Nihong Kids Plaza Clothing and Toy Market

A Shopper's Guide to This Shanghai Young Children's Bazaar

toy shop china
••• A typical toy shop in a Chinese market. Kevin Frayer / Getty Images

The Nihong Kids Plaza Clothing and Toy Market in Shanghai tailors to children between newborn and about 8 years of age, so if you have older kids and teenagers, it's recommended you shop elsewhere. Still, the market itself is a large, basement-level bazaar with individual small vendors selling cheap clothing, shoes, and toys from small shops.

The market itself is a maze of small shops but if you venture far enough back into the market, you'll find a small play area for toddler-age children; there is a small entry fee and kids need to take off their shoes to enter.

The market's main entrance is on the northwest corner of Pu'an Lu (Road) at Jinling Lu (Road) | 普安路10号, 近金陵中路. You can take Line 8, exit 3 to Dashijie or Line 1 to Huangpi South Road, both of which are just a few minutes away.

Cheap Toys and Name Brand Items

When you're shopping at this hectic market, you're sure to catch all sorts of deals on domestic and international toy brands as well as some handmade items.

Cheap junk toys are great for little surprises for your small child, and a lot of the toy shops that are located at the main entrance carry this off-brand and often unique handmade items. You can find all the latest in stickers, small plastic toys, race cars, Thomas-the-Tank-Engine knock-offs, swords, laser guns, Disney Princess dresses and more.

Toward the back of the market (not far from the play area), there are a few toy dealers that sell the real stuff like Lego building sets and Tomica cars and trucks.

Shoes, Clothing, and Baby Supplies

You probably won't find familiar brands when you're shopping for shoes, clothing, or baby supplies, but there are plenty of decent-quality cute shoes available toward the middle of this marketplace. If you are really willing to dig around, you may find brands like Sketchers or Striderite in the piles of shoes; most vendors seem to have a limited supply of sizes, and you'll need to know your kid's shoe size in centimeters.

The size supply isn't an issue with the market's selection of children's clothing as the market offers stall after stall of a nearly unlimited supply of name- and off-brand garments. What's even better is that if you find something you like but the size you need isn't on display, the shopkeeper typically has more of that size stored in the back—all you need to do is ask! A warning though: don't take the vendor's word for sizing as many are mislabeled and sizes run differently in different countries.

If you need anything for your baby while you're traveling, this is a great place to find clothes, dishes, bibs socks, booties, pajamas, and more. If you are buying something for the little one, especially bottoms, you'll want to check it out thoroughly as Traditional Chinese potty training does not involve diapers and these children wear trousers with a giant opening so that when they squat, they can just relieve themselves without the burden of a diaper or underpants!