With the past 18 months being extremely difficult for non-essential retail, independent stores and small businesses need shoppers support more than ever.
Irish toy shops are facing another challenge, as they must also compete with supermarkets and other chain stores who are selling wooden toys.
Specialist toy sellers are urging consumers to consider more than just the price when making a purchase.
Smaller, independent businesses are borne out of a passion for bringing endless entertainment to children through the best quality and most durable items available. Tony Duffy, of Duffy’s Toy World in Dunleer said: “We not only care about, but hunt for the right toy for your child.
“I have been selling toys for nearly fifty years and I have experienced every sort of toy that was ever invented, including all the battery-operated TV-advertised catalogued toys that ever appeared on the market.
" I am passionate about real toys; I love how excited children are when they come into our shop.
"I love when they talk to me in the shop and cannot tell me quick enough how much they enjoyed and still enjoying their last toy bought for them.”
When Duffy’s Toy World opened in 2005, it had evolved from a family business established in 1938, which sold a variety of household essentials including toys.
Tony did extensive research before deciding to focus solely on toys and exclusively stocking those that support children’s intellectual development.
Tony, who bears a striking resemblance to a certain North Pole resident, regularly attended toy fairs in the UK and Europe.
“I visited many shops in cities and towns all over Germany, gaining insight into what they sold: no battery-operated or TV-tie-ins. Children played with real toys, and they played with them for years,” says Tony.
“The toys I noticed were creative, imaginative and developmental and I said to myself, ‘that is the road for me.’
"So, these three pillars form the basis of every buying decision that we make here in Duffy’s Toy World.”
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