Jackson Heights Life

Get Connected => Jackson Heights of Yesteryear => Topic started by: sabrosonics on January 02, 2008, 02:18:48 PM

Title: Does anyone remember Toy City??
Post by: sabrosonics on January 02, 2008, 02:18:48 PM
In the vein of "does anyone remember,"

On Roosevelt Avenue between 78th and 79th streets, the north side. One of the most magical toy stores in Jackson Heights TOY CITY. Board games, Hobby crafts, bicycles, handballs, street chalk...you name it they had it. Closed their  doors if I'm not mistaken in the early 80's.

I've been recently looking for any photographs anyone may have of the actual building or for that matter any photos of 37th avenue or Roosevelt of the 70's or early 80's....working on a little Jackson Heights memories project. If you can help do let me know!

-G
Title: Re: Does anyone remember Toy City??
Post by: Chuckster on January 02, 2008, 04:20:11 PM
I remember Toy City on Roosevelt Ave. very well.  My sister and I purchased a Ouija (sp?) Board game there on one occasion.  It scared the heck out of us the first time we used it!   :o  Unfortunately I don't  have any photos, just the fond memories.  You can try posting a message on the following website.  There are a lot of Jackson Heights' old-timers carrying on discussions about the neighborhood and its yesteryear.  Perhaps they can come up with a photo of the store for you.

www.gothamcenter.org

Hope this helps.
Title: Anyone have any pictures of TOY CITY???
Post by: sabrosonics on September 26, 2008, 04:36:18 PM
What a great toy store (79th street and Roosevelt)!
I've been hunting high and low for any picture of the toy store (inside or out). If you have any please let me know or if you know someone who does...same :)

Thanks!
Title: Re: Does anyone remember Toy City??
Post by: Really4rob on September 27, 2008, 05:22:17 PM
I'll have to check the old family albums next time I bring Luc to grandma's ... I used to live in Toy City!!!!
Title: Re: Does anyone remember Toy City??
Post by: sabrosonics on September 27, 2008, 09:54:15 PM
Nice! I'll keep a lookout for your info about those pictures.

-G
Title: Re: Does anyone remember Toy City??
Post by: Really4rob on September 27, 2008, 10:41:36 PM
Nice! I'll keep a lookout for your info about those pictures.

-G

Ok.  I do know I have an old photo of the comic store dog Max ... another haunt ... so its possible.

In any case I recall the layout somewhat ...

(http://)
Title: Re: Does anyone remember Toy City??
Post by: michelem on October 27, 2008, 10:11:03 PM
Yes I do.  It was a great neighborhood store.  My dad was a friend of the owner and a fellow Lion Club member.
Title: Re: Does anyone remember Toy City??
Post by: Brian C on November 03, 2008, 10:37:35 AM
Toy City was one of my favorite haunts as well. Does anyone remember the store before they moved to the Roosevelt Ave location? It was a smaller store on 37th in the 70's.
Title: Re: Does anyone remember Toy City??
Post by: Really4rob on November 08, 2008, 05:33:17 PM
Sure that was Toy City?  I remember a BAARS toys where Novo or Starbucks is now, next to a dress shop, on 37th, between 78th and 79th.

Also, I checked at Mom's in old albums, no pictures of Toy City, sorry.

But yeah I do have some at the comic store like I thought (Discount Books).
Title: Re: Does anyone remember Toy City??
Post by: Brian C on November 09, 2008, 12:14:07 PM
Sure that was Toy City? ...

I'm fairly certain that is was. I also remember Baars, they had a great selection of Matchbox cars & trucks; however, the place I am thinking of was on the south side of 37th, probably between 75 & 76 streets.
Title: Re: Does anyone remember Toy City??
Post by: Really4rob on November 09, 2008, 01:48:00 PM
I'm fairly certain that is was. I also remember Baars, they had a great selection of Matchbox cars & trucks; however, the place I am thinking of was on the south side of 37th, probably between 75 & 76 streets.


Hmmm, I am drawing a blank, and I grew up on 76th between 35th and 37th ... I do recall a toyish store on 74th Street, about across from where Delhi Palace is now, next to the sawdust covered butcher shop.
Title: Re: Does anyone remember Toy City??
Post by: Brian C on November 09, 2008, 02:03:33 PM
It could be that the time period is off. I'm thinking early 60s for the 37th Ave store.
Title: Re: Does anyone remember Toy City??
Post by: Really4rob on November 10, 2008, 04:49:46 PM
It could be that the time period is off. I'm thinking early 60s for the 37th Ave store.

