Author Topic: Question for the those that grew up in the 80's!!!!  (Read 3882 times)

Offline Lady Jaye

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Question for the those that grew up in the 80's!!!!
« on: December 2, 2004, 12:00 AM »
This is asked to those of us that were lucky enough to be around and old enough to collect the toy lines of the 80's.

My question is this, do you remember the stores you would get your figures and ships at?? What were they named??? Do they still exist??? And what fond memories, if any, do you have of shopping with your parents????

I'm just curious as to what others remember of thier childhood. I know I still remember a lot of the stores that I got my figures at. And for several of my toy lines, I can give you an exact store of where I got them from, can anyone else??? The main point is to talk about the memories of the good ole days. So the more stories the better!!!
« Last Edit: December 2, 2004, 12:54 AM by Lady Jaye »
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Offline Darth Kenobi

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Re: Question for the those that grew up in the 80's!!!!
« Reply #1 on: December 2, 2004, 12:45 AM »
The only stores I remember buying GIJoes at were TRU, Kmart, KB Toys and Sears.  The only store out of the list that got out of the toy business was Sears. 
Some of the memoirs that I have of buying stuff was going into a sears one day and find a Star Wars Strom Trooper and buying it ... for a Corba Trooper.  My most precious memories were those days where my grandmother would take me out to let me pick out my birthday present at the mall.  I'm not sure what I got from her since the last time we did this I was 6 but I think it was the GIJoe F-14 Tomcat Airplane (which I still have in beat up condition).  This was the last thing my grandmother bought me for my birthday since she was killed a couple of weeks later. 
Now that I think of it I did buy some other stuff from other companies that are now out of business, so I don't remeber they names.

Offline stormtripper

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Re: Question for the those that grew up in the 80's!!!!
« Reply #2 on: December 2, 2004, 12:48 AM »
well in Canada we had
sears
zellers (may soon become target)
k-mart (no longer in Canada)
eatons (no longer in Canada)
the bay (higher end zellers, will also become American I think)
wool-co (I am not sure if the speeling is correct, again no longer in Canada)
thats about all I can remember, I also smoked a ton of pot inthe late 80's to mid 90's so I am a little "cloudy"  8)

Offline Lady Jaye

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Re: Question for the those that grew up in the 80's!!!!
« Reply #3 on: December 2, 2004, 12:52 AM »
My most precious memories were those days where my grandmother would take me out to let me pick out my birthday present at the mall.  I'm not sure what I got from her since the last time we did this I was 6 but I think it was the GIJoe F-14 Tomcat Airplane (which I still have in beat up condition).  This was the last thing my grandmother bought me for my birthday since she was killed a couple of weeks later. 

Oh God that's sad to hear, I'm so sorry. But it is nice that you have those memories of your grandma taking you to get toys. That's the main point of this thread, to bring back good memories of a time long since past.

If I may ask, what happened?? And please feel free to PM me if you want!!

Meone of my vivid memories from when my mom took me to Sears. And from behind a glass case, they kept them their, I picked out the most unique of the Transformer Jets, Starscream!!!! Ever since then he has become one of my favorite characters. Forget the fact that a lil while later the cartoon premiered and he was as devious as his tech spec said!!!
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Offline JediMAC

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Re: Question for the those that grew up in the 80's!!!!
« Reply #4 on: December 2, 2004, 12:59 AM »
Hell yeah, I remember my various Star Wars toy outlets back then quite vividly still.  I can still see myself thumbing through the 12-backs at Tustin Toys.  That's where it all started for me.  But just a few more blocks up the street was Gemco, and they had a ****load of SW too, so I hit them up frequently as well.  By the time Empire had rolled around, the main show in town was Toy City (kinda like TRU now), just a few more blocks up the same main street.  It unfortunately pretty much knocked my local Tustin Toys outta commission in the early 80's, but as long as they kept pimpin' me the SW goods, I was willing to overlook that.

I'm 90% sure that Mervyn's was even a pretty big player for the latter two flicks.  If not Mervyn's, then the same building our current Mervyn's was originally in.  I remember spending hours in the back corner of that store, just staring at all the new Star Wars stuff they always had.

