In 1996, Daniel Couser and his father’s love of toys transformed into a business. Little did 11-year-old Couser know that one day, he would have his very own toy store in his hometown of Franklin, Tennessee.

In May of 2021, after years of attending swap meets, flea markets, conventions and traveling out of state to sell and buy collectibles, Couser decided to open his first brick and mortar location, Franklin Toy Works, in Franklin. Couser said that in the past five years, working in the toy industry had become essentially his full-time job and he was ready to have a stable, expansive storefront in his own community. Quickly, he knew that he had made the right decision as people from all over the U.S. traveled to get their hands on collectibles that few other stores were able to provide.

Franklin Toy Works carries a wide range of vintage and modern toys and collectibles. They have everything from Star Wars, G.I. Joe, Transformers, Pokémon, and many other toys from the 1960s through today. They carry Hasbro, Mattel, Sideshow, LEGO and more! They also have plushies and specialty candies. 

Couser is the main sourcer of all of the toys and collectibles that they carry in-store. He and a team take to the road at least once a month to scout out the next vintage item or hot toy that people want to buy. When it comes to what makes Franklin Toy Works different from other retailers in the Middle Tennessee area, Couser said that knowledge, price and variety is what sets them apart.

“You’re not gonna show me or bring me something that I probably have never seen at this point in life,” Couser said. “I pride us on staying on top of things.”

Anticipating the market is almost second nature to Couser at this point and he says that is one of the things that makes Franklin Toy Works such a success, along with those who are dedicated to the hunt of finding a rare and precious toy.

Couser added that no matter what, there’s something for everyone. If someone is looking to spend only $10, they will walk out with something they love at that price, but if they are searching for a one-of-a-kind vintage item, they can truly invest to get the toy they desire. 

This year, the store is getting more involved in the community; working with Cub Scout Pack 188— of which Couser is the Assistant Cub Master and his son, a scout himself—to provide canned and dry goods to those in need in Williamson County. Benefitting Graceworks Ministries, customers can bring in five can or dry goods and receive 15% off any purchase. There is no limit to how many times an individual can do this. The special will run through Feb. 11. 

Although he doesn’t collect toys personally anymore, Couser said he looks at his store as his ever-changing collection.

“As far as toys, you know, if I closed my store tomorrow, technically this is all my collection anyway so I gotta go haul it all home out of the store,” he said, “so my collection changes every day.” 

To get a look at the collection, come to the toy store where there is never an empty shelf! Franklin Toy Works is located at 330 Mayfield Drive, Suite C8, Franklin, TN 37067. Call (615) 306-9395 or visit franklintoyworks.com for more information.