Here’s some happy news for your Friday — we’ve got the scoop on a new toy store coming to East Passyunk Avenue. (Yay for new fun things!) Welcome, Tildie’s Toy Box — the brainchild of East Passyunk resident Michelle Gillen-Doobrajh and her husband, Paul. Tildie’s is an emporium of toys that spark imagination, that encourage kids to explore and discover on their own, and that help them interact with each other and engage their creativity. (So … no Xboxes here!)
Michelle, mother of an almost four-year-old and a one-year-old, is a Penn grad with a background in architecture and culinary arts. She’s spent the last few years as a stay-at-home-mom — a time in which she spent great deal of energy finding playthings that would help grow the kids’ minds and, obviously, still delight them. “You know, not just the type of toy where you’re pushing a button, waiting for the toy to entertain you.”
She quickly realized that it’s not always so easy to find the sort of toys she and her kids loved the most — and she wanted to remedy that. Enter, Tildie’s, which is brimming with toys for newborns on up to 15-year-olds, ranging from stacking toys to crafty toys to science kits, as well as games, picture books, puzzles, pretend-play gear, plushies, and much more. The goods include everything from locally made gems — things like Narberth-based Crazy Aaron’s Putty (including magnetic putty! And heat-sensitive color-changing putty!) — to charming international brands, like the store’s vast number of stuffed animals by Jellycat and Moulin Roty and Kaloo.
It all sounds rather magical, no? That’s exactly the idea, says Michelle. “The best toy stores are where adults get that feeling of being a kid again. That’s what we’re going after here — not just a place for kids, but a place for the whole family to enjoy that sense of excitement and wonder and fun.” (Down the road, Michelle adds, she hopes to use the little play space in the back of the store for regular storytimes and crafts.)
The store is soft opening any moment now (literally — maybe even today! You might call before you pop over…). The official grand opening is Sunday, July 24th from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.; you can expect giveaways, face-painting, arts and crafts, ballooning, and, of course … toys galore.
Photo credit: Albert Yee Photo.