And then, of course, there was the annual Sears Wishbook catalog.  Oh yeah.  Hit that sucker up bigtime every year.  It was the highlight of the year when that thing showed up at our house.  Again, a lot more staring at the new stuff therein.  Picked up the cardboard Cantina and Bespin "playsets" out of that thing.  Neither of which unfortunately made it through to later years, for whatever reason.  Unless they're just stashed away somewhere good, that I've yet to uncover.  Oddly enough, as much stuff as we ordered out of the Sears catalog, I don't remember shopping at actual Sears stores so much.  They likely had SW too, if I had to guess...

I think that pretty much covers it for me.  All of the modern day players weren't really a factor in my youthful vintage toy hunts.  I think TRU and Target were just starting to show up around the ROTJ era, or maybe a year or two later.  Not sure.  I do know that my favorite Gemco became a Target right around '85/86, and I remember that pissed me off bad.

Boy, how things have changed.  Good times toy hunting in those vintage days.  And yes, I (myself) did a lot of my own toy hunting back then.  Whether it was walking or biking, my buddies and I always found a way to make our way to a toy store or two every week.  Those and arcades.  But don't get me started on those...   ;)

Offline Nicklab

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Re: Question for the those that grew up in the 80's!!!!
« Reply #5 on: December 2, 2004, 01:00 AM »
Let's see.  The main places I remember going to were Child World and Sears.    There was also a toy chain called Toy & Sports Warehouse.  Add in the old big box stores like  Bradlees and Caldors.  Also, there was Service Merchandise.  And then later on came Kaybee and Toys R Us.

Child World was basically the TRU of it's day.  Definitely my old favorite.  I remember getting my vintage Yoda there quite vividly.
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Offline Lady Jaye

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Re: Question for the those that grew up in the 80's!!!!
« Reply #6 on: December 2, 2004, 01:07 AM »
I'm 90% sure that Mervyn's was even a pretty big player for the latter two flicks.  If not Mervyn's, then the same building our current Mervyn's was originally in.  I remember spending hours in the back corner of that store, just staring at all the new Star Wars stuff they always had.

Yea, it was Mervyns. I remember while my mom was shopping, I was in thier toy dept, like always. But when we started shopping there, I was already into Transformers or GI JOE. I still remember getting Shipwreck and Blowtorch and Mervyns on one trip. Oh and on one of my fixations, I had to get a Batman and Robin from the Super Powers line. I never got Robin, but that day I got Batman and Superman, the big two!!! For some reason Mervyns didn't have Robin??? Oh on yet another Mervyns outing I got Darkseid!!! A very cool figure, and big compared to the rest of the Super Powers line!!! I have more stories for differnet lines and different stores but will save for later!!!
"I off one fat Angelino and you throw a hissy fit."
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Offline Morgbug

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Re: Question for the those that grew up in the 80's!!!!
« Reply #7 on: December 2, 2004, 01:10 AM »
I can't answer this question as pretty much all of my money was devoted to beer by the time the eighties rolled around. 

Disco was dead, so was Jon Bonham.

AC/DC recovered marvelously in spite of the loss of Bon Scott. 

Then a flock of seagulls or some other **** came along and ruined it all :P
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Offline Lady Jaye

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Re: Question for the those that grew up in the 80's!!!!
« Reply #8 on: December 2, 2004, 01:11 AM »
So how did you get into Star Wars figures, I thought it was mainly the kids who grew up in the 80's and beyond that fuel this nostalgia madness we call toy collecting???
"I off one fat Angelino and you throw a hissy fit."
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Offline JediMAC

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Re: Question for the those that grew up in the 80's!!!!
« Reply #9 on: December 2, 2004, 01:17 AM »
If you haven't already noticed, Brent's wierd like that.  Always some bizarro exception to the rule.  Remember that "story" he wrote the other day?

Like I said, wierd...   :-\

Offline JesseVader08

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Re: Question for the those that grew up in the 80's!!!!
« Reply #10 on: December 2, 2004, 01:52 AM »
Sears was where all the good stuff was!  Man, did I love going there.  And to top it off, my mom worked in the toy department - it was like having your own lab for a crack addict. 

The day I will never forget is when I finally saved enough allowance to buy the AT-AT - I remember us waiting outside in the car to pick her up from work and she picked up my AT-AT that I had ordered through the catalogue.  Man, was that the highlite of my childhood as I ripped into that box!

