The prices are not the best, but this is the best toy store I've been to in the world. Been coming for 30+ years and finally got to bring my daughter along for her first trip.
Had a great time wandering and picked up a few items. You can often find the same items on line for a better deal, but the experience is amazing. Even without kids!
A big toys r us.
I don't get why this is a tourist destination? There is little to nothing that is special to this location. There are no one of a kind things or shops within a store that sells something you can't get anywhere else. There is little in the way of demonstrations or much anything special.
It was jammed packed crazy. Located just up from Piccadilly Circus it is a pure tourist trap. Crowded and it wa midday on a weekday. They did not have what I was looking for: European issue PEZ dispensers that you can't get in the US. This is in spite of having a floor of candy. I don't get that at all.
If you have been to the Time Square NYC Toys R Us then you have seen this--but this is less. If you live on an island and can't get UPS to deliver from Amazon then maybe you can go here to get that special gift. But good luck getting any advice on what to buy.
Love it,Love it, Love it! Every time I walk past, well to tell the truth I never actually get to walk past because the lure of 7 floors of toys is just too much for me to resist and I have to go in and spend an hour playing.
The staff are really helpful and encourage you to play with as many toys as you can. I imagine both kids and parents love it judging by the looks on the faces of families I've seen when I'm there.
For a fun and free afternoon in London this is the place to be.
A nightmare. Overpriced toys, crowded, staff throwing around flying toys and yelling. What I fail to understand is how there isn't a room for nursing babies in a giant toy store. They sent me to the baby changing room, which smelled like dirty diapers and was so hot, both me and my baby sweated like we were in hell. No ventilation or window. Also no vent in the restrooms.
Truly a nightmare.
They had awesome toys and toy shops.but they let you open toys and play with them.also the store clerks let you try out all
Hamleys is clearly overrated. There are no toys you would not get elsewhere. The place is over crowded. You wait 10 minutes for the lift. Thus a nightmare for prams and wheelchairs. The science section is tiny and full of cheap stuff. Hamleys is big but it is not special.
Before we had our own wee one, we went by Hamleys to shop for a gift. We, not being parents, thought we would quickly pick up a toy and move along. We were truly naive to the massive expanse that is this store- and the time it takes to navigate it. We were shocked when we actually had fun in the store. That was last year. Now we have had our own son and although he is still very young, we plan to return regularly.
I would say this place is absolutely worth a visit. My advice would be to plan for a lengthy trip- no quick ins and outs are all that realistic here. Still loads of fun can be had.
This place is FAO Schwartz on steroids!
If you are an adult enjoy the wonder of 7 floors of kids toys!
If you are a parent make sure you plan on buying you kid SOMETHING when visiting here!
The staff is all dressed up like different characters!
A really magical experience for kids and adults alike!
Go. That is All. You will not be disappointed.
At Christmas, kids can get there photos with Santa.
There is a cafe at the top of the store that offers lunch items, but offers a good cream tea for a cheap price.
You are allowed to play in the store. I cannot stress that enough. The staff plays with you. Each floor generally has a theme...with the first floor having tons of stuffed animals.
This place is huge! Full of a bunch of toys which will certainly bring a smile to any child (or adult)'s face! The store has a happy and positive energy and it is a joy to just browse around. Great place to go if you are looking for souvenirs for a child back at home.
Hamleys is the most fun when you have something to buy. I 've been here before as a tourist and enjoyed my day, taking photos with fluffy things, buying fluffy things, and just enjoying the atmosphere in general. But that was nothing compared to how much fun I had when I actually had some gifts to buy!
Looking at everything with "Should this come home with me" in my mind, it took on a new magic. Magic pens that change color or could be erased, hmm which one is better? I decided that depends on if you are the parents who have to clean it off the walls. Which spawns a new question, should I be a good aunt with the eraseable markers or a cool aunt with the colour-changing ones....:) What about the gum that turns your mouth blue? Could I get them to offer it to their unsuspecting parents....;)
Toy car or....anti-gravity toy car that drives up walls and ON THE CEILING? That shouldn't even be a question. So. Cool. I had to get that as a gift just so I can see it being used at home! I know they sell this at other places, and I bet it's cheaper, so maybe it would be better to do a little research. It was still really fun to buy it there though.
Hamleys had endless floors of cool toys for older children. I have to say, as I was shopping I was really wishing some of the kids I was buying toys for were older so I could get them the cooler gifts! For the one year old there really wasn't anything amazing, so I went for the fluffiest, cutest bear I could find and I am happy with it. If you need something else though for a young child, I'd go somewhere else.
