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.
In 1760, William
Hamley opened his
very first toy shop
Hamleys in London.
And the fun could
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 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!
Hamleys had to stop the horse wagons with toy deliveries, thus the store was closed for a few years.
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.
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.
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.
Hamleys’ popularity was constantly on the rise during the 20th century and soon, the toy store at Regent Street became the world phenomenon
In November 2022, the dream of William Hamley will come alive in Albania. This beautiful store is located in the heart of Tirana, inside the Emerald mall and it is the biggest toy store in Europe 5,000m2. It covers the entire second floor with toys, the third floor with Hamleys party rooms and attractions on both floors!
Customers will find a unique experience of visiting a giant toy store merged with an amusement park. Thousands of toys, loads of attractions and full of fun! That’s Hamleys in Tirana – the dream which really came true!
Hamleys is finally