Child World Toy Store, Medford, Mass.

As a kid, I would have preferred a mom and pop toy store with the jolly, personality-filled owner, but the Child World retail toy chain, nevertheless, had a special place in my heart.

Truthfully, not much of an upgrade over the generic Kay Bee Toys and its often disinterested customer service ("Hey dude, it's a job..."), Child World did have more inventory and a convenient Wellington Circle Medford location. Here you could have it all: the Easy Bake Oven, Rockem Sockem Robots, Close 'N Play toy phonograph, LiteBrite, Spirograph, the Electroshot shooting gallery, etc. It was here I bought a magic set with such a strong smell of polyvinylchloride that I have to wonder if the powerful aroma affected my grades at the Parmenter Elementary School in Arlington.  Probably not, I am completely normbal now.


  1. "Truthfully, not much of an upgrade over the generic Kay Bee Toys"
    I have to respectfully (and strongly) disagree here. We had a huge Child World on Rt. 1 in Saugus when I was a kid, and it was my favorite toy store by far. They had everything, a much bigger selection than either Kay Bee or Toys 'R' Us, and they seemingly never went out of stock on anything. A few years ago, I learned from a web post by a former employee that this was due to the unique way they handled their stock. IIRC, the tractor-trailers would actually unload their stock at the stores themselves, and whatever didn't fit into the store was sent on to one of their central warehouses (or maybe the only central warehouse). In this way, the warehouse(s) continually filled up with stock and were rarely drawn from, so at Child World you could usually get old, long out-of-production toys that nobody else carried anymore. They also had the biggest and best selection of model kits I have ever seen. Building model kits was my favorite hobby back then, which accounts for my love of the store. Unfortunately, I missed the going-out-of business sale in the '90s, where the same poster reported that they were pulling '70s era toys (including Mego dolls) out of the warehouse and selling them dirt cheap!

  2. I worked at the original location in Medford that was only about 7500 sf. in 1966. That store always grossed over 2 mil. Worked hard but always had fun. I worked with a great bunch of people who taught me the business.Was hired for the Christmas season and did not leave till all the stores had closed in 1991

  3. Any idea what year the Somerville location closed?


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