My name is Anna. I started this business in 1989. I was fresh out of the University of Texas with a degree in Advertising and a one year old baby, and I was not willing to commit to the hours required to work in that field. I wanted to be a full time Mommy. I took 6 months to think, research, investigate, and spent $200.00 at some garage sales on used Fisher-Price and other developmental toys. I put these toys in the trunk of my Nissan Sentra and drove to some child care centers and knocked on the office doors. "I have some kids' toys in the trunk of my car for sale!"
I eventually moved to a 1966 Ford pick-up truck. Then a UPS-sized step van. Then two step vans. These vans traveled regularly to over 200 child care centers delivering washable paints, construction paper, and used toys in Austin, San Antonio, Killeen and beyond. I had a store open in Austin, Texas as well, but it sometimes felt more like a warehouse with all the trucks coming and going.
Eventually, I decided to discontinue the delivery service, sell the trucks, and concentrate exclusively on the store in Austin. While e-commerce has put many brick and mortar toy stores out of business, I'm convinced the unique shopping experience at Anna's Toy Depot can't be had online. I am proud to have a business with the purpose of reusing and recycling items that are quickly outgrown and slightly used. The store is full of fantastic toys that spark playful memories. Young and old customers frequently visit to see the unique toys and treasures that change weekly. Everyday there are regular customers who have stopped in dozens of times and folks who have popped in for the first time. Anna's Toy Depot has survived for 30 years because play is essential and timeless. Play harbors memories, encourages bonding, sharing, learning and healthy development. Come in and check out this place! I'm sure you've never seen any place like it.
Our Philosophy of Play
To tell you the truth, at Anna's Toy Depot, we believe that you don't even need toys to really play. This is because we believe that what is important in play is not the toy itself, but the "benefits" of real play to healthy, happy, human development. Anna's Toy Depot sells toys that facilitate the kind of play that benefit children socially, emotionally, and physically.
The type of toys that serve a social benefit in play would be toys such as tea sets, puppets, games and dress up sets. With these toys children engage in conversation, take turns, and role play. Playing this way teaches kids, in a safe environment, how to interact with one another and develop skills they will need to feel competent the in world.
The type of toys that serve an emotional benefit in play would be toys like puppets, doll house families, fantasy figurines, and play animals. Playing with toys like these, a child can escape, nurture, protect, as well as express anger, sadness, fear..... Sometimes playing is an easier way to express one's feelings than trying to come up with the words. Playing is a universal language!
In today's high-tech world of TV and video games, the physical benefits of traditional play are less a reality in our children's lives. When fencing with toy swords or throwing a ball, while jumping rope or chasing a toy helicopter, kids are getting exercise without even realizing it! How fantastic is it that something as simple as a ball can have people active and running for hours!?
So enjoy your visit with us! We hope that looking at all our toys gives you tons of ideas on how to play with your kiddos today! Remember that you don't actually need toys to really play, but they can be a great way to facilitate interaction, self expression and movement. At Anna's Toy Depot, we believe play is not just fun, it is the way we learn to grow!
An Austin Toy Store since 1989