Our Story

Mission

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We’re proud to be Canada’s largest specialty toy and children’s book retailer.

We strive to be your toy store of choice by providing:

  • the very best toys, games and books. We’ve been in the toy business for more than 30 years, and we take play seriously! We’re proud to offer more than 10,000 top-quality toys, games and books, all hand-selected by our team from among the very best brands around the world.
  • knowledgeable, friendly staff. We want you to ask us questions! We’re toy experts—always up on the latest, greatest toys, games and books and always keen to share our knowledge. We’re delighted to help you find the perfect gift for a budding artist, dinosaur fanatic, amateur scientist or voracious reader.
  • a safe, fun, and inviting shopping environment. We want kids and grownups alike to get a thrill when they walk into our stores. We like it bright, colourful and interactive: feel free to wander and wonder, poke, prod and discover!
  • complimentary gift-wrapping. We believe a gift should get a smile from a mile away. Just watch kids’ eyes light up when they see our signature Mastermind Toys gift wrap and curly bows! You choose the paper style; we do the rest—for free, every day, in all our stores.

Our story

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Fostering fun for more than 30 years.

1984

Brothers Andy and Jon Levy open Mastermind: The Educational Computer Store in Toronto. It’s a 300-square foot shop offering educational software to families excited about their new home computers.

1985

The Mastermind crew discovers they really love meeting and helping families with young children. They want to offer more than just computer games, so they open a second shop: Mastermind Educational. Early on, they pledge to carry only the very best toys, games and books—things they really love. So they become curators, venturing into unusual markets all over the world to discover special items with a real “wow factor.”

1986

The Levys successfully bid to open a shop in the Ontario Science Centre, Toronto’s hugely popular interactive science museum. Mastermind Toys and the OSC are a perfect fit, with more than one million curious kids and their families visiting each year.

1989

A woman on her way to a birthday party asks, “Where is your wrapping paper section?” She gets a terrific gift—and gives the staff a great idea. Mastermind Toys begins offering complimentary in-store gift-wrapping and our signature wrap and curly bow make their debut!

The 1990s

Over the next decade, Mastermind Toys grows to a total of 10 locations across the greater Toronto area. Its reputation as a “smart little toy store” is built on two things: the Levy brothers’ insatiable curiosity and unfailing attention to feedback. Then and now, customer suggestions, requests and questions help to refine Mastermind Toys’ unparalleled selection.

1999

Mastermind Toys reinvents their store locations with a fresh logo and colour scheme - a larger format, and whole new look and feel. Even better: they launch their first website - mastermindtoys.com - and welcome customers from across Canada and the United States.

2007

The Levys open their eleventh store in the greater Toronto area. As independent owners they’ve grown their company into a remarkable local brand.

2010

Mastermind Toys celebrates 25 years in business—and is ready to grow again. The vision: to bring their top-quality selection and exceptional customer service to toy-lovers across Canada. In partnership with Birch Hill Private Equity, Mastermind Toys prepares to expand. Co-founder Andy Levy retires; Jon Levy stays on as CEO and CTB—that’s Chief Toy Buyer, of course. Most importantly, Mastermind Toys continues to be proudly owned and operated by Canadians.

2011

Humphrey Kadaner joins Mastermind Toys as President and Chief Operating Officer to help with plans to expand the Mastermind brand to more than 50 stores across Canada. Expansion begins with new stores in Burlington and London, Ontario.

2012

Mastermind Toys stores open the doors at seven new Ontario locations, bringing the friendly, knowledgeable toy store to new and welcoming neighbourhoods.

2013

Mastermind Toys reaches two milestones opening their first locations in British Columbia and Alberta—both of which are greeted with enthusiasm. By year’s end, several more Ontario stores celebrate their Grand Openings, bringing to 18 the total number of new Mastermind Toys locations in the three years since partnering with Birch Hill.

2014

Growth continues with seven new stores in Alberta, British Columbia and Ontario. So Mastermind Toys sets a new goal: to be operating more than 75 stores across Canada within the next five years.

2015

Mastermind Toys achieves another first, opening its first Manitoba store in Winnipeg. It brings to 10 the number of new locations opened that year, chiefly in Alberta and Ontario.

Mastermind Toys also launches a partnership with WE that raises more than $200,000 to support youth education in Canada and overseas.

2016

Store expansion continues with three new locations in British Columbia, Regina and Saskatoon.

Alongside our charitable partner WE, Mastermind Toys continues to inspire young people to create better communities and a better world, raising $400,000 and making a difference at home and overseas.

2017

In its thirty-third year, Mastermind Toys celebrates with a brand-new website. Redesigned to offer a more satisfying, streamlined shopping experience, the new mastermindtoys.com is a website worthy of Canada's largest specialty toy and children’s book retailer. Real-world expansion continues as well, with ten new locations slated to open, including their first stores in Atlantic Canada.

Fun facts

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We know a few things about fun—here are a few fun things about us!

