tofranil pm for sleep flovent coupons novartis lialda recommended dosage etodolac er 500mg omnicef antibiotic cefdinir liquid sunsuria development sdn bhd directors cup generic viagra sample pack cialis da 5 mg acyclovir no script canada buy thailand xenical nifedipine er 30mg tablets cialis medication used for phentermine 37.5 mg 90 clomid success stories for men terramicina oftalmica mestinon 60 mg treatment actoplus met in europe enalapril maleate medication dogs magnesium deficiency symptoms in humans dormidina suicidio de robin 247 rx shop viagra generic generic cialis online reviews rapidtabs viagra alternative clonidine for children to sleep cytotec online in usa terbutaline preterm labor safe long term effects of gabapentin side effect of perkinil tablet reviews acheter epitomax sans ordonnance nolvadex dosage for post cycle morphine pills 60 mg dentopain fortean buy with paypal losartan potassium 100 mg picture / cozar esquina tango austin calendar minocin antibiotic cream levitra overnight no prescription does cialis help hair growth clozaril blood draw protocol prometrium 200 mg suppository nz prescriptions online canada pharmacy online integra david perry reductil forum in singapore verapamil hydrochloride unisom sleep aid side effects viagra online shop januvia side effects metformin neurontin for anxiety in bipolar disorder tapiales hoy tengo clomiphene citrate side effects in men fanegada definition of marriage cialis without prescription overnight medicstar reviews for fifty sifrol 0 18 mg ritalin propranolol for anxiety blycolin groepspraktijk buy domperidone overnight shipping cheap eurovan zopiclone can you buy elimite over the counter comprar viagra online colcrys 0.6mg prices prednisone dosage for allergies canadian viagra overnight roxifen gelsons viagra quanto si prende prima when will alli diet pill be available buy cialis online5mg myambutol medicine man levitra 20mg pills alldaychemist drugs baytril tablets dosage for dogs buy cialis phuket prednisolone for dogs no prescription minocycline for acne ratings tylenol dosage chart children disease definition oxford dictionary best generic viagra reviews buy levothyroxine online for cheap buy pain pills online no prescription mirtazapine for dogs side effects where to buy misoprostol in malaysia buy augmentin zolpidem tartrate 10 mg tablet orlistat capsules 120 mg mexican pharmacy no prescription needed kamagra india buy retirides reviews on apidexin paxil side effects in children prednisone for sale in mexico azulfidine 500mg side effects canadian meds 365 purchase viagra usa cialis under the tongue canadian pharmacies no pres elocom w uk clozapine drug cialis professional canada aspirin side effects in children mercury drugstore products list requip generic rls meclizine side effects in dogs obetrol tablet cases olanzapine medication details clavamox no prescription buy etodolac no prescription revatio medication viagra asacol hd patient savings card activation cytotec buy no prescription 10 pills digoxin for sale viagra sale no prescription doxine for prostate infection price of viagra without insurance wirkung viagra generika candian pharmacy online canada cymbalta by mail brand viagra canadaonline drugstore topamax weight loss topamax bipolar lialda prescribing info generic viagra rts minoxidil topical solution usp fluconazole for yeast infections ic ciprofloxacin naproxen vs ibuprofen for swelling aristocort injection side effects ventolin asthma inhaler celexa without a script in aruba lidocaine injection for sale luvox ocd weight gain counterfiet viagra from india stromectol ivermectin scabies where to buy atenolol for anxiety drugs cialis how long to take effect tadalafil australia buy priligy dapoxetine online safely safe place buy cialis online retino a cream to buy sotalol 80 mg side effects geriforte ingredients in meth mexico viagra prices yasmin birth control cheapest viagra overnight shipping lisinopril 20mg with out perscription pharmacies los algodones arava side effects medication aldactone side effects spironolactone himcolin special price 36 1561860 carafate suspension for esophagitis levitra dosage recommended cytoxan chemotherapy for scleroderma diabecon himalaya products online milanuncios mascotas perros buy olistat caffeine and pregnancy tests wholesale levitra supply medameds viagra vs cialis buy fucidin online uk exclusive viagra coupon lantus vs levemir patients differin coupons abana himalaya drug generic atrovent 20mcg inhaler tiotropium respimat kamagra for sale uk free lasaoren removal quinine water crossword clue norvasc 10mg reviews dilantin levels aturan pakai viagra flomax generic availabilty elavil canada careprost eyelash growth fluconazole purchase dalacin antibiotics brand name wellbutrin sr cycline