It's really fun just to watch the toy demonstrations, which are usually for the artistic toys or flying toys. Some of the Hamleys toys I find myself too interested in haha, such as Squiddy, the bathtime squid who swims from one end of the bath, turns, and swims back again. It's a little mesmerizing to watch him go.The staff here is really friendly, helpful, and seem to really enjoy working there.
Overall, I would say it is definitely expensive, but at least it is quite a fun experience and even if you don't shop here regularly for your toy needs, you should come at least once and spend a few hours wandering around.
6 floors of toys...for ALL ages
Paddington Bears, Double Magic Pens, Glitter Tattoos/Body Art, Harry Potters Wand and cars that can race up the walls.
Steiff bears start at £30
Really crowded on a Wednesday afternoon.
When I was a kid, Hamleys was my paradise. It was such a treat to come here. It's the pinnacle of toy shops. Even calling it a toy shop feels like an understatement.
Now I'm all grown up with my own kids this place couldn't be more opposite. I dread comming here. It's five floors of kids in awe, dragging there parents around behind them.
But that's what this place is all about, the kids. So I'm doing my best to review it from a kids point of view, which is why I've rated it 5 stars.
Terrible place. They hire professional actors, artists and musicians to use every trick in the book to sell little children what looks like very fun toys. The only comparison I can think of is that these actors would make very good snake oil salesmen in the wild west.
When we opened the toys at the cafe down the street, our boy was crying "it's rubbish" in less than 20 minutes because he could not repeat the magic tricks and do the art exactly the way these professionals were able to do.
There was nothing physically wrong with the products we bought, otherwise we would have taken them back. We were expecting a lot more out of what we were sold.
Exciting times in the store, but when reality hit, we had such a miserable experience for both child and adults.
A great stop for the whole family. I had been to London one time before and never saw this amazing store. When I heard about it from our double decker bus tour I knew I had to stop! It is a HUGE toy store and HUGE is really an understatement! There are at least 5 stories and each story has a theme. The top floor is the Lego floor where you can see a life size Lego model of the royal family including Princess Kate! There is also a large telephone booth to take pictures in as well as the Queen. There is a floor full of dolls and a floor full of action figures and even a floor with all stuffed animals! On every floor there are toys that you can demo and lots of people who work there that can help you and are more than happy to so so. Don't feel like you have to buy anything, just being there and taking pictures is an experience. Let me tell you though it is hard to walk out empty handed!
Hamleys is great for everyone if you are just looking or if your buying you will enjoy your visit.with build a bear, make up,
colouring. Hamleys a kids dream a paradise I would miss it but I had responsibilities to live my life. Every time i see it I see all of my memories.
My memories of paradise.
Sometimes you've just gotta bribe a two year old. And if you're in London, that means going to Hamley's.
I was visiting family in London, and needed some ammunition to convince my nephew to be nicer to a family member, and that means I had to bring him a toy truck. This kid drives a hard bargain. I used my trusty Yelp app to find a toy store in London, and came across Hamley's, and I am so glad that I did!
First of all, this store is GIANT! Something like 30 floors of every type of toy you could imagine, with collectables thrown into the mix for good measure. From the moment I walked in, I felt like I was the kid myself. I was smiling when I walked in, but after browsing the entire ground floor of stuffed animals and puppets, I was positively giddy. The smiles that Hamley's provides are addictive, yo.
There is staff EVERYWHERE, all playing with toys and creating a festive mood. There are gorgeous displays, plenty of stations where you can test out featured toys, and oodles of check-out lanes, so that you don't have to wait in a giant line. The selection is giant, and I was able to find exactly what I needed, which in this case was a toy ambulance with authentic siren noises. The prices are reasonable, when you consider that the Dollar sucks against the Pound, and you're in the center of London.
Maybe I was on a "beginning of Christmas season" high, but I just loved my experience at Hamley's, and I look forward to going back.
I think that I do have a blimey fixation with Toy Stores, in big cities. FAO. Schwarz and Toys R Us in NYC and Hamleys in London.
Hamleys is one of the world's largest Toy Shops and one of the oldest, built in 1881. Like FAO Schwarz the Hamley stores have had their troubles through the years, but have managed to survive and become an icon and a landmark.
Each floor at Hamleys is specific to one category. The first floor holds games, a candy shop and a Build a Bear Workshop. The second floor holds toys for very young children, the third for Girls and the fourth for Hobbies and the Fifth for boys. The Basement holds Lego's and collectibles.
