This is an opinionated post, but only because I am passionate about quality and one of our Fans Tricia has asked how I select the toys we stock.
In the passed I started with stocking brands of which I had purchased toys before each time we visited Belgium. As I enlarge my range I visit Toy Fairs (like all retailers) and read reviews all over the web. Well mostly the parent bloggers that I follow already to be fair.
If you had a wooden toy shop, which wooden trains would you stock?
Whomever has followed our last months Twitter Feed knows that I am looking into Stocking Trains for the Christmas period, after all a wooden toy shop not selling wooden trains would be like a Pub without beer.
I confess, here at our house we only had sets of that large scandinavian retail chain. Great play value, does the job, toddler going choo-choo, tries to fit rails together and plays…
But clearly I can not stock those, but I am always on the look-out for something which is a little different. One larger brand seems to focus on construction and ‘boyish’ play, another came up with a femine set. And I think it is an absolute brilliant idea. Unfortunately they refuse to sell to us as they have too many online retailers competing already. Fair enough, but it caught my interest. I need to know what features my train sets need to have in order to compete with the other ones available online.
Most important for us is quality. Usually if quality is superb you don’t need customer service that often, but nevertheless customer service is and will always be important. One of our Toadtesters confessed she had very bad experience with one brand and was hooked on another.
Needless to say I will have to make my own mind up. So I purchased several sets from colleagues. And the first findings are in the picture below:
Based on the picture above it is needless to say I am disappointed Haba does not sell train sets. So I turn to another wooden toy brand I stock: Janod!
We all know the brand who has the Digging theme, well Janod has very original themed ones and the images and prints or just a little more colourful and special. We will start stocking the Cowboy set as above in between mid July-August. What theme do you think we should stock next? Circus? Barn? Village? Fire Fighters and station? Let’s us know and we will take opinions into account!