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Learning Express Toys, 630 Promenade Place Suite 12: Late 2012 (closed again)   15 comments

Posted at 1:15 am in closing





I remember going into Learning Express sometime last year while I was looking for something for my niece. Unfortunately, I can't recall what I was looking for or if I found it. I do recall that the place was upscale and had some toys that I would have been interested in back in the day.

OK, who am I kidding -- I'd still be interested in them!

(Hat tip to commenter Terry)

UPDATE 10 April 2013 -- Interesting. Now it's to reopen as Learning Express under new management:


UPDATE 22 April 2013 -- Open again:



UPDATE 27 April 2020 -- As commenter Jacob Pittman notes, this store is closed once more. According to the chain website, the only curren tMidlands location is at 5175 Sunset Blvd., Suite 12 Lexington, SC 29072.

Here is the press release for the reopening of this storefont, which apparently took place on 12 April 2013.

Written by ted on February 14th, 2013

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15 Responses to 'Learning Express Toys, 630 Promenade Place Suite 12: Late 2012 (closed again)'

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  1. I still miss the model train store that used to be in Columbiana Center. Can't remember the name of it but I know it's buried somewhere here on this site. I would spend copious amounts of time in there perusing the merchandise. Somewhere in the attic I have the remnants of the ones I had as a kid. Too bad I devised ways to wreck them with my Hot Wheels sets on purpose. If we had only known that the values of these would increase.


    14 Feb 13 at 3:12 am

  2. There's another Learning Express in town, at the Peak exit on I-26 (exit 97). I hope that one stays open, they always have neat gifts when it's time to take my kid to a birthday party, and they always gift wrap nicely for free.


    14 Feb 13 at 6:05 am

  3. Homer you are thinking of the Great Train Store. There is a listing on the site for the store. It was open between 1996 and 2000


    14 Feb 13 at 7:51 am

  4. I miss toy stores. When I was little, there was a chain of locally owned toy stores (I grew up in Kentucky). They were great, but a little pricey. So of course Children's Palace put them out of business. Then Toys R Us put Children's Palace out of business. And now Wal-Mart has put everyone out of business. And now, as an adult who has to shop for presents for nieces and nephews, I have no toy store to go to and "test play" with all the toys.


    14 Feb 13 at 8:47 am

  5. Before the train store Homer and Thomas mentioned earlier inside of Columbiana (which I remember and is now the site of Build-A-Bear Workshop). There was another one, I seem to recall a diggerent one just outside what was then Parisian (maybe going back to when Belk was there). As you walked out of Parisian, it was immediately on the left.

    This was back in the mid-90s (I was in Elementary school at the time) and I wonder if anyone remembers it.


    14 Feb 13 at 12:04 pm

  6. Make that different one...


    14 Feb 13 at 12:06 pm

  7. Homer, you are right about the increase in value of the trains. Every December I pull out the old HO train set from the '60s and set it up around the Christmas tree. This year the locomotive finally showed it's age and I replaced it. The $40+ for the engine alone was more than the entire set cost originally.


    15 Feb 13 at 5:48 am

  8. @Terry - my uncle used to have a large setup in his basement. They were Lionel 'O' gauge trains (at least two trains). He had all of the buildings. landscaping, tunnels, autos, electric track switches, etc. It even had the automated flagman with his lantern that popped out of his station at the RR crossing when the train approached. I think it had some of the other 'automated' depot or loading docking accessories but I can't remember for sure. All of this equipment was from the 50's and I wonder what it might be worth today. When he died he left it to one of my cousins in Alabama. Lord only knows where it is today!! I would have loved to have that set!!!!!!


    16 Feb 13 at 2:52 am

  9. Take a look this post and scroll down to the bottom. I finally got the complete photoset up, and there's a good bit of model trains, including some video (though it's not youtube-ed, so it will be slow to download).


    16 Feb 13 at 11:43 pm

  10. I love model train layouts. If you ever visit Helen, Georgia, which is modeled after a German Alpine village, check out the two story home that houses dozens of train layouts. It is a sight like no other from the upstairs looking down on all the activity. Mountain chalets, skiers, carnivals and of course trains entering and exiting mountain tunnels.


    17 Feb 13 at 4:13 am

  11. @Terry - I looked at the website for Charlemagne's Kingdom in Helen, Georgia. Awesome to say the least!!!! Have you ever been to the AMROC (Associated Model Railroads of Columbia) on Lincoln St downtown? ( They are open to the public on Thursdays nights and you can go in and browse their displays. I intend to get down there some day!! I've been saying the same thing about the railroad museum in Winsboro. ( Maybe I'll get there one day aw well.


    17 Feb 13 at 11:42 pm

  12. The Winsboro museum had steam train rides a few years ago that were a fun outing. They have their own private set of tracks.


    18 Feb 13 at 12:27 am

  13. @Ted & Terry- They have scheduled their Easter Egg ride for March 23rd and 30th with the regular season every Saturday between June through August as well as Sept 7th and 21st. The annual Halloween and Christmas have been posted as well. The steam train is still running, but it sounds like only on special occasions. I think the ride covers about 5 miles each way for a 1+ hour trip.


    18 Feb 13 at 1:51 am

  14. I have visited the place on Lincoln Street. I took a couple of my nephews there during the Christmas holidays and they had a great time. They even had a couple of small layouts outdoors.


    18 Feb 13 at 11:54 am

  15. ted, please update , store closed again

    Jacob Pittman

    27 Apr 20 at 2:29 pm

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