Our Story

In the early 1990s, Zany Brainy founder, David Schlessinger, had toys on the mind. His wife was pregnant and he couldn’t find the right toys for his nieces and nephews—few toys promoted the intellectual growth of children; the world was full of mass marketed, low value toys sold in unappealing locations. David imagined a toy store where kids were both challenged and entertained. Days before his son, Jake, was born, David swung open the doors to the first Zany Brainy.

Zany Brainy revolutionized the toy store experience through superior customer service, events, and activities seven days a week. Each superstore was 10,000 sq/ft of wall-to-wall creative, wonderfully designed, educationally minded toys that enhanced kids' mental and physical development. Many of these kids grew up to become lifelong learners.

Industry executives would agree that Zany Brainy was the most important Educational Toy Retailer in America. Winning the 1998 National Retail Federation Independent Retailer of the Year Award, as well as the 1998 Playthings Award for Innovative Promotional Campaigns, Zany Brainy has solidified itself a place in the annals of toy industry fame.