Oh, and stormtripper, don't forget Consumers Distributing.  It was a chain based primarily on catalogue sales.  Many days spent looking through those catalogues, along with the Sears wishbook of course!   8)

Offline CorranHorn

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Re: Question for the those that grew up in the 80's!!!!
« Reply #11 on: December 2, 2004, 02:03 AM »
Oh man, I can't believe no one has listed Zayre's yet. In my neighborhood, Zayre's was the place to go for all your shopping needs and they had a mondo huge toy section. It's where a large number of my Star Wars and Transformers toys as a kid came from. I can still recall the layout of the toy section too, in fact on those rare occassions I have dreams involving buying toys, it's Zayre's toy section I'm always in, weird eh?

Other stores where my toys were bought in the 80's include of course TRU, Walgreens,  Venture, as well as an old school independently owned department store called Charles where all the action figures were behind a locked glass case, and a mom and pop toy store called Cut Rate. Ahh the memories I have of these stores, an entire aisle at Walgreens filled to the brim with GI Joes back in 82 and 83, front entrance displays for the new ROTJ line at TRU, missing out on the TIE Interceptor at Cut Rate cause I wanted some damn Starcom toys. Those were the days.....

Offline Rob

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Re: Question for the those that grew up in the 80's!!!!
« Reply #12 on: December 2, 2004, 02:20 AM »
Mostly KMart and TRU.


I remember buying a Shipwreck figure at Service Merchandise and some M.A.S.K. toys at Eckerd Drugs...

Offline inadvertent imitation

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Re: Question for the those that grew up in the 80's!!!!
« Reply #13 on: December 2, 2004, 02:48 AM »
Target and K-Mart, mostly. A little bit of KB, though I only remember the end of the vintage line and the glorious 3/$1 sales.

I did get the GI Joe Devilfish and MOTU Evil-Lyn at Menard's of all places.

I remember saving up my allowance to get Castle Greyskull at Ardan's. Still have it, only the elevator and trap door don't work anymore. But everything else is still there, except that wacky cardboard stuff.

I mostly got my stuff on Christmas and birthdays. Vivid memories of MOTU figures and R2-D2 cakes.
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Offline Jesse James

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Re: Question for the those that grew up in the 80's!!!!
« Reply #14 on: December 2, 2004, 06:30 AM »
Back in the day I recall going to:

-Ben Franklin...  A small chain of odd retail stores who kinda had a specialty for craft things (thread, fabric, yarn, etc.) but who also had a general collection of other stuff too.  Got many a G.I. Joe there, and Ben Franklin stores were like fly ****.  There was one in almost every small town (yup, small towns in the boonies).  One was even right on the top of the hill in my dinky little town, and another 10 minutes away in Apollo up the river.  Weird stores, and they just all disappeared (the last of them) maybe 8 or 10 years ago.  Not all that long, considering.

-G.C. Murphy, 5&10...  These too were like fly ****, and common in small towns.  I remember the one in Vandergrift PA (the building still there), had hard-wood floors and was 2 floors actually.  An upper and lower that had different things on each level.  I got Airborne, Gung-Ho, and Snowjob at that 5&10.  There was one in Natrona Heights as well, and one in downtown New Kensington which is a ghost town now. 

The one in New Kensington had a privately owned chocolate company called Herman's too.  Herman's was the BEST chocolate ever, and I haven't had any that rivaled it.  their nonparels were unmatched to this day.

-Fisher Big Wheel...  Where every one of these were, a Big Lots now stands, but Big Lots sucks sack compared to them because Fisher Big Wheel had "new" toy lines, updated stock, and were simply great.  Pricier as I recall, and really not classier by any means, but they were pretty cool stores.

We had one of these at one of the other plazas at the top of the hill.  Big Lots, unfortunately, now occupies it.

-Hills...  Hills was THE place that I went with my mom to shop every other week when she cashed my dad's check from the mill.  We'd usually hit some other places because she had to do her two weeks of shopping on one day (back when we only had one car and Dad took it to work, but mom dropped him off at work on shopping day).