Ah ok.  I was born in '69.  Didn't move to 76th until '73 ...

On a side note, I've lived in Jackson Heights my whole life (except the 4 years at college) ... in 5 different apartments!  There should be a thread here to see how many of us have apartment hopped across Jackson Heights and no where else.
Title: Re: Does anyone remember Toy City??
Post by: ECG on November 10, 2008, 09:25:09 PM
Going with your idea Rob. I'm a native but lived in 3 apts on 83rd St for my first 21 years, not counting college and 2 apts on 80th for a really really long time. Like still. :coolsmiley:
Title: Re: Does anyone remember Toy City??
Post by: Really4rob on November 16, 2008, 04:54:02 PM
Going with your idea Rob. I'm a native but lived in 3 apts on 83rd St for my first 21 years, not counting college and 2 apts on 80th for a really really long time. Like still. :coolsmiley:

Cool.  One the organizers here actually encouraged me to set up a thread ... it's called Lifers ... we are not alone!!!!
Title: Re: Does anyone remember Toy City??
Post by: DrSamba on November 30, 2008, 06:03:37 AM
I lived in Jackson Heights through most of the 1960s and I also remember Toy City being on 37th Avenue, and between 75th and 76th Street sounds about right.  I also remember the Greenglass store on the west side of 74th Street, between 37th and Roosevelt Avenue.  When I grew a bit older, one of my favorite hangouts, as it were, was Center Cycle on Roosevelt Avenue.  In addition to bicycles, they had a great selection of chemistry set supplies.
Title: Re: Does anyone remember Toy City??
Post by: Brian C on November 30, 2008, 07:13:58 AM
I remember the Cycle Center too. In fact, my chemistry set probably came from there.
Title: Re: Does anyone remember Toy City??
Post by: Metsboy on March 10, 2009, 05:15:11 PM
Toy City was on Roosevelt Ave..it was HUGE...took up half the block..its where i got my real first mitt and bat as well..in the late 70's ealry 80's..they had a couple of arcade games as well..Dig Dug ..and a racing car game..ahhhhhh good times
Title: Re: Does anyone remember Toy City??
Post by: Really4rob on March 22, 2009, 06:11:01 AM
According to Todd's post about the city tax photo update, the 1980s tax photos means that one can finally get their Toy City photo! 
Title: Re: Does anyone remember Toy City??
Post by: Preacher on January 18, 2010, 09:07:04 PM
Toy City was on Roosevelt Ave..it was HUGE...took up half the block..its where i got my real first mitt and bat as well..in the late 70's ealry 80's..they had a couple of arcade games as well..Dig Dug ..and a racing car game..ahhhhhh good times

I used to blow all of my paper boy money  (Long Island Press) on the race car machine in that place.  I also had a fixation on the little airfix toy soldiers they had there... not the normal sized ones (toy soldiers) but tiny and very detailed soldiers of many different specific military units from different eras of history.

Title: Re: Does anyone remember Toy City??
Post by: Hank Stamper on January 19, 2010, 01:08:08 PM
"the place I am thinking of was on the south side of 37th, probably between 75 & 76 streets. "

There was indeed a toy store there - right next to a Kosher deli. A lot of their stuff was just laid out on tables in the middle of the store.

And yes - Baars?  across from the Post Office was great for Matchbox and Corgi cars and some brand of British soldiers? 

There was also a toy/hobby shop on Roosevelt and 86th? - Gerstenhabers. They sold everything from sporting goods, to plastic models to cribs.

There was also a hole-in-the wall hobby shop in the underground arcade -- offbeat European cars and soldiers.

I'm old enough to remember when there was a Woolworth's AND a Kresgie's on 82nd, basically across from each other.   
   

Title: Re: Does anyone remember Toy City??
Post by: earbears on January 19, 2010, 01:55:46 PM
Gerstenhaber's was on the corner of 85th Street and Roosevelt. I remember so well. I loved to go through the aisles and look and even get things when my mom would buy them.

Do you remember Sears on Roosevelt between 84th and 85th Street. Would cut throught the store every day on the way home from school (I went to P.S. 89). There was a back entrance on Forley street and then exist the Roosevelt Avenue (main) entrance.