Very organized and well staffed and like FAO S. they do encourage youngsters to interact with the demonstrations. On the expensive side.
Hamleys is named after William Hamley, who founded a toy shop called "Noah's Ark" at in London in 1760. The founding store location has changed over the many years and there's been various global expansions of the brand that have had mixed success. Hamleys (no apostrophe) also holds a Royal Warrant as a "Toy and Sports" Merchant.
Hamleys is one of the world's largest toy shops. I have been to all 7 floors of their flagship store on Regent Street and a much smaller shop at Heathrow. It's kind of a London tourist attraction by itself and is a good place to deal with the question that most Parents get when they return from a business trip - Did you get me anything? And believe me, if you can't find a "cool toy" here, the Kid (or the Dad) probably didn't need one anyway.
Besides the Harrods carrier bag, I think the Hamleys bag is the most recognisable in London and most likely to evoke a sense of excitement and perhaps a little envy from other people.
Hamleys does trade a bit on its reputation among UK shoppers as 'the largest toy store in the world' though I wonder if that's still true these days. To be fair, it is very good at creating an air of wonder and magic with its large, inventive window displays and lots of staff wandering round the shop, noisily demonstrating the latest must-have toy. Static toys in boxes boring. Flying, beeping toys exciting! Full marks to the marketing department.
As a big kid, I enjoy a browse through here even today but I can also see its flaws. There is very little in the shop these days which is exclusive and you can see and buy the same stuff at other retailers or on the internet and probably cheaper as well. The shop is tightly packed and the queues can be horrendous - at peak times, you may have to queue to get into the shop. Trying to be all things to all ages, the range of goods like computer games is limited.
However, no kid's childhood would be complete without memories of a visit to the magical land of Hamleys. So make their dream come true.
Have you been to the best toy store in the world??? Well I've been here in 99 and returned here and 09. I have to say it still brings a twinkle to my eye. It's probably as close to what I imagine Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium may be.
Every floor of the restaurant having it's own theme. ON the top floor they even have all the toys that you see in sky mall magazines.
What makes this store the most memorable for me is the magic show. On the bottom floor floor workers are able to do magic card trips that just facinates you. I was just really courious that I had to buy the cards to try to learn the magic tricks.
So... if you have some time to burn... check out Hamley's. It'll bring out the kid in you.
With her hard-earned money burning a hole in her wallet, my now 11-year-old daughter finally got her wish as she entered Hamleys this November. It was crazy crowded that first Saturday evening, but we went back during the week and had the place nearly to ourselves.
It remains a kid paradise. Floor upon floor of stuffed animals, board games, crafts, Barbie stuff, electronics, toddler toys, puzzles, and on and on and on. People are outside blowing bubbles on you as you pass. People are inside demonstrating toys and crafts and flying things and magic tricks.
If you don't have a child, grab one and go anyway. Trust me, it's worth it.
I love this place! When I heard that one of the biggest toy stores in the world was in London, I knew that I had to stop by. It was so much fun just going floor by floor and watching all of the Hamleys employees do toy demonstrations. Seriously, they have the coolest jobs; they literally just play with the toys all day!
My favorite part of the store was the movie merchandise section! They had a large collection of merchandise from films such as The Dark Knight, Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter, etc. I really loved the display of Harry Potter wands; they had a wand for almost every character in the book!
Definitely coming back here when I'm back in London! 5 stars!
Aside from Disneyland, Hamleys is the most magical place on earth! Even though I'm not below the age of thirteen, a visit to Hamleys is one of the most wonderful ways bring out the kid I truly am at heart!
Hamleys is spread across three levels. There are rows and rows of plush stuffed animals, a candy place on the second floor and endless games available to keep you or your child entertained for hours and hours. During the Christmas season they have specials on toys such as buy two get one free. The staff are upbeat, loud and ready to help out wherever or however they can!
Oh my goodness! Outside you are greeted by crazy characters and it only gets worse, in a good way, inside. They have loads of gadgets and toys and stuffed animals. My girlfriend was looking for some Thomas the Train items, real wood, but had a hard time finding any. Be sure to check where the toys were made, Asia you want to make sure you get the quality that you want from where ever. Just a FYI.
Since she didn't buy Thomas products she did buy this "black board" that has rainbows behind it. A lady was demonstrating it and we were hooked. I even said we should play with it on the way back on the plane then give it to her two year old lol. Be on the look out for other demonstrations. They have them in each floor, and then choose what you like!
The lines can get crazy so be on the look out when they are short. We lucked out on the line obviously. Definitely recommend to pop in because they do not have Hamely's in the states!
