Educational Toy Store Opens In Howard Beach

Staff Writer

Kids in southern Queens now have an alternative to a national toy chain when they beg their parents for toys. A specialty toy store opened in Howard Beach last week, offering a variety of toys and games for children of all ages.

The store, called Learning Express Toys, is a national retailer specializing in selling educational toys for children. They have stores in Staten Island and Long Island, and in other parts of the country, including Texas and Florida. Now, the chain has come to 161-18 Cross Bay Blvd. in Howard Beach, aiming to sell the same educational toys to kids in the Borough.

Howard Beach residents Robert and Maria Degano are the husband and wife duo that run the Howard Beach branch of the store. Both have been in the pediatric field for more than 30 years, as Robert was a pediatric dentist and Maria was a pediatric nurse.

Robert said they opened this store because they saw the need for this type of establishment in the area and they want to continue helping children develop the skills they need as they get older through the toys the store offers.

“We want Learning Express of Howard Beach to be the toy store where children come in and play with our toys, attend our special events and interact with our toy experts,” Robert and Maria said in a joint statement.

Learning Express Toys is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Monday through Saturday and 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. To reach the store, call (718) 322-1001 or email

Reach Luis Gronda at (718) 357-7400, Ext. 127,, or @luisgronda.