Join us on the journey through time!
It all began with one dream came true
The founder of our toy shop, William Hamley from Great Britain, grew up in English Cornwall. He simply could have become a mine worker or a fisherman according to the local county’s tradition. Luckily for us, that did not happen.
Ever since he was a child, William had one big dream – to open the finest toy shop in the world.
Hamleys becomes a phenomenon
William’s love for toys was just as strong as his goal to see a smile on little children’s faces. That’s why the store was soon full of rag dolls, tin soldiers, rocking horses and other at-that-time popular toys, which the kids could see and try in person.
By the time Queen Victoria ascended the throne of the United Kingdom, Hamleys had already been a well-known brand.
The most famous toy store has a new address
The shelves of the store started to fill up with not only puppets, magic lanterns and model ships, but also with sports equipment, cricket bats and footballs.
Hamleys toy store even launched, as the fist in the world, a new game with two paddles and one jumping ball onto the market – ping-pong!
The Great Depression at the end of 1920’s affected Hamleys severely, just as many other enterprises. The businesses stopped, and the children’s laughter went silent at our toy store.
Hamleys had to stop the horse wagons with toy deliveries, thus the store was closed for a few years.
Rebirth of the finest toy shop in the world
Not long after that, children’s laughter and customers returned to the store, which together with a lucrative contract was kind of a reward to Walter Lines. In 1938, Hamleys was officially named a supplier of toys for the British royal family (and it still is!). So, Hamleys was back on track!
The company of Walter Lines and his two brothers – Tri-ang Toys, was the world’s bigger toy producer in 1947.
Air battle above the roof of Hamleys
In 1940, Europe was tossed by World War II and the air battle over the Great Britain took place just above the roofs of Hamleys in London. However, the toy store survived five air strikes and the German Luftwaffe bombing altogether.
Even during the Blitz, the employees with helmets were running into the store to hand over the toys at the main entrance.
Never-ending fun across the whole world!
Hamleys’ popularity was constantly on the rise during the 20th century and soon, the toy store at Regent Street became the world phenomenon
Hamleys in the very heart of Europe
In May 2016, the dream of William Hamley also spread to the Czech Republic. The store at Prague’s famous street Na Příkopě opened its gates and offered all the customers the unique concept of a giant toy store merged with an amusement park. Thousands of toys, loads of attractions and 4 floors full of fun! That’s Hamleys in Prague – the dream which really came true!
With its size, Hamleys Prague is among the biggest in Europe!