Wondering where to go for Christmas shopping? Give a kiss, touch the heart and build a bear. It's the Santa's workshop by Build a Bear in Hamleys - my favourite holiday season playing spot. Wandering in the Regent's Bear Park, I had deep hugs and soft squeezes to recreate my childhood dreams...
You can also play the Lunar Rescue team , a toy car rotates 360 degrees, along side the traditional Legos or Jigsaw puzzles. The staff are so friendly on their red t-shirts and hold large shopping bags on their shoulders or necks are often playing along. Meanwhile, plenty of candies and chocolates to entertain your tongue. I was very intrigued by the Nail Jazz polish kit, which effectively allows one to paint beetles, flowers on our nails in minutes.
On my way out of the store, the big sign "thanks for PLAYING" makes me feel so good spending hours there with the full house. 2010 is also Hamley's 250 anniversary. Let's celebrate together for this toy wonderland!
What's not to love about Hamley's?
For me, it's only the price.
Hamley's lives up to its name-biggest toy store in the world. Each level provides different aspects for the developing child and me a not ready to be adult. The staff are constantly everywhere, demonstrating the toys, dressed up in funny outfits, being loud trying to engage your pursestrings. The decor changes with the season, makes you giddy upon entry.
There's a restaurant at the top, along with a level of movie replica memorabilia. (My favourite) There's also a set of stairs decked out in Chronicles of Narnia decorations and some movie props. It's a nice break from the crowded escalators, and believe me Hamley's is constantly full of children running around hyped up from the colours and playthings at their fingertips.
It's a must stop if you've never been before, but there aren't many things to buy without spending a good sized sum.
Sometimes it's nice to walk around and remember those joys of picking out that beloved toy when you were young.
Hamleys is probably best enjoyed by two groups of people - kids and anyone who's had a childhood they don't mind being reminded of once in a while. Admittedly things have changed quite a bit since the 80's and my infancy but essentially the spirit of the toy shop - its tribute to imagination and playtime - remains a potent force.
This place is huge, there are rows and rows of toys and games for all ages and throughout the shop there are staff doing demonstrations and keeping the little ones excited enough to maintain their best parental pressure throughout. Hence the reason why most parents might not have the best time ever at Hamleys - still it's worth it just to see the look on their little faces right?
Walking back through for the first time since I was a kid and it was just as magical. It feels like a real version of the Wonder Emporium. It's a must visit for anyone with kids.
The best parts are the magic demonstrations in the back of the entry floor while planes and bubbles whiz past. It's the perfect entry. The other floors are great too, including my favorite the board game floor. I will say that the board games seem a little more Americanized now though. When I was a kid we brought back tons of games that we couldn't get back in the states, now we can get most of them.
The place is really magical, just no how to say no to your kids since it's expensive, but I have no other toy store frame of reference in London.
5 floors of toys for kids of all ages. Staff seem quite happy giving demonstrations. What a great job playing with toys for work.
To infinity and beyond!!! This store is for someone who's a big kid at heart =]
7 floors of utter goodness, but my personal favourite is the ground floor. It 's filled with gazillion fluffy animals..from tiny sheep to enormous teddy's.
I fell in love with a rather large bear which was half my size. It was so adorable but then again so was the price. I think if anyone were get down on one knee and propose to me, I'd prefer the bear than a diamond ring =p now that's saying something, especially since diamonds are truly a girls best friend.
If you have children or nieces/nephews or even siblings...take them to Hamley's... every child deserves to go and experience the magic. Its the next closest thing to Disney world.
If you're a fan of die-cast metal toys, then the fourth floor of Hamleys is for you.
I am, in fact, a fan of die-cast metal toys. Once upon a time, it was not uncommon to find a nice replica of your favorite sports car, airplane, Star Wars vehicle, or transforming Japanese robot moulded from that perfect blend of zinc, aluminium and copper and powder coated. These days, however, plastic has replaced the hefty feel of metal toys, giving everything a very cheap, breakable quality.
But, upon arriving on the fourth floor of Hamleys, I discovered an incredible range of cars, buses, and aircraft all made of die-cast. And the price was right...I found a wonderful Corgi die-cast space shuttle for about five pounds.
The rest of the store was very nice, as it reminded me of FAO Schwartz without that damned "Welcome to my World of Toys" music at the entrance. But nothing I've seen before has yet to compare to the selection of die-cast that I found in Hamleys. I'll definitely have to return with a few more pounds in my pocket.
Unless you go early in the morning, be prepared to turn from a child loving, peaceful person, into a complete brute willing to knock people out of your way to get to the nearest exit.
