Tag Archives: ecommerce

First Post from our New Site!

This is the first blog post from our new website at comacotoys.com which went live on Monday 16th November – looking good!

We look forward to receiving your feedback on the new design and functionality. A few tweaks are still ongoing so bear with us if there is the odd glitch. However if something is not working or really bugging you please do let us know!

This is a very short post to begin with, but to wet your appetite here are a few nice Christmas toys newly in stock:

New Website is ready!

A very short post to tell you all our new website is ready and should be launched on Monday 16th November. We would have hoped for a few weeks earlier but these things happen!

The primary domain will now be comacotoys.com, although old comacodirect links should still redirect you there. Here is the new simplified logo:

Comaco Toys Logo

You will not have failed to notice we are now very close to Christmas and as always we have lots of great toys in stock. Here are some banners that will feature on the new site:






This will probably be the last post on this site as our new site will feature an internal blog. I look forward to seeing you there!

New Website, New Loch Ness Toys

Loch Ness Toys, the new name for Comaco Toys Direct, Drumnadrochit

Loch Ness Toys Logo

It’s almost crunch time! We are on the verge of ordering up a brand new website with new name and domain to go with it. first though a bit of history about what has brought us to this point. Some time ago we posted about revamping our website at www.comacodirect.com, which is long overdue. We originally setup our own ecommerce site in 2009, 6 long years ago. At the time we were not even 100% commited to selling toys, hence the name Comaco Direct rather than Comaco Toys.

During 2014, I undertook two training courses with John Taylor through Business Gateway on getting results from your website and improving search engine ranking. These were extremely useful, but also somewhat depressing in that highlighted in my mind how much progress needed to be made. Certain deficiencies of the current site immediately came to light with regard to layout, navigation and responsiveness . In addition it was advised that this blog, then newly launched, would need to move “inhouse”. The reasoning being that having so large a number of incoming links from the same external website might actually be looked upon unfavourably by Google – the opposite effect of what was intended!

Later in the year I got in touch with Highlands and Islands Enterprise who eventually signed our business up under their “digital health check” scheme. This involved a brief meeting with an appointed consultant and the subsequent production of a report. The main focus of this was to seek advice about either overhauling of the existing website or setting up a new one with a different provider.

Our consultant, from Alchemy Plus in Inverness, advised us to go one for one of several new ecommerce site providers – Bigcommerce, Volution or Vendio. All of these were large companies offering a range of packages with a choice of off the shelf templates with broadly comparable features. A litttle further research saw us adding one extra name to the list – Shopify – which, although not initially recommended, appeared to be frequently compared  with the others in online guides.

Vendio immediately did not seem a good fit, and Shopify only offered pricing options where it charged a direct comission on sales which did not make it an attractive option. Bigcommerce and Volusion both had plenty of good features with similarly priced packages. Of the two, Volusion  seemed slightly easier to set up and import products, it also seemed to have slightly keener customer service with a UK office. One distict advantage with Bigcommerce though was that they offered completely unlimited bandwidth. We found no way to accurately calculate our current bandwidth use and only the most expensive Volusion option offered a monthly allowance that would definitely have been adequate. Unfortunately therefore Volusion also had to be rejected.

And so it was Bigcommerce then?

The big issue when it came down to it was the DIY nature of all these systems. You choose a basic template and it is then entirely up to you to try configure it with your stuff to get it look like a professional website using the basic set of tools you are given. We found this by no means straightforward, even once we had eventually managed to get all our 500 plus products more or less correctly imported. The Bigcommerce front page for example consisted of a huge splurge of text with our many product categories directly under the page title. There seemed to be no way to move this on the several responsive free templates we tried during the trial, and it did not look good. There were further responsive templates you could pay for, but the there was no way of trying these out in advance of signing up which made us reluctant to risk it.

Before giving up entirely with the off the peg solution we did make one more attempt – with a company called Squarespace – which I had only heard of due to some pretty agressive advertising on a science podcast I listen to occasionally. Again a free trial was available and for once manipulations of one of website templates (for a New York restaurant of all things) started to give some quite pleasing results. Sure, there was a long way to go, but at least it looked like something might be possible here. The next step was try importing products and … oh dear, there was no way to do this, unless you were coming from a couple of specific other providers. I couldn’t quite believe they were offering ecommerce without this facility in place (and I did contact to confirm that). The logistics of manually inputting 500 products was enough to scratch this off the list.

