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Toys are us comes to India

Hamleys, the 250-year-old iconic toy retailer, opens in India.

entertainment Updated: Apr 10, 2010 20:22 IST
Naomi Canton

The world’s most famous toy store, Hamleys opens its first store in India at High Street Phoenix in Mumbai today.The 21,00 square foot two-storey shop sells a range of brands including Lego, Fisher-Price, LeapFrog and Play School.

The first of its kind in India, it employs 25 toy demonstrators to bring the store to life, showering customers with bubbles and demonstrating everything from magic tricks to magic pens; how to make stickers and use the remote-controlled cars and helicopters.

Live entertainment
It will also feature puppet shows, entertainment and visits by life-size fictional characters. The famous Hamleys Bear and Magician Marvin Berglas, whose magic tricks are sold in the store, will visit this weekend.

The Master of Ceremonies from Regent Street, Mark Campbell, who dons a red tailcoat and bowler hat, is in town for the launch. “When I leave, I will hand over my bowler hat to one of the staff, and they will become the Master of Ceremonies, Hamleys Mumbai,” he says.

Prices start at Rs 30 and Campbell adds, “ It’s priced reasonably. We want people to come in here and shop, and not just stare, wishing they could have that.” Global CEO, Hamleys, Gudjon Reynisson, adds:

“We didn’t want a diluted sense of Hamleys in India. It’s been done to the highest standards. I am extremely happy with it.”Some features of the Mumbai store are a first for Hamleys, such as the Kodak Photo Shop and Barbie Salon.

The Birthday Party room features teddy bears and can be hired for parties. An electric train and railway track priced at Rs 11,790 is on display.Customers can play with remote-controlled monster trucks, Ferraris and Hummers on a racing track.

A double-decker bus is stuffed with cuddly toys including the Queen’s guardsmen and Beefeater bears.Stylists from Jawed Habib’s salons style girls and their mums for Rs 350 to Rs 650 at the Barbie Salon and Spa.

Pedal-push and battery-powered ride-on cars including licensed Ferraris and Mercedes for toddlers are priced at Rs 22,000 to Rs 25,000.The most expensive item is the Nitro Powered Monster Truck, at Rs 44,990. n Competitions prizes include a trip to Hong Kong Disneyland.