The Tiniest Toy Shop Makeover at Bekonscot Model Village

7 min read

Last Modified 11 June 2024 First Added 5 June 2024

Author Katy

We recently refurbished the very tiniest toy shop, our mini The Entertainer store and you can visit it yourself in one of the most beautiful and well-kept model villages in the UK. Bekonscot Model Village sits 30 mins outside London in Beaconsfield, Buckinghamshire and has a unique history that stretches back nearly 100 years. The village was first created in 1929, as a way for it’s founder, Roland Callingham, to continue the expansion of his 1 gauge model railway as well as build miniature landscapes and scenes for his beloved model trains to run through.

Nearly 100 years later and Bekonscot has attracted over 14 million visitors in it’s history, and some of them have been rather special – Elizabeth II visited Bekonscot for her 8th birthday, and Enid Blyton, whose home Green Hedges was situated in the village of Beaconsfield, has visited and even had her house immortalised in the model village.  The model village has been featured in film too, from Hot Fuzz to the Bollywood hit One Story to a Midsomer Murders episode ‘Small Mercies’ in 2009. It’s also hosted a TalkTalk ad and was the inspiration for Enid Blyton’s Toytown, home of Noddy and setting of many of the Noddy stories.

The Entertainer has been a feature on one of the miniature high street’s, just opposite the castle, since 2000. It’s had two makeovers, once in 2017 and a second earlier this year.

The buildings and landscape are tended to by a dedicated team of craftsman and volunteers, with a workshop on site and features being added still nowadays. Thanks to constant expansion, Bekonscot is actually made up of 7 individual model towns and villages – The Entertainer is situated in New Town.  Lots of stores around the village feature mini versions of their products, from vintage hats in the window of M & S to miniature food items stocked at the minute Waitrose.

What Else Can You Find At Bekonscot?

The Entertainer Store at Bekonscot sits on a high street with other shops, both real and invented. The imaginary shops feature pun-filled names such as Chris. P Lettis the greengrocers and Watersmith the booksellers.

Visitors to the village don’t just have tiny shops to peer into. Alongside the 14 stations and 400 meters (equating to 10 scale miles) of railway track, there are 200 buildings and over 3,000 individual miniature people going about their daily business. There’s boats, cable cars, a funicular railway, a coal mine, hundreds of moving parts and thousands of tiny details that will delight children of all ages – from the toys in our tiniest shop windows to the manicured shrubbery that give the model villages their leafy feel. Bekonscot is such a beautiful and inspiring place to visit and a wonderful day out for families and anyone with an interest in miniatures! Find out more information about visiting Bekonscot, including opening times and prices, on their website.

How Did Our Mini Shop Makeover Happen?

When Addo Play’s Teresa Niemand visited the village with her son on a day out back in 2017, she had no idea that the village contained an Entertainer storefront. When she noticed the store, she snapped a photo of her young son peering through the windows and got in touch with the village owners to see if a makeover would be possible. At the time, it was looking a little less than snazzy, with just a few toys visible through dusty windows.

Young boy peers into the windows of a model village

The lovely owners of Bekonscot were more than happy for us to to update the store, so the team got to work designing and planning in the same way they do for our larger retail outlets. From floor vinyls to shelving, they lovingly recreated the fun and welcoming environment of our stores in miniature. Using tiny printed versions of Addo and ELC packaging and a lot of clever crafting and use of materials, Jamie Hooper and Alfie Agostinelli from the Addo Play team updated the inside of the shop to match our real-life stores. The result is a shop window that any of our ‘big’ shops would be proud to host!

The shop now features 21 tiny toys, 62 miniature boxes, and 17 mini footballs that are actually beads – just one of the clever ideas that Alfie & Jamie came up with! The frontage has had a makeover too, with a much more accurate Jack logo, a tiny swinging ToyShop sign and a fresh lick of paint in our recognisable blue.

“We spent hours making each toy, crafting, and redecorating the toy shop,” said Teresa Niemandt, Creative Director at Addo Play. “Although the shop doors of The Entertainer at Bekonscot Model Village will never open, we hope that the work we have done will inspire and bring joy to the many little visitors peeking through the toy shop windows.”

George Hill, model maker at Bekonscot, added: “For 95 years, Bekonscot has captivated visitors with its carefully crafted replica buildings, huge model railway and 1.5 acres of immaculate gardens.

“Our wonderful little world offers visitors of all ages a fantastic day out and we’re sure that during their visit guests will enjoy seeing The Entertainer’s newly refurbished store in-person, once again.”

The tiny shop makeover also inspired us to explore all the exciting miniature products that we sell.  The team used some minis from Zuru’s Mini Brands surprise balls, which feature mini versions of toys and games, many of which we stock as full-size products so are right at home in one of the 1:12 scale window displays. Adding a till, a bin full of footballs and some of our recognisable hanging signs, the shop came to life. We truly hope it will bring an extra joyful spark to visitors to the model village, and we’d love to see your pictures in front of the store! Here’s one of our founder, Gary Grant, outside the shop after it’s first makeover in 2018. If you snap a pic this summer, we’d love to see – tag it with #thetiniesttoyshop.

Create Your Own Mini World At Home

Miniatures are having a huge moment right now (no pun intended!) and if our littlest shop makeover has inspired you to create your own miniatures scenes for dolls, action figures or just for you, we’ve got lots of fun products and ideas that will elevate your dioramas and dolls house scenes to the next level. Why not try one of the exciting Minibrand collections to add life to your dolls house rooms, try creating some Miniverse Make-It Diner or Cafe meals for your Barbie’s dining table, or smash open some Mega Gross Minis and bring a touch of gruesome fun to your Sylvanian Families kitchen?

Just like our team, you can also craft and make mini versions of almost anything you want. Try out our Make It Real Mini Pottery Studio to create your own mini vases and pots, or shrink and print packaging and book covers using high-quality printing ink. The team created many of our shop items in this method, and it’s a great way to customise dioramas and mini scenes. You can also find lots of fun and perfectly-scaled printables online, try this site for UK-themed packaging and toy products!

We hope you’ve enjoyed reading about our model toy shop makeover and can’t wait to see all your photos of our littlest store front! Find more information about Bekonscot on their website.

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About the Author


Expert in Miniverse

Katy Clouds is the newest addition to our writing team packing nearly 10 years experience in online copywriting and several awards.

Katy is a serious Miniverse collector and follows all the latest trends in miniatures – look out for lots of collectibles content from her coming soon!

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