You’d be hard-pressed to find some of Lulubell Toy Bodega’s treasures anywhere else. Among the hodgepodge of collectible vinyl toys, lowbrow art, clothing, and books, you’ll find some rare gems from little-known Japanese toymakers, often churned out in modest batches.
Reflections Bingo, named Best Bingo joint in both 2008 and 2009 by the Phoenix New Times, has drawn flocks of players for more than 20 years to compete in cash-prize games that ultimately benefit local arts and entertainment causes. A real human rather than an electronic machine calls out numbers so players don't have to translate robotic bleeps and bloops. Reflections Bingo features a different game every evening, such as the $9 special session, which features a $1,000 jackpot every night. A portion of game proceeds go toward local charities such as the Young Sounds of Arizona, Phoenix Federation of Musicians, and the Phoenix Chorale.
The Stuffington Bear Factory's staff and guests manufacture stuffed animals on-site from scratch, filling the store with plush creations and youthful joviality. Toy companions are crafted from American-made materials and well trained to accept blame for crayon drawings on the living-room wall. Kids choose from a variety of fauna—such as bears, bunnies, horses, and monkeys—from which to expand their plush menageries. Before taking their friends to their new forever homes, tykes engorge their new charges with stuffing and stock their plush pals' wardrobes with T-shirts, dresses, and even Halloween costumes.
For more than 60 years, Toys“R”Us has been helping kids be kids and grown-ups to revisit their childhoods by providing one of the largest selections of top-brand toys, electronics, games and everyday baby essentials. Founder, Charles Lazarus, revolutionized the toy business by modeling his stores after supermarkets, providing a variety of options to suit varying ages and interests and offering customers to help themselves and have fun in the process. Today, that sense of playfulness is evident at nearly 600 stores in the United States alone, including a flagship location in Times Square where kids are greeted by a 60-foot Ferris wheel, a 5-ton animatronic T-Rex, and a life-sized, 4,000-square-foot Barbie house.
Beyond everybody's favorite bikes, trains and video games, each Toys“R”Us store keeps its shelves stocked with the season’s must-have toys as well as nostalgic standbys that never go out of style. Time-tested brands such as LEGO, Radio Flyer, NERF and Fisher-Price share the shelves with an expansive selection of electronics for older kids, including Wii U and tablets. And though the company has inspired generations of boys and girls to try their hardest not to grow up, it also strives to ensure budding brains develop right on track by devoting a significant portion of its stores to “smart-play” with a wide selection of electronic learning toys and software.
Toys“R”Us—whose extended family of brands includes Babies“R”Us and FAO Schwarz—has earned a number of awards and recognitions through the years, including a spot on Fortune’s list of the World’s Most Admired Companies in 2012. The company has also drawn considerable recognition for its expansive charitable efforts, which include partnerships with the Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation and Save the Children. This year also marks the tenth consecutive year that the company has partnered with the Marine Toys for Tots Foundation to collect new, unwrapped toys and monetary donations in its stores to benefit the organization.