enterprise journal eds drugstore valium vs xanax for sleep north american express drugs on line skelaxin 800mg side effects pharmacy product lisinopril tabs cialis generika billig kaufen ciallis for sale dramamine australia gpchealth coupons for restaurants viagra next day usa can azithromycin cure gonorrhea nyc cialis no prescription levitra dosage information tricor medication coupons priligy kaufen ohne rezept what is generic viagra called motilium tablets side effects plavix side effects mayo clinic buy viagra with prescription online motilium dosage and frequency online check for generic viagra ritalin weight loss drugrobaxin walmart pharmacy tax information fluconazole for dogs 200 mgfluoxetine milanuncios escopetas fertomid success stories lexapro vs celexa medicationlialda can i take 2 unisom pills buy shampoo online where is the safest plac apodefil para que sirve provera medication guide can you buy primatene mist in canada protonix medication over the counter cipa pharmacy price viagra latisse online cialis 100 mgs of clomid nizagara tablets india reviewnizagranizoral cialis overnight delivery cvs shopper puerto rico como usar cytotec cheap hcg for pctgg pheromones perfume for women online viagra without a prescriptuon kegunaan flagyl torsemide 20 mg diuretic definition sinequanone hong kong stores malls duetact 30mg oxycontin rx pharmacy ciallis lorinol tablets at walmart staxyn free trial brand viagra online nexium side effects dapoxetine canada aldactone 100 mg tab etodolac side effects medications quinine side effects in tonic water cheapest ivermectin for horses buy primatene mist inhaler online liposafe ingredients in nyquil polarmeds comcast home alli diet pills for sale keflex 500 mg used for trileptal medication information dapoxetine buy cafergot availability canada where to buy cheap brand viagra potassium nitrate stump remover alphagan eye drops dosage duloxetina acne los algodones pharmacy price list lidoderm pain patches for knee pain water pills and weight loss betnovate cream 0.1 zenerx zenerx side effects epanutin treatment for gout nizoral a d ketoconazole shampoo 1 leukeran for dogs with lymphoma capoten contraindications for flu zithromax 250mg singapore misoprostol en colombia la pela side effects albuterol sulfate buying it protonix generic medication finasteride with free viagra orlistat weight loss drug praziquantel for horses can i buy bactroban over the counter best viagra deals viagra no prescrip canada extenze free sample pack female enhancement desogen generic names asthma treatment geberic lipitor online from india order fertility drugs online chlamydia treatment azithromycin risperdal side effects in women buy accutane from legal chemist bisoprolol fumarate 5mg tab viagra south africa price buy finpecia usa chigualos cortos pixar progynova 2mg untuk apa where can i get levitra pills marcumar drug femara fertility letrozole success non prescription viagra substitutes buy nolvadex without prescription indomethacin dosage for headaches new healthy man complaints plavix generic may 2012 100mg viagra cyclidox 100mg treatment aristocort cream 0.5 buy acivir furosemide 20 mg en espanol qnexa purchase online cheapest tadacip 20mg minocycline 100 mg for dogs pharmacy near memphis tn buy cialis 40 mg online vgr 100 pfizer losartan potassium 50mg picture can you get bactroban over the counter acyclovir ointment 5 side effects aripiprazole generic overnight delivery of viagra in the usa vitamin d and weight loss buy lantus from canada cialis girl pfizer stock closing price today viagra cost in canada lanoxin 0.25 mg daily levitra vs cialis comparison prednisone 12 day dose pack directions purchase crestor online the cheapest price generic viagra lantus price in india generic viagra md pharmacy ranitidine side effects in infants laxifen medicina alternativa levamisole wormer dosage for goats ce este candibene fentanyl withdrawal symptoms drugs dosage for zyban to quit smoking caffeine withdrawal symptoms length of time ou acheter du viagra viagra discount viagra pills 100mg for $99 rollbox toolbox for trucks viagra rezeptfrei kaufen paypal canadian pharmacy cheapest ciailis dilantin on line vasotec contraindications for ultrasound lortab 10 hydrocodone reminyl er 8mg pentrexyl dosage information consultation online viagra viagra saling store in toronto clomid donde puedo comprar thyroxine free blood test lisinopril 20 mg tablet picture maxaman caye caulker belize hotels halliperodol for sale in uk viagra without presciption viagra in tanzania side effects of kamagra 365 pharmacy ornidazole injections doxycycline 100mg and alcohol obetrol adderall withdrawal propecia reviews youtube buy liquid prednisone for cats cialis costco price order amoxicillin online buy accutane fast delivery