It's 10:45pm on a Tuesday night in Austin, Texas. You need a rubber squeaky rat and 2 dozen miniature plastic babies. And you need them gift wrapped. For free. Where can you turn for help? Ask any native Austinite, and they'll tell you: Toy Joy. If you've ever spent any time in Austin, then you're probably familiar with the city's motto, "Keep Austin Weird". Toy Joy has been around since 1987 and can definitely help you do your part to keep the weird alive and kicking. It's a well-curated, tightly packed emporium of all things big or small, plastic or tin, kawaii or quirky. You can find a birthday present for a little one, a trinket for yourself, and an ironic talisman for your favorite cubicle worker.
Toy Joy is so down with the Austin scene that they even have annual art shows with live music. Their online offerings are fairly slim, but that's okay, because you really have to visit the store to get a taste of the full experience. Speaking of taste, they also have a vegan soft serve ice-cream shop next door. Get a sneak peak of the fun at the Toy Joy flickr group.