The upcoming Designer Toy Awards are not just about the artists or the figures; they’re also about the collectors, the blogs and the stores. There are 10 stores that are nominated for Best Toy Store and all offer something unique. Three of the stores are located in New York City and are merely a few blocks away from each other: Kidrobot New York to MyPlasticHeart to ToyTokyo.
ToyTokyo is located on 2nd Ave. and is a hard-to-miss store. I first came across this store by accident but fell in love with it once I walked in. The outside is painted with many characters from toys to movies and always has something to catch your attention in the window. As soon as you walk in, you think you’ve died and gone to heaven. The store is packed from front to back to side to side with toys. And they have everything.
They have your blind boxes to your Simpsons toys to your Gloomy Bear to your Kozik to – well you get the point. They have everything. They don’t focus on just one company or one artist. The staff in the store is very friendly and know a lot about the toys. Lev and his staff took time out to answer some questions. Here they are, and if you are ever in New York City, be sure to stop by.
VGRevolution: How did ToyTokyo start?
ToyTokyo: Toy Tokyo the STORE opened in the East Village in 2000. ToyTokyo actually started to exist in 1989 , after arriving in Tokyo to do a Toy Show in ’89. At the Super Festival, I needed a good name for my booth instead of using the name “It’s a Small World” (which I used from 1985). So, after talking it over with my Japanese friends, I came up with “Tokyo Toy,” but my friends said, “You are in Japan now, so please use “ToyTokyo” since it sounds much better ’cause we are now in Tokyo, Japan. So, I used the name “ToyTokyo,” and this is the name that I have used ever since .
VGRevolution: Why the name Toy Tokyo for a store in Manhatten?
ToyTokyo: Since we used the same name as we always used before.
VGRevolution: How does it feel to be nominated and be considered one of the best designer toy stores?
ToyTokyo: Of course, I am very happy and proud to be nominated one of the best designer toy stores.
VGRevolution: Three New York City stores are nominated. What makes your store unique compared to Kidrobot NY and MyPlasticHeart?
ToyTokyo: A good question. So, our store, ToyTokyo, is very UNIQUE , because we not only carry designer toys and figures, but we also carry a large variety of very cool toys that we all grew up with, like G.I. Joe, TMNT, Ghost Busters, Masters of the Universe, Transformers, Robots, 12″ dolls for girls and boys and more, you name it, in toys, and we most likely carry it!
VGRevolution: The Sucklord, a fellow New York artist, is hosting. Any stories of him being in the store that you would like to share?
ToyTokyo: Well, ever since he walked around at the shows we used to do, all the time, in his Special Unique Silver Outfit with Helmet and Boom Box, I thought that this guy has to be on something, and then when he stopped parading in his unique outfit I then noticed other people trying to copy his style, and then I thought that he definitely had a Very Original idea, and then when the Sucklord came out with his own original figure of himself, in the Silver Outfit , with the Boom Box Accessory included, I really thought this was going to be a BIG HIT! And it sure was! SUCKLORD, congratulations on being the host of the Designer Toy Award for 2012