I'm a Freelance Writer living in Bayside Melbourne. A Mother of two young children, so therefore also a coffee addict. Feel free to check out my website www.familydaytrippers.com and like my Facebook page Family Day Trippers.
I found this unique toy store whilst searching online, desperate to find Thomas and Friends train paraphernalia for my obsessed son, as his birthday was fast approaching.
Scrolling through their online stock, it was clearly apparent that they had the most comprehensive train collection on the market. Not only Thomas; but BRIO, Chuggington, Big Jigs, EverEarth Bamboo Name Train and more.
I could have just ordered online and had them delivered, but I was unsure of what I actually needed to begin his collection. I was a novice when it came to all things Thomas.
So I ventured out to Bentleigh hopeful that someone would be able to assist.
When I walked in the door I felt torn between immense relief that I did not have my boy with me; and immense guilt that I did not have my boy with me. The many shelves were full to overflowing with every Thomas item you can think of. Wooden trains and tracks, Take-n-Play collections, books, ride-on bikes, party-ware, toddler toilet seats, DVD's - the list goes on.
Not only is the store overflowing with Trains; they have a wide variety of toys to have kids of all ages begging to never leave. They have a broad assortment of Lego, ABC 4 kids, Lottie dolls, Sylvanian Families, Schleich, Bruder and plenty more.
As I stood staring blankly at the immense amount of Thomas toys, I was approached by a staff member who also happened to be the owner. After explaining how I had no idea of what I needed to begin a collection, the owner, very patiently, proceeded to spend the next 15 minutes going through the basics and providing cheaper alternatives to consider.
However, as fantastic as their range of stock was, and the fantastic service I received; the best was yet to come.
That first time that I visited, the back of the store was in the early stages of becoming something truly original. A small café and play area. There were 2 or 3 Thomas tables all decked out with tracks and engines that children can play with; as well as seating for the parents to sit back and watch. The café hadn't officially opened, but the baristas were offering free coffee as they tested out their machines.
Fast-forward a year or so and their small café is in full swing and their play area is fantastic. Comprising of 4 fully decked out train tables (for each of the main brand of trains they stock); doll houses; lego table; large wall-mounted TV playing Thomas DVD's; a bucket of dress ups with Fireman, Nurse, Princess and Cowgirl costumes; ride-on Thomas bike and blocks.