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In this world of national and global retailers we are but a tiny drop in the ocean. A small, independent, and we believe unique, toy shop, tucked away in Saffron Walden. Established way back in 1984, and recently taken on by new caring owners Dean and Catherine Radley.
So why do we believe our toy shop is unique?
Well of course we sell toys, there's nothing unique in that, you can go to any local super store or internet store for that.
What we believe is different is the experience, where the excitement still exists for children to come and explore nocks and crannies; where the anticipation of spending their pocket money each Saturday morning has them fit for bursting; where five minutes is never enough; where internet shopping doesn't make them, or you, smile; and where they can pick, prod and probe to their hearts desire.
Where we take real pleasure in personally helping every customer that comes into the shop, if we haven't got it then we'll try and get it, if you're lacking in inspiration we'll have lots of ideas.
We simply care about our customers and the service we provide to them.
Where it all began
Ann Benson opened the first Toy Box on the corner of Bridge Street and Castle Street on the 18th August 1984. She had been inspired to do so after working in the local Co-op who only stocked toys for the Christmas season rather than the whole year and felt there was an opportunity to create her own business.
The business expanded rapidly and soon the premises were too small so she took the plunge, moving to a new development in Market Walk, Hill Street in November 1985. The business developed and when the opportunity of moving to the current location in Market Row became available she jumped at the chance, and in November 1989 moved in to the current shop.
Ann had spent 30 years serving local people. Whilst toy fashions changed, she had sought to offer a wide variety of toys, both traditional and modern, to children from birth to early teens.
In 2013, under Ann's ownership the Toy Box won an award as the favourite toy shop in Essex.
In March 2014, and after very careful consideration, Dean and Catherine purchased the shop, marking a new chapter in the life of the Toy Box. For them the opportunity to own something that they could call their own, as well as shape and mould over time was very important to them.
A bit about the owners
Dean and Catherine have lived in the area all of their lives. They currently live in Ashdon, and have three children and a menagerie of animals, consisting of two dogs, three cats, seven fish and a gecko named Gordon.
Much of their time, as you'd expect, is spent managing the day-to-day chores of family life, busing the kids around, tending to the animals and maintaining the house.
Catherine is keen on keep fit and runs every morning with the dogs, which can be quiet interesting particularly in the winter where she has to navigate various farm tracks and traverse numerous streams, as well as keeping the two naughty terriers in check, and all done in the dark!
During the week Dean works for a creative communications agency.
Catherine has a degree in English Literature and a PGCE teaching qualification. Her teaching focused on early years and has provided her with a useful depth of understanding in how young children learn using a range of techniques and senses.
Order and collect in store
Please email or simply give us a call to check out our very latest toy ranges and reserve what you need
The Toy Box
We're a small independent toy shop and like it that way, we hope you do to?
Come and visit us to see our wide range of toys and games and enjoy exploring all the nocks and crannies