Can it really be the end of 2017 already? Time is flying by. It’s been a fabulous year here at Grasshopper Toys and our sister site CuriousMinds.co.uk. We have enjoyed every aspect of the year, from the dark months of January and February through to the warm(er) summer and then of course the fun of Halloween, the build up to Christmas and snow on the hills!
2017 has seen us continuing to support a large number of charities, schools and local events. This was the third Annual Toy Collection on behalf of Argyll Women’s Aid and we were proud to be in partnership again with the Helensburgh Advertiser. As always, we were deluged with gifts for the kids, an astonishing show of generosity from the Helensburgh and Lomond community that always moves me to tears; the kindness of strangers.
My favourite toys for the year? Uhm, a hard one. The Melissa & Doug Giant Unicorn has to be on the list for sheer pzazz. Playmobil has been increasingly popular in our lovely Helensburgh Toy Shop and we’ve increased the range to meet the demand, whilst Lego remains a constant favourite. The Book Corner has also been really popular and we’re constantly looking for new titles to keep our young readers entertained.
Personally it’s been an important year. I reached a milestone birthday and my eldest turned 18 and started university. Wow! I can’t compute how quickly time has flown, but life becomes increasingly more fun and more exciting with each passing day and sharing those days with my two smart, funny and endlessly fascinating sons is simply joyous.
Whilst the entire year has been a festival of fun, there is no time like Christmas and especially in a toy shop. This year Santa Claus has been visiting us and he has made a big fuss of all the children who came to see him. Whilst his Elves were diligent in making lots of toys, I think they were a bit miffed that Santa Claus had all the attention from the children, we made a big fuss of them too and everyone seems to be looking forward to a very Merry Christmas!
Of course, there is no show without the Grasshopper Toys Team: Alex, Mairi, Ellouise, Ross, John, Jamie & Robbie. They are truly a marvellous team and I’m grateful to be surrounded by so much talent, passion and ridiculous senses of humour. I’m right at home with the silliness!
Wendy & The Team
December 29th 2015
Is it really a year since we last spoke? Another year older and another year of terrific fun here at Grasshopper Towers. We have had a very calm year, I'm delighted to report, no traumas, just some wonderful fun with our customers, our suppliers and ourselves. The team has grown and developed into a really efficient, imaginative and fun group, we are now: Alex, Caitlin, Connor, Fiona, Jamie, John, Gareth, Garry, Mairi, Robbie, Ross and little old me. I am so proud of the Grasshopper Toys Team, it's a pleasure to work with them, each and every day.
During the past twelve months we have continued to expand our range with existing suppliers and have brought on new suppliers including Gibsons, Haba, House of Puzzles, Meccano, Revell, Little Tikes to name but a few. We are always excited by the new toys we find, if you know of any that you'd like us to stock please contact us: orders[@]grasshoppertoys.co.uk
We have continued to support a large number of charities and local events, the most notable of which was the Women's Aid Christmas Toy Appeal which ran through November and early December. We were deluged with gifts for the kids, an astonishing show of generosity which, as a mum, I know will have helped raise the spirits of those mums who are struggling through very difficult circumstances. A heartfelt thank you to the Helensburgh community.
It has been another frenetic Christmas, with visits from Santa, our letter from Santa service and all the other bustling events that go to making Christmas in toy shop such a magical time. I love it all, down to the very last bow and Brussels sprout! And so to 2016, what will it bring? Well, more fun and laughter with my team, of that I have no doubt, and also with my family; my youngest will turn into a teenager, challenging times ahead, I've no doubt! For now I wish you and your family a wonderful, peaceful and very happy 2016.
With our warmest good wishes
Wendy & The Grasshopper Toys Team, December 29th 2015
December 30th 2014
What an amazing year it has been for Grasshopper Toys and Curious Minds. The first few months of 2014 were a huge challenge as I navigated my wonderful business through a very difficult re-build after the fire in 2013. But we got there and April 2nd was a very big day for us as we re-opened the shop at 112 West Princes Street, seven long and painful months later. We cried many happy and exhausted tears that day as our old customers came in to say welcome back.
