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Category Archives: Toys

Maximize your fun: the 5 OTHER best toy stores in Boston!

toys at magic beans

Magic Beans is all about shopping local, and supporting independent business.  It’s your support that keep us alive and strong, and we can’t overemphasize our appreciation of your patronage. We’re very fortunate to have five stores in the Boston area in great communities, and to be recognized by Boston Magazine as Best Toy Store in Boston.  We love being the toy store of downtown Boston, as well as ... Read More »

The best presents for a kid turning 5: birthday gift guide

lego batman

How do you choose the best present for a five-year-old? Asking them is a good start: by this age, they have a pretty good idea of what they like. While kids at this age enjoy a range of activities, there’s probably a category of toy that’s a surefire hit. As Magic Beans co-owner Sheri Gurock wrote in Parents Magazine a few years ... Read More »

The best toys for birthday gifts: our blog editor’s picks!

calico critters custom

Is it just me, or have toys gotten so much cooler since we were kids? Sure, we have fond memories of our favorite licensed characters from Saturday morning TV shows, but the level of detail, quality, and clever design that goes into today’s toys is just mindblowing. Since I’ve been in the toy biz for over ten years now, I ... Read More »

Gift Guide:  8 great birthday presents for a fourth birthday

4 birthday cake

By age four, there’s one very easy shortcut to finding the perfect gift for your kid: just ask her! At this age, kids are pretty clear on what they like, whether it’s princesses, dinosaurs, superheroes, or baseball. Granted, your child may ask for something you’re not quite willing to give them (say, a pony or an iPad), but you can ... Read More »

How old is too old for toys? (Spoiler: there’s no such thing!)

too old for toys

In an era in which thousands of action figures are clearly manufactured just for grown-ups, adults film loving tributes to their toy collections, thousands of adults get gussied up in their finest superhero duds for comic and anime conventions, and Lego Master Builder is a real paid job, who could imagine that playtime was just for kids? As geek culture continues to ... Read More »

Boredom at 30,000 Feet: How to keep kids entertained on a plane!

kid with airplane

It takes about 8 hours to fly from Boston to San Diego. This doesn’t include showing up to the terminal at 5am with all your stuff in tow, getting through security, waiting patiently through the twenty minute delay to board the plane, and sitting through the layover in Newark or Houston. That’s a long time, and it’s trying on even the most ... Read More »

The possibilities of playtime: 40 years of Playmobil

playmobil knight sets

For over 40 years, the diminutive, smiling people of Playmobil have been inspiring children’s imaginative adventures. In memory of company founder Horst Brandstaetter, who passed away last week, here’s a whirlwind tour through Playmobil sets both old and new. Designer Hans Beck considered the figurines to be the most important part of the Playmobil formula. From Wikipedia: “Beck spent three ... Read More »