Trying to find great toys in Paris?
Molly Pisula shares her experience of toy shopping pour les enfants à Paris
As a new arrival in Paris, I was a little worried when my almost-6-year-old’s birthday came racing around the corner. Yes, my daughter would be happy with the same old regular dolls, toys, and Lego that we left behind in the United States, but I wanted something a little more special. A little more Paris. Google to the rescue! A few clicks, and I had lists of recommended stores for toys in Paris—the problem was, there was no clear indication of what any of them were like. I decided to head to the 9th arrondissement, where three stores were located quite near each other and MLP has explored a few more…
The first, Village Joué Club, is a huge toy store, or really multiple toy stores, that takes up an entire small block. It is broken up into different shops for baby toys, dolls, cars/trains, Lego, crafts, etc. so it’s pretty easy to make a targeted strike into the department you need. I couldn’t resist taking advantage of the Lego Friends sale, so I hopped into the Lego shop for a moment. But, that really wasn’t what I came for, and I quickly moved on to the other two options.
The second store, Pain d’Epices, which means Gingerbread, was exactly what I was wanted. Located down the picturesque Passage Jouffroy, the first floor was filled with dollhouse furniture and miniatures.
But just up the stairs overflowing with puppets and lunch boxes were two wonderful little rooms filled with a variety of cute toys for girls and boys, ages 1-10 or so. I bought my daughter a treasure-hunt kit, an adorable French dog sticker/paper doll set, and a set of three puzzles with Paris scenes that fit together when they’re done. So cute.
Next, I headed to Si Tu Veux, (If You Want!), also located down one of those wonderful passageways that make gift shopping feel like an adventure into the charming world of Paris. And again, I found just what I was looking for.
More toys, but also a whole room of cute books and games. In French, bien sur, but lots of picture books. I found a sweet one about a lizard named Aldo, along with a little board book with instructions for making shadow animals using a flashlight against a wall. And, a fun little game called Mosquito that helps develop hand-eye coordination and comes with high-quality cards and little rubber bees, a flower, and an apple for playing the game.
Best of all, at both Pain d’Epices and Si Tu Veux, they wrap your presents for you with sweet little ribbons and brightly coloured bags. Hard work, done. Sit back and let the kids in your life ‘ooh’ and ‘ahh’ over their little taste of Paris!I found these toys in Paris at: Village Joué Club – 5 Boulevard des Italiens, 75002, Pain d’Epices – 29 Passage Jouffroy, 75009, Si Tu Veux – 68 Galerie Vivienne, 75002
In addition to these fabulous places found by Molly, Paris has quite a number of pretty cool independent toy shops. MLP did a bit of research and discovered a few more havens for kids, packed with great toy choices.
A children’s shop wrapped in trés chic packaging, this is a great little space. In addition to quite a unique selection of toys, you’ll find kids furniture here too. Plus, their party sets are super fun, matching cupcake cases with serviettes and sweet cards. There are two Bonton stores, north and south of the river. It’s a little expensive, you have been warned!
Au Nain Bleu
The oldest Toy store in Paris can be found on the Rive Gauche. Full of traditional and retro toys, the owners take their position as the first in the city seriously. Rocking horses… dolls houses, it’s all there.
252 Boulevard Saint-Germain 75007
Wrapping paper, balloons, birthday cards – for every event from Halloween to Christmas, New Year celebrations and birthdays, Mille Fete is all about decorations – there are some gifts here but it’s the number one spot to visit, to deck out a party
26 Rue de l’Abbé Grégoire, 75006 Paris
Trésors pour enfants indeed – Les Fanfans is packed with a messy magnificent range of toys inside and out! From wooden toys to mad gadgets, boardgames and books there is a veritable feast of ‘toy hoarder’ heaven here.
“Belle sélection. Bon conseil. Accueil très sympathique. Belle petite boutique”
(“Beautiful selection, great advice, a nice welcome and a very pretty, small shop”) One reviewer wrote a few months ago!
42 Rue François Miron, 75004 Paris
Le Joker de Paris
If the toy you are looking for centres on improving the mind then this could be the perfect option for you. Le Joker de Paris is a board game and puzzles emporium, also pool tables and figurines for war games can be found here.
77 Rue de la Verrerie, 75004 Paris
For traditional toys, Tikibou has ‘carved’ it’s space in the Paris toy market. You’ll find lots of old wooden toys and games. Snow Domes, music boxes, collector cars and odd figurines.
33 bd. Edgar Quinet , 75014 Paris
If you’re in search of vintage collectable toys and figurines or one-off style items from around the world, your best bet is to explore Lulu Berlu. It’s completely bonkers in the range of toys on offer – eclectic is probably a good word to describe the selection! Think vintage retro strangely coupled with a few modern items.
The top end of this video gives you an idea of what’s in store. Prices may shock you!
2 Rue du Grand Prieuré, 75011 Paris
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A TOYS IN A BOX GIFT FOR MLP READERS
Une Cadeau Francaise is offering 20% off their fabulous new product just for MLP readers.
Alfred, a Parisian native and lover, created le Cadeau Francais, in order to share with expats and travellers the spirit of Paris and France through amazing gifts, put together in an elegant and convenient gift box. Each of his 4 lovely illustrated gift boxes bring together a selection of iconic items : a perfect gift for anyone on your list, adults or kids ! “
It’s a fab last minute gift option. The discount code is MLP!!! Kids sets are €45 and adult sets are €49 before the discount! So get your 20% off. http://www.lecadeaufrancais.fr/coffret
The Mainstream Players in our toy story
All the major department stores have fabulous toy departments too.
Galeries Lafayette, Le Bon Marché and BHV should be on your list of places to go if you want to grab a last minute gift. BHV is where the French tend to venture, leaving the tourists to peruse the more expensive ‘magasins’ amongst its peers.
Don’ forget Toys r Us and FNAC and the new Lego store at Les Halles, where you are guaranteed to find almost everything your heart desires but not something necessarily traditional. For such things, you will definitely have to venture into the independent stores listed above.
Hope you found this post useful! Please like it and/or comment. Subscribe to the MLP newsletter and follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, Pinterest too. For more inspiration check out the MLP Christmas Markets post and the 30 things you should do over Christmas with the kids.Love MLP