Summoning inspiration from childhood fun, Camelback Village plaza – on the northeast corner of 44th St. and Camelback – is now home to a new toy store from the owners of Arcadia gift shop, urbAna. Located next door, Arcadia Toys hopes to become a neighborhood staple.
“We just really hoped to offer a ‘classic’ toy store to enhance our area,” Brian Wells, owner of urbAna and Arcadia Toys, said. “It was honestly not a business decision for us. Over the years, we had built urbAna up to be solvent, but we just saw value in doing a ‘main street’ toy store.”
urbAna has been around for more than seven years, so Wells and co-owner Ana wanted to expand their offerings beyond housewarming gifts, bridal registries, and unique home décor.
“With urbAna, we have created a quality gift-giving service,” Wells said. “We saw the need for a good toy store that could compete with the Target toy section and offer an experience.”
The two shops share a combined space, with Arcadia Toys having its own suite, accessible through the original boutique. However, Arcadia Toys has its brand and identity away from urbAna, complete with a nod to the citrus groves in the Arcadia area over 100 years ago (the “o” in the logo).
“We wanted the toy store to have its own identity,” Wells shared. “We think operating under the name ‘Arcadia Toys’ gives the brand the flexibility to potentially operate in different locations, without urbAna being attached.”
The shop offers toys most children have come to know and love, including familiar board games like Twister, plus Legos, Nerf, and Fischer Price for the youngsters. Wells said Arcadia Toys would take a cue from urbAna’s mission to bring curated items to the shelf and bring something unique to the toy market.
“The focus will always be on specialty,” Wells said. “The harder-to-find toys that we can educate customers about and the kind that stimulate a child’s interests and imagination.”
Along with that, Arcadia Toys will also emphasize and showcase local vendors. The store currently carries Casita Curated Play, a collection of sensory toys like wiki sticks and snuggle muffins, which are all locally sourced.
Arcadia Toys will soon launch a calendar of events that includes story times, art workshops, and other community happenings that involve their custom playhouse, play kitchen and stage.
“We hope that Arcadia Toys can become a neighborhood staple and enrich the lived experience of the community in a small way; that alone is a huge success,” Wells said. “We don’t need to sell you everything, just something special.”