Remembering your First or Favorite Toy Store and the Items They Sold
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I had the original idea for this topic from the Remembering that First Comic Shop topic here.

 

 

Also, all the recent talk about vintage sealed video game auctions. Plus, seeing how many normal toy stores are no longer around. I can't believe that Target and Walmart are the places to get toys from now more than a Toys R Us. And I'm disgusted by the quick sellout of exclusive figures at places like Target and Walmart. But I knew something was wrong with Toys R Us when I wasn't able to find new Star Wars figures there after multiple morning visits but happened to see them at a random Target.

 

Anyway on to the topic, I went to so many toy stores when I was a kid that I can't remember the exact first one. I'm pretty sure that these are my first comics and that they were either purchased at Toys R Us, a book store like Kroch's and Brentano's, or a department store book area.

 

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I kind of remember a section with either records or some kind of cartoon related music stuff at the end of a Toys R Us aisle near the back of the store. But it's also possible that I got them as a gift or at a Kay Bee toys. But I remember buying some NES video games more than figures at Kay Bee. I know I purchased NES Legend of Zelda at a Kay Bee because I remember the lady behind the desk saying this game can't be beat. There was a toy store at another mall that had other odd toys but I think that was an FAO Schwarz. I think the majority of my vintage Star Wars toys came from FAO Schwarz. And I know I purchased records on another floor in that mall.

 

I vaguely remember owning an old plastic record player that folded up into a box like carrying case. I probably played the records on that unless I was at my Grandmother's house. And I remember that plastic record player was more toy like and probably not something that would be sold at an actual record store. Or at least that's what I'm assuming.

 

I'm sure Toys R Us was my favorite store. That's where I purchased the majority of my NES video games. I loved the ticket system and looking at the front and back box images to decide which game to purchase. Also seeing all the games behind the glass in the pickup area and how the shelf was like the length of half the store. I would always go to the game section then action figure area. They had the G.I. Joes,Transformers, MASK, Visionaries, and others in a few middle aisles towards the back of the store. I remember the ticket system for the big playsets like the Aircraft Carrier and the Terror Drome. During Christmas time, people were in the aisle just looking at the box for the big toys. I was never disappointed in those aisles unlike when I glance at the small and many times messy toy sections in a Target or Walmart these days.

 

I did go to Circus World back then. I remember the castle exterior. But according to wiki, Circus World was originally Child World. But that name isn't clear to me. It's possible that I went to a Circus World in the mall as the some of those pictures I found feel familiar. I know I went to Circus World years after after Toys R Us though.

 

Probably around the time that I came across Moondog's comic shop in a mall. I went to another toy store in a mall. I think this is the mall.

 

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I only remember a few outdoor malls with water features. I think there is another big one in Illinois with an underground water feature. Also a slide near an A&W Root Beer. Anyway, there was a small toy store here that had many foreign type smaller toys, figures, and playsets. That was a cool store. A bit more family oriented I think.

 

Another reason for me starting this topic is because I'm attempting to remember old comic toys that were thrown away. Perhaps stories of your first or favorite toy stores might help with my memory.

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Posted (edited)

Unfortunately all my childhood toy stores from the 80s have kicked the bucket.  Kb toy store at vallco fashion mall in Cupertino and toys r us in Winchester Blvd in San Jose. 
 

bought many transformers from that kB store.  Most of my genesis and Super Nintendo games were bought at toys r us.

kiddie world in San Jose on Stevens creek and San Thomas expressway.  Bought my first gi joe in 1982.

6BB9A479-7446-443A-B4C2-217DB6CF937F.jpeg

98C0165E-332D-4A11-A809-309C66BDC2EF.jpeg

Edited by Spiderturtle

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5 hours ago, 1950's war comics said:

Sears toy dept was the place to go when i was a kid ... Sears had a toy section up until the early 80's 

it was heaven on Earth ! and Sears also had a candy shoppe and cafeteria which were superb

Was just rattling the old brain to remember where my toy store memories originated. It's Sears. Two double long aisles. one for "boy" toys and one for "girl" toys. the first section was all the IP stuff; action figures, star wars, GIJoe, thundercats He-Man and on and on... man I remember that aisle well!

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Woolworth was amazing, almost an entire floor of kids stuff next to their stinky pets dept. where we used to let the mice out:devil:

I had a FAO Schwarz nearby, that place was mystical.

Small towns 50 years ago or so would have memorable toy stores too:cloud9:

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I don't remember the first toy but I remember going to KB toy store in Oceanside, NY and TRU in Valley Stream frequently.  Being a privileged kid and being able to buy toys there almost every week was awesome.  There was another place that had some type of catalog that i'd order video games from.  Woolworth maybe?  I remember there being a front desk and i'd have to look through the catalog and then they'd check the back warehouse or put it on order.

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Growing up on Army bases, toy shopping was pretty limited most of the year. 

Most bases had a shop called The Four Seasons. As the name indicates, it was a seasonal shop. In the summer you could buy sporting goods and such, then as school came along, school supplies were added but in December, it transformed itself into Toyland.  After weeks of dreaming about the toys from the Sears Wish book, here they were all laid out. 

Trains running along the biggest setup imaginable, Marx playsets set up , bikes. As close to heaven as any six year old wants to get. One year, they had a special preview for the kids from my school and Santa himself was there.

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56 minutes ago, vheflin said:

Woolworth was amazing, almost an entire floor of kids stuff next to their stinky pets dept. where we used to let the mice out:devil:

I had a FAO Schwarz nearby, that place was mystical.

Small towns 50 years ago or so would have memorable toy stores too:cloud9:

our local Woolworths had a counter and had great old fashioned malts !!