So where next?

As mentioned in a previous post, we had heard that Magento and Juplo were the big solutions in ecommerce. However we have now realised that these are not all in one soloutions but just basic platforms. Unless you are a savvy web developer with time on your hands you still need someone to build the thing for you and host it. The way forward would be to approach another web designer for a new bespoke site. A local company would seem to be preferable, however an ecommerce site, as opposed a more straightforward web presence, would seem to be something to be something that sorts the men from the boys in this regard.

More recently I did try contacting our former adviser from Alchemyplus to see if they would be interested to quote for this, or even to just  help with forwarding our existing site to the new domain, but disappointingly I never even received a reply to my messages. Clearly the work was not of interest to them, although I can recall being told on our meeting that setting up an ecommerce site was hardly any more difficult than a standard one.

One thing our advisor had been definite about was severing ties with the existing provider, Easywebstores, since little attempt had been made by them during the years to help keep our site up to date and modern. Although they cannot be 100% blamed for that, it is true that no one has ever made much effort to look after us particularly. I have however been in contact with them to discuss what options there are for an upgrade and we have been offered the set up of a new template which include most of the new features and functionality we need. This has a huge advantage of over the likes of Bigcommerce in that the setup would be done for us and all the products are already there.

Another factor is that Easywebstores would handle the domain redirection, and since they already host and are the registrants of our original domain this ought to make it a much simpler process. The initial idea was just to move from Comacodirect.com to comacotoys.com. However recently Loch Ness Toys has now suggested itself as a more exciting alternative.

To be Continued…

plesiosaur Loch Ness Toys

Our current Loch Ness Toy – Papo Plesiosaur. This prehistoric creature has sometimes been thought to be the identity of the Loch Ness Monster!

Big Easter Sale Weekend at Comaco Toys

It’s been a while since we last had a sale, so at Comaco Toys we have homed in on the long Easter weekend coming up. From Good Friday 3 April until Easter Monday 6 April we will be offering 10% automatic discount on all listed prices.

It couldn’t be a better time with so many great new products in stock – Papo, Schleich, Nerf, Megabloks, Hello Kitty, Peppa Pig, Transformers, Super Heroes etc. Also it’s spring, it’s the school holidays and UK shipping is included: lots of reasons to celebrate! Happy Shopping, but don’t forget the offer expires after Easter Monday…

Easter Sale 2015 Comaco Toys

30% Off Toy Special Offers January 2015

Well Christmas has been and gone and what a busy season we had – our best ever. But onwards and upwards, and we have a great January special offer for you. From now until 31st January we have an automatic 30% off selected toys.

These include all of our Rainbow Loom Band Sets.

Disney Frozen Designer Loom Case

Large Disney Frozen Loom Case. Contains 2400 bands, 100 clips and 1 hook. Multiple Colours.
Box size 35 x 19 cm approx. Suitable for ages 6 plus.

Frozen Loom Band Case

Medium Disney Frozen Loom Band Case. Contains 1000 bands, 50 clips and 1 hook. Multiple Colours.

Designer Loom Jewellery Maker

Designer Loom Jewellery Maker. Loop, weave and wear with this Loom Kit which includes 500 bands, 30 clips and knitting tool. Great for making bracelets, rings and much more besides.

Plus we also some other great items:


Doc McStuffins Cushion to Go – converts from a smart bag to a comfy cushion!


Teamsterz Die Cast Track Racer Car Sets

1372828 hia

Teamsterz Die Cast Emergency Heli Response Sets


Western Rider Cowboy Gun and Holster with Sheriff’s Badge


Toy Tool Sets – Choice of two

Plus we also have dress up fireman and police sets and much much more! Check out the full list of 30% Off Bargains at Comaco Toys.

Christmas Toy Gift Ideas at Comaco

The last time I posted about Christmas it was late September and the festive season still seemed a good way off. But how time flies! Two months have whizzed past and we’re now firmly in midst of xmas shopping madness.

Somehow my thoughts of putting up a post in early November seem to have gone out of the window, but I still thought it was worth putting together a few biggish present gift ideas for the big day.

