Toymaster reveals new appointments and personnel moves

Published on: 2nd November 2023

The independent buying group Toymaster has announced a number of internal changes, with new faces joining the team and familiar ones awarded longer terms. 

L-R: Darren Robinson, head of finance, Chris Blatcher, ongoing chairman of the Board, and Stephen Hartfield, head of Toymaster’s Member Committee

Toymaster has announced the appointment of Darren Robinson to the position of head of Finance at Toymaster. Darren, who is a qualified accountant, has 30 years of experience heading up finance functions in a variety of different industries and will bring that valuable knowledge to the group, which says his onboarding will help with Toymaster’s succession planning.

Darren commented: “I would like to thank Toymaster for giving me this opportunity to join the team, and I look forward to meeting our members and suppliers in the coming months. Please feel free to contact me if there is anything financial you wish to discuss; I will do my best to help.”

Darren can be contacted on 01604 674 477 or

Chris Blatcher, meanwhile, has been asked by the Toymaster board to continue in his role as chairman of the Board of Directors for the foreseeable future. Chris was appointed to this role in 2020. Yogi Parmar, Toymaster’s managing director, says Chris has ‘been instrumental in driving Toymaster forward by providing strategic advice and guidance to help both members and the team in Northampton’.

Chris added: “I felt very privileged when I was invited by the board to continue serving as the chairman of Toymaster. It has been an honour to work so closely with Yogi, the other directors, and the entire team. Over the past three years, we have implemented numerous significant changes, and the team at Northampton has enthusiastically seized the opportunity to make Toymaster even better than it already was. The Toy trade has always been a great industry to be involved in, but the last few years have presented numerous challenges for retailers of all kinds. We, as Toymaster, are committed to embracing change and actively listening to our members’ needs, and by doing this we will help to ensure the continued success and profitability of independent toy retailers.”

“I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone that has helped with the journey that we are on,” Chris continued. “Particularly our suppliers for all their support, the board, the team at Northampton, the committee members who put in so much of their own time, and the members, all of whom make Toymaster what it is.”

Finally, Stephen Hartfield of Kids Stuff has been appointed head of Toymaster’s Member Committee. The role of the Member Committee is to shape and drive the group’s marketing efforts and to promote the group in a way that moves it forward: Stephen will help to co-ordinate the members within the committee as part of this remit.

Stephen commented: “I am proud to be asked to be head of the Toymaster Member Committee, and I look forward to working closely with the team in Northampton and the other members of the committee to drive the group forward.”


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