There are just two Playmobil showrooms in the United States and, of course, one of them is at New York's legendary toy palace FAO Schwartz, now located in Rockefeller Center.
At Delafield's The Smiley Barn, of course.
The barn, 2420 Milwaukee St., which had been expressionless and painted red for a few years, returned its yellow emoji-inspiring facade in 2018.
And now just up the steps to the second floor – or hayloft, if you will – you'll find a space packed full of figures and scenes made by Germany's Playmobil to spur children's imaginations.
The showroom – which opened about two weeks ago and is growing in popularity – is lined with shelving full of klickies (the small figures) and their many and varied habitats, from pirate ships and medieval castles to pony stables and mystical fairy glens, plus vehicles and other accessories galore.
There are also posters and some human-sized klickies decorating the space and more are on their way from Germany, along with an interactive bus.
Of course, there are plenty of opportunities to test out some of the merchandise, too (surely sending some parents leaping for the hand sanitizer, especially at this time of year).
A grand opening celebration is slated for Saturday and in addition to 10 percent off all Playmobil stuff, there will be giveaways of coloring books and Playmobil mystery packs.
The shop is open daily at 10 a.m. and closes at 6:30 p.m., except on Sundays when it closes at 5. You'll have no trouble finding it at the intersection of Interstate 94 and Highway 83.
Here is a look at the space:
Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., where he lived until he was 17, Bobby received his BA-Mass Communications from UWM in 1989 and has lived in Walker's Point, Bay View, Enderis Park, South Milwaukee and on the East Side.
He has published three non-fiction books in Italy – including one about an event in Milwaukee history, which was published in the U.S. in autumn 2010. Four more books, all about Milwaukee, have been published by The History Press.
With his most recent band, The Yell Leaders, Bobby released four LPs and had a songs featured in episodes of TV's "Party of Five" and "Dawson's Creek," and films in Japan, South America and the U.S. The Yell Leaders were named the best unsigned band in their region by VH-1 as part of its Rock Across America 1998 Tour. Most recently, the band contributed tracks to a UK vinyl/CD tribute to the Redskins and collaborated on a track with Italian novelist Enrico Remmert.
He's produced three installments of the "OMCD" series of local music compilations for OnMilwaukee.com and in 2007 produced a CD of Italian music and poetry.
In 2005, he was awarded the City of Asti's (Italy) Journalism Prize for his work focusing on that area. He has also won awards from the Milwaukee Press Club.
He can be heard weekly on 88Nine Radio Milwaukee talking about his "Urban Spelunking" series of stories.