where can i buy code red 7 ropinirole 1 mg tab captopril 50 mg what is it for doxycap dosage for infant caffeine in coffee and tea meclizine antivert cheapest sildalis 120 mg to g prandin 2mg ac content definition art baclofen for opiate withdrawal symptoms diclofenaco de sodio dosis compare nexium cost at canadian sites estradiol levels where can i find real viagra generika drugstore philippines branches accutane acne treatment before and after buy thyroxine online india flonase otc availability aricept drug diovan overnight buy clomid online uk strongest viagra and ciacis pills irbesartan hydrochlorothiazide 300 25 celexa weight gain celexa side effects viagra samples from the us buy doxycycline online flonase side effects anxiety nexium 20 viagra pfizer 100mg price cheap prozac clindamicina ovulos indicaciones sildenafil pharmacy in cyprus carbimazole 5mg side effect phenergan dosage for children dose viagra 100 canada cuepons ambien cr healthy meds ativan for anxiety disorder buy levitra next day air buy cipro without a prescription sweating after stopping prednisone citalopram 40mg pill identifier best india perscription drugs estradiol cream furosemide online uk viagra 3 day shipping levitra barato where to buy viagra at discountprices baytril antibiotic enrofloxacin for birds 36 hour cialis buy wellbutrin xl 300 mg online procalisx ingredients for lasagna cialis generico dove comprare viagra pills for girls in pakistan strattera medication eprex liturgia de las horas para leukeran side effects in dogs macrodantin 100mg pregnancy harga jual nolvadex levitra withouth prescription cephalexin for dogs side effects viagra pills in chennai ssri online atlantic drugs buy cialis in uk online pletal side effects cilostazol content marketing definition strattera uk zyvox side effects buy nolvadex usa generic viagra whit mastercard best over the counter erection pills online pharmacies isoniazid drug induced hepatitis tadalafil kaufen in deutschland cialis 30 day free trial coupon cialis rx contact cheap thyroxine anavar and proviron cycle prtonix brand without a prescription qsymia weight loss drug coupons printable aciphex 20mg medication doctor imagenes de futbol femenino con frases buy cialis best review flucomed 150mg to g diflucan yeast infection dosage doctor online pharmacy thyroid where to buy prevacid 30 mg salbutamol sulfate cialis fast shipping lialda side effects mesalamine side fincar finasteride 1mgfinpecia saroten retard albanetinfo lesofat pills prices vistaril for sleep aid casodex side effects in men aarp prior authorization form comprar metformina phexin bd 750mg nabumetone can i buy vermox over the counter cipralex 10 mg prospect orderpharma scam school lynoral ingredients for lasagna dosage of revatio for erectile dysfunction primrose oil viagra online 150 mg unisom side effects overdose flow max where to buy cardizem cd 360 phenergan overnight delivery cialis brand name with out precription diflucan pill diamox altitude sickness dose zentel prospect parlodel dosage of tylenol doxepin for sleep reviews microzide 12.5mg dosage can i take 50 mg of cialis yasmine bleeth now cipla acivir 400 dt buyacnelyse buy cialis online in hawaii lidocaine hydrochloride jelly uses furosemide medication what is it for motilium domperidone for breastfeeding mincorp plc programming cyclidox capsules for nespresso salzarex tramadol capsules 100mg viagra plus without prescription lipitor side effects muscle pain statin drugs duloxetine dr 30mg cap i want to buy cialis progesterone cream for men indomethacin 50 mg capsules price of viagra at walgreens buy valtrex online cheap zoloft for anxiety and depression gold vigra equality of men and women in the us depo provera injection no rx sarafem online overnight what is ephedraxin buy lexapro online us pharmacy allegra d 12 hour to buy flagyl antibiotic used to treat sinus infections 100mg viagra dosage recommendations buying wellbutrin from mexico levaquin side effects levaquin 500mg morphine band
Home The Industry Matchmakers
Written by Trina Laube   
Wednesday, 01 October 2008 00:00
Danny Shapiro started retailing dolls, bears and toys through The Toy Shoppe in 1975. Here, he and wife Barrie are pictured with an Annette Himstedt doll. The Toy Shoppe was the first retailer to offer Himstedt’s dolls in the United States. Recipients of the 2008 Lifetime Achievement Award, the duo’s success has come in part because of their close relationships with artists and collectors alike. Since Danny Shapiro opened The Toy Shoppe in Richmond, Va., in 1975, he and his wife, Barrie, have paired hundreds, perhaps thousands, of collectors with the highest quality dolls and teddy bears. The Shapiros are matchmakers, relationship experts. Above and beyond anything else, they are partners.

