Living / 17 July, 2018 / My Baba
What makes Harrods so iconic? The world famous department store transcended its humble grocery store beginnings, wove itself colourfully into London’s history, and now sits amongst the must-visit sites of the city. Very few department stores contend with Harrods’ level of prestige and, over the years, the toy department has been an integral part of the store’s success.
Harrods’ Toys and Games Department opened in 1894. Now, the world famous department store boasts of 330 departments spanning over seven floors, yet the toy department, since it opened, has remained one of the store’s most popular sections. We had a poke around in Harrods’ archives to discover what has attracted families to the toy department over the years, how things have changed (or remained the same!) and what the store looks like in 2018.
Harrods’ founder Charles Henry Harrod moved to the Knightsbridge store in 1849. By 1880, it was a bustling and thriving department store. Following a fire in 1883 which destroyed the store, it was rebuilt and the toy department was established in the 1890s.
In August 1921, Daphne Milne, wife of A.A. Milne bought a teddy bear for her son’s first birthday from Harrods’ toy department. Her son was Christopher Robin and that bear later became the inspiration for Winnie the Pooh.
Toys were limited during the war and everywhere experienced shortages, but the Harrods Toy Department continued. Pictured below (bottom right) is the Harrods Toy Fair and the first doll was called Lillibet, the nickname given to Princess Elizabeth by her father King George VI.
At the end of the 80s, The Toy Department changed its name to the Toy Kingdom and remained so until its revamp this year and is now called Harrods Toys.
2018 welcomed the launch of the brilliant Harrods Toys. Now located on the fourth floor, its new home is the ultimate one-stop family destination. The toy department shares the space with kids’ fashion, services including the Toy Concierge and Baby Gifting, and Sweet Street.
Don’t forget you can shop Harrods’ toys online too! Click to visit the website.