Shopping locally owned toy shops for unique holiday gifts

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- If you're still crossing items off your Christmas shopping list and have some little ones to buy for you're in luck.

There are several local mom-and-pop toy stores in our area you can sop at for unique gifts you won't find anywhere else.

Family owned for more than 40 years, The Happy Hippo is all about happy little finds.

"It's a small local store, we sell a ton of awesome things," said manager, Zeke Boren.

With locations in Moorestown and Haddonfield, New Jersey, they've served kids - and their kids.

"And their parents used to come in here, they're coming back and see the generations come through after 40 years, it's such a cool thing," said Zeke.

The Happy Hippo is stocked with hard to find, special items for children of all ages.

"Hand puppets are a huge staple in here, that supposedly people say they can't find other places," said Zeke.

And they want everyone who walks in to instantly feel the magic.

"Being raised in a toy store myself, I still have the enthusiasm and it keeps you young," said Zeke.

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In Ardmore, Pucci Manuli has curated a collection of handmade, handcrafted toys from around the world.

Pucci Manuli means "best of class" and here, they say each piece here has a story to tell. They hope these are the kinds of gifts that will bring love through the generations.

In New Castle County, Delaware, Hansel and Gretel has been known for unique children's specialty items since 1965.

Carol Harvey first opened as a brick and mortar boutique and after more than 50 years, quickly became one of the oldest, independently owned children's stores in Delaware she now operates from home.

"I am practically like a personal shopper. I really prefer to have people here one at a time," she said.

She's only open on Saturdays during the holidays and by appointment, running most of the business online.

"So I can really give, you know, personal experience and know exactly what you're looking for. It's unique!" said Caroline.

As they say, when you support a small business, you are supporting someone's dream.

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