  • The very first Mastermind Toys store opened in Toronto on July 6, 1984. It was just 300 square feet: smaller than the average hotel room.
  • We’ve been wrapping your gifts in our signature wrapping paper and curly bow for free since 1989—and we were the first major retail toy store to do so.
  • We add more than 2 million curly bows to our gifts each year. That’s enough to cover the ice surfaces at all seven Canadian NHL arenas.
  • Every year our team of toy experts travels more than 250,000 km across three continents to discover the best and most fun toys in the world. That’s like traveling the entire Trans Canada Highway more than 30 times.
  • One of the first toys we sold at Mastermind Toys more than 30 years ago was a classic marble run or kugelbahn. We still carry that exact model today.
  • Our largest-ever toy is an enormous Hansa elephant: he stands six feet tall and measures more than 10 feet long.
  • We sell an estimated 150 million LEGO® bricks every year: that’s four for every Canadian to step on (and about 10,000 left over to get sucked up in the vacuum).
  • The first books ever sold at Mastermind Toys were by Dr. Seuss. Our most popular Canadian author to date is Robert Munsch, whose classics Mortimer and Love You Forever have remained popular year after year.
  • The toy that Mastermind Toys has carried the longest is the Rubik’s Cube, first introduced to our stores in the 1980s and still hugely popular today.
  • We fill more than 250,000 loot bags every year: that’s a lot of Silly Putty and Mini-Slinkies!
  • We sell more than 4,000 Beanie Boos every week: that’s more than four times the animal population of the Calgary Zoo.
  • The number-one bestselling game at Mastermind Toys is Spot It! (It helps that there are so many variations and that it’s super-portable.)
  • Mastermind Toys customers have included such famous Canadians as Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Sophie Grégoire-Trudeau, singer Michael Bublé, Barenaked Ladies frontman Ed Robertson and even deadmau5’s mom—who was not, we are told, wearing a mouse-ear helmet!

At a glance

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Here are some quick facts about us.

Corporation name

Mastermind LP

Company history                              

Founded in 1984 by brothers Andy and Jon Levy, Mastermind Toys began as a single 300-square-foot store in Toronto selling educational software and home computers. Mastermind Toys has since grown to become Canada’s largest privately owned, specialty toy and children’s book retailer, selling online at MastermindToys.com and in more than 50 locations in five provinces: Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, Ontario and Saskatchewan.

Co-Founder (Retired)

Andy Levy

CEO, Chief Toy Buyer & Co-Founder

Jon Levy

President & Chief Operating Officer

Humphrey Kadaner

Home Office

415 Milner Avenue
Toronto, ON, Canada
M1B 2L1
416.321.8984

Website

mastermindtoys.com

Store workforce

~725 employees (Full- and part-time)

Home Office workforce

102 employees

Average store size

5,000 square feet

Home Office, warehouse & distribution centre

96,000 square feet

Product selection                             

Mastermind Toys is proud to offer a handpicked selection of more than 6,000 specialty toys and more than 4,000 children’s book titles.

Premium brands include: ALEX, BRIO Trains, Calico Critters, Creativity for Kids, Hansa, Hape, Kapla Blocks, LEGO®, Meccano, Our Generation Dolls, PLAYMOBIL, Ravensburger Puzzles, and Ty.

Services

Mastermind Toys is proud to offer complimentary gift-wrapping on all in-store purchases. Gift-wrapping and personalized gift tags are also available for online purchases for a nominal fee.

Giving back

Each and every year, Mastermind Toys supports diverse family-related, non-profit organizations in the communities in which we operate.

In 2015, Mastermind Toys also partnered with WE, a movement that empowers people to change the world. Together, our organization’s efforts are providing Canadian students with tools like leadership training and classroom activities to learn about social issues they care about – and then become agents of change. Overseas, efforts are supporting WE villages, building classrooms in Kenyan communities, helping to renovate and refurbish existing schools, train teachers and launch extracurricular activities for students. Alongside our exceptional customers, Mastermind Toys has raised more than $600,000 to date to support these youth education initiatives in Canada and overseas.

Store locations: 50 and growing     

Alberta

  • Calgary – Country Hills
  • Calgary – McKenzie Towne
  • Calgary – Shawnessy
  • Calgary – Westhills  
  • Edmonton – Sherwood Park
  • Edmonton – South Edmonton Common
  • Edmonton – Terra Losa
  • Edmonton – Windermere
  • Grande Prairie
  • Lethbridge
  • Red Deer

British Columbia

  • Abbottsford
  • Coquitlam
  • Langley
  • Tsawwassen

Manitoba

  • Winnipeg

Ontario – East

  • Barrhaven
  • Kanata
  • Kingston
  • Ottawa
  • Peterborough

Ontario – Greater Toronto Area

  • Aurora
  • Brampton
  • Burlington
  • Etobicoke
  • Markham
  • Milton
  • Mississauga – Central
  • Mississauga – Erin Mills
  • Newmarket
  • Oakville
  • Oshawa
  • Pickering
  • Richmond Hill
  • Scarborough Outlet
  • Toronto – Bayview Village
  • Toronto – The Beach
  • Toronto – Mt. Pleasant/Eglinton
  • Toronto – Yonge/Lawrence
  • Vaughan

Ontario – North & Central

  • Barrie

Ontario – West

  • Ancaster
  • Cambridge
  • Guelph
  • London North
  • London South
  • St. Catharines
  • Waterloo
  • Windsor

Saskatchewan

  • Regina
  • Saskatoon

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