Toy stores are always fascinating, especially for the young and the young at heart.

When I was younger, during my first few trips abroad, toy stores of different kinds were my sanctuary. Growing up watching cartoons and reading comic books like the Transformers, He-man, Thundercats, Voltes V, X-Men, Justice League, et. al, it was only natural for me to feel at home in a place where I can see and touch all of them, even if I can’t bring all of them home with me.

These days, I envy the kids here in Manila, who have access to a number of big box toy stores like Toys ‘R’ Us, Toy Kingdom, Toy Town and Hobbes & Landes scattered across the metro. During my childhood days in the 80’s, we had to go to small retailers like Park Square or Greenhills just to get our imported toy fix.

Then, I discovered the oldest new toy store to open in town, Hamleys. This UK-born toy store was founded by William Hamley in 1760, making it one of the oldest toy stores at 255 years old! You can image the millions of smiles this shop has brought to the faces of children across the globe.


And discovering their flagship store in Central Square, Bonifacio High Street brought a smile to mine as well.

Aside from the usual toys that you see in other toy stores, they have the classic wooden games like domino, Chinese checkers and backgammon.






They also carry their own unique markers called the Magic Pen and the Magic Pen Wipeout. According to the sales guy, even if you accidentaly leave the marker open without the cap for two weeks, the ink won’t dry out. Amazing!


Meanwhile, The SprayZa Air Brush System allows your child to create unique art works using spray paint without the dangerous fumes and mess of a traditional spray paint. It’s water-based and comes in a variety of scents, including chocolate and bubble gum.



The SprayZa demo.


The finished product.

So, are you looking for a unique gift to give for your inaanak’s 4th birthday party? Or are you longing to just reminisce about your childhood toy shopping days? Then, why don’t you head on over to Hamleys, brought to you by SSI Group Inc., located at the Boni High Street Central Square.


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About The Author

Marv is the founder of the Philippines’ premier freelancer community, Freelance Blend. He is the host of the Freelance Blend Podcast (a top business and career podcast in iTunes), a writer for, and a columnist for Malaya Business Insight newspaper. He also coaches and speaks about the topics: freelancing, blogging, podcasting and entrepreneurship. Marv is currently an executive of a global financial services company, a serial entrepreneur, a graphic designer, a loving husband and a hands-on father of two kids. He loves writing tech and gadget reviews as well as interviewing the country’s top entrepreneurs and influencers. You may check out his website at

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