Most of the places we visit here on Tomopop are stores that really specialize in one thing in particular. Vinyl figures or comic collectibles or things of that like. But if you're looking for older stuff, that usually means hitting up message boards, eBay, flea markets or for some items, relying on a retailer like Japan's Mandarake that sells used figures.
One day, I happened to hear about a little store not far from me that I thought was worth a visit. Intergalactic Toys was started out of Michael Schott's basement in Fort Wayne, Indiana, as a seller of toys and other collectibles, including those that are classified as "used." It didn't say in the basement very long, setting up shop in a small strip mall before moving to its current location.
Last weekend, I paid a visit to Intergalactic Toys as they celebrated their new shop's unofficial opening (they actually opened at their new location in mid-October). While I don't know if I found the U.S. equivalent of Mandarake ... I think I'm close.
In the full interest of disclosure, this is actually my second visit to Intergalactic Toys. I previously visited them on my trip to Chicago for a visit to Rotofugi when they were at their old location ... upstairs in a shopping center between a discount tobacco shop and a yarn store. The old place could not have been much bigger than the living room and dining room of my apartment. It was tiny as heck. But during my visit, I found out they'd be moving soon to a larger collection. This past weekend marked the official grand opening, so I figured I'd stop on by and take a look.
The new Intergalactic Toys is located next door to a Papa John's in a small shopping center in Fort Wayne. It's a vast improvement over their old location with much more space and an actual sign on the front of the store, among other things.
Inside the store, you'll find ... well, maybe not as many people when it's not opening/Halloween party night. But what you will find are lots of shelves, and on those shelves, a whole lot of toys to just look at. It feels much more like an actual store, albeit somewhat cluttered on some of the shelves.
If you like action figures, Intergalactic Toys has a pretty nice little selection of some newer and older ones. Maybe not as good as you might find at a bigger chain store or a comic shop, but still enough that you might find something worth buying.
Likewise, on the vinyl side of things, the selection isn't as big as you might find at a more specialized gallery or shop, but there's the basic variety along with a few hidden gems here and there that I'd only seen online before — old pieces from Ron English, MAD and MINDstyle, just to name a few.
PVC fans, don't worry; they have stuff for you, too. In fact, this is one of the few times I've seen Kotobukiya's Bishoujos in the wild, not to mention those Revoltech figures!
But the thing you begin to understand as you explore the shelves is just what a diversity of stuff Intergalactic Toys has. I think for the first time, I can say I've been to a place where I could, in one single trip, find something for all 15 editors on Tomopop's staff without hesitation.
And beyond that, you find some amazing gems hidden in the middle of it all.
Like this Square-Enix Play Arts Cloud and Hardy Daytona motorcycle set, still in its box, from 2008 (reviewed).
Or Medicom's Spike Spiegel figure. The original one, not the 2005 movie version.
There's an MG Gundam Exia Ignition Mode plamo kit just sitting there on the counter, right next to ...
... Enterbay's Bruce Lee Game of Death figure. And that's next to some old-school Sailor Moon mini figures from Irwin, which are sitting on top of a case that has two signed pieces by Frank Kozik and a Suckadelic Gay Empire figure inside of them.
But if you're into smaller kits or classic Transformers or Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers figures ... yeah, they have those, too.
And here's something that caught my eye right off the bat: Hasbro's old-school 12" G.I. Joe figures. I had one of these when I was younger but lost track of it, but it sure wasn't Cobra Commander! So many memories.
So what should you know about Intergalactic Toys? Well, as you can see ... there's a massive variety of things here to look over. It can sometimes feel like you're searching for a needle in a haystack, but I lost track of the number of times I said, "Oh my gosh, it's ______! I haven't seen one in ages!" when I was there. And I shouldn't mention this doesn't include the stuff they have in their storeroom, either, or that since they buy, sell and trade toys, stuff is always leaving and coming into the store at a nice rate.
While it might be too far out for a visit, I'd highly advise that if you can go ... do it. Even if you don't buy anything, it's worth it just to take a look at the store, to fall in love with stuff all over again like you're 10, and who knows, maybe to pick up something cool or hard to find for the trip out there. I know I'll be going back sometime soon!
IF YOU GO:
Hours of Operation
From other sites around the web