The store, which the owner considers the largest independent toy store in the country, will open on November 6.
CANTON, Ohio – If you’re looking for that perfect toy for a loved one, it’s probably safe to assume it’s waiting for you somewhere on the shelves of the new Sir Troy’s Toy Kingdom location in the village of Belden. Owner Troy Cefaratti believes it’s the largest independent toy store in the country.
The store, which spans 30,000 square feet, is located at 4304 Belden Village Street NW in Canton, the former location of a Marc grocery store. While this is the company’s newest and largest location, they’re no strangers to space: the old North Canton location was 9,000 square feet.
The grand opening of the store is November 6, 2022.
Although the company has three locations – Belden Village, Medina and Solon – Sir Troy’s toy kingdom had much more humble beginnings. Since childhood, Cefaratti has always had a passion for Legos.
“It was an accidental but fortuitous thing, you know?” Cefarrati said he opened a toy store. “We found a Lego set in one of our local stores that was reasonably priced but cost a lot of money online. So I bought them all and resold them all online and then continued to reuse the product for buy more stuff, and from there it just got bigger and bigger and bigger until we were sitting here in 30,000 square feet.”
The hobby of buying and selling Lego kits began in 1989, Cefarrati said, until in 2007 he opened an official toy store in North Canton on South Main Street. At the time, it only sold about six major brands, including Lego, of course.
As more and more competition has emerged over the years, from big box stores to online retailers, Cefaratti credits the quality of the toys it carries and the experience of being able to see the toys in person before purchasing them. with the success of the business.
“The toys that you’re going to entrust to your kids or grandkids, people tend to want to see what they’re getting to make sure they’re quality products,” he said. “So that’s what we specialize in, it’s quality toys, fueled by imagination, so I think that’s why people come here. They want to see what they’re getting, to know that they can trust it, that it is safe to give to their children or grandchildren.”
VP Heather Marks, who also happens to be Cefarrati’s best friend since childhood, also described the products they buy as “high-quality, imagination-fueled toys,” many of which come from the past. ‘Europe or even custom-made for Sir Troy’s. This is one of the reasons why the store does not carry video games.
“Parents are looking for that support,” Marks explained. “They don’t want to have to go online and read everything about every product. They trust us to bring these toys that enhance their child’s play in a way that provides play that helps the child develop.”
Despite the massive size of the new location, Marks emphasized that they still want to be “your hometown toy store.” It was a role they took seriously during the pandemic, when even though their doors were closed, Marks was still working to get customers what they needed by shopping for them via FaceTime or Zoom.
Marks refers to the Sir Troy’s Toy Kingdom team as “kid-ults” – adults who are still kids at heart. According to Marks and Cefarrati, it’s the moments of connecting with families and finding them perfecting something that makes the job so rewarding.
“There are kids who come to our store who have never had this experience,” Cefaratti said, “and just to see the joy on their face, their eyes go gigantic, and I think that’s why the most of us do that.”
“We’re part of their lives for a small part of the time,” Marks added, “and for a lot of them a really good part of the time.”
From classics like Breyer Horses, Barbies and Calico Critters to newer inventions like Lego vehicles with Bluetooth connections and toddler scooters with matching helmets, Cefaratti and Marks say everyone, from grandson to grandpa, can find something to his liking. After all, Cefaratti says they offer 140-150 rows, with around 10,000 active items in their database.
“Just the joy they brought you when you were a kid,” Cefaratti said of the company, “you can relive that through the new toys again and again.”