Editor’s Note: Some of these pictures might look blurry. I used my iPhone to take them, and the camera began to malfunction. Though this first picture shows me two hours after leaving an airplane, so I probably did look like a zombie.
So, for the last two weeks, I was visiting my father, who happens to have retired in Las Vegas. And I mean, in Vegas. You can see the strip from his apartment windows. So aside from the usual activities one does in Vegas (grocery shopping, banking, mailing stuff, cleaning the house, and entertaining guests), I also managed to take a couple of trips out to the city’s most prominent toy shop – the Las Vegas Toy Shack! On my first day in Vegas, no less! It is by no means the only toy store there (I’d also recommend Collector’s Playground in the mall), but it really is the most prominent. This is the store belonging to the guy who does toy consulting on Pawn Stars,
It’s actually a little hard to get to if you don’t know the area – the Toy Shack is inside a structure bordering “The Fremont Experience” – a big pedestrian-only street full of tourist traps. The building housing Toy Shack is ostensibly a mall, but I couldn’t really see much else inside – it’s more of a courtyard. But when you see the store, you’ll know it. Maybe it’s the Lion-O.
From the outside, it’s a little hard to tell if the place is open – the windows are tinted, and that courtyard seems to always be pretty empty. But indoors? WOW! The place isn’t just packed wall-to-wall with toys. It IS toys! It’s like they managed to compress toys together until they form sort of a black hole of toys that no nerd can escape (I used to think this was my room). This is a good thing, of course.
Although at first the place looks disorganized, it’s actually laid out pretty well – GI Joes in one spot, Star Wars in others, Marvel on a wall, McFarlane on two shelves, He-Man in its own place, DC Comics in another, and so on. The place is also filled – filled! – with toy displays, most of which are populated by merchandise. Stuff in the glass cases? For sale. Diorama of superheroes fighting in the streets? Also for sale. Keep in mind that most of it is five years or older (with some exceptions, like the DC Comics stuff) – you’ll see way more McFarlane than NECA, for example.
So, how are the prices? They’re pretty passable – generally, you’ll find them marked up a little over what you would see on eBay, and actually somewhat higher than the Collector’s Playground I mentioned. But see, that’s because you haven’t seen Pawn Stars. Every time I asked, “how much is this?” the price went way down from what was on the sticker. The staff at The Las Vegas Toy Shack are very accommodating, and will probably mark stuff down even if you’re not haggling. On my visit, I ended up with about $85 worth of stuff for $30… and I wasn’t TRYING for discounts! I just chatted about toys and asked about things, and they went well out of their way to help. The guys here are good.
Now, you might not be here to buy – or it might not have stuff you want. But I guarantee the place is still worth a visit. Remember the USS Flagg? That gigantic GI Joe aircraft carrier larger than most basements? They have one. You can look at it and MARVEL.
Anyway, A lot of the loot I picked up there was older McFarlane stuff – I have some retro reviews I need to work on soon! Although I might try to delay the really monstrous stuff till October, because of Halloween. So, the Las Vegas Toy Shack was a really fun experience, and I totally recommend it! Just be patient when it comes to prices, don’t be afraid to ask if they have anything in the back, and be sure to chat with them about toys. The guys are really knowledgeable (though I ended up helping them on MUSCLE pricing), and it’s always nice to talk with people who know their toys.