Hills was perfect.  Always had tons of toys, prices were the best, and it was always my favorite bi-weekly stop.  Hills was bought up by Ames, and Ames quickly went out of business.  Hills is another store that, not that long ago, was still in business.  :(

-Gold Circle...  Gold Circle was a store sort of like Penney's in the Pittsburgh area.  Had a good toy selection, and it's where I got my Rancor on clearance.  :)

I remember one of the VERY rare times my father set foot in a store (any store) was going to Gold Circle for something (I forget) and as he drug my mother and I throuh the store (mach speed, no looking around at anything, straight to what he wanted), we passed a bin BRIMMING with BRAND NEW G.I. Joes.  This is back before the net of course, and I was a little kid, so seeing BRAND NEW Joes just made me go ape ****.  I begged, but my father never let me get anything anywhere we went...  I was whispering my pleas to my mother.  She finally stepped in, and I'll never forget it.  She said that they were new figures, and that Cole (my brother who was sort of the favorite) would like one since they're new, and that got me a green light to get one too.  I got Flint that day, and Cole got Snake Eyes v.2 with Timber. 

Twas a grand day.  Shortly after, we went and got the rest of the Joes...  :P  Mom sure was/is good to us.

-Gee Bee...  There's a mall, which is run down and hardly used, but it's actually only about 20 minutes from my house in Natrona Heights.  The Heights, like New Kensington, are getting bad.  The mall's at the one far end though where it's still a wooded area, but the mall just never "took off".  It's strange really.

Gee Bee was like the anchor store, which is like having a piece of styrofoam for an anchor.

It was a weird store, like Hills, or any other department store, but they had WEIRD toys.  Stuff that is rare today, you'd have found at Gee Bee.  They carried Playmobil (remember that?  Target has it now, but when I was young PMB was a rarity in the toy aisle, and it still is today somewhat).  They also had a bubble gum machine that had the oddest junk you'd ever find.  Trinkets from decades ago, seriously.

I swear to god, I got a smoking monkey from it one day.  These things are meant to be lit on fire, and smoke/blow smoke rings.  Not a toy, at least even by the safety standards of my childhood, and yet I got one of these things.  Wish I still had it...  I have made a nice collection since though.  :)

-K-Mart...  K-Mart showed up in one of the other plazas on the top of the hill from me in 1982.  To be exact, it was the EXACT time G.I. Joe ARAH began because my very first Joe (Flash) came from there.  My mother came home from KM's grand opening and said she had something for me she knew I'd love. 

On that day, my love of Star Wars was pretty much over from a toy standpoint (till 89 or so), and basically I was hooked on Joes then.  They were the dominant toy of my childhood, and I can safely say I had everything except foreign things, the FLAGG, and exclusives...  Up till the late 80's early 90's anyway.

KM is still there, and now is the only decent retail store in quite some distance.  Nearest Wal-Mart is 25 minutes away at least.

-Then there's trips to the mall....

You guys who have seen the original Dawn of the Dead will know the mall that was my once, maybe twice a year jaunt...  As a child I remember feeling like the drive was unbearable, but you stuck it out (or passed out in the back seat) because this was the ONLY place with a Children's Palace!!!!!

Yes, old Children's Palace.  Got many a Joe there as well.  Now it's a car dealer, and I realize the trip there (when I'm driving) takes me all of like 40 - 45 minutes.

The mall's completely different from when I was young.  When I was young it was basically just like you see in Dawn of the Dead.  I ate the brown Derby, I shopped at Penney's, the Ice rink was there but now a food court is in its place, etc., etc...  It's bigger, they've got more stores. 

There was also a mall that's now gone near Greensburg PA, and it's been replaced by Westmoreland Mall which is just outside Greensburg, and is bigger.  There's a TOys R Us there too.  Where the old mall (GreenGate Mall, which had an ice rink too, and a HUGE fountain) was there's a SUper Wal-Mart going in, and a Target is across from it about.

Beyond that, I rarely went anywhere else...

I didn't go to Pittsburgh hardly ever till I was 12 or so when my grandmother was dying and I went with my mother to take her to the hospital a lot.  My own health was/is bad so I was at hospitals a lot around that age for myself.  That forces you into the Oakland area of the city (Where Pitt, CMU, and other universities are).

Dunno why I decided to remember all these things...  I've had this "Where'd you shop" talk with my friends several times though, and my buddy Dan always laughed at how our friend Tyson and myself can finish each other's thoughts/sentences about these stores.  He was just as into Joes and shopping at the same stores at the same times with the same habits/thoughts about them as me, and we laugh about that a lot.

I can remember every G.I. Joe I got, when I got it, where, and the specifics surrounding the moment.

I can't remember cost accounting equations and problem formats, but I remember all that other junk.  :)
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