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‘Tis the Season to Be Toyetic: Practical Ways to Support Independent Toy Stores this Season

“Toyetic” is one of my favourite terms. It was coined by Bernard Loomis, a toy industry veteran of Mattel, Kenner, and Hasbro. It inspired the name for Being Toyetic, an online directory we created to make it easy to find neighbourhood toy stores everywhere.

Independent toy stores offer unique, hard-to-find, lovingly curated treasures and each one creates a special in-store experience. These small businesses are important to local economies, too. Even before the COVID-19 pandemic shut down brick-and-mortar businesses of all kinds, independent toy stores were struggling. Heck, it was tough for the Toys “R” Us behemoth to compete with even bigger online retailers (we’re looking at you, Amazon).

As North American economies begin to recover from the various challenges of the pandemic, it is more important than ever to support local small businesses, including independent toy stores. Even if you are not ready to go instore yet, many independents offer online, delivery, and curbside-pickup options.

So, with what is usually the biggest retail season upon us, I wanted to devote this space to encouraging Bloom Report readers to be toyetic!

The Being Toyetic website is a great place to start because it provides a growing directory of independently owned neighbourhood toy stores around the world. The directory can currently be filtered by country and state/province. You can also suggest toy stores for inclusion in the directory.

Top Tips for Being Toyetic this Season

  • Shop local! Independents can make special orders, too

  • Favour independent shops’ online stores over the goliath brands

  • Leave a positive Google review about the stores you have visited

  • Purchase gifts and gift cards from independent local stores

  • Follow and share the stores on social media

  • Suggest local independent toy stores in your neighbourhood for the free (and ad-free) Being Toyetic online directory

Todd Coopee is Editor-in-Chief of Toy Tales, an online publication that covers toys and games past and present.


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