Max Toys originally started in downtown Shreveport in 1935 on the corner of Common and Milam. Over the last 8 decades we have expanded and changed to our current 4 locations that are owned and operated by the 3rd and 4th generation. We have experienced, veteran employees that are experts in giving personalized customer service. Our goal is to provide a friendly, safe environment for meeting our customers' short-term cash needs, and to provide outstanding retail value on new and pre-owned merchandise. We pride ourselves in having the best prices and friendliest service staff in town. We invite you to explore our website and to visit one of our 4 pawn shops.
Craig Toys is the owner of Max’s Pawn Shops with 4 locations in Shreveport and Bossier City, LA. He is a third generation pawnbroker following in the footsteps of his father, uncle and grandfather, Max, who started their business in 1935. While at LSU in Baton Rouge, he met the love of his life, Georgette. In 1984 he returned to Shreveport and helped grow the family business from 1 location to 4 by 1990. Craig and Georgette were married in 1985 and have 3 children with the oldest, Ainsley, working in the business. Craig is currently serving on the board and has been a vice president and president of the Louisiana Pawnbrokers Association. He is a 32 degree Scottish Rite Mason and a Shriner. He is currently on the board of directors of the Goodwill Industries of North Louisiana.
Ainsley Rutkowski, Craig’s daughter, is the general manager. She has been working in the stores since she was a teenager. She came back to work full-time in January 2012 after graduating from LSU Baton Rouge. She also obtained her Accredited Jewelry Professional Degree from the Gemological Institute of America. Ainsley married Justin in 2014. She is currently an active member in the Junior League.
The History of Pawn
Pawning has long been a source of capital for people in times of need, as well as a means of financing business ventures. Considered mankind's oldest financial institution, pawnbroking can be traced back at least 3,000 years to ancient China, and references to pawnbroking have been found in the earliest written histories of Greek and Roman civilizations.
The universal symbol of pawnbroking is three gold balls and is one of the most easily recognized in the world. The Medici families in Italy along with the Lombard’s in England were moneylenders in Europe. Legend has it that one of the Medici’s in the employ of Emperor Charles the Great fought a giant and slew him with three sacks of rocks. The three balls or globes later became part of their family crest, and ultimately, the sign of pawnbroking.
The House of the Lombard’s operated pawnshops throughout Europe in the Middle Ages. For a time, certain usury laws imposed by the Church prohibited charging interest on loans and limited pawnbroking. But because of problems in the banking system and economic necessity, pawnbroking made resurgence. During the 14th Century, the House of the Lombard’s even counted royalty, such as King Edward III of England, among their clientele. Many of the first leaders in the banking industry had roots in pawnbroking. And today, statutory regulations of banking and finance are based on the legal foundation established by pawnbrokers. Pawnbrokers are also known as collateral loan brokers because they make loans based purely on the intrinsic value of the collateral, not on the customer's credit history. If the loan or at least the interest is not paid off during a specified term (usually three to four months) then the item is forfeited and may be resold by the broker.
A typical transaction begins with a potential borrower bringing an item he/she wishes to pledge into a pawnshop. The pawnbroker then determines how much to loan the patron for the item. Loans are paid out at a rate based on what the broker can expect to receive for the sale of a good during the worst times to assure that a profit will be made. Pawnshops continue to be a source of convenient credit for individuals in need of a short-term loan.