We are guilty as charged. Yes, we overuse the word old-school. And we’re just about to do it again. But, we can’t help it because we’ve fallen in love with the handful of indies that have been in Oakland forever and the old-timers who audaciously continue to run their businesses as if it’s still the 1970s. It’s so refreshing!
One such shop is Montclair Toyhouse. It’s definitely old-school. Indeed, at 50, it’s the oldest independently owned toy store in Oakland. They have an uncanny ability to curate a massive assortment of 8,000+ toys and games–the quality amusements that actually stimulate curiosity, creativity, and learning. And Montclair Toyhouse has a lot of items to satisfy the kid in all of us too. Chess, backgammon, cribbage, cards, and other classic games can all be found there.
Yet, they have no special, flashy bells and whistles. No, they don’t have a social media presence. The website is old-fashioned and lacks online shopping sophistication. And, we’re pretty sure that the shop has the exact same vibe as when it first opened in 1969. It’s a time capsule. But most importantly, they have a relentless focus on customer service. And they’re so dedicated to their community.
We wonder how many Oaktown families they’ve delighted over the years. And how many more will be entertained. Hopefully, a lot.
One More Thing About Old-School Shopping
While Corporate America, baby boomers, and gen Xers have all eroded–nay almost destroyed–the shop local experience over the last 50 years, we feel optimistic that Gen Yers, Millennials, and other new-school generations are going to lead an important return of the shop small mindset. We can hardly wait.
More About Montclair Toyhouse
Address: 6115 La Salle Ave, Oakland, CA 94611
Phone: (510) 339-9023
Instagram: Yeah, they don’t have an account!
Neighborhood: Montclair Village