Childhood Lost: Lonely Relics in an Abandoned Toy Shop

toy-shop-abandoned (Image: Jonathan Haeber (website:, cc-nc-4.0)

There’s no doubt that abandoned buildings and other forgotten places can make for compelling photographic subjects when documented by urban explorers. And as unloved relics of better days, it’s little wonder that such places hold a melancholy quality. Nowhere is this more prevalent than the scene of an abandoned toy shop, like this one in New England, captured by Jonathan Haeber.



There’s a somewhat incongruous air to this place, as dull decay and dereliction contrast with the colourful innocence of discarded toys. And unlike the modern high street stores of today, this former hobby shop, which has reportedly been empty for more than a decade, has an old-fashioned feel to it that only heightens the atmosphere.



According to Haeber: “Some of the merchandise appears at least 50 years old, while other merchandise hearkens to my childhood days, when koosh, pogs, and hot wheel racers were all the rage.”


toy-shop-abandoned-7 (Images: Jonathan Haeber, cc-4.0)

Like abandoned churches that take on a dismal atmosphere when their once thriving congregations have all but disappeared, this deserted toy shop is haunted by the physical sight of unwanted toys and the metaphorical end of childhood that such a scene echoes.

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