Ringelreif Toyshop in the old town

Ringelreif Toyshop in the old town

Christmas is coming, which gives me the opportunity to talk about one of my favourite shops of note, i.e. small independent shops here in Bielefeld.

Ringelreif toyshop is located in the old town centre just off Obernstraße and is owned by husband and wife team Carlos and Christiane Mata. They have been running the shop for over 20 years.

A huge attraction in the summer is an automated bear that blows bubbles above the shop door attracting children passing by. Henry squeals with delight every time we pass it. While he is chasing bubbles I have a chance to look at the lovingly presented window display; the emphasis is on traditional, good quality toys that Germany is famous for, i.e. HABA, Schleich and Kathe Kruse, as well as hand made wooden toys such as Fagus, who produce their toys in workshops for the disabled.

Once inside, my two year old goes straight for the back of the shop to play with the toy train set from Brio whilst I have a good look round. The staff is always at hand if I need some advice. I have bought quirky stuffed toys here for babies, wooden puzzles and Djeco art sets for my sons and books and board games as presents for other children. They also have a good selection of games to play outdoors in the summer: toy planes, volleyballs and boomerangs, oh and I forgot to mention the dressing up clothes. They also sell real workbenches and tools for children.

The enthusiasm of the staff rubs off on you, and I find myself returning again and again to this little shop.  They may be traditional, but they keep up with trends. I discovered this on my last visit when I saw they had The Sylvanian Families in stock. For a small shop they really pack a lot in, and it definitely beats the numbing experience of toy megastores.

Husband and wife team Carlos and Christiane Mata

Husband and wife team Carlos and Christiane Mata

Chasing bubbles in warmer days gone by outside Ringelreif

Chasing bubbles in warmer days gone by outside Ringelreif

 

p.s. In case you are wondering, this is a non-sponsored post!

Advertisements