About Us

Established over 40 years ago in Corbridge Upon Tyne in Northumberland, TOBAR Group Trading Ltd began its journey in the toy business with a small mail order company founded by Sid Templer.

As words always interested the founder, the choice of name for his new venture was no light matter. In the end, Sid settled on TOBAR, which came from the first two and a half letters of his only two then-born sons, Toby and Barnaby.

With the first invoice dated 6th April 1973, the company began life with only 30 lines, eight of which, including wooden dolls, animal clickers and yo-yos, the group still supplies today.

A few years down the line and it’s revealed how the now nationally known ‘Hawkin’s Bazaar’ got its name. Having moved premises in 1976 to a disused pub called the Hawk Inn, Sid, realising that the company could save a line in their address, persuaded the Post Office that they could cope with a transition from Hawk Inn to Hawkin. The name ‘Hawkin’s & Co’ was officially born, with the ‘Bazaar’ added in a few years later.

Come 1989 and the group was on the move again, this time to a converted Farm House and barns at Elm House in St Margarets. It was also around this time that Sid stepped down from the business and passed the reins onto his son Toby.

After nearly two decades of successful mail order trading, the first associated shop opened in Salisbury. From there, Hawkin’s Bazaar bred into a chain of treasured high street stores across the UK, allowing customers to see, touch and often have a play with a range of products before buying them.

In the mid-90s, the internet came along, changing the world of commerce forever. Both the wholesale and retail businesses joined the digital revolution with www.hawkin.com and www.tobar.co.uk launched in 1998.

Nearly 10 years on and the group moved premises again, this time settling into a purpose built all-in-one £10m warehouse in Worlingham, Suffolk in 2007.

The same year, the group launched Stocking Fillers, along with a new catalogue and website. Created as a company dedicated to affordable little toys and curios for Christmas stockings, the brand fitted perfectly into the group’s offering.

In 2010, having sold into the French market for over a decade, the group obtained its first European wholesale branch TOBAR France, complementing its range of international distributors and agents built up across Europe over the years.

Come early 2012 and TOBAR Group went through a period of dramatic restructuring. After enhancing, re-strategising and streamlining the business, the group came out the other side better than ever before, and in summer 2012, re-launched the Hawkin’s Bazaar website, alongside the catalogue refresh, and developed plans to retain Hawkin’s Bazaar’s long-established presence on the British high street with a stable group of core stores.

During this period, a new CEO, David Mordecai, was brought on board in time to see TOBAR into its 40th birthday in April 2013, placing the group in a strong position to look forward to the next 40 years in the toy business.

Tobar Group Trading Limited
Yare House, 62-64 Thorpe Road, Norwich, Norfolk, NR1 1RY, UK Registered in England No. 07845411. Registered office as above.