“Danny and I are such a unique team,” shares Barrie, who met Danny in the shopping center where the original Toy Shoppe was located (the store has since relocated to a business park). “It works. There’s no conflict between the two of us. We fill in where the other one doesn’t like to be.” While Barrie generally focuses on the artistic side of things, Danny deals more with business matters. Both enjoy working closely with collectors and artists.

“We love what we do. I couldn’t imagine life without The Toy Shoppe. I love the people we’re involved with,” Danny says.

“I think we both have this feeling with the shop that we’re so proud of what we represent and for what we’re able to do for the artists,” Barrie adds.

Their efforts on behalf of the designers do not go unnoticed. Doll artist Berdine Creedy, of Berdine Creedy Originals in Gainesville, Fla., remembers admiring The Toy Shoppe’s magazine advertisements when she came to the United States from South Africa in 1996. “I always thought what a privilege it would be if they asked me one day to sell my dolls in their shop,” she says. “But I waited and waited patiently for a few years. When it was my 10-year anniversary I met them in my booth at IDEX, and they ordered some dolls and also asked for a shop exclusive. My heart was pounding that year, and I knew I had made it!”

Choosing Favorites
The Shapiros’ reputation for offering the highest quality dolls, bears and toys is one they have worked hard to achieve and maintain. Whether creating advertisements to showcase their latest offerings, publishing a stunning catalog that serves as a picture book of collectors’ dreams, setting up gallery-like displays in their shop, or determining which dolls and bears to offer collectors, the couple keeps one thing in mind above all others: quality counts.

When selecting pieces to offer through The Toy Shoppe, Danny says he looks at the quality of design, artisanship and material used. “It starts with design,” he explains. “How does this feel? How does this look? There are a lot of things that are going through your mind. ... Is it something that’s just a copy rather than really original?”

Finding unique pieces for their customers is something the Shapiros pride themselves on. They often work with artists and manufacturers to design limited-edition shop exclusives that are second to none.

R. John Wright’s “The Little Prince,” inspired by the character from the book of the same name by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, was the first exclusive piece made for The Toy Shoppe. “John had come to us in the early ’80s and asked if I’d like to have something done specifically for The Toy Shoppe,” Danny recalls. “I’ve read [that book] dozens of times. It was a classic that really touched me emotionally. I thought John could bring the character to life.”

The Shapiros were not disappointed—nor were the many collectors who added the striking doll to their collections. Since then, R. John Wright and his creative partner and wife, Susan, have created several more sought-after shop exclusives for The Toy Shoppe, as have a number of other companies and artists—Lynne and Michael Roche, Elisabeth Pongratz, Alexander Doll Co. and Tonner Doll Co., to name a few.

Building a Dream
The beautiful bears and alluring dolls beckon to customers from the gallery-style showroom at the Shapiros’ store and from the gorgeous catalogs and attractive Web site where The Toy Shoppe showcases its superior offerings.

“I consider The Toy Shoppe an art gallery,” says Wanda Miller, a doll and bear collector who lives in Richmond, about 20 minutes from The Toy Shoppe. “While it has dolls and bears from many different price ranges, the gallery is extraordinary. Exquisite dolls are displayed in vignettes that are incredible. Barrie and Danny are so gracious in answering questions and providing explanations about the various dolls, bears and artists to new visitors to the gallery. Many new collectors are born following a visit to the gallery.”

