Kidding Around

Kidding Around


Neighborhood: Tribeca
Type of Place: Toys


Among the first words I heard when I entered Kidding Around were,
"Mommy, I have to show you something!"--followed almost immediately by
I have it?" The mommy being addressed did not seem surprised, and I
wasn't either: This place, small enough to navigate easily but big
to offer lots of variety, is pretty much a paradise for the toy-wanting

Stocked with playthings made here and abroad (like Germany's Selecta
Spielzeug wooden toys, from $30), Kidding Around opened 15 years ago
has been in this location for the last 13. Items you might not find
elsewhere are in abundance here: for example, there are not just a few
play kitchens and play cooking utensils, for budding Julia Childs and
Wolfgang Pucks, but a wide selection of them (plus many play tea sets
well). There are great costumes (firefighter, astronaut, princess of
course), plus sharp-looking hats to accompany them all. A "fairy
kit," ($12.95), containing a skirt, a wand, and a princess story book,
promised to be a hit--all the princess requirements, packed together in
a pink box! And the toy musical instruments were impressively varied in
type, size, and scope.

While little ones gathered around the wooden train set that's out for
general consumption, I admired the percussion pieces (from $2.25) and
the Wiggly Giggly balls (from $11). Though it was sleeting outside and
was running late on Thanksgiving preparations, the Wiggly Giggly, which
makes funny noises when you shake it, succeeded in making me smile; so
I'm going to assume that it generally has the same effect on toddlers
who are out of sorts.

Before leaving, I had to take time to admire the array of dolls,
including cloth girls with shiny pink hair (also available with purple
turquoise do's, $21). Shop co-owner Christina and I bonded over the
dolls' variety and their sweet faces; in Christina's own face, I saw
with a love for what she sells and what she does. If you've got
questions here, just ask: The staff is informed and ready to help. If
Pole supplies run short, Santa himself might do well to stop by.
  - Pamela Grossman; Nov 26, 2006

Kidding Around
50 W. 15th St
New York, NY 10011
(212) 645-6337