Monday, August 07, 2006

Circus World toy store in DeSoto Square Mall

Bradenton, Florida - August, 1978

Inside the Circus World toy store (remember those?) in Desoto Square Mall. And just look at all those neat games and toys! Mommm, can I get something? Pleeeeease?? (image courtesy the Manatee County Public Library Historic Photograph Collection)

Mall history: 1973 - present
Current website: here
Current aerial view
Previous entries: none


Blogger Cora said...

I don't consciously remember that particular chain, but I'd certainly love to browse that store. All those wonderful vintage toys.

Mon Aug 07, 05:30:00 PM  
Blogger MegoScott said...

Drool. What a great shot. What I'd give for 5 minutes in there.

Your blog is one of my favorites, thanks so much. In poking around the Manatee County Online archive I found this 1976 DeSoto Mall display photo:

Mon Aug 07, 05:59:00 PM  
Blogger Keith said...

Thanks for the kind words Scott! Glad to have you here.

And yeah, I've pretty much bookmarked All the mall photos in that archive for eventual use here, heh. Uh, so don't do too much looking there, btw, if you don't want to ruin upcoming surprises here at the blog. Kind of like ruining the ending of a good book or movie. You really don't want to know ahead of time what's gonna happen next. ;)

Cora: These stores were awesome in the '70s and '80s! Just chocked full of cool stuff in every nook & cranny you looked! I used to go bonkers there as a kid.

Mon Aug 07, 06:28:00 PM  
Blogger Livemalls said...

I miss the old mall toy stores. I guess the only one left is Kay-Bee, and their locations are dwindling.

Mon Aug 07, 09:04:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Love it! This is a great post. Not only do I remember Circus World, I'm pretty sure I remember Christmas 1978. I think that was the year I got a Lite-Brite and my great-uncle got scolded for saying "Well, I'll be damned" in front of the kids when he saw it lit up.

Tue Aug 08, 12:53:00 PM  
Blogger arfnotz said...

I wonder if there will be a site like this in 20 years fondly reminscing about the fading Big Box stores? "Gee, I remeber that smell of fesh wood at home depot..."

Tue Aug 08, 02:28:00 PM  
Blogger Cora said...

I definitely remember Christmas 1978. I got a talking Big Bird doll and a puppet theatre. In return I gave my parents a Christmas tree ornament made from a sea shell, some paper and yarn. Amazingly, it still exists (as does the Big Bird, though I broke talking mechanism somewhere along the way).

Tue Aug 08, 05:50:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I believe it was in the 1980s, when Circus World actually became a part of the Kay-Bee (KB Toys) chain, before the name was dumped for the more well-known Kay-Bee Toy & Hobby banner.

Circus World only had a couple of locations in Wisconsin, one at Appleton's Fox River Mall, so it opened no sooner than 1985 or so. To me, it was no different than Kay-Bee Toys, but this was due to the merger as I explained above.

Kay-Bee were everywhere in my state though. I always had to go to one whenever I hit the malls that had it. Ahh...the memories. Is that time machine ready yet? :)

Tue Aug 08, 08:57:00 PM  
Blogger mega said...

desoto sq was the second mall tyrone square mall in st. petersburg fl was my first mall that i went to as a child
ahhh the memories

Tue Aug 08, 08:59:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Christmas 1978! I got a Merlin, the electronic handheld wizard err something like that. Does anyone know the name of the toy store that was in Fashion Square Mall orlando? Was that a circus world toy store?

Wed Aug 09, 07:13:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

'Disney Shopping' is a very nice store at CouponAlbum site for shopping for children.

Wed Nov 14, 12:16:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I loved this chain! Thanks for posting! I remember this store had a clown out front with a stem coming out of its mouth so you could fill large balloons with helium. They also had very cool stuff in the glass showcase... Really expensive masks, remote controlled cars etc. And the most memorable thing of all was the carpet!! It was crazy colors and was a hop-scotch pattern.

Sun Nov 01, 01:56:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I managed a couple of these Circus World stores long ago. It was long hours for little pay; one particular week I worked 120 hours and grossed $175 !
I didn't agree with their selling the "adult" games, but the experience of working there was unique, especially at Christmas. I particularly remember how that brightly-colored carpet, the brilliant lighting, and that incessant pipe organ music gave me one of the worst migraine headaches I ever had!

Thu Dec 01, 02:19:00 AM  
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Thu Nov 12, 03:37:00 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

I grew up in Bradenton in the '70s/'80s and visited Circus World at Desoto Square Mall many, many times. You can't see it in the photo, but the glass showcase was on the left side near the front. I remember it well because that's where the (expensive for the time) Don Post STAR WARS masks were kept. And around 1980, they had an ASTEROIDS arcade game right at the front of the store, the first one I ever played.

Thu Feb 02, 10:24:00 PM  
Blogger Slauson Super Mall said...

Thank you so much for sharing this awesome info! Toys Store in Shopping Mall

Wed Jul 03, 01:49:00 AM  

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