Esther Kang

Landis’ Labyrinth: An old-fashioned toy shop

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Landis’ Labyrinth Toy Shop in Downtown Manhattan Beach. PHOTO BY ESTHER KANG

After nearly three years of success in Hancock Park, Landis’ Labyrinth Toy Shop owner Devoney Wolfus was looking to expand. She knew she wanted one thing for her second location: to be near the beach.

“Being born in Hawai’i and spending my weekends by the beach, I knew that looking for the right town that didn’t have a toy shop was my next goal in life,” Wolfus explained.

After a series of serendipitous events, she eventually found the second home for her toy shop on the breezy strip of downtown Manhattan Beach last October.

“I loved the family-friendly small beach community feel,” Wolfus said. “But Manhattan Beach kind of chose me.”

Since then, the store has established itself as a local staple and the only brick-and-mortar toy shop in the vicinity.

Nestled in the corner of 9th Place and Manhattan Avenue, Landis’ Labyrinth may appear deceptively small upon first glance, but one may find that walking into the store is like opening a colorful and varied Pandora’s Box.

“We have something for everyone, from infants to adults,” said store manager Maya Muckelroy, who has known Wolfus since the first grade. “Games, Lego, smaller beach sporting equipment, jewelry…”

And the list goes on to include everything from gag gifts such as fake barf and mustache tattoos to childhood staples such as Thomas the Train, culminating in a labyrinth of both classic and contemporary toys and playthings for kids, teenagers and adults alike.

Plus, the folks at Landis’ Labyrinth will probably remember your name when you visit the second or third time around, Muckelroy said.

“That’s what we base ourselves on, that personal touch,” she explained. “We want to know what you’re interested in and accommodate the different personalities of the customers.”

That personal touch not only includes complimentary gift bags with tissue paper but also expert toy advice for each customer.

“Everyone here has a bit of knowledge about everything here,” Muckelroy said. “We like to try the toys out ourselves, and we have an opinion about them.”

 919-E Manhattan Ave. Manhattan Beach, CA 90266

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