Sunday, December 20, 2009

The Dinosaur Farm

If Santa needs a little help this Christmas, I have no doubt he'll turn to The Dinosaur Farm. Dubbed by its owners as "not your ordinary toy store," this specialty shop has been a local favorite for the last 15 years. Pasadena Weekly voted it Best Toy Store for the third year in a row. LA Parent Magazine named it Southern California's Best Independent Toy Store. Malcolm McDowell said in a 2007 interview with the LA Times that it's "the best toy store in the world." And, truly, it is. Even Forbes included it in a list called "10 Amazing Toy Stores."

What makes it so special? Just think about Toys R Us for a minute: the impersonal corporate veneer, the shrink-wrapped sameness, the plastic overload, the fluorescent lights. Now, think about the opposite of that. The Dinosaur Farm is the kind of toy store Peter Jackson would create as a setting for a movie -- a place that would probably have secret passageways, talking T-Rex models and a back room filled with busy elves or mischievous fairies. The Dinosaur Farm is packed with cool stuff and staffed by cool people who understand kids of all ages. Plus, the fanciful murals on the walls are reason enough to stop in for a visit.

You'll find old favorites here along with unique new treasures and the best selection of dinosaur goodies this side of the Jurassic period. (In fact, the online store specializes in all things dinosaur-related.) The book section of the shop is pretty wonderful, too.

I couldn't resist getting a late night picture of the store window. Haven't you always dreamed of spending the night in a toy store?


Judy Williams said...

Maybe Ben Stiller could do a "Night at the Toy Store" and the magical fare inside could come to life in a hilarious comedy. I like the angle of this shot and the use of rich deep colors. It makes me want to hide behind a display, so as not to be detected and spend the night in there just to see what happens.

altadenahiker said...

All right, you convinced me, must visit. I remember being quite smitten with dinosaurs as a child. Brontasaurus was my fave. They were like enormous cows with itty-bitty heads.

-K- said...

You also make South Pasadena seem the mot distinctive, unique place in the world, or at least this corner of it.

TheChieftess said...

I knew you might be a kindred spirit AH...brontosaurus' were my favs too!!!

Although, I must admit a bit of a rush when those brutish, bad boy T Rex's came around!!!

Dixie Jane said...

How much is that dino in the window, the one with the lizard-like tail?

Laurie said...

Mom cracked me up with this one.

Thanks, everyone! I must confess, I was never into dinosaurs ... until I saw this toy store. Little Bit loved the dinosaur egg she got there -- you put it in water and wait a couple of days for it to "hatch." (Yeah, it's kinda gross but kids love that stuff, right?)

K, you've really got to bring your camera around these parts. Especially at night!

Until tomorrow, everybody.

Pasadena Adjacent said...


same subject posted on the same day sort of

Gruvkitty said...

Where else could I find toy chimera?! AND a Cerberus! Love this place.