Our Story

The Steinbachs

In Nov 1994 we -two science teachers, armed with little more than a simple business plan and a healthy dose of optimism - opened Thinker Toys eight blocks from where we still live today. That first shop was tiny, less than a tenth the size of our current digs.

We knew we wanted to be a "destination" for parents and kids, an out-of-the-ordinary, hands-on store with great service, outstanding toys and a fun vibe. We’ve worked hard and a little bit smart and had our share of luck along the way. It’s been more than a quarter of a century of steady success selling terrific toys - and hopefully making our community a little happier along the way.
We try to be part of the solution. Thanks for giving us that opportunity. We are forever grateful, and we’ll try every day to exceed your expectations - and to be that whimsical place that delights the inner child in all of us.

2020: We are doing everything in our power to make sure that we aren't just a memory - once this virus finally is.

2021: Thanks to your awesome support, we had our BYE. That's Best Year Ever, not buh-bye:-)

Visit the Village
Thinker Toys Store

Several years ago there were a few tee-shirts floating around that said: "Multnomah Village - Portland's Best Secret." Well, those days are long gone. Now a well-publicized destination - as well as one of Portland's most desirable residential neighborhoods - Multnomah Village is quintessentially Portland, the intersection of local and charming and just a bit off-center.

The village hosts dozens of unique shops, galleries, restaurants and watering-holes - as well as professional services and the rambling Multnomah Arts Center. Parking is available on the street as well as at the Arts Center. TriMet buses 44 and 45 will get you here (as will a bicycle).

Thinker Toys has always been committed to the viability of Multnomah. Both Joan and Tye are past presidents of the biz association, and have been involved in developing many events village people have come to love. Most of our employees are SW locals and parents and have worked with us for years.