The Good Things
BEST FOR CREATIVE TOYS
Nestled in a heartland mall in the west, this lifestyle concept store is a feast for the eyes. Its setup is similar to that of an art gallery, with grey walls, wooden panels and sharp spotlights all around. Every table, shelf and corner offers a fascinating glimpse into the world of creative knick-knacks, so be prepared to stay a while. Displaying brands from all over the world like Spinning Hat, j-me, Troika and Suck UK, the store displays a myriad of quirky toys, unique gadgets, home décor items, offbeat trinkets and more. From cubes that morph into robots (the Areaware Cubebot, $59-$69) to paper pinhole cameras and other vintage childhood toys (such as Ridley’s Flying Model Plane, $26), you can be sure that whatever you discover here won’t be found elsewhere. #03-50 The Clementi Mall, 3155 Commonwealth Ave West (6659 3746, www.thegoodthings.com.sg). Daily 10.30am-10pm.
BEST FOR VINTAGE
Owner Willy Ong set up his this vintage store, stashed away in a forgotten mall, 21 years ago and hasn’t looked back since. His stock arrives weekly from places like Hong Kong, London and cities in the US and Australia, which keeps things moving and never boring. The tiny space is crammed full of antique vinyl records, china sets and, of course, toys. Among the highlights are a 1949 Popeye wind-up toy ($2,000), a 1975 Charlie Brown jigsaw puzzle ($20) and Homer Simpson robot ($60). Feel free to browse and fire any questions at the knowledgeable Ong. Our only grouse? It doesn’t stay open for long during the day, so make sure you get there before closing time. #03-08 Excelsior Shopping Centre, 5 Coleman St (6339 3985). Mon-Fri noon-6pm, Sat & Sun 11am-4pm.
BEST FOR TOY CARS
From the outside, this bright orange shophouse may look like any other store, but on the inside, it’s quite a sight to behold. Established in 1971, the shop offers a jaw-dropping range of toys, games and collectible items, with a little something for everyone from young kids to grown-ups. Pretty Barbie dolls, old school pool tables, model airplanes and ships, collectible figurines, machine guns…you name it, they’ve got it.
What’s most impressive is their range of toy cars. From mini ones to larger brands, they’ve got all kinds of magnificent brands such as BMW, Audi, Lexus, Porsche, Lamborghini and more, with prices ranging from as low as $2.90 to over $1,000. The best part? They’re all geared up for a blowout sale in December, with the prices of regular items slashed by 20 per cent. Go ahead, unleash your inner kid. You know you want to. 748-758 North Bridge Rd (6291 2633, www.taising.com). Mon-Sat 9am-5.30pm.
Toy N Toys
BEST FOR ACTION FIGURES
If you’re looking for action figures, you’ve come to the right place. Everything in this store is encased in a protective glass or plastic packaging, ensuring that the items are all in mint condition. Although it mostly focuses on Japanese manga or movie characters, there are also plenty of Marvel, Star Wars and Disney figurines for your choosing, ranging from bobble-head dolls ($15) to fully-sculpted collectible statues (there’s a waist-high Iron Man for $600 at the door).
The mall may be a little out of your way, but trust us, it’s a worthwhile trek for any toy enthusiast. Even if you can’t find something to add to your collection here, there are at least six other toy stores in the vicinity. #01-25/26 China Square Central, 18 Cross St (6438 6806, www.toyntoys.com). Mon-Fri 11.30am-8pm; Sat 11.30am-7pm; Sun 10.30am-6pm.
The Wright Gift
BEST FOR GROWN-UP KIDS
Stepping into this gift shop is like entering a treasure trove – its wooden panels and warm spotlights provide a clean background to the myriad of vintage collectibles, avant-garde gadgets and elegant posters. As you roam around the place, you’ll be drawn to its majestic telescopes (all polished and pretty), stuffed animals and model ships, cars and airplanes. Little hot air balloons hang from the ceiling and birdhouses adorn the walls, lending a cool retro vibe.
For all you grown-up kids out there, this is like paradise. Think wind-up toys (like the the gorgeous Authentic Models Bantam Midget miniature race car, $796), games you used to play when you were little (like chess and backgammon), glossy vintage replicas and even kooky magic kits. If you look into the glass casings, you’ll find name card holders, liquor flasks, wallets, timepieces and more. But if you’re like us, you’re only there for the toys. #B2-42 The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands, 2 Bayfront Ave (6688 7242, www.thewrightgift.com). Daily 10.30am-9pm.