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Hunting for Nostalgia at Toy Stores Across the Country!

The Toy Store Guide took a ride with Nick Bartley, Elvira Taylor and Steve Conca of Hunting Nostalgia to visit toy stores all over the country.

A few years ago the team at Hunting Nostalgia teamed up with our team here at Toy Store Guide. We teamed together with a common goal in mind. Exploring the world of vintage toys and toy stores. Not just for ourselves, but for everyone that was a kid at one time in their lives. 

For his big Toy Store Guide episode we lent Nick Bartley our DeLorean Toy Machine. Even though he couldn’t go back in time, he was able to visit toy stores that would make anyone think they walked into the 1980s.

Nick Bartley describes himself as “a toy sniffing weirdo” and has been host of Hunting Nostalgia since 2020. A lifelong collector, Nick has never purchased a toy or collectible off of the internet. He instead opts to only buy his toys from Toy Stores and toy shows.

“These brick and mortar stores are all so unique, from their inventory to their owners each store has a style of their very own!”

Watch the special Toy Store Guide episode of
Hunting Nostalgia

Give him the keys to a 1981 DeLorean DMC-12 and Nick immediately drives it to a Toys R Us to still find it abandoned. But Bartley quickly got his act together and cruised over to D and E Collectibles in Pittsburgh. There the toy sniffing weirdo reminisced about the first time he visited the store about 10 years ago. While at D and E, Nick also explained why he is such a fan of “digging bins” at toy stores and toy shows. 

“Sometimes at the bottom of these bins it is pretty rank, it’s a pretty nasty place, but it’s also the place you’re gonna find that 1983 Lando Calrissian Skiff Guard helmet. You know what I mean?”

 – Nick Bartley

D and E Collectibles also hosts the ToyPalooza Toy Show. One of the biggest and most exciting toy shows in the area.

CLICK HERE to watch a previous episode of Hunting Nostalgia where Nick Bartley roamed around the epic show.

Elvira Taylor is known for her youtube channel and instagram account The Doll Circle. The love of dolls came from her mother and both her and her mother have extensive collections. Elvira takes us to a store in Livingston, New Jersey. Hidden Treasures, owned by Dave McMorrow, is an emporium store and has all manner of collectibles. Toys from vintage Star Wars figures and vehicles to brand new Sideshow Collectible sixth scale figures. You can also find antiques, comics, records, sports memorabilia, and countless other items throughout this store located inside the Livingston Mall.

The giant store has over 20 aisles of collectibles, most in museum style cases. While a lot of the items in the store are sold by Dave, Hidden Treasures rents out display cases to other vendors, this helps to assure that the treasures are even more varied. There is no telling what you might find from one case to the next. When visiting be sure to keep an eye up because this place has toys everywhere. Especially on top of the display shelves.

This episode of Hunting Nostalgia features a special appearance by Steve Conca. Steve was in Denver, Colorado, at a store where you feel like you are walking into nostalgia. Fifty-Two 80s promises to be “A Totally Awesome Shop” and when you walk in you can tell they will stay true to that promise. Full of toys, purposely curated to give you the experience of saying “I had that” over and over again. They also are known for their selection of wax packs representing everything from movies to Garbage Pail Kids.

Steve chats with Dede Thompson and she explains that no matter someone’s background or history, we all experience nostalgia. She also shared a heartwarming story about a customer who she heard reminiscing about a can of all things. This special can was used to display products and wasn’t actually for sale, but after overhearing the customer tear up remembering how her mother used the same can to store buttons, Dede knew it belonged with her and let the customer have it at no charge. 

“It was her memory, and we were just happy that she found it…”

Dede Thompson (owner of Fifty-Two 80s)

Talk about a Totally Awesome Shop with totally awesome owners!

Be sure to subscribe to the Hunting Nostalgia YouTube Channel. We would love to get them over the 1000 subscriber mark sooner than later. If you have Armstong as your cable television provider then keep a lookout for this episode airing regularly on the Armstrong Neighborhood Channel.

Follow Nick Bartley, Elvira Taylor and Steve Conca on Instagram

D and E Collectibles, Hidden Treasures, and Fifty-Two 80s are not the first Toy Stores to be featured on Hunting Nostalgia. In the past awesome locations like Davey’s Toys in Longwood, Florida, Conquest Comics in Bayville, New Jersey, and Remixxd by Steel City Galleries in Belle Vernon, PA. 

Well we can promise that Nick and the Hunting Nostalgia crew will visit even more local independent toy stores in the near future. So stay tuned to learn more about amazing toy stores that you can visit. While you wait, use to find a toy store near you, then jump in YOUR Toy Machine and get on the Hunt!!!

Written By: Dave at ToyStoreGuide (ToyDeLorean on Instagram)

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