Saturday, July 3, 2021

Still Life with Robin: 57 Reasons Why I'll Be Missing Sullivan's

Sullivan's Toys & Art Supplies

by Peggy Robin


We’ve had a steady stream of messages of appreciation for Sullivan’s Toys and Art Supplies, since yesterday’s announcement that Sullivan’s will most likely shut down some time before the end of this month. Let me add my voice to the chorus of “Oh nooo’s! And let me be very specific about what I will miss about Sullivan’s. Here’s my A-Z list of what I got from Sullivan’s over the past few decades:


Abacus bead sets (abaci?)

Alphabet sets

Art kits – a zillion kinds

Baby presents

Balloons – both helium and bendable/animal-making

Bath toys (rubber duckies and other classics)

Beach toys (pails and shovels, sand sculpting stuff)

Beanie Babies

Birthday presents – tell the staff the age and something about the birthday kid and they would help you pick out a suitable present – and they were very, very good at it!

Board games (starting with Candyland, ages 3-5, and moving up to games in every age range to 13-Adult )

Bouncy balls, wiffle balls, nerf balls, even some real sports balls

Chenille sticks (they were called "pipe cleaners" when I was a kid -- back when some people actually smoked pipes)

Coloring books

Crayons, colored markers, colored pencils, etc.

Dolls – all but the high-end collectibles – no American Girl Dolls!

Electronic/talking toys


Flying Fairies, the kind with a sort of helicopter thing over their heads that made them fly – and if you flew one outdoors, it was almost guaranteed to get stuck in the nearest tree or roof gutter.


Goody bag crap

Halloween accessories – example, all the pirate gear you could possibly want, including plastic cutlass, eyepatch, parrot for the shoulder, bandana, tricorne hat, hook for hand, doubloons, and more

Halloween costume – a complete ensemble, which you might need at the last minute, if your fragile, handmade, cardboard box costume fell apart after the 4pm Halloween parade at the playground, and you had to have a whole new thing to wear while trick-or-treating at 6 PM

Hula hoops

Jigsaw puzzles (wooden 6-piece toddler puzzles up through 1000-piece Ravensburger masterpieces of art)

Jump ropes


Lego sets

Lincoln Logs


Low-end sports equipment

Mad Libs (good for long car trips before you could stream movies on your phone)

Magic 8 Ball

Magna Doodle

Mr  Potato Head

My Little Pony

Paints – acrylics, water colors poster paints, finger paints, you name it!

Paper dolls

Piñatas – you name it, they probably had the piñata for it

Plastic sleds

Play jewelry



Polly Pockets

Poster board

Pound Puppies


Rubik’s cubes

Shrinky Dinks

Silly Putty

Stickers – Mrs. Grossman’s were the best….but pricey!

Stuff to make costumes for school plays – even if the play is tomorrow and you only learned of the need to make a costume this afternoon!

Stuff to make dioramas for schools

Stuffed animals – good selection, not overpriced!

Super soakers and water pistols

Tattoos (rub-on, not real!)

Water wings and pool games



OK, OK, that’s more than enough. And don’t write to tell me all the marvelous things you bought there that have been left off this list. The things above are just what I could recite off the top of my head in twenty minutes or less I know there are a bajillion more things that Sullivan's supplied.


Thank you, Sullivan’s, for all of it! And let me end by thanking all the charities that have come over the years to collect bags of giveaway toys that were still in good enough condition to delight another child!


Still Life with Robin is published on the Cleveland Park Listserv and on All Life Is Local on Saturdays. 

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