All of the products below, plus many more besides can be found in our new Christmas Toys category on the website. However, be warned things are moving very fast stock-wise. What we have now may well be all gone by next week!


Black Hawk Die Cast Helicopter: One of four scale model helicopters we have in this range. See also Cars, Trucks and Vehicles and Die Cast Toys.


Nerf Elite Thunderbow

Nerf Elite Thunderbow: we also have Nerf Elite Rough Cut, Nerf Blaster Sleeves and Nerf Mobile Mission P.A.K. Plus, our other ranges of Toy Guns are always in demand.

World Peacekeepers Patrol Boat

World Peacekeepers Patrol Boat: our World Peacekeepers range of articulated action figures, vehicles and accessories continues to be popular. See also Army Toys.


Barbie Stable Set

Barbie Stable Set: see our Barbie Toys and our full Dolls and Fashion range. 


Wooden Noah’s Ark: another brand new item. See our range of Toys for Younger Children


Auto Garage Centre with moving car lift and rotating repair bay

Remember FREE standard UK Shipping with worldwide and expedited options available. Happy shopping!



More Fun Time Toys!

We recently got in a range of new toys in the popular Fun Time range from A to Z (see also our earlier post). These are especially designed as moderately priced colourful learning toys for toddlers and younger children.

We have shape sorters, push along toys, bath toys, pop up toys, clockwork musical toys, stacking cups and learning bricks: check them out!

Bath Time Activity Centre 63018

Bath Time Activity Centre. Two to choose from; Frog or Sea Horse.

Push along Brick Truck with alphabet bricks 55061

Push along Brick Truck with alphabet bricks

Wind up Musical TV 62005

Wind up Musical TV; available in yellow or orange

Chrissie the Caterpillar 55320

Chrissie the Caterpillar push along shape sorting toy.


New Papo Dinosaur Figures at Comaco Toys

I wrote a post over 6 months ago about the new Papo Dinosaur figures we had at Comaco. This has been a double success; not only have the figures proved to be a great hit, but also that post has been our most popular so far.

Recently we received stock of brand new Papo product – Dinosaur Mini Figures. These are six superbly detailed figures, each about 7 cm long, in a tub.


Check out the individual dinos above; click on the pictures to view them full size. This product makes a welcome addition to the popular Papo tubs of  Mini Knights, Mini Pirates, Mini Fantasy Figures and Mini Horses we already stock.

Another new Papo product for 2014 is the Dilophosaurus. This mid sized predator is approx 15 cm long and sports a colourful head crest.

In addition to all these we still have a sizeable range of older dino figures. Not least our favourite Spinosaurus; a giant predator bigger than T-Rex that hunted like a crocodile. Check them all out here.

Die Cast Helicopter Scale Models

Here’s a great new gift idea at Comaco Toys. We have some fantastic quality die cast models of military helicopters now in stock. They are all 1:60 or 1:55 scale and come boxed, complete with a stand.

There’s four models to choose from: The Boeing CH-47 Chinook, the Sikorsky SH-60 Sea Hawk, the Sikorsky UH-60 Black Hawk and the Apache AH-64. All come from New Ray under the Skypilot brand.

What’s more you either just display them on the stand and admire from afar, or else you can take them off the stand and play to your heart’s content. This really makes it a toy or model suitable for boys of all ages!

Die Cast SH-60 Sea Hawk

Die Cast SH-60 Sea Hawk

Die Cast SH-60 Sea Hawk

Die Cast SH-60 Sea Hawk

Die Cast UH-60 Black Hawk 1:60

Die Cast UH-60 Black Hawk 1:60

Die Cast AH-64 Apache 1:55

Die Cast AH-64 Apache 1:55

Halloween Hello Kitty Figures

This is a great idea for Hello Kitty fans at Halloween! We have three new Kitty fashion figures which  come packaged in a smart box complete with a choice of accessories.

Each figure has a attachable dress, shoes, hair bow, plus one other object to give her a distinct personality: a pumpkin on a stick, an umbrella or a guitar! Why not collect all three? Check out the Hello Kitty Halloween Figures here.

Hello Kitty Rain Maiden

Hello Kitty Rain Maiden

Hello Kitty Guitar Girl

Hello Kitty Guitar Girl

Hello Kitty Halloween Kitty

Hello Kitty Halloween Kitty