Since 1836, Au Nain Bleu has been serving little Parisian princes and princesses with the finest (and most expensive) toys in the city. The store, in the posh Madeleine neighborhood, has all kinds of interesting toys and playthings that will delight children. There are no electronic games to speak of here — just overstuffed animals, fantastic costumes, knight playkits (with swords and shields), bows and arrows, wooden cars, toy soldiers, and elaborate playlands.
I came here with my seven year-old, who protested that the place would be “boring”, only to be entranced with all of the non-electronic games that were available on display, including a large castle with toy knights and swordsmen, a car garage with wooden speedster cars, and a collection of très cher bicycles and little motor car. The costumes are really something, with elaborate Cinderella dresses, Napoleon outfits, and soldier uniforms. We came in for 10 minutes and I had to pull him out after one hour.
As many of the toys and costumes can be eye-popping in price, you need to search carefully if you have any reasonable budget. We were lucky to find a bow and arrow for half off (at only 22 Euros), which was an awesome little toy. Perhaps not as much when my son started to shoot arrows in and across the street, high in the air, either scaring or delighting passers-by. The real fun, began, however, when we came home and he decided to prance around naked shooting arrows at me and Mom saying he was cupid (how he even knows what that means is beyond me).
Au Nain Bleu is a fun store to walk in and see and, if you are lucky, there is a special little find your little prince or princess.
5 Boulevard Malesherbes, 75008 Paris