Where The Toys Are

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, December 11, 2017 07:39pm | Post a Comment

Amoeba Music Carries Toys

By Brent James

No doubt you’ve got that one piece of vinyl in your collection that’s “worth thousands,” or maybe now that vinyl is making its “resurgence,” it might be time to sell your aunt’s dusty old records she passed down to you last Summer?

Well, it turns out she might have a few more items in her attic you might be interested in. Now more than ever is the time to check, as all those old toys and collectibles you stashed away are turning out to be worth big bucks. Beatles bucks it would seem, with a Rocket-Firing Boba Fett action figure from the early days of the Kenner Star Wars line recently snatching upwards of $17,000 at auction! And there’s no stopping it; millions of dollars are spent each year in the selling/trading world of toys. Not just Barbies and action figures but actual toys. Conventions are held monthly just for the “hunters,” as they’re referred to in the Toy Community. The little kids of the '70s and '80s and even '90s have grown up, and they have money. Lots of it.

Much like a record, an old toy can transport you to another time and place, and the sky’s the limit once you’re there. For those of us that dabble in both, the similarities are numerous. When displayed properly, a healthy collection is nothing short of a work of art. Great pride is poured into the presentation and many hours are spent on being a completist.

But just as the digital age took its toll on brick and mortar record stores, the same has happened with mom and pop toy stores. Big box chains such as Target and WalMart cut out many traditional toy shops, while Amazon and eBay wiped out the rest. Even Toys R’ Us struggled and to this day bankruptcy is rumored to be in their future. Pair that with a sometimes cutthroat market and poor distribution, and you almost find yourself wishing you ONLY collected records!

Here in San Francisco, long time institution Jeffrey’s Toys has recently relocated to a new downtown location after being ousted from their flagship space on Market Street. It thankfully increases the handful of places that are still left. ThinkGeek and Super7 are also imperative, if you’re hunting toys in San Francisco.

What much of the public doesn’t know is that Amoeba Music also buys, sells, and trades toys and collectibles.* It’s not something we’ve always done, but it’s something that has caught on and is doing well, and is fun to explore. I think of it as a giant archive of history and pop culture in all forms...that you can buy. Of course there will always be the guy who wants to buy toys in a toy store, but again the idea is to present something for everyone, and I think we’ve done that. In the Upper Haight Street area, Amoeba San Francisco is the only place to find toys and collectibles.

So, the next time you’re in the garage listening to records, go through all those old boxes and see who’s there. Ask your uncle if he still has his Six Million Dollar Man dolls because baby, the times they are a-changin’.

Be sure to check out these other amazing toy stores as well:

Jeffrey’s Toys - 45 Kearny Street. SF
ThinkGeek - 830 Market Street. SF
Super7 - 3253 16th Street. SF

*Please contact each individual store for buying policies and times.

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Amoeba Music (73), Amoeba Sf (84), Toys (16), San Francisco (388), Star Wars (23), Brent James (13)