When is the Chicago Toy Soldier Show?

The Chicagoland Toy Soldier Show is held annually, on the last Sunday in September. The 2023 Chicagoland Toy Soldier Show will be held on September 24, 2023.

What is the relationship between CTSS and OTSN?

Chicago Toy Soldier Show, Inc. (CTSS, Inc.) is the S-Corporation formed to purchase the Show from former owners, Old Toy Soldier Newsletter, Inc.

How much and where does CTSS advertise the Chicagoland Toy Soldier Show?

Advertising is the largest expenditure category in the CTSS annual budget; we have increased this budget category considerably from past years. We currently advertise in Old Toy Soldier Magazine, Toy Soldier Collector and Historic Figure Magazine, Playset Magazine, Plastic Warrior (UK), Zinnlaube Magazine (Germany), and Figuren (Germany). We promote CTSS in person by attending toy soldier shows across the country and around the world. We advertise CTSS at militaria shows and at many antique malls across the United States; we maintain a mailing list of over 1,000 collectors. We also have a Facebook page where vendors and attendees can interact with CTSS staff, and YouTube videos that highlight the Chicagoland Toy Soldier Show experience. During the weeks preceding the Show, we advertise in print and online in the Chicago and Northwest suburban media. We are always looking for additional opportunities to advertise the Show; please send us your suggestions.

What is CTSS doing to keep vendor costs down?

To paraphrase Benjamin Franklin, “there is nothing certain other than death, taxes, AND RATE INCREASES.” The cost of doing business continues to increase in our world; therefore, to maintain a status quo costs more. CTSS has done more than maintain a status quo; we have added innovations that make the Chicagoland Toy Soldier Show an easier, more pleasant experience for our vendors.

Is the Show Growing?

The Show is growing slightly. Each year we welcome new participants. New vendors and attendees are offset in number by those that are no longer active in the hobby or do not attend for health reasons. The average age in our hobby is increasing each year. CTSS is continually looking for new participants in our hobby. We welcome your suggestions. When our participants have a successful Show, we have a successful Show. Please help us to ensure that happens.

Do I have to pay Illinois Sales Tax?

Yes. See Benjamin Franklin’s quote paraphrased earlier. As stated in the contract, vendors are responsible for paying their Illinois Sales Tax. CTSS will provide the appropriate form to each vendor along with useful information and instruction.

Is the Show handicap accessible?

Absolutely so! The host hotel Schaumburg Marriott, is ADA compliant, including exhibit areas and designated sleeping rooms. Please let the Marriott or CTSS know your specific needs. We are anxious to accommodate you.

What is available for non-collectors to do during the Show?

Downtown Chicago with its many attractions and sites is accessible from Schaumburg, the site of the Chicagoland Toy Soldier Show. There are also many options for Show visitors in the immediate neighborhood of the Show site. CTSS provides visitor information to contract holders in registration packets.

What will I see at the Chicagoland Toy Soldier Show?

You will see one of the widest representations of the toy-soldier-collecting hobby in the world. There are antique and vintage soldiers and related toys made of metal, plastic, composition paper, and other media. You will find exquisite model figures that are extremely detailed works of art. You will also find currently made toy figures and related toys. These may be original creations manufactured to be reminiscent of the old toys or, in some cases, produced from the molds that created the original toys. You will find a wide range of prices suitable for every budget. There are also related items such as books, artwork, and military antiques and artifacts.

What is the CTSS policy regarding vendors’ personal information?

The information provided to CTSS is used strictly by us to put on the Chicagoland Toy Soldier Show.
We do not sell or trade our mailing list or database. We assume that our vendors will allow CTSS to provide their contact information to customers and to recommend them to interested customers. CTSS also provides a list of participating vendors on its website.

If vendors do not wish CTSS to make this information available, this preference can be noted on the Vendor Contract.

Why is the 2019 Show being used to set table and room assignment precedence for the 2022 Show?

Many of our vendors were not able to attend the 2021 Chicago Toy Soldier Show due to health issues, travel restrictions, and circumstances beyond their control.
CTSS has always honored precedence in room and table assignments. We will reset precedents back to 2019 Show participation.
We ask that vendors who wish to use their 2019 precedence for table and room assignments at the 2022 Chicago Toy Soldier Show make a commitment by returning their table contract and payment by July 10, 2023. To ensure their 2023 room assignment, vendors must make their Marriott reservations by July 10, 2022. Reservations made between July 11 and the Marriott group block deadline of August 19, 2023, will be eligible for a room assignment on the 4th or 5th floor, but will not be considered for past precedence room assignment.

If vendors have not submitted their contracts and payment, and/or made their Hyatt reservations by July 10, 2022, precedence will go to the 2021 occupant of that table(s) or room.

Why are there fewer Hyatt rooms and Sunday Show tables available for the 2022 Show?