Since April we have rolled along on a wave of relief and happiness, meeting many new people both in the shop, online and in the form of new and old suppliers, some of whom have become good friends. We have taken on a lot of new and exciting ranges and I guess that will never stop; I am a sucker for new and exciting toys and kits - contact me if you think you have something Grasshopper Toys or Curious Minds should be stocking!
We have also taken on new staff: Alexander came to us in March just before the shop re-opened and has proved himself to be an invaluable member of the team, it's really hard to imagine life before he joined us. Gareth has also joined us full time now and he makes such an important contribution, I can't imagine how I survived without him. My sons Robbie and Jamie continue to be my Chief Toy Testers and Product Advisors and both can be seen in the shop on Saturday mornings where they are proving themselves to be rather useful. Alison and Mairi continue on thei quest to ensure our customers, online and in our beautiful shop, are happy and judging by the thank you emails we regularly receive, they're doing a pretty wonderful job. All in all the Grasshopper Toys Team is settling down nicely and proving itself to be highly knowledgeable, enthusiastic and full of fun; check out the selfies floating around our blogs and Facebook pages!
We moved into a fast paced Christmas and the atmosphere in the shop was a pure joy to us; we have the most charming and funny customers, their anecdotes kept me chortling for days after. But the highlight of Christmas for me, was the visits by Santa and The Letter From Santa service, both of which proved very popular with our customers. There were so many smiling faces it was a sheer pleasure watching the kids.
And so to New Year and 2015, what can I say? The badness is now firmly behind us and I look forward to a fun year with our customers at home and around the globe and with our current & much loved suppliers and the new ones we have yet to meet. I wish you all a really wonderful New Year's Eve and may 2015 bring you and your loved ones peace and happiness.
Wendy & The Grasshopper Toys Team
We launched Grasshopper Toys Ltd on March 1st 2010 after many happy months of background work researching and testing toys; a gruelling job, which my sons Robbie and Jamie were drafted in to help with, these boys have a very tough childhood!
The business has grown rapidly over the past four years into a thriving online retail presence and a growing wholesale business. Our rapid and successful growth meant that we needed bigger premises, so in February 2012 we moved into our current address at 112 West Princes Street, Helensburgh, which just so happened to have the cutest olde worlde shop premises at the front of the much needed warehouses. We couldn't resist and opened our beautiful toy shop on August 27th 2012.
The Grasshopper Toys Toy Shop, which is one of the biggest independent toy shops in Scotland, quickly won our hearts and the hearts of our loyal customers, who we loved meeting, young and old (yes Dads, we know the Lego Technic kits are really for you!). We experienced a minor blip on our charts on August 31st 2013 when our business was hit by a random, thoughtless, arson attack which devastated our shop and both warehouses. Sunday morning of September 1st was a tough, tough morning for the Grasshopper Toys Team as we began to take in the sheer scale of the damage; it was total. However, like a phoenix rising from the ashes, we pulled it together and within three days we were sending out our first online orders again. We're pretty proud of that!
As a scientist, my passion is science toys and I was fully aware of an amazing company out there called Curious Minds, which specialises in scientific toys and gifts. Curious Minds was founded by Lucy and Alan Richmond, who met whilst working on the Hubble Telescope (can you imagine!) and this was a company I coveted! So you can imagine my absolute amazement and delight when the opportunity arose for me to acquire Curious Minds from Lucy and Alan in May 2013. Sheer happiness. Curious Minds is now our specialist science shop, leaving Grasshopper Toys Ltd to focus more on the non science, Let's Pretend style play.
Today, as I write (February 2014), we are just on the cusp of re-opening our bricks and mortar toy shop at 112 West Princes Street, Helensburgh. It's been a longer haul than we would have liked, but I have learnt the art of patience (possibly) and whilst the shop has been out of action we have been very busy in the background working hard on all kinds of exciting new ideas and we are so very excited to have a new refurbished, better than ever toy shop to offer our loyal customers. We cannot wait!
We look forward to meeting you by email, phone or in person at our shop, either way please get in touch, we love to hear from our customers.
Dr Wendy Hamilton & The Grasshopper Toys Team
112 West Princes Street
Company Registration: 325038
VAT No. 917678774