Uncle Fun: A Toy Store for Everyone
As I browse the aisles of Uncle Fun, the cashier speaks into a plastic megaphone, reminding the handful of customers pulling open old library card catalogue drawers that the store carries voice-changing megaphones along the far back wall. In case you didn’t get the hint from the colorful brick exterior and creepy smiling carnival-like cartoon man sign, Uncle Fun is not your typical Toys R’ Us. It’s a gag gift utopia filled with nostalgic trinkets that kids, and the kid in all of us, can enjoy.
The store is small and the aisles are cramped, which is probably a good thing. You could end up spending the entire day here. There’s so much to see — a toaster that imprints Jesus’s face on each slice of bread ($30), Cat and the Hat plush finger puppets ($1), pencils disguised as cigarettes ($1), a Wrigley Field oversized pop-up book ($10). Its zany merchandise and huge selection aside, Uncle Fun is made even more appealing by its prices. You can easily fill up a small basket with plastic chattering teeth charms, Jessica Simpson stickers, name stamps, and Elvis postcards for five bucks.
After a half-hour of browsing the tiny store, I forced myself to the register where the cashier and a customer are talking about the Insane Clown Posse. The cashier mentioned that Uncle Fun has a drawer of magnets tagged with the lyrics, “Magnets: how do they work?” A kid reaches up on to the counter and grabs a cow keychain. He squeezes it and asks his Dad why there’s brown gunk coming out of the cow’s butt.
I spent $13 and left with a vintage cardboard ice cream box filled with gag gifts for a friends upcoming birthday—a Scary Spice action figure, fake vomit, a plastic silver dollar ring, a kitten themed birthday card, a phony scratch lottery ticket, and a blue tiara. As I headed outside, I wondered why I didn’t make it a point to stop at Uncle Fun more often.
Location: 1338 W Belmont Ave