Hyatt Rooms:

The business agreement between CTSS and the Hyatt is: we guarantee to provide Hyatt a pre-determined number of “nights” (overnight reservations); in return, Hyatt provides CTSS the 3 display areas where the Sunday Show is held.
The Hyatt also reserves a certain number (block) of rooms for the use of CTSS vendors and attendees. On a specified date, any un-booked rooms revert to Hyatt for general guest assignment.
The Hyatt took a hit in 2021 by generously releasing CTSS from the minimum number of nights we promised to provide. Hyatt has (understandably) told us that they cannot release us from the nights commitment in 2022; therefore, we need to show the Hyatt that we have the required nights to have the venues to carry out the 2022 Show. Because CTSS was unable to fulfill its 2022 nights requirement, Hyatt reduced the number of rooms in our reserved block.

Sunday Show Tables:

During the 2019 Chicago Toy Soldier Show it was made clear to us that our Sunday table map was in violation of the Schaumburg fire code and that the Fire Marshall expected us to comply.
We began to redraw the table map for the 2020 Chicago Toy Soldier Show before that Show was postponed due to COVID.
The new table map was completed and in place for the 2021 Show. The effect of the new table map was masked to some extent by the reduced number of vendors and by the perception that the new table map was a temporary arrangement in response to COVID spacing. It is not.
The Fire Marshall was on site to monitor the 2021 Show to ensure that CTSS was in compliance with the code. We are glad to say that we were.
The total number of tables at the Sunday Show was reduced by 10% or 35 tables. These reductions have mostly been around the perimeter of the three display areas.

If your table has been eliminated due to remapping, CTSS pledges to work with you to find the best possible alternative.

Why are you enforcing a strict contract and earlier Hyatt reservations deadline for the 2022 (and future) Shows?

If it looks like we will default in our contractual commitment to provide the required nights to Hyatt we will have to cancel the 2022 Show. CTSS cannot afford the financial penalties that would be incurred by a default.


How much does it cost to be a vendor at the 2022 Chicago Toy Soldier Show?

CTSS and Hyatt, like many businesses took a financial hit in 2021 to see our way through to 2022. As we come up on the other side of the pandemic and shutdown, we all find that it is more expensive to do business. The 2022 Chicago Toy Soldier Show will reflect price and cost increases; however, we have done our best to keep them minimal.

Show Table Contracts have increased to $90 per Sunday table. Show Table Contracts also allow vendors to display, trade, AND sell from their rooms on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday prior to the Sunday Show. That is a $5.00 increase from 2016 to 2021, or a dollar a year. That is well below inflation rates.

Those vendors who choose to only participate in Room Trading/Display will be charged $120 for their contract. (This price does not apply to vendors who take a table at the Sunday Show AND participate in Room Trading/Display.)

Why is the charge higher for those vendors only doing Room Trading/Display?

For 41 years, the promoters of the Chicago Toy Soldier Show have placed primary importance on the Sunday Show and the vendors that participate.
The Sunday Show exposes our hobby to the general public and brings in attendees that may eventually become vendors themselves. Both of these Show functions keep our hobby healthy and evolving.
The expense and effort of promoting the annual Show extends to all vendors at the Show. You are reaping the benefits of Show promotion and advertising; if you are not participating in the Sunday Show, you are not helping your fellow vendors to promote the hobby to the public to help ensure the future of toy-soldier collecting.

CTSS has two main revenue streams: our vendor contracts and the entrance fee collected at the Sunday Show. By not participating in the Sunday Show you are not helping CTSS and your fellow vendors cover their costs.

What is the difference in Hyatt room rates for 2022?

Hyatt 2022 room rates for CTSS have increased to $129/night. We have negotiated hard on behalf of our vendors and attendees and believe that, given post-pandemic circumstance, Hyatt has been fair.

Remember, by staying at Hyatt in the CTSS block of rooms, you help us fulfill our commitment to Hyatt, which enables us to have the Show.

What is the difference in cost for in-room display tables?

2022 Room Trading/Display tables are $11 now each, an increase of $1 per table. That rental fee is added to your Hyatt invoice. The tables that Hyatt rents to our vendors for room trading/display are leased from an outside source. That outside vendor has raised its cost to Hyatt. Again, we have negotiated hard with Hyatt on your behalf to keep the increase minimal.

If you are participating in Room Trading/Display, make sure to order your in-room tables when filling out your CTSS contract. That is to ensure you receive the tables you require and helps CTSS/Hyatt to keep rental costs down by ordering an exact amount of tables from the outside source.

What is the policy for Sunday Show vendors on leaving early?

We ask you to not pack up or leave the Sunday Show before 3:30 pm. We cannot charge the public an admission fee if they cannot enjoy a full Show.

CTSS has 2 main revenue streams: our vendor contracts and the entrance fee collected at the Sunday Show. By not participating in the full Sunday Show you are not helping CTSS and your fellow-vendors to cover their costs.
Many shows take attendance at the closing time of their venue. Those absent are either moved to the bottom of the promoter’s priority list or refused a contract for the following show. PLEASE DO NOT MAKE CTSS ADOPT THESE EXTREME MEASURES.

We all have extenuating circumstances, but a few vendors have made leaving early a habit. If you are anticipating an issue, we will work with you.