Most of us know the big box stores that carry toys in Salem and Keizer, but we are fortunate to have some local stores that sell toys for a variety of interests and ages. From the amazing toddler and preschool toys at the Freckled Bee downtown to the Lego paradise that is Bricks and Minifigs in Keizer, there is something for anyone looking for a special present for a great kid.

toy stores Salem Keizer
Find quality preschool toys and books on offer at The Freckled Bee, with fashionable baby and toddler apparel as well. Photo credit: Mollie Nouwen

The Freckled Bee

105 Liberty Street NE, Salem

Located on the corner of Liberty and State Street, The Freckled Bee offers whimsical and leftist clothing, toys, and personalized drinkware. Few stores in Salem have more beautiful cotton baby clothing, and for those interested in funny progressive political slogans on t-shirts, this is the place to come.

For toys, the Melissa and Doug brand is well-represented with many wooden puzzles and various activity books. There are a few displays of hand-carved slingshots with animals and other characters carved on them – these would be popular with a lot of kids, but parents might feel differently! They have unusual stuffed toys, from internal organs to animals. The Freckled Bee is an excellent stop for a funky gift or something for a preschooler.

toy stores Salem Keizer
There’s an extensive stuffed creature selection at Ricky’s Bubbles and Sweets. Photo credit: Mollie Nouwen

Ricky’s Bubbles and Sweets

102 Liberty Street NE #130, Salem

Advertised as a candy store, Ricky’s Bubbles and Sweets actually has some fantastic toys and gifts. Located across Liberty Street from The Freckled Bee, Ricky’s has a first-rate stuffed animal selection. They are a registered retailer for Jellycat (possibly the softest stuffie brand around), which features all kinds of animals, from axolotls to rabbits.

Ricky’s has a great selection of eccentric toys from Seattle novelty and joke shop Archie McPhee, as well as more standard toys like Calico Critters, TY stuffed creatures, and Nee-Doh fidgets. Even though you might enter for the candy offerings, the toy and gift sections really shine.

toy stores Salem Keizer
Radar Toys offers a wide variety of playthings for all ages. This area is aimed at kids in elementary school. Photo credit: Mollie Nouwen

Radar Toys

1440 Lancaster Drive NE, Salem

The Salem outpost of a local Eugene store, Radar Toys, is an outstanding toy store with something for any child. The shelves near the door focus on toys for smaller children, like the Fisher-Price brand and Thomas the Tank Engine. As you move through the store, you get items for older kids, including Legos, Playmobil, Pokémon, and interactive kits featuring crafts and science.

Finally, you reach a dizzying array of fan collectibles for teens and adults, from Funko-Pop to comic books. There’s also a pretty comprehensive board game section for any age. Of all the toy stores in Salem, Radar Toys is the most diverse and well-stocked. Kids could easily come in here and spend a lot of time looking, and anyone searching for a great gift could find something easily for almost any child.

toy stores Salem Keizer
These are just a few of the many Lego sets for sale at Bricks and Minifigs. Photo credit: Mollie Nouwen

Bricks and Minifigs

3670 River Road N, Keizer

A Mecca for local Lego enthusiasts, Bricks and Minifigs sells new and used Legos and will buy and offer store credit to those bringing in used sets. There’s always a good selection of new sets, from giant Avengers-themed creations to small animal figures to build. Sometimes, you also get sealed sets that were new years or decades ago, which can be very valuable. The store recently got the collection of a man who bought all of the Star Wars Lego sets for 15 years and never opened them – all those sets are now on sale at the store.

The used sets are where it gets the most fun and exciting. They have bulk bins for bricks (the traditional Legos in different sizes and configurations) and mini-figures, or minifigs (Lego figures) that can be mixed and matched from the head, torso, legs, and accessories bins. There are also minifigs in the front cases that can be bought separately — these are from sets and can cost anywhere from a couple of dollars to upwards of a thousand for a rare figure. The last piece of the used Lego business is the used sets for sale. Displayed on shelves behind the front counter, the used collections are entirely assembled and available for cheaper prices than the new sets. This is where enthusiasts can get old sets they missed out on (Lego sets often get retired). It’s a great system for everyone – people who no longer want their Legos can earn money or credit, and the sets live on for a new owner.

Salem is lucky to have local businesses that have a strong toy selection for any age kid. Overall, the toys at these stores are creative and appeal to a child’s imagination. If you’re looking for the plastic “must-have” toy of the year, these stores will not have them. But if you want to browse and find something you didn’t know existed, these toy stores are for you.

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