The Toy Chronicle X E1 Brew Co.

The Toy Chronicle interview with E1 Brew Co.

https://www.thetoychronicle.com


E1 Brew co. sits down with the toy chronicle


Rosana from E1 Brew Co. sat down with Gary Rozanski, owner of The Toy Chronicle, to chat about his experience as a business owner, collectible toys, coffee, bagels and Shoreditch in general. 



R: We’ve seen a rise in collectable items, such as toys, rise in popularity. Do you think the maximalist trend has correlated with this? 


G: Absolutely, yeah. More & more folks are spending added time at home with working from home being prevalent throughout the COVID pandemic. People want to be surrounded by the things they love and that has helped see a rise in collectible items like Designer Toys being purchased and displayed in their homes. I see plenty of customers come through my shop and they don’t have any idea about what these Designer Toys are, but they spot a piece and want to display it as a statement piece in their homes. More customers like that, please! :D

R: We’ve (nearly) put the pandemic behind us! Was there a significant impact on your business throughout the lockdowns?


G: Hugely positive in many ways, which is weird to say. I had only started to sell Designer Toys at the back end of 2019 to help fund our TTC blog. With COVID hitting in early 2020, I lost my real job and rather than jump back into another job, I decided to venture further into importing & selling these Designer Toys for a full time role. Initially out of my flat, but that quickly became impractical so I moved into a space in Leytonstone but again quickly outgrew that before moving into a shipping container in Bethnal Green in early 2021. A great space, but I was offered a pop-up space at UNIT 5 in Shoreditch for Christmas and fell in love so was able to negotiate a deal to extend & stay here in the heart of Shoreditch. 

R: Have you always been an avid collector of toys? 


G: From a young age, aye. Always into Lego and action figures, but it was around 2006ish that I discovered Designer Toys. In 2010 when I moved to NYC for two year, I really got into them hard as it was easier to get my hands on them. When I returned to the UK in 2012, the scene was growing with new conventions & shows allowing me to integrate myself closer to other collectors & artists. 



R: When did you make the jump of building your passion into a business? 


G: We started The Toy Chronicle as a Designer Toy blog about news, shows, releases in 2013. Whilst I didn’t start to sell the toys side of things until 2019, we have built the TTC blog into an award winning cyber location for collectors to get their Designer Toy fix on a daily basis.  



R: Just like many wonderful collectable items that cater to streetwear and Hypebeast enthusiasts, such as sneakers and designer streetwear, have you seen a rise in fake collectable toys? If so, how can you spot the difference?


G: Oh soooo many fakes out there. Especially with the hype releases from KAWS etc. Factories producing fakes are getting better & better too, so it can be very difficult to spot. I think when buying from websites, if the price is too good to be true, it’s likely a fake. If you’re buying on the secondary market, there are often Facebook groups that will help do spot checks before you buy to see if you’re buying a fake or real. 


There are some fakes out there that are so horrendously bad that they become great. Last year there was a Gorillaz release by Superplastic that had fakes produced, but the fakes was eye-watering bad. 


R: Is there an inner circle of die-hard traders buying expensive investment adult toys?


G: there are definitely folks that are on the look out for hype releases to buy multiples, so they can be used for trades and/or making money on the secondary market. It’s much harder to guess which 



"I feel like it’s a crazy ass dream sometimes, haha. I have to pinch myself on a regular basis."



R: We see trends come and go. Which toy would you recommend for a toy collector who’s looking to start out? 


G: I try to bring a wide variety of Designer Toys for different artists . I think for those that are looking to start out, a great entry point are blind boxes, as it throws in some level of mystery and they are generally at a lower price point too. They are smaller too, so easy to find space on your work desk, window sill etc. 


R: You’ve been smart in choosing one of the most active locations in Shoreditch for your store. How does it feel to be a business owner operating in the hear of London’s creative hub? 


G: I feel like it’s a crazy ass dream sometimes, haha. I have to pinch myself on a regular basis. It’s a great spot that attracts a diverse crowd from those that have no clue about Designer Toys, to those that have been collecting for year, to those that know about NFT and spot the similarity between the digital world & the physical world of collectibles. 



R: You’ve been smart in choosing one of the most active locations in Shoreditch for your store. How does it feel to be a business owner operating in the hear of London’s creative hub? 


G: I feel like it’s a crazy ass dream sometimes, haha. I have to pinch myself on a regular basis. It’s a great spot that attracts a diverse crowd from those that have no clue about Designer Toys, to those that have been collecting for year, to those that know about NFT and spot the similarity between the digital world & the physical world of collectibles. 


R: Have you had a chance to discover any cool spots around the area? If so, what’s your favourite hang out spot? 


G: I’ve recently discovered coffee (yeah, I don’t know how I’ve got to almost 40 without coffee in my life) but Oatopia in Boxpark have been a great spot to grab a morning coffee when I’m at the shop. They also do great bagels too. There is also Ong Ong Buns that do great Chinese baked goods too. Also, this brewery called E1 Brew are nearby and their beers are fantastic, check them out!


R: If you had one message to the community of Shoreditch, what would it be? 


G: Support local businesses. Whether that’s through sales or collaborations. Lift each other up where we can! Let’s smash the fuck outta the rest of 2022!


For more The Toy Chronicle content head over to their website where you'll find interviews with the top toy designers around, reviews and unboxing  of all the best new stuff, and loads more. 


https://www.thetoychronicle.com