Exclusive: Toymaster ensures a bright future for indies

Published on: 18th January 2022

The buying group outlines what membership offers independent retailers, from access to its branded and themed window programme to its standout central invoicing system.

An adaptable, passionate and dedicated bunch, Toymaster’s members have worked incredibly hard over the past couple of years to both retain existing customers and attract new ones, and the buying group says many of its indies are now seeing their efforts pay off. Despite the supply chain and cost challenges all retailers (and suppliers) have been facing, Toymaster stores have still had plenty of stock filling the shelves, and sales in the second half of the year were strong.

Brian McLaughlin, development manager, says: “Like its members, Toymaster worked hard throughout 2021, ensuring its retailers had the support they needed to trade well. We provide a range of services to help our members and are always looking for new ways we can support them.”

“I consider TIMS – which stands for Toymaster Information Management System – to be the biggest benefit of membership,” Brian adds. “TIMS is an internal portal which manages invoices and payments alongside many other features. If any independent toy retailer wants to better understand just how beneficial TIMS is, then we recommend they speak to a current Toymaster member – all of them appreciate how much TIMS benefits both them and their businesses.”

Toymaster also offers unfettered access to suppliers. Accounts with over 150 names from across every facet of the toy industry mean members can try new ranges from different sources all year round. Brian explains: “We like to ensure we have a broad selection of suppliers to choose from so our members can offer their customers a really comprehensive and varied range of toys and games.”

Toymaster’s relationship with suppliers doesn’t end there. The team is on hand to make sure its members have the very latest information available to them and don’t have to spend time chasing salespeople, according to Brian. The Product Hub, now a permanent feature of the website, is where the group compiles the latest updates from suppliers, including range and marketing presentations, product videos and the latest order forms. Members can easily access what they need to place an order simply by looking down the menu for the supplier they’re after.

Members also benefit from strong marketing support including free window displays, spring/summer and autumn/winter catalogues, and unparalleled support from both the team at the office and the network of group retailers. “It really is a bit like a family,” says Brian.

To read the full article from the January issue of Toy World, which offers in depth information on the raft of membership perks offered by Toymaster, click here.


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