Woolworths also has a distinctive smell which i can almost still recall to this day , you would leave a Woolworth store and the smell would stay with you ! just like when you leave a comic con and the distinctive comic smell stays with with

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14 minutes ago, 1950's war comics said:

our local Woolworths had a counter and had great old fashioned malts !!

Woolworths also has a distinctive smell which i can almost still recall to this day , you would leave a Woolworth store and the smell would stay with you ! just like when you leave a comic con and the distinctive comic smell stays with with

I always wondered if it was just my Woolworth that had the smell!  I don't know what it was but I've never smelt it anywhere else. Absolutely distinctive!  I remember it as musty but reassuring.lol

The one near me was a full department store, 3 big floors at least.

First floor was ladies stuff, cosmetics and jewelry plus the restaurant, I never had a malt but I did have burgers.

Second floor was toys, crafts and pets.  Had the biggest plastic model dept. with its own counter full of supplies, paints etc.  It was the only place to get the large kits like Monogram B-17 & B-29.  In winter, I'd sit in my room w/door shut and the radiator heat building the kit unknowingly getting blasted off the model glue.  I'd pass out only to wake up in time to see Christopher Lee get turned to dust yet again on Creature Feature.

ahh memories:cloud9:

60s and 70s were hands down the best kids decades.

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13 minutes ago, vheflin said:

I always wondered if it was just my Woolworth that had the smell!  I don't know what it was but I've never smelt it anywhere else. Absolutely distinctive!  I remember it as musty but reassuring.lol

The one near me was a full department store, 3 big floors at least.

First floor was ladies stuff, cosmetics and jewelry plus the restaurant, I never had a malt but I did have burgers.

Second floor was toys, crafts and pets.  Had the biggest plastic model dept. with its own counter full of supplies, paints etc.  It was the only place to get the large kits like Monogram B-17 & B-29.  In winter, I'd sit in my room w/door shut and the radiator heat building the kit unknowingly getting blasted off the model glue.  I'd pass out only to wake up in time to see Christopher Lee get turned to dust yet again on Creature Feature.

ahh memories:cloud9:

60s and 70s were hands down the best kids decades.

Ahh yes model glue, the ultimate gateway drug :)

I spent weeks building & painting my Monogram B-29 Superfortress. My parents let me hang it up from the ceiling. Eventually had a small squadron up there that I would stare at in bed.

They lasted until I got my first bb gun.

-bc

 

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I remember the first time I saw a ToysRus.  It was someplace in Brooklyn and you could see it from the parkway. A whole store devoted to toys. Sadly, I was at the age when toys took a backseat to other pursuits by then.

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2 hours ago, bc said:

The big Sears Christmas catalog....:cloud9: Me, my brother & sister used to obsess over that thing like it was some kind of ancient religious scripture formulating our wish lists.

We had a cool store called Atlantic Thrift within biking distance that had a nice toy selection. My mom shopped there and let us wander around the store (which was actually a safe thing to do back in the day). I bought tons of those little green army men and GI Joe accessories.

Also bought my first album there (ELO-Eldorado) as well as numerous 45's.

Think it turned into a Kresge's after that, but the selection wasn't as good.

-bc

We had to shop the Blue Chip stamp catalog. My mom would whip it out at Christmas and we would have to choose from that. Usually pretty limited. 

One year I wanted the James Bond 007 attaché case real bad. Wasn’t in the catalog. Was crushed. Had to pick something else. My dad bailed me out though and went out and bought it. He was a great dad!

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1 minute ago, Robot Man said:

We had to shop the Blue Chip stamp catalog. My mom would whip it out at Christmas and we would have to choose from that. Usually pretty limited. 

One year I wanted the James Bond 007 attaché case real bad. Wasn’t in the catalog. Was crushed. Had to pick something else. My dad bailed me out though and went out and bought it. He was a great dad!

Wow - that's an early childhood memory that I must have suppressed. 

Remember that and the green S&H stamp books...at first we thought it was cool to lick them and put it in the book for the folks, but yuck!

http://oldgreencottage.com/1960s.html | Childhood memories, My ...

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11 hours ago, Spiderturtle said:

Unfortunately all my childhood toy stores from the 80s have kicked the bucket.  Kb toy store at vallco fashion mall in Cupertino and toys r us in Winchester Blvd in San Jose. 
 

bought many transformers from that kB store.  Most of my genesis and Super Nintendo games were bought at toys r us.

kiddie world in San Jose on Stevens creek and San Thomas expressway.  Bought my first gi joe in 1982.

6BB9A479-7446-443A-B4C2-217DB6CF937F.jpeg

98C0165E-332D-4A11-A809-309C66BDC2EF.jpeg

Thanks to her smart old man, she still has most of hers...

041D89C1-944C-4B45-A942-B650B0CC6B8B.jpeg

969BAE4E-DE9A-4556-864D-80AAA3473752.jpeg

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Xtreme Toys and Puzzle Zoo are cool... mainly collected Marvel Legends.. starting w Series 1 or 2! 

they're not dungeons but I absolutely love dungeons and lairs

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5 minutes ago, Ryan. said:

1280px-Child_World_1993.jpg

:fear:

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4 minutes ago, vheflin said:

:fear:

I know right? 

image.thumb.png.9de24608148c1ba757a1a7855cd6cfb3.png

-bc

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8 hours ago, 1950's war comics said:

Sears toy dept was the place to go when i was a kid ... Sears had a toy section up until the early 80's 

it was heaven on Earth ! and Sears also had a candy shoppe and cafeteria which were superb

My parents bought me transformers inferno for Christmas in the early 80s.  Still have fond memory of it.  JCPenney also had toy section.  Not as nice as sears though

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