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6th of October City, Cairo, Egypt.
B & D: New Toy Shop in Mall of Arabia
Another massive shop has opened in Mall of Arabia, this time catering exclusively to kids with its rows of toys, clothing and school gear. B & D was fairly new at the time of this reviewer’s visit; so new in fact that few of the items on display had price tags. This reviewer suspected that this shop might be an official Disney shop, as most of the toys on display were of Disney animation and cartoon characters, as well as Pixar characters. We’re talking Mickey, Minnie, Eyore, Piglet, Winnie the Pooh, 101 Dalmatians, Buzz Lightyear, Cars, Hannah Montana, High School Musical... the list goes on.
At the entrance of the shop, a stand of Crocs shoes mostly displays girls’ shoes in lemon yellow, baby green, silver and pink as well as Crocs with Cinderella and butterfly figures. None of the shoes were priced at the time of our visit. Rows of display tables were divided according to the character or brand. So a whole row of Hello Kitty toys were displayed together, including bead work and creation kits, stickers, card makers and electronic pianos. On the other side, several shelves carried stuffed toys like Tigger and his friends at around 59LE per toy.
Further in, past the shelves carrying Pixar characters and an electronic vacuum for kids next to a rock guitar, you’ll find a rather intimidating Barbie wall, complete with figures, houses, cars, costumes, accessories and a small TV screen showing Barbie promotional material. If your kid loves Barbie, this wall is definitely dangerous.
Across from the Barbie wall, a few shelves carry puzzles as well as a section of Lego pieces. Board games such as Scrabble, Pictionary, Chinese Checkers and Make or Break are on display. A Pictionary game will set you back 199LE. On the next row of shelves, you’ll find school items such as lunch boxes (around 20LE) and water bottles that are heavily branded with Hannah Montana, High School Musical or Cinderella logos.
There’s also a small selection of kids’ shoes with Mickey, Minnie and Buzz Lightyear designs in a Converse sneaker style and a limited range of sizes. You can also pick up a computer mouse or mouse pad with a Mickey face or shape. Closer to the shop’s entrance, you’ll find a small collection of boys’ t-shirts and jeans as well as girls’ Barbie t-shirts.
At the back of the shop, you’ll find a selection of Avinet products for newborn babies, such as pacifiers, bottles, storage systems and blenders. There is also a small selection of strollers and baby chairs.
The shop also carries a good collection of Fisher Price educational toys for babies less than one year of age and toddlers, including Fisher Price rolling snails, singing footballs, turtles, nursery rhymes and phones. You can also pick up a Fisher Price potty or stroller.
At the front of the shop, a few kids’ bikes carrying Barbie and Hannah Montana prints are on display, next to a few scooters and a small yellow toy convertible.
It seems like a one-stop shop if you have kids with a variety of needs and a common love for Disney and other cartoon brands. As few items were priced, we can’t make any assumptions on the shop’s affordability, though based on its range of products, we can say that this is a strong contender on the toy shop market in Egypt.
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.