Giving Local Toy Stores Love

Today’s post about shopping local is brought to you by Brilliant Sky Toy & Books.  I was provided an item in exchange for sharing my thoughts with my readers.

Young boy playing with a wooden toy train set from Brilliant Sky Toys & Books, a franchise toy store.

Do you remember the first time you were a child and taken shopping for a special toy?  I do!  I had toys but my first memory of actually being taken into a toy store to select something myself was by my Mother.  I was four years old, had broken my femur bone and had recently had my body cast removed.  We were celebrating!  I remember strolling the aisles of that local boutique toy store, carefully looking at all the unique toys, wanting to find something truly special.  And find it I did!

Growing up, we visited family in Florida every year.  Aside from seeing Grandma and all the family there were two things I always looked forward to, visiting Disney or Sea World and visiting my Uncle’s small toy store that was in the heart of the Mercado.  It was packed full of unique toys that you would never find at big box stores.  My Uncle was always so kind but we had so much fun just checking out the fun and unique toys that he had discovered.

Whether you are young or young at heart, there is just something special about walking into a local toy store.  You can usually find treasures I love being able to make connections with the locals that work in the stores as well as knowing that we are helping to support the local economy.  I highly recommend seeking out your local toy stores for fun and memorable shopping experiences for your loved ones.

Introducing Brilliant Sky Toys & Books

The first Brilliant Sky Toys & Books® was founded in 2002 in Lansing, Michigan with the singular goal of being the finest specialty toy store in America. Based on the belief that the right playthings give children a gateway to physical, emotional and cognitive development, Brilliant Sky Toys & Books provides the highest quality products in an atmosphere that is both active and interactive.

Wall mural of a treehouse surrounded by educational toys, books and more inside one of the many franchise toy stores under the Brilliant Sky Books & Toys name.

Their unique aesthetic approach is vibrant yet warm, exciting yet comforting and exploratory yet safe. From rich colors and woods to low sightlines and custom fixtures the Brilliant Sky sensory experience is unlike any other. Now based in Brentwood, TN and featuring more than 10,000 high-quality specialty products, Brilliant Sky Toys & Books is truly the place where everyone can find their way to play.

At its core, Brilliant Sky is providing happiness and memories to families across the country. Not only do they select the best quality and developmentally sound toys in the world, but they sell them at fair everyday prices.  Each year a dozen perfect items are chosen by the toy store franchise chain to be given the Brilliance Awards.  This year, the dozen toys chosen for the 4th annual Brilliance Awards were a great mix of items.

My favorites from the Brilliance Awards were:

  • World Map Puzzle by Janod
  • Snap Circuit Sound by Elenco Electronics
  • Lego® City Brickmaster by Penguin
  • Easel by Melissa & Doug
  • Adventure Treehouse by International Playthings


From the list we selected the World Map Puzzle from Janod.  With my kids loving geography and wanting to be mini world travelers it was just the perfect fit!


It is beautifully designed with the kids in mind but is very educational with all the added pictures.  It truly is brilliant with the magnetic feature!  It allows the pieces to stay in place while the kids work to find the other country pieces for that continent.


Since we are homeschooling, it was perfect and has been so much fun to use during our history lessons.  When it is not in use, you can display it with the attached string.  Austin proudly claimed it for his room.

As you consider the next gift you will give to your special little one, why not take the time to check out all the cool finds in your local toy store.  You may just realize you have been missing out on a lot of fun by shopping at the big box stores.   If you live in the central US, be sure to see if you live near one of the 15 Brilliant Sky Toy & Books.

Have you considered shopping at your local toy store this year?

24 thoughts on “Giving Local Toy Stores Love”

  1. I can remember as a child my mom and dad taking me to Child World. That was one of the biggest toy stores around back then. I loved that store and can just remember going crazy wanting everything!! I miss being a kid again.

  2. I think that it is important to buy locally whenever possible. With the state of the economy being what it is, many wonderful local stores are struggling and unfortunately end up going out of business.

  3. We don’t really have any local toy stores I think. Around Christmas time, temporary knick knack stores come into the mall, but thats about it. i love those type of stores though!

  4. WOW that store looks like a child’s paradise!! I live in such a teeny town that there really aren’t may local stores to shop in, a few clothing ones and candy, etc. I sure wish there had been a store like this when my kiddos were young!!

  5. I’ve never head of them before but they do sound like a great toy store. I usually do most of my shopping on Amazon. I call them the one stop shop but I’ll check them out and see what they have to offer.

  6. I try to buy everything I can from local mom and pop stores. We have a toy store near where my husband works, we go down once every two weeks and it is so nice that they remember us when we walk in and they know what my son likes. They realize how painfully shy he is as well, you do not get that from the bigger guys.

  7. We have a great local toy store near us that we like to go to. They have a decent selection of toys, but they also have a lot for them to play with in the store and they often host events too. Their prices are a bit higher than a place like Walmart, but they offer a much better overall value, and I like supporting the little guy. I’d be very sad if all we had to choose from was Walmart.

  8. I don’t have any real local toy stores in my area. However, I am a huge fan of shopping local if it’s possible because I know how much it takes to operate a business. Our small town businesses need our help to survive especially against these big companies like Walmart and Target. Small businesses usually provide excellent service too.

  9. That looks like a great toy store. We do have a small, local toy shop near us, but honestly, their prices are so high, that I end up back at Target to buy my toys. I love supporting local, but not when they can’t make it so you can afford anything there.

  10. Unfortunately most of the local toy stores have gone out of business here so all we are left with are the big boxes. I miss the unique finds from the small stores

  11. I haven’t had to shop for toys in a very long time but I did always end up purchasing back then in small local toy stores–they really did have the most unique gifts. I tend to try and stick to small stores anyway–the service is always better and generally they know what they have and are willing to actually take the time to shop with you making suggestions when you yourself are not quite sure what you want. I do love that puzzle.

  12. Honestly, I don’t even really know what the local toy stores are in my area, but I really should. My husband and I don’t yet have children, but we do have nieces, nephews, and children of our family friends to buy for. We buy locally when it comes to groceries and other goods, so why not toys?

    Your local toy store sounds awesome. The photo you showed is beautiful; I agree that the ambiance seems really warm and inviting for kids and their parents alike.

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