CHILDREN and the young at heart, rejoice: Renowned British toy company Hamleys - believed to be the oldest toy store in the world - is coming to Singapore this month.
Hamleys, which has 255 years of history, will be opening its first store here on July 24 at the Plaza Singapura extension.
Singapore is the third country in South-east Asia to have a Hamleys store. The British-based toy giant has stores in Malaysia and the Philippines, and may open more outlets in Singapore.
Currently, Hamleys has 54 stores in 17 countries worldwide, catering to four age groups: toddlers, tweens, teens and adult collectors.
The Singapore store will occupy 12,000 sq ft across two storeys and feature more than 10,000 toys, including its signature teddy bears.
These include Hamleys' Daffodil the Spring Bear, which is 23cm tall and will retail here for $36.90. Similarly sized bears sold at Toys 'R' Us and Natures Collection can go for $12.95 and $24.90 respectively.
Asked what was special about its bears and other toys that might translate to their higher prices, Gudjon Reynisson, chief executive of Hamleys in Britain, told My Paper that the store "has a wide variety of toys ranging from the traditional to the high-tech, games and puzzles to arts and crafts, magic, the Luvley counter and the iconic Hamleys Teddy Bear".
"At Hamleys, we focus on 'bringing toys to life' for families and children by actively encouraging children to play with the toys in store or by engaging with our expert toy demonstrators," he said.
Besides traditional toys such as dolls and arts-and-crafts sets, the Hamleys store in Singapore will sell electronic toys exclusive to it, including battery-operated "flying" pigs and swimming frogs.
The store will also sell toys from familiar brands such as Lego and Hasbro, and it joins a number of other toy and collectible stores in Plaza Singapura.
June Ang, assistant vice-president in marketing communications at Plaza Singapura, said the shopping centre hopes that the addition of Hamleys will make it a one-stop mall for families.
The Singapore store will be run by Global Retail Ventures, which also runs Hamleys' outlets in Malaysia. However, products at the store here will still be curated by Hamleys in Britain.
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