Posted by marc July 28, 2016

Many designer toy stores have come and gone over the years and Chicago's Rotofugi - four-time winner of the Designer Toy Awards - are the latest up against a wall. Owners Kirby and Whitney Kerr have put out a call for help. They need to raise about $25,000 according to DNAinfo and are asking for anyone who's been on the fence about buying any designer toys to grab 'em now. Here's their full letter to their fans, so take a gander and then treat yo'self and treat Rotofugi at the same time!

Hi there,
Kirby and Whitney from Rotofugi here. We're writing today because we could really use your help.
We just celebrated our 12th anniversary as a business, but to be completely transparent with you, it's been quite bittersweet. On one hand, we're extremely proud of reaching this milestone, but the plain and simple fact is that we're just barely making it as a business.
Pretty much since 2008 when the global economy took a dive we've been just getting by, and relying heavily on things like a line of credit from our bank, credit cards and loans to keep Rotofugi from becoming a casualty like many other designer toy sellers.
Until this past 6 months or so we always managed to juggle the bills, buy inventory and keep the train moving forward, even if we weren't getting out of debt. But the last 6 months have been, frankly, brutal. Sales of designer toys are down significantly, and while we've made some moves to offer more pop culture figures and things like classes, the fact is that it's not making up for the drop.
As of this week, we've exhausted our credit and made cuts to just about every aspect of our business to the point where it's hard to find anything else to cut without slimming down our already small staff. If we do that we fear that the short term gains would quickly disappear as we wouldn't be able to provide the level of customer service that our customers deserve, and frankly, we see our staff as our family and can't imagine letting anyone go.
So why are we telling you this now?
It's actually really simple. If you'd like to see us stick around, and you've had your eye on a toy or a piece of artwork, now would be a great time for you to buy it. We're not looking for a handout, but at the same time, we need your business now more than we ever have.
In addition to shopping on, we have also started listing toys from our personal collection on eBay (seller name: rotofugistore), so maybe you'll find something there you'd like to grab. Every little bit will help.
We have some concrete plans in place to offer more services and with a little luck, increase our revenue to a point of sustainability, but if we don't get over this immediate hurdle we may not be able to get that far.
Thanks and we hope you have a great rest of the week.
Whitney & Kirby Kerr



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