Danny understands the emotional pull toys, particularly bears and dolls, can have on children and children-at-heart. He recalls going to FAO Schwarz in the 1950s and “your eyes popping because you saw so many fabulous things. That’s how retailing can inspire. Good stores can be inspirational for children and adults, too.”

A native of Richmond, Danny got started in the toy business when he began working with his father, a mainstream toy wholesaler, after college. But Danny says his real love was for the imported and specialty toys from Europe. He has long been attracted to toys of the past. In college at Washington and Lee University in Lexington, Va., he began as a business major. “I hated it,” he says. “I then went back to my love: history. It could explain some of my love of older objects. I definitely have an affinity for antique toys and antique dolls. All of these makers whose work we love to sell … are very much connected to the past.”

In the beginning especially, The Toy Shoppe specialized in all kinds of toys, particularly wooden ones. But the emphasis was always on dolls, teddy bears and stuffed animals. “Remember, most of the toys that are made are functional, inanimate objects, but a doll and a teddy bear have a direct connection to human emotion and animal instinct,” Danny notes. “So there’s that deep connection to your past. That’s what I think is so special about dolls and teddy bears. And they are really difficult to create as compared to many other types of toys.”

Barrie shares Danny’s affection for toys of the past. “I have always had a fascination and a love of toys. I’ve always loved finely crafted things,” Barrie says. “I like the open-endedness especially that the articulated dolls allow you, creating your own stories and using your imagination. The dolls I’m really drawn to allow that. Dolls that can be posed are the first ones that appeal to me. It’s the magical mix of emotion, warmth and humor. Some the materials used are reminiscent of another time.”

Barrie with “Cissy” as Collector Connection
While tuning in the allure of the past, the Shapiros always keep their collectors in mind. “We get to know our collectors well enough to kind of take them in directions they wouldn’t have normally gone,” Barrie notes. Whether offering artists suggestions for exclusives or calling up customers to tell them about a doll or bear they think will be the next great addition to their collections, the dedicated shop owners seem instinctively to know what will tug at collectors’ heartstrings.

“Barrie and Danny are warm individuals who are really interested in promoting the art of doll and bear collecting. We share the same philosophy in that we consider our dolls and bears to be works of art,” says Miller, a Toy Shoppe customer since the early 1980s. “We appreciate the use of expression, color, texture and proportion in our dolls as you would a beautiful painting. I have learned so much from them over the years and look forward to our conversations. They develop an interest in the individual and their collection. They share their knowledge and offer suggestions that enhance a collection. It is not unusual for them to pick up a phone and chat about a new artist or piece from a favorite artist that they think the collector will appreciate.”

When Miller’s beloved schnauzer, Winston, passed away, her sister gave Barrie and Danny a call to purchase a soft-sculpture schnauzer in remembrance of her pet—but the Shapiros had an original idea. “They suggested that a wonderful memory could be created by having an oil-painted canvas of a favorite picture incorporated into a fabulous bear. They worked with the artist and my family to create this treasure that captures the spirit of my Winston,” Miller says of the Oz Matilda bear the Shapiros helped her sister to have made for her. Her sweet schnauzer is memorialized in a painting on the bear’s belly.

Creating lasting memories—and lasting friendships—is what the doll and bear business is all about for the Shapiros and their staff of 16 dedicated employees. “The real fun is still finding the beautiful object and then being able to show it to someone who would love it,” Danny says.

Derie Trujillo, a dentist, says her relationship with the Shapiros began when she was looking for a few dolls with teeth. “It certainly turned into much more,” says the collector from Westminster, Colo. The first doll with a toothy grin that caught her eye was Zwergnase’s 2002 “Annemore.” “I called The Toy Shoppe for the first time ever and spoke with Danny,” she recalls. “He was so nice and took the time to fill me in on the Zwergnase dolls and also sent me more literature on dolls he felt I might like. There was no pressure to buy anything; he just wanted to guide me in a fun and positive direction. I had not been collecting until that time, and the rest is history.”

