Edinburgh’s lost toy shops where everyone remembers being a kid

Over the years, almost every adult in Edinburgh will fondly remember their childhood days spent on a trip to buy a new toy.

Known to be quite a magical experience, the long-awaited day would arrive when you would be required to browse the shelves or buy something in particular.

Filled with everything that was fashionable at the time, toy stores have always been a paradise for children, but in recent years many have disappeared.

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Victims of the world of online shopping, many consumers have left their premises, others retreating for different reasons over the decades.

But, for a trip down memory lane, here are five of Edinburgh’s most beloved toy shops, and what they are now.

Jenners



Jenners is now closed

One of Edinburgh’s most iconic department stores, Jenners’ toy-filled basement was one of the best in years.

Eventually becoming an extension of Hamley’s, the store finally closed in 2019, having brought joy to many generations of children.

Now completely closed, Jenners is undergoing extensive renovations and is expected to be redeveloped as a hotel, retail and restaurant in the coming years.

However, Hamley’s has since opened a store in the St James area, so it might be worth a visit if you want to take a walk down some version of memorial lane.

The Disney Store



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Christmas shoppers queuing outside the Disney Store in Princes Street in the 1990s.

A slightly more modern toy destination, Disney was once a hugely popular toy store.

With branches both on Princes Street and at the Gyle Shopping Centre, the stores allowed children to take a trip to a land far, far away, even if only for a little while.

However, the last decade has seen the closure of both stores, with the Princes Street store now a Holland and Barratt.



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Binn



The clock was a popular meeting place for young lovers on date night (Image: Diageo)
The clock was a popular meeting place for young lovers on date night (Image: Diageo)

One that older generations may remember more fondly, Binns also had a favored toy store and department with classic lines.

From trains to dolls, the West End retailer was popular in the 1950s and 1960s.

However, the department store itself is now gone, sitting for years as the House of Fraser, but has now been redeveloped into the Johnnie Walker Experience.

So you might not be able to buy a toy there anymore, but you can get your hands on a dram.

toys r us



The Fort Kinnaird Store
The Fort Kinnaird Store

One of the most famous toy retailers of decades past, Toys R Us was a child’s version of heaven back then.

From Lego to bicycles, game consoles and even rocking horses, the shop had almost every toy a child could want.

Browsing the shelves can take an entire afternoon if you allow it, with walking out without buying half of the store being every parent’s worst nightmare.

However, sadly the chain has announced that it will be heading into administration with stores like Fort Kinnaird demolished and rebuilt as Primark.