I'm not afraid to admit that when it comes to toys I'm a little bit old fashioned. I like to be able to look at toys without being overwhelmed by walls of similar products all screaming for my attention. Of course, there's a place for the type of toyshop I'm describing and I'm not above getting the odd plastic figurine or latest incantation of Lego, but there is something timeless about wandering around a toyshop and being surprised at the wonderful inventiveness of toymakers.
Crackerjack Toys in Balmoral is just such a place. It shies away from the heavily commercial brands that you get in the big shopping centres and instead has carved a niche for itself as a treasured local community shop that can be relied upon to stock, source or order toys for any occasion.
Crackerjack is particularly good at sourcing educational toys that will assist development and learning. A quick chat with the lovely ladies inside will soon find you what you're looking for.
They have a very well stocked rail at the back of the shop with some really fantastic (in the true sense of the word) costumes that will appeal to the imagination of any budding storyteller and can provide all the accessories you need for some intricate pretending.
Their arts and crafts section caters for chubby hands just getting to grips with crayons through to detailed beading designs appealing to older kids and testing their fine motor skills. Scientists are well taken care of too with a fabulous range of sets appealing to mechanics through to botanists.
I'm a sucker for wooden toys and we are the proud owners of two spectacular castles purchased at Crackerjack – a fairy tower and King Arthur's castle complete with an underground cave for the dragon's lair. Crackerjack came into its own on this occasion as for that particular birthday they advised all our party guests which knights and fairies we had so that the children could populate their kingdoms – you don't get that at Kmart.
Pop into Crackerjack and you'll love the personal touches; the birthday list service, the gift wrapping and even the assembly of some of the bigger toys if time permits. For further evidence of Crackerjack's popularity you need look no further than a local birthday party – Bulimba kids think it's completely normal that over half their presents should be wrapped the same. And of course, if an exchange is necessary, the parents always know where to go!