Trujillo says she has “always had the utmost respect for Danny and Barrie. They are both very nice people, and I truly believe they enjoy what they do, as it shows in the enthusiasm in their voices and the fact that they take the time to learn what a collector really wants. They are teachers of collecting. I have learned so much about my beautiful dolls from them. I think it is great that they are so familiar with so many artists; it makes me feel comfortable buying an artist doll from them, as I feel they are guiding me in the direction I want my collection to go.”

Collector Mary Helmers of Saratoga, Calif., agrees with Trujillo. “Barrie and Danny are extremely friendly and very knowledgeable in the collectible market,” she says. “Their honesty allows me to know that what they tell me is extremely reliable. I can’t say that about 99 percent of the people I’ve dealt with in this world.”

The Business of Friendship
Artists, too, cherish the relationships they have with Danny and Barrie. “They are always friendly and very supportive,” German doll artist Heidi Plusczok says of the Shapiros. “They are highly involved with the collectors and are excellent representatives of my work. They are ... at events and in close contact with the collectors, bringing so much life into the doll business.”

Annette Himstedt, also a German doll artist, treasures the special bond she has developed with the Shapiros, too.  “Over the years our relationship has turned from an extremely good business relationship between Barrie, Danny and myself into a great friendship, which I wouldn’t want to do without,” she says. “They both have an unbelievable sense of humor, which has often proved to be a great source of comfort. Something that is outstanding about both Barrie and Danny is the fact that with all the fun we’ve had together, the business … never got neglected.”

Barrie, in particular, is quick to share stories of special moments with artists and collectors.  “Every day when I come into work and I have something new waiting for me, whether it’s on the computer from an artist with something new or a box I’ve come back to the warehouse with, I feel like it’s my birthday,” Barrie says. “I can honestly say I feel like I make new friends every day.”

She fondly remembers one collector who never fails to make her “job” even more rewarding. “When she comes into the store and you put the doll in her hand and she sees these dolls, you light up because she lights up,” Barrie shares. “It’s like that sense of discovery by collectors of something new. It’s magically transformed doll collections into ser­ious art collections and, often, into emotional collections.”

It is a true labor of love as the Shapiros and their equally enthusiastic staff share their passion with one another as well as with collectors and artists worldwide. “I feel … these last 30 years I’m looking at this patchwork quilt of magical moments spent with all these artists,” Danny says.

“I know what we’ve done in our own hearts and in our own home here at the shop and how happy we’ve made collectors,” Barrie adds. “And I know what we’ve done for the market. I’m really, really fortunate in that we both believe that anything that you do, you do well.”

Receiving Recognition
In August 2008, at the Doll & Teddy Bear EXPO in Washington, D.C., the publishers of DOLLS and Teddy Bear Review magazines are recognizing the Shapiros’ dedication, hard work and ability to inspire by awarding The Toy Shoppe with the Jones Publishing Lifetime Achievement Award. “We are especially excited to honor Danny and Barrie with the Lifetime Achievement Award,” says Joe Jones, president of Jones Publishing in Iola, Wis. “This marks a milestone since they are the first retailers ever selected to receive this award. They are known and respected by artists worldwide and, in many instances, they have been instrumental in the success of a new artist. I am certain there is unanimous agreement in the professional world that the doll and bear collector world is better served with the expertise, dedication and love of the industry that this team brings to the marketplace.”

Danny and Barrie are humbled by the recognition. “I feel very honored and I feel very proud because we are being acknowledged for running our business well, and I’m so proud of Danny for what he created and love that we worked as a team,” Barrie notes.

“I think one of the greatest opportunities is having this great relationship with my partner, who is my husband,” she continues. “We love to eat; we love wine. Friday night is still our romantic night, and we can still close down the restaurant. Work is not tedious. … It’s just a really good part of my life. I could not even imagine it any other way.”


TrackBack URI for this entry

Comments (1)

Subscribe to this comment's feed
Dear Danny and Barrie,

You have done so much for so many. WIthout your help I would never have become a professional doll maker. You motivated me to work through some very difficult times in my life. Taking me to the Toy Fair in NYC in 1990 was the beginning of my career. I owe you more than you will ever know. For that matter, the 36,000 students I've taught over the years would likely not have had a teacher without your influence. I love you both. Your friend, Jack
Jack Johnston , April 09, 2009 | url

Write comment

smaller | bigger