Welcome to another Getting to Know; today, we travel to the city of Montreal, Quebec, where we now get to know more about Toy Snowman, so sit back as we are now “Getting to know” Toy Snowman!
So really, what did lead Amir to this avenue? Growing up as a comic book and collectibles collector, this was a natural fit for Amir, being surrounded by things that he loved and loved to talk about. Speaking with fellow collectors about common interests such as movies, anime, and TV shows, he would find that natural connection and people’s person; this just turned into a natural fit.
Speaking with fellow collectors about common interests such as movies, anime, and TV shows, he would find that natural connection and people’s person; this just turned into a natural fit.
Roughly ten years ago, Amir Hassan (Owner of Toy Snowman) worked in the Middle East in Dubai with his friend who owned a small distribution business specializing in Warhammer and TCG. Fate would strike Amir as he also assisted in managing a small shop in town as his partner, who had recently married, was set to take time off for his Honeymoon. This opportunity led Amir to get to know his customers better, which created a gaming community. Though it started small, before he knew it, the community began to explode in size, leading to his vision of opening up his first LGS Battlezone. Before Amir knew it, the store had become a premium drop spot where they hosted events for miniature(warhammer/warmachine) and magic the gathering card game; hobbyists would travel from all around to participate; when asked how Amir felt, he would say, “What a blast.”
Shortly after, Amir would find his way to Canada, where he would work in the largest LGS as a shipper and tracker, which would eventually lead him to manage their Pokemon department. Gaining as much valuable experience as he could, he would stop working with LGS and found an opportunity to work as a third-party and launch as Toy Snowman with Amazon.
Sadly, two months into his new role, Amir was let go because of the cutbacks due to COVID-19. Thankfully though, using his many years of experience, Amir decided to do something about it; he decided now was the time for him to bet on himself and thus launched Toy Snowman.
Using the connections that he has built over the years and starting to place a vision and dream that he had envisioned, Amir began to construct the Toy Snowman vision. Investing in a warehouse and starting to build his website, Amir realized that with COVID-19 and stores being closed for lockdowns and stay-at-home orders, this was the perfect opportunity to launch his site and connect with hobbyists through social media. With their new warehouse, they allow curbside pickup or deliveries, with their website updated regularly to show collectors what can be pre-ordered or what new releases are Even though COVID has impacted the business of Toy Snowman, Amir admits there is a blessing in disguise as it allows him to learn, adapt and build. When asked what he also meant about it being a blessing, Amir said, “I feel we came out stronger and are now more connected to our customer’s needs since we can get direct feedback. No middle man markups and better communications.” As any business owner would attest, knowing your customer is essential to building that trust and having them return and refer their friends to your business. available.
When asked how important the customer is to Amir, he said, “I’d say critical. I think it’s my leading factor to providing great customer service; without the customer, there is no business which is why I find it is important to stay connected with them.” When asked what would make the customer want to come to you over a big box store, Amir shared, “Well, we never cancel pre-orders., if we find out we are short of allocation, we have gone overseas to order your products and paid “eBay” prices to fulfill your orders. At our loss, to make your trust with us is always there.”
Recently, Toy Snowman celebrated their birthday on February 4th; as part of the celebration, they provided even more incredible deals on older and newer releases. They will also be planning something big for Black Friday.
Although Toy Snowman does not offer vintage toys, their greatest strength has been their pre-orders and new releases. Staying not only competitive with their prices but also offering loyalty programs. “We also have a loyalty program that will give you a point for every purchase you make; we also celebrate your birthday with more points/cashback that customers can use at any time.
This year, Toy Snowman will be teaming for an announcement regarding supporting a runner for the Terry Fox run in September; details on this will be coming soon. Amir has also been extremely generous in supporting causes. Last year he helped fund a United Way campaign by donating a Ghostbusters complete wave as a campaign prize; Amir also supports the G.I. Joe community from time to time with rewards for fundraisers. Amir admits knowing how important it is to give back, and he will whenever he can.
Recently, Toy Snowman launched their new YouTube channel to help collectors keep up with the news and get reviews on new releases in the pipeline. Another means of social media they use is Facebook.
Toy Snowman’s top lines have been G.I Joe Classified, Star Wars Black Series, Transformers and NECA Ninja Turtles. Amir is also a collector at heart; his collection consists mainly of Bandai SH Figure art Godzilla and NECA Ninja Turtles. As a collector, I asked Amir what advice he would offer a new collector, and he shared, “I’d say have a mind of what you want to collect. There is too much cool stuff so pick your stuff. Most of all, I would say take what makes you happy and not what is “must-have collectible” no point in getting a Cara Dune if you never planned on getting her in the first place.”
Amir also wanted to share, “If you would like to support us honestly, the best way is to give us a review as right now the algorithms are my Boss.
Like all businesses this last year and a bit, Toy Snowman has been fighting the unknown with the global pandemic. Still, their determination to make sure that the customer is taken care of is what is and will be the heart of a rebuilding economy. They strive to meet your demands, and Amir’s dedication to every customer he meets is what will continue to help build the Toy Snowman empire.
Stay Safe and support the Canadian hobby economy till next time.