendo games, Pro yo’s, cyber pets and aliens in goo. This is Traditional Toy Shopping to a 90’s Kid in case you hadn’t noticed.
These exciting, times were days out for us and our friends too. From when the day started, hunting down what the wanted thing, to the time we finished ‘playing out’. Passing stuff round in school, just so the others could touch the new toy or gizmo.
Walk down most inner city high streets today and what you will find is clinical looking supermarkets, banks, betting, vaping, eating out, mobile phones. All there to help us merely exist, ‘all work and no play’.
It is really encouraging, however there are some businesses empowering those traditional shopping trends, back from even before the 90’s and 80’s to the future generations.
Kings Heath in Birmingham, England. I could say this location prides itself, for lots of smaller and traditional shops on the side streets, York road especially.
‘ I had one of those ‘ (A very apt and clever title), located here, vends traditional toys, gifts and sweets. An actual ‘Toy Shop’ you take time browsing with nostalgic pleasure.
An Aladdin’s cave of true trophy gifts, you put the work in to actually choose a gift for a friend or treat yourself, bundled with some traditional sweets.
Honey Dukes comes to mind, they got festive fudges, bon bons, jars and jars of every sweet you can think of and more, you can’t just buy anywhere, just like the variety used to be.
The vegan friendly sweets, past and present are highlighted, so don’t worry, they got that covered for those who choose.
Sure you can buy retro toys and sweets online, but buying something you like use to be fun, spending the rest of the day playing or showing what you just discovered is all part of a day out.
A visit here is not disappointing, can almost taste childhood, all sorts of memories coming back , From DC comics to Sooty and some of those aliens in slime.
Polite staff, insist they do all the reaching as much as one wants to help.. Which is actually great and very hygienic for sweets keeping everything in order.
Grabbing for each jar, one by one as you choose to make a mix, “Throw in some cola bottles too please” The cost was quite traditional, I got a generous amount of sweets for my coin.
This was not just some vintage shopfront to draw the students in. I truly felt this family run business had heart to it. From the Facebook Photo gallery; Fun theme, events, dressing up and community involvement. Can’t go without mentioning there are talks of a toy museum opening upstairs soon, so that’s another day out.
Our blog store is here when you can’t get out and don’t have the time to browse for treasures.
When you can…
Embrace the idea of taking your children out to a traditional toy store to go and pick something, teaching the independence and social structures they need and you are supporting small businesses at the same time.
This blog wouldn’t be here if these memories are not appreciated. They can be the building blocks to creativity.
Why not drop by someday pick up a gift, and some sweets here or wherever you are in the world.
‘I Had One of Those’
York Road, Kings Heath
Images Copyright – I Had One of those