Helen and Ed Hollis opened The Toy Chest on Main Street in Nashville in 1970, with a selling space and an exhibition space for Ed's model circus.
Ed had spent several years hand-carving a 1/4" wooden scale model of the Hagenbeck-Wallace Circus. At one time this was the second-largest Circus in America, and was based in Peru, Indiana. For a modest admission price, visitors could view his masterpiece. Unfortunately, the circus was destroyed when the house burned in the 1980s.
In 1988 The Toy Chest moved to its location in the Artists Colony Shops, and in 1989, the Hollises decided to sell. In 2014, Danny and Hilary Key bought The Toy Chest and have now expanded to two stores. The Bloomington store opened in November 2015 and is inside the College Mall next to H&M.