That being said, it's a lovely toy store with almost everything a child could want.
Walk into this store and even an adult will get distracted; its just such an interactive place. You truly truly forget who you are. I visit the store when I need to purchase a present for my nephew. It'll take me hours to browse through the whole store, but I never leave without buying anything.
And sometimes even try a few of them, they do have a few games which are for grown-ups! Oh but the candy corner on the second level is very cool! Its time for another visit here. The basement have a sale section, so toys are to go away at a good bargain.
A mad house that's what it is, but fun!
Hamleys is what children dream of at night. It is 4 floors of toy goodness.
Personally, I tend to hang around the board game area or the gadget filled sections to have a play around. I do sometimes find the staff a bit pushy with their demonstrations of the toys and objects, but don't let that stray you away.
The best season for Hamleys is definitely Christmas. I love it when they place a snow machine on top of the shop which covers the whole of Regents Street with fills with snow flakes. It is simply magical.
Hamley's is quite simply one of thee most outstanding toy stores in the world. Firstly, it is gargantuan in size, with numerous floors. It is crammed with toys for all ages. Whatever toy you are looking for, if you cannot find it anywhere else they will have it there. They make it their duty to have the latest toy fashions, and classics, that there will always be a demand for.
The magicians and aides they have working the floor, showing you how to use the merchandise your kids are going to want to buy are a treat.
Be warned around Christmas this place gets packed to the rafters.
The best toy shop in London, if you're visiting London with children make a bee line here, you can spend an entire afternoon browsing this shop and never get bored.
A lot of toys are available to play around with and the board game selection is immense. They have demonstrators on hand to show you the coolest toys and there is, I think, an entire floor for video games.
If you think of the toy store in Home Alone 2, then you've got the idea.
Beware - there are massive crowds here in the run up to Christmas.
This is the most amazing toy store I have ever seen in my life!
Seven floors of magical and fun toys.
If Steve Jobs had decided to change the world by making toys instead of computers, there would now be a HAMLEYS toy store in major cities around the world.
If Disney created a "Toy Store Land" in Orlando it would be Hamleys in London.
When Prince William and Kate have a baby and want to shop for toys, I know they are going to Hamleys.
Actually, we found this world famous store by accident. We had just visited the London Apple Store and took a walk down the street, spotted Hamleys, walked in and spent the next 3.5 hours looking at everything.
Stuffed animals. Of course.
Educational and interactive toys
Helicopters, Airplanes and other amazing flying objects
Arts and Crafts, drawing painting, kits and projects
Magic tricks, magic supplies, crystal balls
Harry Potter wands, broom sticks, capes and maps in a huge special section
Dolls, fancy dolls, classic dolls and collectible dolls, doll houses
Legos, building systems, trucks, tractors and cranes
Ride on toys, scooters
Bubble makers, silly toys
Sports games, balls, throwing games, catching games
Plus lots of hands on demos plus demonstrators on each floor. Everyone was helpful and clearly happy to be working there.
After complete, close up and personal demonstrations we bought a magic set with card tricks including a hidden coin trick and about 20 other tricks in one package. Close up magic is the most amazing thing to watch.
We also bought a finger nail, toe nail decoration kit with lifetime refills for my daughter. Again this was after a complete personal demonstration. They spent a lot of time with us doing the demonstrations.
By the time we got to the top floor we were ready for lunch and a break at their cafe. Then we worked our way back down the entire seven floors looking at what we had missed.
They do birthday parties in the store. There are other locations in Dublin and Glascow.
Oxford Circus is the closest Tube Station
I have such FOND memories of this store as a child....every time we were in London, my folks would take us there. It's such a special place.....
When my hubby and I were in London 4 years ago, we brought our little 4 year old there...granted that the store now carries a lot of toys that one can get anywhere....
it's still great....we promised her a trip to Hamleys for good behaviour at museums...
Worked like a charm!
She got a few Sylvanian Family toys, we enjoyed a few days of museum visits...
Hamleys is a little piece of Heaven. Well, a big piece of Heaven. I'm not sure I'll actually ever get over toy stores, and this one really does take the cake. Jam packed with all kinds of toys, Hamleys is a London institution.
And you're allowed to play with everything. Staff did not get snooty with me when I thought it would be humorous to turn on a whole bunch of Tickle-Me-Elmo's. Yes, I should know better but I couldn't resist.
Head down here to do your Christmas shopping for any little ones, and maybe even get a little something for yourself! It gets super-busy on weekends though, so make it in on a weekday if you can!
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