Who was Benjamin Pollock?
Benjamin Pollock was a Victorian publisher of the toy theatre, known as ‘the penny plain and twopence coloured’ from his shop in Hoxton, London. He died in 1937. The shop has been kept going in his name ever since.
How long has the shop been open?
1n 2024 we celebrate #44yearsat44. Benjamin Pollock’s Toyshop is the only original shop from 1980 when London’s old fruit and vegetable market was turned into a shopping centre. It is one of the few independent shops left in Covent Garden and stand alone toyshops in Central London.
Are you connected to Pollock’s Toy Museum?
We have a shared history which can be read here. Pollock’s Toy Museum was a much loved historic London Museum opened by Marguerite Fawdry in the late 1960s. After her death in 1995 it was owned and operated by the Fawdry family with a trust set up to look after the collection. The Fawdry family along with the trust closed the Museum at the beginning of 2023. The Museum trust no longer have a permanent space. We have been a separate business from Pollock’s Toy Museum since 1988.
Who owns the rights to Pollock’s Toy Theatres?
We do, please contact us if you wish to use any Pollock’s imagery. You can find out more here.
Can I donate a Pollock’s Toy Theatre to you?
We cannot accept donations on behalf of the Museum, due to the size of our shop. Email us if you have a toy theatre you wish to sell. Any donations given to the shop will be sold and will go to a good home!
We recommend for selling (and buying) vintage toys the specialist toy auction house Vectis
We recommend for donating toys, buying vintage toys and also for donation requests the excellent toy recycling project in London The Toy Project
Do you sell accessories for original toy theatres?
Again, due to the size and location of the shop we cannot keep a large stock of now hard to find accessories for the toy theatre. However, they can be found online. Try the Toy Theatre Gallery in Glasgow for Pollock’s play reprints and wire slides. We do have a rotating stock of vintage and antique sheets in the shop and will be happy to answer any questions by email or in the shop. We ourselves do not sell any of these items online.
Why do you not sell all your toys online?
We are a bricks and mortar shop and we wish to preserve the ambience of ‘shopping’. Hence we recommend that you visit the shop if you can to see our ever changing selection. Our website carries mainly our own brand toy theatres. Orders are not shipped directly from the shop due to the size and location and to give you the best mail order service possible. For more information on our Mail Order Service including delivery prices and customs read here.
Are you wheelchair/pushchair accessible?
Unfortunately, due to us being on the first floor of a heritage building we are not wheelchair accessible. Please contact Covent Garden London with any accessibility issues in Covent Garden
Can I bring a school group to visit?
The shop is small and so school groups can be hard to accommodate, however if you email us in advance with visitor numbers then we can let you know if it will be possible and we will always be happy to try and help.
Do you allow filming in the shop?
We allow filming for non-commercial uses as a customer. Press Enquiries here
I’m an artist/illustrator, do you ever commission artists to make toy theatres?
We do have lots of requests from artists to collaborate with and we would like to work with all of them! We love seeing your work, however at the moment we are having a pause from creating new products. However, do not hesitate to drop us a line.
I have a toy brand or an idea for a toy, how do I contact you?
Send us an email and a follow up visit (with biscuits!) as it’s always helpful to put a name to a face.
Do you have any job vacancies?
We do not currently but we are always interested in genuine CVS for seasonal work (School/college holidays including Christmas)