Exclusive: Touching Base with Toymaster suppliers and members

Published on: 10th May 2023

With only six days to go to the Toymaster May Show, new members, as well as a selection of both established and new suppliers that will be in attendance at the show, spoke to Toy World.

We caught up with new members Naresh Basantani – Music Corner, Gibraltar; Fidelis Rice – Totally Toys, Co. Mayo; Paul Rothwell – Big Top Toys, Bakewell; Dermot Salmon – Salmon’s Department Store, Co. Galway; Donard McGreevy – McGreevy’s Toys Direct, Co. Mayo and Usman Ali – Toys4you, Sutton Coldfield.

All agreed that they would have no hesitation in wholeheartedly recommending membership of Toymaster to any prospective independent retailer. Fidelis Rice added: “I would say: don’t delay. There is a cost to being a member but the increased margin you will enjoy will more than compensate for this.”

Several new exhibitors to the May Show also told us why they have taken the decision to join the event in Harrogate, including Phil Hooper – UK managing director, Plus-Plus UK & Ireland; James Barrett – Sales manager, Peers Hardy UK, and Lewis Finch – Sales director, Baby Republic.

These suppliers are keen to take a proactive approach to dealing with independents, as James Barrett explained: “The way Toymaster works makes it easy for both us and its members to work together. We’ve seen our supply to Toymaster members quadruple this year alone, and we hope to deal with more members going forward.”

Returning exhibitors already appreciate the benefits of working with the group, and those we spoke to included: Hornby, Smiffys, Pat Avenue, Bounce Sales, Orchard Toys, Juratoys, Kayes of Cardiff, One For Fun, Learning Resources, DKB,  Marvin’s Magic, Smart Toys, Gibsons, Asmodee, Casdon, Ravensburger, Click Distribution and Cheatwell.

Pat Avenue’s Carmel Wright summed up the feeling of many, saying: “It’s important for us to be able to engage with members face to face and the Toymaster show gives us that unique opportunity. We consider independents a key partner, and the opportunity for them to see and play with the product will be invaluable.”

Meanwhile, Cheatwell’s Joe Rushworth concluded: “Let’s be frank, if you’re not at the Toymaster May Show then you have no passion for the independent trade.”

To find out what all our contributors to this fascinating feature had to say, see our May issue Toymaster Preview or click here.

The May issue contains a wealth of information to help you get ready for the show; print copies have been delivered and the full online version is available here. Forewarned is forearmed and we feel sure having prior information will be of huge benefit to help you maximise your time in Harrogate. Now, all you need to do is decide what to wear…


The Sidemen co-create new card game Hit Send

The Late Late Toy Show showcases this year’s top toys

Did Black Friday boost retail footfall?

It’s the back of the net for Golden Bear’s Soccer Bot

Spin Master’s Unicorn Academy secures top spot on Netflix

Spring Fair announces major upgrade to show experiences

International pavilions well supported at Spielwarenmesse

Profits rise at Smyths Toys in Ireland

Canada’s Mastermind Toys under creditor protection

Master Replicas brings back Doctor Who statue line