A semi-famous toy store in Austin, Texas. It's situated a little north of the Drag on Guadalupe. Instantly recognizable by the bright colors of the building and the giant ants that are glued to the fa├žade.

Toy Joy is one of those places that I miss the most since leaving Austin. On a recent trip back to the city, I made a point of going in there. I was not disappointed.

It was all there: an entire corner section devoted to Hello Kitty and other Sanrio creations; the glow-in-the-dark room; a huge selection of rubbery finger puppets, including Shiva and other Hindu deities; classic tin wind-up toys; neon-colored Hoberman spheres and other science toys; and of course, an immense arsenal of plastic roaches, centipedes, spiders, scorpions, and other creepy crawlies.

We ended up spending way too much money there, but it was worth it: a complete set of Alice in Wonderland Christmas ornaments, a cat-headed Buddha statuette, and even plush Totoro toys. When do you outgrow toys? Not at 28, apparently.

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