Mass Ave Toys finds new home, more space for ‘imagination-driven’ toys in SoBro neighborhood

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – Everyone remembers the joy they felt as a child walking into a toy store. After 30 years in the toy industry, the owners of Mass Ave Toys, Doug and Natalie Canull, have watched generations of children grow up before their eyes.

Earlier this year, they moved their little shop on Massachusetts Avenue to a new space in south Broad Ripple located at 1057 E. 54th Street, Studio J, Indianapolis, Indiana.

Mass Ave Toys—in SoBro? Sounds confusing, but definitely worth the trip.

“We are truly a specialty toy store and like it that way,” said Doug Canull.

Stepping into Mass Ave Toys feels like stepping into a movie. You are instantly surrounded by whimsical toys from all over the world inside their new space near E. 54th Street.

Earlier this year, after 10 years on Mass Ave, they moved to a 3,000 square foot space that was once an old warehouse. Now, it’s transformed and full of toys you won’t find in the big box stores.

“My wife, Natalie, will search the world for great product in Europe and Scandinavia. There’s a lot of English and French products, German products that we tend to carry because it’s so different,” Canull said.

But what’s so different about the toys you’ll find here?

“I like to say that we have toys that are imagination-driven, not battery operated. They are things that will make you think, that will make you imagine, it’ll transcend you and take you to another place in time,” he said.

Four Things You Need to Know:

  • 1: Yelp reviews rave about their kind staff and great customer service. They are not only helpful when it comes to choosing the perfect toy, but they also gift wrap for free using beautiful Italian wrapping paper.
  • 2: Yelpers also about the mere size of the store in their new SoBro location. The shop is packed with all sorts of fun toys. From educational maps and puzzles to crafting essentials like watercolor kits and travel easels, to the classic slinkys and and tinker toys, the store has something for everyone.
  • 3: They originally opened in 2006 and carry a wide variety of unique toys and games for all ages. Their owners have been in the toy business for more than 30 years!
  • 4: The independent shop has a classic feel while remaining unique to other major toy stores.

They are toys that will capture the imaginations of kids and adults alike.

“You’re going to find books like watercolor sets, you’re going to find geography-based toys. So it’s really something the whole family can wrap around and it’s not just something for the kids,” says Brittany Smith of Yelp Indy.

But does Canull have a favorite toy?

You bet.

“I have a personal favorite called the bionic ear. It’s a listening device that there was a football team up in the northeast, I won’t say who it is, but I think they probably used one of our products or something like it against our lovable Colts. So I’ll let you decide who that might be,” he joked.

The staff--like their owner--are full of charm and that little something extra, which is surely what keeps people coming back for generations.

“The good part is the joy we see in the kids and watching them grow up. The bad thing, if you will, is when a bearded gentleman about 6’2” comes to my wife and says “I remember when my mom pushed me around in a stroller in here. And she just thought ‘Gosh, I’m old,” said Canull.

You can check out Mass Ave Toys on Yelp or on their website for more info. You can also connect with them via Facebook.

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