THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Electronic toys are mostly abandoned when they become defective. However, in Anayara, residents rush to ‘Toy King’ shop to fix their electronic toys. Run by Pettah native Anil J Babu, the toy shop is the only place with facilities to repair electronic figures and return them as good as new. Despite having zero training in electronics, Anil has been successfully running the shop for the past eight years.
“I’ve worked as a technician in a toy shop years ago,” says Anil, who has a diploma in plumbing from Government ITI, Chackai. “I used to take up minor repair work of electronic equipment in the firms I worked for. Fortunately, I’ve succeeded in rectifying defects,” quips Anil.
He adds that it was a gamble to start the shop in 2012 and many discouraged his decision. “Toy repair is a field that none choses to work in then. I struggled enormously in the first three years. I had to work simultaneously as a bus conductor too,” he says. Soon, his fortunes changed and Anil established his business. Now, he receives more than 30 repair jobs per month.
“Though I work on all kinds of electronic toys, I prefer large toys as the spare parts are easily available. Work duration also depends on the same factor. Batteries usually arrive from China. It takes around four weeks to replace batteries and three days to repair electronic boards,” says Anil.
Interestingly, most of Anil’s customers are elderly people. “Their pension is mostly used to buy toys for their grandchildren,” he says. Anil has a request to those who give away their toys to scrap dealers. “Though toys have a good market, there are many families who can’t afford to buy electronic toys. Those who plan to dispose of toys can bring the same to my shop. I’ll inform families who may need them,” he says.
Anil manages the shop all by himself. Though the lockdown halted regular business, he is back on track. His living conditions have improved ever since the shop’s success. “We will only succeed if we dare to take risks,” he adds. His wife Deepakala is a nurse. His elder son Neeraj is a second-year medical student and younger son Niranj is a Class XII student.