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TOYOPIA: RESURRECTING THE TOY STORE (opens in new window/tab)

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  1. Don’t write off the appeal of the candy as a draw. I used to visit the FAO Schwarz in NYC quite often when I was up there on business and the busiest part of the store was the candy section they had which was crammed with an amazing section of sweet novelties. Once when my daughter came with me that was where she wanted to go to spend her allowance money. The lines at the cash registers were always crammed with kids and parents.

    Comment by Tim — 11/29/2004 @ 11:23:01 AM

  2. The power of candy… I don’t suppose we’ll ever get so health-conscious that candy will go completely out of style, especially among kids.

    Then again, it wasn’t enough to save FAO Schwarz…

    Comment by CT — 11/29/2004 @ 05:05:31 PM

  3. I have read your review on TOYOPIA with great interest. You seem to believe that Alex Reece is the great white hope for the toy industry. I do not think so, based upon my personal experience operating a small doll distribution company, The Doll Factory, Inc., located in West Palm Beach, Florida.

    We were approached by Toyopia last June in regard to providing our dolls for their stores. Based upon the Toyopia hype and 2 solid credit references, we offered them a $1200 credit line to start, along with “net 30 days” terms. We shipped their first order on July 2nd, in the amount of $1116.00 plus freight, and still cannot get paid, 167 days later. Despite many calls to Toyopia, and messages for Alex Reece to call back, the amount is obviously uncollectable. It is our intention to file suit against them at this time.

    A visit to their new Wellington store showed our product in stock, at a retail price of $54.95 against a $29.95 list price. This item cost them $15.00, and included 20% additional discount in the form of free merchandise. Toyopia is having a big 50% off everything sale going on, but it is obvious that this is not a legitimate price on the merchandise offered.

    I suggest you investigate Toyopia more carefully. It would not surprise me to see them disappear from many locations immediately after Christmas.

    If you need further information, please contact me.

    Gary Hedrick, Pres.
    The Doll Factory, Inc.
    260 Business Park Way #B
    Royal Palm Beach, FL 33411
    Tel: (561)795-8777
    Fax: (561)795-3450

    Comment by Gary Hedrick, Pres. The Doll Factory, Inc. — 12/16/2004 @ 01:29:46 PM

  4. Thanks for sharing your less-than-inspiring experience with Toyopia. Hopefully your situation will be resolved.

    For the record, I never held the opinion that Toyopia was a savior. The way I see it, they’re a small startup that’s doing well because of the current industry shakeup. If it’s managed right, they have a chance to grow into something significant; but it’s tough for any startup, and they wouldn’t be the first one to tank. If anything, I’m skeptical about the reliance on candy sales to drive their engine.

    Comment by CT — 12/16/2004 @ 01:58:09 PM

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