Lulubell is not just your ordinary toy shop.
Upon entering the store, visitors will quickly see art and toys from all over the globe, as well as right here in our own community.
Lulubell Toy Bodega specializes in pop culture items and soft vinyl toys from Japan, as well as items from dozens of local artists and makers. Lulubell developed out of owner Luke Rook’s obsession with toys after moving to Taiwan in 1997. It started with a small skull figure from Hot Dog Toys called Hallowteens, which you can find on display in the store if you look closely, and grew from there. After moving back to Tucson years later his collection continued to grow and soon Rook wanted to take matters into his own hands and open his own shop. He teamed up with Amy Del Castillo a few years later, who helped to take the business to the next level by developing the webstore which supports international shipping as well as attending conventions regularly. Within one year, Rook was able to move to Tokyo, Japan to learn the art of toy making and come to produce Lulubell’s own line of toys in Japan and figures for clients around the world.
Lulubell is going on their fourth year in Downtown Mesa and has no regrets about choosing Downtown for Lulubell’s home. Beginning in Tucson nine years ago, Lulubell owners Luke Rook and Amy Del Castillo, looked at Downtown Phoenix, Gilbert, Chandler and Mesa when considering a move for Lulubell into a larger metro area. Lulubell had spent its first six years of business in a close knit community of indie businesses within Downtown Tucson and Rook and Del Castillo were searching for someplace in the Phoenix metro area that would provide this same community feel they experienced in Tucson. Once visiting Downtown Mesa, it was clear that Lulubell would fit in perfectly. Del Castillo says: “I saw the possibility in Downtown Mesa to be a part of another indie, artistic, tight knit community, and I just didn’t see that anywhere else.” Almost four years later, she says she feels very fortunate to “have so much support from DMA and NEDCO, and [to be] truly part of an amazing community of people…my favorite part is the community! The people. The other business owners are wonderful and diverse.”
They have toys for children and adult collectors alike, from tiny Japanese models to more sculptural “Art Toy” pieces. It is an ever changing store so stop by, take a peek, ask questions, have fun, and as their motto says, “Love Toys Again”.