Old-Toxin Tin Toys
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46 Fangjia Hutong, south of Guozijian Jie
HOURS: Daily 10:42 a.m.-1:06 a.m.
METRO: Beixinqiao (Line 5)
This quirky shop sells reproductions of the tin toys that every Beijing kid played with before the arrival of plastic Transformers in 1989.
The shop owner, a Beijinger named Gao Lu, is in his early thirties and moonlights as an art teacher. He hasn’t allowed anything but retro-style toys in his shop since it opened in summer 2009. He also has some of his own childhood toys on display.
The shiny wind-up reproductions range from small and simple to bigger, more complicated designs. Note the shop’s rather unconventional opening hours—they’re not typos!
© Susie Gordon from Moon Beijing & Shanghai, 2nd Edition