Area vintage toy show attracts young at heart

Tribune Chronicle/Andy Gray Christopher Armstrong, 7, of Warren plays with a Mighty Morphin Power Rangers toy he got at the Toyhio Toy & Collectibles Convention while his mother, Megan Phillips, looks at comic books

LIBERTY — It wasn’t just adults rebuying their childhoods who filled the Metroplex Expo Center Saturday for the Toyhio Toy & Collectibles Convention.

Bill Bundy of McDonald wasn’t alive when Evel Knievel was jumping over buses on his motorcycle while wearing a red, white & blue jumpsuit. The 5-year-old wasn’t even born yet when Knievel died in 2007.

But when he saw an Evel Knievel Scramble Van — complete with Knievel action figure — he had to have it.

“I want the ’70s toys,” he said.

His father, also named Bill, said he showed his son some of the old toy commercials online and, “All of a sudden, he wanted those toys and not the new ones.”

Scooby Doo also is a favorite, and the boy was wearing a “Star Wars” hoodie with original trilogy characters, not the new incarnation.

“Star Wars” toys, both new releases and vintage pieces, could be found from many of the 50 vendors at the show.

Ray Bott of Cortland and his son, Nick, 13, picked up several “Star Wars” items, mostly ones that were made decades before Nick’s birth.

Nick said the vintage “Star Wars” toys are “more cooler” than the ones made today.

“He’s a ‘Star Wars’ fanatic,” his father said. “He’s got a little museum set up in the game room. I’m sure I influenced that.”

Many sets of parents and children were searching the vendors’ tables together, and it often was difficult to tell whether the parent or the child was more excited to be there.

Katrina Mink of Youngstown said she has an entire room filled with “Star Trek” items. Her daughter Enid, 6, is more interested in My Little Pony.

Christopher Armstrong, 7, sat in the corner and played with his newly purchased Mighty Morphin Power Rangers toy while his mother, Meghan Phillips of Warren, sorted through boxes of comic books.

“He’s a collector because we’re collectors,” Phillips said.

Christopher added, “(This) reminds my mom and dad of when they were kids.”

Saturday’s event was the third Toyhio show staged by Tom Troll and Rick Fusselman, and they’ve had it in a larger venue each time to accommodate the crowds.

“I was just hoping for more than the last show, and we blew that out of the water in the first 90 minutes,” Fusselman said.

About 100 people paid $2 extra to enter the show an hour early and have the first crack at any rarities, and the show attracted collectors from at least four states.

Fusselman, who owns Time Capsule Toys in Girard, said children like Bill Bundy aren’t unusual.

“I have a kid who comes in who can’t be more than 6 who loves Masters of the Universe,” he said, referring to the toys produced in conjunction with the 1980s animated television series. “He found one of his dad’s old toys and since then he’s been obsessed.”

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