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Heliopolis, Cairo, Egypt.
Toys R Us: The World's Premier Toy Retailer at Citystars
Toys R Us is known to many as the best source of kids’ games and toys in Cairo, and one look at the Citystars branch on the fourth floor of Phase 2 will tell you why. It's fairly easy to get lost in this large shop in the midst of Barbie dolls and original race cars. It might feel bigger when the sales assistants are nowhere to be seen; but they are helpful when they’re around and would help the customer with any questions.
Once you enter Toys R Us, you’ll find a small section for kids' clothing with a fitting room in the corner. There aren't that many items to choose from and a few price tags might be missing but most of the items are 100% soft cotton with light prints, including boys’ T-shirts (starting at 98LE), and a cute little red and black dress with a ladybug print (170LE).
The clothes section is nice, but this reviewer prefers Mothercare’s clothing collection. When it comes to Toys R Us, it's all about the toys. It's easy to be swept up into the fairy-like girls’ section of endless types of Barbies and cooking sets. The original Barbie starts at 70LE. There are also the other types of Barbie wannabes like Fulla and other plastic dolls that oddly retail higher at 100LE, next to a glittery magical wand (40LE) to complete the fairytale.
Little boys seem to be all about action figures that transform into alien shapes these days, and the shop has whatever they can possibly ask for, ranging from Spiderman plastic beach balls (10LE) to talking Transformers figures (65LE). Original CAT tractors and race cars the size of your palm start at around 500LE, or if your child really likes cars, you can get the Lightning McQueen life-sized bed for a whopping 3000LE.
The educational toys section has stuff that suits any age, even babies, with squishy animals that sing the alphabet. Crafty children can have fun with a simple bracelet maker set (100LE) or make their own favourite characters using a set of stencils and colourful clay.
From teddy bears and bedtime stories to bikes and nursery furniture and even electronics, Toys R Us is an essential source of games and gifts. It gives the impression that it’s more expensive than the average shop but this reviewer found that its prices don’t differ that much from its peers, and with high-quality material, Toys R Us gives you great value for your money.
Following in the footsteps of even the most cosmopolitan cities, the Cairo shopping scene is fast evolving and welcomes more and more designer names to our colossal shopping malls. Aspiring to cater for shoppers of all ages, Citystars have recently seen the opening of Burberry Children.
Founded in 1856, Burberry has expanded from their staple trench-coats and outerwear to full clothing lines, including entire collections dedicated to children. Quintessentially British, the brand is well-known for its high quality and even higher prices. Both the exterior and interior is much like any other of their branches; shiny, immaculate and well organised, but with mini manikins sporting the latest looks.
The shop is spacious and split into two sections, with the front half offering clothes for children aged one to five years, and the back for between five and fourteen years. Although intending to offer flawless customer service, as soon as we entered the shop, we were followed closely by one of the many members of smartly dressed staff, which actually made for an uncomfortable and claustrophobic browsing session.
With an air of seriousness, a child-size table in the middle of the shop boasts several iPads, in order to occupy children so parents can pick out their outfits in peace. Alongside this, many of the rails are hung at adult height, and whilst many of the clothes are more demure than fun, it is obvious that the intended audience is in fact the adults, not the children.
Their autumn collection has been designed using warm colours such as deep purple, burnt orange and browns, as well as slightly brighter, but modest, pinks and greens. Many of the items feature the signature Burberry print, including full chequered shirts, button up cardigans (995LE), the turn-ups on boys’ jeans (1100LE) and girls’ leggings, whilst other garments sport clear but subtler logos. We also spotted striped rugby shirts (915LE) for boys, chequered day dresses for girls (1755LE) and soft novelty tops for little ones (535LE). Gift boxes for newborns are also available (1350LE) and include an all in one jumpsuit, a hat and a Burberry chequered bib. A large range of smart coats and jackets are also available for both boys and girls; wax jackets, down-filled puffers, woollen pea coats and duffles. In the way of shoes, bags and other accessories, little to none were available.
Modelled by the likes of Romeo Beckham, the clothes are admittedly both incredibly chic and smart. Despite this, considering how fast children grow, the prices at Burberry Children may seem utterly ridiculous to the average Egyptian, let alone thoroughly impractical for everyday use. However, if you’re searching for something for a very important occasion, or a gift for someone special, Burberry is unlikely to disappoint.