Founder Metro Internet Marketing, nerd who loves Google's zoo animals. Search, email, website usability and conversions.
Why try to get "toys"? Why not a long-tail keyword? It's going to be impossible to get "toys". (Unless you are rewarded by Google for being local) You'll be competing with informational results like Wikipedia and queries like "what are toys".
Be specific. "Toys for children under five" or specific toys, balls, rattles. Long tails will have more of a buyer intent.
5000 links to toys, that's just silly.
I focus on SEO. That said, I can create websites in HTML5 and CSS3. In the last year I have also spent a lot of time modifying WordPress themes.
I never liked Elegant themes. They are beautiful themes but funky. It's like Elegant doesn't give 100% theme design for free. There's always something you need to buy. That said, Divi is beautiful, but it too is a little funky. The demo has a lot of animation which makes it jumpy and a little slow.
Page speed is an SEO factor.
The Genesis framework is built for SEO. Those guys are SEO geniuses. But if you use the Yoast SEO plugin (free version is enough) you will have serious SEO help on any WordPress theme.
LayersWP looks interesting. I don't need drag and drop but I might check it out myself. Their demo page is not jumpy nor slow. Doesn't look like its a framework like Genesis, more like a theme you can modify. That is, it doesn't have a built in SEO piece like the Genesis framework. But again, get Yoast.
Finally, with the Genesis framework you will still need a theme, and now you'll need a Genesis theme. Not real thrilled with Genesis themes. Design is not their forte. They are SEO.
Hope that helps. It was a good question. You are on the right track.
Not sure what "theme-locked" means, exactly. I just skipped that part of your question. Forgive me.
If you'd like to talk more just call.
My perspective is one of an SEO.
I would never recommend to anyone that they have separate websites.It is very difficult to maintain/optimize one website, let alone more. You must consider your time investment. Will both sites truly have your focused attention?
I imagine your homepage focused on displaying your lovely photography. Making all the buying info for each one easy to find or see, ie animated modals on hover. That is a stunning visual.
Buyers will see things they want to buy, students will see things they want to create.
In SEO we talk about siloing. It's a hierarchy thing.
You create silos starting from the navigation on your website, one for buyers, one for students. Both silos are available everywhere on the website. The two silos even link together, somewhat. But mostly you build links down through the silo. Buyer stuff links to buyer stuff. Student stuff links to student stuff.
This will send a nice clear signal to the search engines.
Hope that makes sense. Call me if you want more detail.