Title: Re: Does anyone remember Toy City??
Post by: StevenGrey on January 19, 2010, 02:33:45 PM
I grew up in Woodside/Sunnyside Gardens, but fondly remembering biking over to Jackson Heights with a group of my friends at least once a week during the summers to shop at Toy City. We must've spent a small fortune there on sporting goods, model kits, and board games. (I actually can't believe my parents let me bike that far from home at that age! What were they thinking?)  :o
Title: Re: Does anyone remember Toy City??
Post by: Preacher on January 19, 2010, 07:28:24 PM

Do you remember Sears on Roosevelt between 84th and 85th Street. Would cut throught the store every day on the way home from school (I went to P.S. 89). There was a back entrance on Forley street and then exist the Roosevelt Avenue (main) entrance.



I have a dreamlike glimmer of a memory as a very young child being there with ma and pa looking at refrigerators.  I also remember being fixated on the streamers they had in front of the air conditioning ducts flapping away.  I was still so young that it was an amazing thing to me.

I also went to P.S. 89...  4th and 5th grades... Mr. Tricarico and Mrs. Urban respectively.  I "think" the principles name was Mr. Kakalios or something like that.  St. Barts before that.

Wow... finding this site sure brings back some really old memories :)

Phil

Title: Re: Does anyone remember Toy City??
Post by: earbears on January 19, 2010, 07:42:10 PM
I remember Ms. Urban. She loved to do galss mosaics. I remember putting glass things of different colors into bags and hitting them with hammers to get the pieces for the mosaics. Of course wearing gloves while doing this as to not getting cuts.

I had her in 6th grade. I also had chicken pox and german measles then too. One for Xmas and one for Easter. Great vacations.
Title: Re: Does anyone remember Toy City??
Post by: Really4rob on January 20, 2010, 04:27:53 PM
Just an aside ... it is crazy how far we used to bike at younga ges.  I was maybe 9 or 10 and my friend I would ride to Flushing Meadows on a whim.  Craziness.

Also crazy to think that there was a time that you left for school and literally your parents didn't know if you made it or were alive or whatever til they got home from work at 5 or 6.  The era known as B.C.P.   (Before Cell Phones)

Title: Re: Does anyone remember Toy City??
Post by: Metsboy on January 20, 2010, 05:02:23 PM
I grew up in Woodside/Sunnyside Gardens, but fondly remembering biking over to Jackson Heights with a group of my friends at least once a week during the summers to shop at Toy City. We must've spent a small fortune there on sporting goods, model kits, and board games. (I actually can't believe my parents let me bike that far from home at that age! What were they thinking?)  :o
Its funny , I live in that area now and have so for almost 25 years. JH had wayyyyy more things to do as a kid then woodside ever did.
Title: Re: Does anyone remember Toy City??
Post by: Really4rob on January 20, 2010, 05:09:28 PM
Its funny , I live in that area now and have so for almost 25 years. JH had wayyyyy more things to do as a kid then woodside ever did.

Agreed!
Title: Re: Does anyone remember Toy City??
Post by: Really4rob on January 20, 2010, 05:10:56 PM

And yes - Baars?  across from the Post Office was great for Matchbox and Corgi cars and some brand of British soldiers? 

BAARS, roughly where Novo or Strabucks is now, was the move for those superhero action figures of the early 70s!
Title: Re: Does anyone remember Toy City??
Post by: Metsboy on January 20, 2010, 05:20:05 PM
BAARS, roughly where Novo or Strabucks is now, was the move for those superhero action figures of the early 70s!
thats where i got all my Stars Wars stuff
Title: Re: Does anyone remember Toy City??
Post by: Really4rob on January 20, 2010, 07:37:14 PM
OH MY GOD, yes!

And like when the rare stuff came out, you trekked from Toy City to BAARS weekly, hunting things like "Power Droid!"

That was so my friends and me too!
Title: Re: Does anyone remember Toy City??
Post by: Preacher on February 06, 2010, 09:17:06 PM
I remember Ms. Urban. She loved to do galss mosaics. I remember putting glass things of different colors into bags and hitting them with hammers to get the pieces for the mosaics. Of course wearing gloves while doing this as to not getting cuts.

I had her in 6th grade. I also had chicken pox and german measles then too. One for Xmas and one for Easter. Great vacations.

Ms. Urban would have been the 5th grade.  PS 89 only went to 5th... at least when I went there.  I had her in the 5th at 89 and then went on to IS 145 for 6, 7, and 8th.