Step aside Santa: Whether it’s the latest Western toy fad or a vintage antique, Beijing’s got plenty of stores selling a wide variety of toys for kids of all ages. Selection and quality vary widely, but here's a run down for that last-minute Christmas shopping.
Beijing International Toys Center
Stand back and prepare to be awed: This is the biggest toy wholesale and retail market in north China, with over four floors and 1,100 booths. You can piece through a large selection of children’s clothing, books, and of course, toys with brands like Disney, LEGO, Tomy, and Hasbro.
77 Nansanhuan Zhonglu, Fengtai District. (8781 9999) 北京国际玩具城, 丰台区南三环中路77号
Go back to the basics with Haba Toys’ all wood European toys, which include building blocks, animals on wheels, train sets, tricycles and Noah’s arks.
Daily 10am-9pm. NS2, China World Shopping Mall, 1 Jianguomenwai Dajie, Chaoyang District. (8353 7775) 哈芭玩具, 朝阳区建国门外大街1号国贸商城NS2
Stocks a wide range of Western toys and popular board games.
Daily 10am-10pm. 206, F/1, Lido Place, 6 Jiangtai Lu, Chaoyang District. (6437 6908) 朝阳区将台路6号丽都商业广场一层206号店铺
Carries many of the new toys that have just debuted in China, such as the Wowwee robots for the bigger kids and Joylight safe balls for the little ones. Currently offering a 15 percent discount on all Christmas gifts.
Daily 10am-9pm. Suite L511, Europlaza, 99 Yuxiang Lu, Tianzhu Zhen, Shunyi District. (5165 3670) 顺义区天竺镇裕翔路99号欧陆广场5层L511单元
You can’t go wrong with the classics. Buy either standard sets of 30 to 1,000 pieces, or themed ones like Star Wars, Harry Potter, Alpha Team and Jack Stone.
1) Daily 10am-10pm. 5/F Pacific Century Place, A2 Gongti Beilu, Chaoyang District. (6448 2105); 2) Daily 9am-9pm. NB134A, B1/F, China World Shopping Mall, 1 Jianguomenwai Dajie, Chaoyang District.; 3) Daily 9am-10pm. Lufthansa Shopping Center, 52 Liangmaqiao Lu, Chaoyang District. 乐高, 1) 朝阳区工体北路甲2号太平洋百货5楼; 2) 朝阳区建国门外大街1号国贸商城NB134A; 3) 朝阳区亮马桥路52号燕莎购物中心
Marvel at some of the latest gadgets from Japan at this shop. Their Super Soaker MAX water guns (RMB 160) can shoot as far as 10 meters, so you can only imagine what their remote-operated bug robots (RMB 120), digital spy cameras (RMB 120), retro candy floss (RMB 200) and ice cream makers (RMB 1,000) are capable of.
Daily 12pm-10pm. 66 Gulou Dongdajie, Dongcheng District. (6601 7268) shop33282901.taobao.com 东城区鼓楼东大街66号
MUMA Smart Toys
This Solana store sells high-quality toys designed to promote intelligence.
Daily 10am-10pm. SMM-20, Solana Lifestyle Shopping Park, 6 Chaoyang Gongyuan Lu, Chaoyang District. (5905 6115) 木马智慧玩具. 朝阳区朝阳公园路 6号蓝色港湾国际商区一栋广场层SMM-20
New China Children’s Store
This Wangfujing toy store comes stocked with everything a child could possibly want, including outdoor gear and bikes.
Daily 9am-9pm. 168 Wangfujing Street, Dongcheng District. (6528 1774) 新中国儿童用品商店, 东城区王府井大街168号
Old-Toxin Tin Toys
A toy store with a sense of humor judging from its name, unorthodox business hours and shelves stocked chock-full of reproduction tin toys, including model cars, robots, clowns and penguins.
Daily 10.42am-1.06am. 46 Fangjia Hutong (just south of Guozijian Jie), Dongcheng District. (138 1091 6465, ) 东城区方家胡同46号艺术园区 (国子监南临)
The shelves here are lined with animals of all shapes and sizes, including giant teddy bears and cool, spiral snakes.
1) Daily 9.30am-9.30pm. 426 Dongsi Beidajie, Dongcheng District. (6401 3096); 2) Daily 10.30am-10pm. 21-2 Meishuguan Jie, Dongcheng District. (6405 7606) 青木屋, 1)东城区东四北大街426号; 2)东城区美术馆街21-2号
This well-known store near the Lama Temple sells traditional folk toys made by various craftsmen, including Manchurian clay toys, cloth dolls, toy drums, paper windmills and Peking Opera masks. Prices range from RMB 10 to 3,000. Daily 9am-7pm. 38 Guozijian Jie, Dongcheng District. (8404 7179) 盛唐轩, 东城区国子监街38号
The first Steiff branch in Beijing sells internationally famous German teddy bears.
Daily 9.30am-9.30pm. EB 106, B1/F, China World Shopping Mall, 1 Jianguomenwai Dajie, Chaoyang District. (6505 9875) 朝阳区建国门外大街1号国贸商城地下1层EB106
Tian Le Toy Market
If you can’t seem to find anything at Hongqiao Market, stop by this four-story toy emporium next door – it offers 300 vendor booths that sell all kinds of cheap children toys, sports gear, art works and handicrafts.
Daily 8.30am-7pm. 136 Fahuasi Jie, Chongwen District. 崇文区法华寺街136号