TTC merchandise commentary in Eye Weekly

Liz Clayton has a story this week in Eye about the new store TTC Transit Stuff (she also wrote about Spacing’s subway buttons). Read the full article, but first a quote:

…so it was with high hopes that we greeted the quiet opening last month of a little store in the TTC’s portion of Union Station. TTC Transit Stuff, as it is named with nearly postmodern utilitarianism, is the first formal TTC merchandising effort in many years. (An official gift shop once existed at Davisville head office, but the space was taken over by the headquarters of operations for the Metropass.) For those fans who tirelessly collect lapel pins, thrifted TTC neckties and ready-to-assemble cardboard streetcars, the news of the store brought fetishistic excitement. From a transit-advocacy standpoint, it seemed like a positive sign that the TTC had caught on to the stylish and geeky civic cachet of its brand and was extending its marketing efforts more broadly to a community that has been expressing a mostly unrequited transit love.

Yet the new store, which will formally open with a Mike Filey¬≠hosted celebration and refreshments at 10am on Sept. 28, is less a realization of the marketing potential of urban iconography than it is a sort of CNE-grade t-shirt store. The merchandise, produced by Woodbridge-based licensee Legacy Sportswear, is of a strictly corporate-giveaway ilk — the items that are not clothing are limited to the odd gift pen; there’s nary even a token holder in sight. Oh, and it’s also in the fare-paid area — so you might want to save your visit for a time when you’re already using the system.

Photo by Bryan Partington

16 comments

  1. They do have token-holders, I know because my friend bought one. You just have to ask the person on duty in the store for them. They don’t make up for the rest of the store though.

  2. I visited the store, and it was quite a let down. The apparel was even worth purchasing, sadly.

    The store is an example of the cash problems that constantly plagues the system.

  3. All of their merchandise looks like they bought stock designs and simply put “TTC” in the designated blank spots.

    Pitiful.

    The guy who runs the merchandising company is completely out of touch. He must have a close friend in the TTC management.

  4. They’ve started selling weird PEZ dispenser-like token holders for $2. They look like they’d hold a bunch of tokens – at least 50, possibly 55.

  5. My boy desperately wants a toy streetcar. We just searched to see if a TTC store existed and discovered this site. This comes after an evening spent trying to create our own model street car. It’s sadly disappointing that Toronto hasn’t found a way to further market the city through our unique transit system. Streetcars were one of my sons first loves and at age four, one of his biggest treats is still a chance to ride one. By now we would likely have purchased many models had they been available.

  6. Tokens Yuk !!! Easy to lose and handle in purse or wallet.But I guess we are stuck with them come the end od Sept.
    But what if someone came up with a really good handling system . It can easily fit in wallet or purse or pockets???
    Need some feedback on this,I have tested my prototype for a couple of months now and works fine.
    Would you be interested in an investment of $2.00 > $3.00 for the device which could hold 10 tokens and can be re-used .
    I need customer help on this.Just leave comments
    Thanks,
    Sandy

  7. Anji, You can buy TTC model street cars at Toy Terminal at the Queens Quay Terminal building (York and Queens Quay). Expect to pay $150. The quality is very good. I bought one for my 4 year son and he just loves. It is a collectors piece, but try telling that to a 4 year old.

  8. I’m interested in purchasing a token holder.
    I bought one years ago in the shape of a wheel (holds 10 – 5 on each side) with a TTC logo in the centre. They used to sell one that was basically a long flat tube that fit 5 stacks of two. BOth items were a key chain. I lost one but covet my “wheel” – its attached to the tag in my purse and is easily pulled out. I wanted to get another of the thin versions but alas no go.
    help!
    Ruby

  9. Hello,

    I was looking to buy a ttc car for my nephew. I will definitely look into this TOY TERMINAL’ too bad there isnt anything in between the paper cut outs and the collectible model.

    On a side note; does anyone know how much a button cost there?

  10. I just checked out the TTC transit store. It’s terrible. There are token holders for 50. I also went to Toy Terminal – they don’t have the streetcar anymore. The salesperson says “no one has TTC trains, streetcars, or buses”.

    Worse, when I went to Customer Service at Davisville, the agent herself suggested I go to the TTC transit store at Union if I wanted die-cast toy TTC streetcars etc. They should really set up a store at Bloor and Yonge or Davisville. I have to say that the paper ones are not as bad as I thought – the paper is a heavier weight than most other paper vehicles. The agent tells me they cost the TTC $2 each. So why don’t they sell some die cast ones instead?

  11. Sandy, if you’re out there can you contact me about your product via 416-922-0077?

    Thanks, Ed Drass

  12. Ruby, I once tracked down the patent of a flat red “wheel” TTC token holder. The patent holder (from the UK) has been tough to locate; out-of-service phone numbers, etc. More sleuthing is necessary.

  13. Hi Ed
    Just going through the patent process now,looking into mfg and funding for the business.
    Bit out of my field /medical devices/regulatory affairs/product development.
    Gave you a call and left message if you did receive get back to me at 416-840-5765
    My Best Regards
    Sandy

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