The search to find a physical brick and mortar toy store in the year 2022 isn’t an easy task. It’s quite the shame that buying toys has changed so dramatically since the start of the “Keep these kids busy era”, the 1980’s. Starting from the conception of online shopping, collecting in the wild has gotten increasingly more difficult year by year. So, unless you are one of the millions willing to pay astronomical prices for chewed on, sometimes smelly plastic play things from the 1980’s you are in for a tough time. In this day and age even the “Big” stores have little to no toys on their shelves. Toy hunting has never been an easy sport, supply and demand was our enemy in the 1980’s now it’s the “Toydarians.” What is a “Toydarian” you ask?
Watto, from Star Wars Episode 1 the junk dealer/ human trafficker that strikes the deal of a lifetime with Qui Gon Jinn. The Jedi responsible for freeing Anakin Skywalker after his Pod Race victory. While consummating the deal, Qui Gon tries using an “Old Jedi Mind Trick” to gain favor on the greedy flying junk dealer. Only for the Jedi to be laughed at and told “I’m a Toydarian, mind tricks don’t work on me only money.” That comment resonated with me, coupled with the name “Toydarian” it lended itself perfectly to those people out there that are destroying the world of collecting. We have all seen or known “Toydarians”, they aren’t hard to spot. Sometimes as sickeningly as it sounds, some of these people own vintage Toy Stores.
If you find yourself at a store loading up a cart with hot new toys to turn around to sell for 2 or 3 times the price online, you are a “Toydarian.”
If you set up a no price tag “Garage Sale” or “Flea Market” to individually check each item on your phone before selling, you are a “Toydarian.”
If you are angered by item limits and don’t have 33 children, you are a “Toydarian.”
If you own a vintage toy store and you send out countless cronies to wipe out store shelves on delivery day, to double the price and fill your “Store” shelves, you are a “Toydarian.”
If you have a show or podcast in which you educate people on what certain collectables “Value” should be. Then inform those listeners to then buy said item from your online store while demonstrating the immense rarity of a $5 toy while charging $90 while wearing white gloves. You are a “Toydarian.”
If you see dollar signs when you look at toys, instead of remembering what that toy meant to you and millions of others. You are a “Toydarian.”
If you have European toy buyers that send me hate filled emails calling me “Dick Fartley”, you are a “Toydarian.” (This has happened)
NEWS FLASH: The Collecting World doesn’t need you!
Ever wonder what made Groucho so grouchy? “TOYDARIANS”
Everyone remembers those toys that you kept begging your Mother and Father to keep checking the store shelves day after day after day. Until you either found the toy you were hunting for or you gave up and never completed your mission. For me most specifically I wanted more than anything to find the LJN Hart Foundation Tag Team with BRETT Hart. I never found them, to this day I still have only been able to find Jim “the Anvil” Neidhart. That was the life of a pre-computer phone toy lover, waiting and hoping. It taught us that not everything works out all the time. No matter how much money you were willing to throw at these items they just weren’t available. That was a life lesson, that made us appreciate the act of actually finding something! In those amazing moments where you did find that long awaited prize on your store shelves there was no greater feeling! NONE.
SO WHY NO ONLINE SHOPPING?
It’s very simple for me personally, collecting isn’t a race to the finish. It’s a lifestyle that I never want to end. I don’t want anyone to misunderstand my view, I personally know hundreds of collectors, online sellers and store owners that completely get it and are an absolute blessing to the collecting world. In between their charitable donations, community support and the passion they have. They prove time and time again they are some of the most honest people, almost to a fault sometimes I’ve ever met. Real collectors can feel the passion in other real collectors, making the “Toydarians” super easy to spot.
I personally chose not to sell toys, I never want what I do (Hunting Nostalgia) to feel like a job. I also want to be clear on online shopping, I have hundreds of collections and thousands of items. NOT A SINGLE ONE HAS COME FROM ONLINE SHOPPING, and never will. I make it a point to always ask collectors that I know to tell me about how they collect. Most reply “online auctions”, just because that is not my style of collecting doesn’t make it any less enjoyable or difficult. What I am most oftenly told when I ask that question is “every morning to me my front porch is like coming downstairs on Christmas morning!” When I am given this answer, it’s the smile on their faces that tells me more than their remark. That’s precisely true, and AWESOME!
In closing I have a message for all “Toydarians”, to those people that can’t feel what we feel about these lifeless plastic items. Since it’s “only money” that makes your heart beat that fast, collect coins; and leave toys to real collectors.