Iconic Stillorgan toy shop reaches for the sky with plans for new generation

Nimble Fingers seeks planning to build four apartments over expanded retail unit

Stillorgan institution Nimble Fingers is scaling up its ambitions with plans to redevelop its site across from the shopping centre in the south Dublin village.

The toy shop, which first opened in 1962, currently operates out of a two-storey building on the Old Dublin Road, across from Stillorgan Village shopping centre now owned by Kennedy Wilson.

Finding itself surrounded by rampant development – Kennedy Wilson is also redeveloping the old Leisureplex site adjacent to Nimble Fingers, while Cairn Homes has significant residential plans for another nearby site – the toy shop has decided to join the trend.

It has submitted plans for the demolition of the existing end-of-terrace building, and the construction of a five-storey mixed-use development.


The new development will be home to four apartments (two one-bed, one two-bed and one three-bed), which will have access from the Old Dublin Road.

Toy lovers will be relieved to hear, however, that the new development will also have a retail space at ground and mezzanine floor levels.

According to the planning application, the store owners say the shop is “operating at capacity, and there is a requirement for more retail storage space” which has “presented an opportunity to expand Nimble Fingers Toy Shop for the next generation”.

The application also states the development of the building would act as a “catalyst for redevelopment of the remaining five retail units”, which include a hairdresser and beauty salon.


The shop is adjacent to the former Leisureplex complex, Ireland’s first bowling alley, which has been knocked and is currently being redeveloped by Kennedy Wilson. The development will see the construction of 232 build-to-rent apartments in blocks of up to eight storeys. The high-end residential development will come with a concierge service, cinema, gym, along with a residents’ lounge, co-working space, dining area, communal kitchen and rooftop terrace. It will also include four restaurants and cafes and two retail units.


The toy shop first opened in Stillorgan in 1962, and was later purchased, in 1983, by Patrick Staunton and his wife, Jean. It's reported that the idea for RTÉ's Late Late Toy Show came when a researcher went into Nimble Fingers and spotted toys that appealed not only to children, but to adults too.

The business had plans to expand around 2008 but these were shelved amid the financial crisis. Today the business is run by Patrick’s children Gareth and Katherine.

Fiona Reddan

Fiona Reddan

Fiona Reddan is a writer specialising in personal finance and is the Home & Design Editor of The Irish Times