Title: Chief Executive Officer
Company: Toy Tokyo
Location: 91 Second Avenue, New York , New York 10003
Israel “Lev” Levarek, Chief Executive Officer at Toy Tokyo, has been recognized by Marquis Who’s Who Top Executives for dedication, achievements, and leadership in collectible toy sales.
Since 2000, Mr. Levarek has prospered as chief executive officer of Toy Tokyo, an East Village, New York City emporium featuring rare and collectible toys and a premier location to find merchandise from famed toy designers such as Funko, Kaws and Ron English. In addition, unique vintage toys, model kits, games, dolls, and stuffed toys are also offered. Toy Tokyo specializes in rare and collectible Godzilla merchandise including everything from full-body Godzillas to build-it-yourself models, some of which are rare and sell for more than $600. The store has been voted Best Toy Store of the Year by Clutter Magazine, a premier source for counterculture and art toy information.
Mr. Levarek, a toy aficionado long past his youth, sold his Batman figurine collection to fund his enterprise, with which he remains a hands-on executive. He searches for trendy or popular items and makes deals for the limited items that are only sold at their store and on their website. He maintains a warehouse in New Jersey from which he personally trucks items to the store’s 2nd Avenue location.
A graduate of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Mr. Levarek has been a world traveler, spending a year in India, then traveling to Katmandu, trekking in the Himalayas, visiting Iran and Afghanistan, as well as living in Israel for six years and Japan. What drew him into the toy business was his love of going to antique shows, but he noticed that one thing was missing from the shows: vintage toys. Mr. Levarek saw a niche that he could fill and that is what prompted him to collect vintage robots, which were also his first purchases.
Before opening Toy Tokyo, Mr. Levarek operated a mail-order toy business entitled “It’s a Small World” which, he says, produced the first 4-color catalog exclusively devoted to toy sales. On its first day of release, he realized $85,000 in sales. In the coming years, he intends to expand, opening stores in Bellevue, Washington and Xinjiang, China in its Future City shopping mall. In addition, Mr. Levarek hopes to open a museum for his artifacts, toys, and collectibles in either Manhattan or New Jersey.
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