Terrific Scientific is not just an awesome name (and, in our opinion, a tautology: science is always terrific) but also an awesome shop. It’s been an Annandale landmark for 17 years, principally under the watchful eye of Caroline Shaw until she sold the business earlier this year to Andrew Poole and Pamela Blyton, owners of Monkey Puzzle in Summer Hill. They’ve known better than to mess with a winning formula: the shop’s maintained its commitment to selling toys and games to capture the imaginations of parents as much as their kids. “There’s no point trying to compete with the Kmarts,” Poole explains. “Specialisation is the only way to survive.” And that’s exactly what they’ve done, with all the electronics kits, globes, models and chemistry sets that you might expect, including mad-sciency stuff like the static electricity plasma ball ($19.95) and the transforming sphere ($39.95). There are hard-to-get board games, art kits, soft-toy viruses and molecules (who knew that penicillin was so cute - and, at only $14, so affordable!), light-up eyeballs ($5) and, for the budding geologist, crystals and minerals ($5-$15). Uncles will want to play with their Dino Friends wooden dinosaurs as much as the nephews who are getting them for Christmas ($49.95). The shop is also giving away silkworms at the moment, and the stick insect season has just begun with pairs available for $20. Science!