Mindzai Toronto

Mindzai

Mindzai, a new toy shop tucked away just off Spadina, shares an already tight space with street art supply store Homebase , so it's no surprise every wall is stacked floor-to-ceiling with various colourful contraptions. The right side is lined with matte and glossy spray paint in every shade imaginable; the left side houses Mindzai's extensive collection of toys.

Mindzai Toronto

"It all started from my own collecting," owner Chris Tsang explains, before carrying into a long-winded backstory about a blog he initially ran just for fun. The website eventually snowballed into what Mindzai is today: a store existing both online and as a brick-and-mortar location, ready to offer quirky characters via vinyl action figures and graphic tees.

Mindzai Toronto

The first that caught my eye was a 7" transparent Qee bear, complete with visible bones and organs ($85). Chris explained it was designed by Jason Freeny , an artist who's best known for his anatomical sculptures. Not too far away is an action figure of Bumblebee Man from The Simpsons ($60) and a mini Stewie from Family Guy ($10). But, not all the products are lying in plain sight; some are randomly placed and sealed in "blind boxes", so you don't know what's inside until you open it up.

Mindzai Toronto

The idea is to eventually collect every character in a set, although you'll probably wind up with more than a few multiples. I popped open a Be@rbrick box ($7), praying for the mini bear covered in rainbow dinosaurs. Knowing my luck, I shouldn't have been surprised when I pulled out a blindingly metallic pink one instead.

Mindzai Toronto

There's also an entire section devoted to blank vinyl toys meant to be painted or drawn on, like several sizes of Kidrobot 's classic Munny ($11 - $290) and a strange brain-frog hybrid ($30). I, myself, chose a deer-like character (or, as the box calls it, a Raffy ) to customize during a private toy workshop, which can be booked online for groups of up to 10 people.

Mindzai Toronto

With two hours, a boatload of concentration, and a whole slew of acrylic paints at my disposal, I ended up walking away with a vividly decorated work of art to proudly display on my shelves (read: show off to all my friends).

Mindzai Toronto

Though I'm unsure if I'll have any creativity left for a second round, I'll definitely be back at Mindzai to marvel at all the pre-decorated toys. After all, a dinosaur-dazzled bear is somewhere on the shelves, waiting patiently for me!

Mindzai Toronto

Photos by Kat Rizza


Mindzai

Leaflet | © Mapbox © OpenStreetMap Improve this map

Join the conversation Load comments

Mindzai

Latest Reviews

Rebarn

Junction Workshop

Unlovable General

The Best Shop

Crown Flora and Greenhouse Juice

Pinot's Palette