If you drive or walk past the Big Monster Door at Big Monster Toys in Chicago, Illinois, you’ll probably do a double take. That’s what happened to me the first time I went past. “What is that?” I squealed in delight at the giant yellow door with a giant silver knob and a giant green and purple monster peeking through the window pane.
That is the big yellow door that belongs to Big Monster Toys, a company that creates, invents, designs, prototypes, and licenses all kinds of wonderful games and toys for companies such as Mattel, Fisher Price, Goliath, and Hasbro. If you’ve played with toys, you’ve probably played with one of the creations they came up with for the likes of Polly Pocket, UNO, Barbie, Disney, and more.
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The Big Monster Door makes for a fantastic photo opp when walking through the West Loop of Chicago. But it often leaves visitors wondering, “what’s behind that door?” As a private business, the inside is usually off limits to visitors and if you try to ring the bell on the adjacent human-sized door, you’ll be sent away.
But, one weekend a year, at Open House Chicago, the company opens its doors, big and small, for the public to step inside see what lies beyond the monster.
Open House Chicago is an annual architecture festival where buildings all across the city, many of which are usually closed to visitors, welcome people inside. Everything from giant skyscrapers to small churches to Chicago castles participate, and this toy company is among them. So, what’s inside Big Monster Toys? Well, it’s just as wonderful inside as it is outside.
If Santa had a workshop in Chicago, this would be it. There’s a big caboose-shaped kitchen in the middle of the floor. A giant giraffe towers above. A building-wide elevated train set loops around. A full-sized Toys R Us sign lights up a passageway. An elliptical conference room looks like it came straight out of a movie set. And every desk and every surface is covered in a myriad of toys, toys, and more toys.
What’s the most fun secret you’ll find inside Big Monster Toys? The back of the monster! In a small waiting room at the front of the building you can see the big purple monster in full, scaling the wall and a tower of oversized building blocks reading BMT (the company’s initials and original name) and watching out the Big Monster Door at all the visitors taking selfies below.
More Photos of the Big Monster Door at Big Monster Toys
Big Monster Door at Big Monster Toys
Address: Big Monster Toys, 21 South Racine, Chicago, IL. 60607
Cost: Free to See
Hours: The door is visible 24/7, the office is closed to the public