Often on the cutting edge of what's hot (this is where we first fell into the cunning Beanie Baby trap), Learning Express
- the winner
of our 2008 Parents' Picks
quest to find the best toy store
in Tampa - offers a fine array of good quality kid toys, puzzles, craft kits, with some books and costumes thrown in for good measure. Learning Express' specialty is educational toys, which is reflected in the puzzles and games, developmental toys, science and nature products, arts and crafts kits, construction toys, books, dolls, plush, and other unique items the store carries. Brands available through Learning Express include Calico Critters, Creativity for Kids, Groovy Girls, Klutz, Melissa and Doug, Snap Circuits, Wild Planet, and more. Learning Express is the nation's largest specialty toy retailer, with more than 100 locations across the country, all of which are locally owned and operated. Most franchises offers special services, such as free personalization and free gift-wrapping for that "on the way to the party" gift.