Terra Toys is tops!

Terra ToysTerra Toys stocks commercial-free Valentine cards, free of licensed characters: no Disney, no TV shows, just old-fashioned sentiment. We were too late to send away for reissues of vintage cards and didn’t have our usual luck this year finding old-fashioned valentines in Spanish.

Terra Toys has been a magnet since it was one of the first new retail establishments in years to open its doors downtown on Congress, on the lower part of the Avenue that sported an array of bars catering to those who also rented mailboxes at the same places and would turn over their monthly VA or SS disability checks and then run a tab all month until credit ran out. Terra Toys survived there and seemed to thrive until one of the recurring real-estate booms demolished its premises. That’s when Terra Toys pioneered on South Congress, continuing to sell its little handmade wooden toys on wheels and expanding to offer one of the very best selections in town of books for children (still true) and then Dragonsnaps, selling clothing for children.

Again the real-estate juggernaut charged through, and now Terra Toys is located at 2438 West Anderson Lane (445-4489; open at 9 am every day of the week but Sunday, when it opens at noon). Terra Toys still offers Steiff, Madame Alexander, kites, toy robots, dress-up clothes and hats, board games, construction toys, art supplies, activities, and much, much more. Don’t forget those showy cocktail rings sporting giant facted “jewels,” just three dollars. Most of the creatures on wheels and other handmade wooden toys from the old days went as presents, but I’ll never, ever give away my chicken on wheels or my wonderful floating battleship.

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