Heading Back To The Toy Aisle…
I don’t know about you guys but life has been HEAVY lately. I’m talking stress, exhaustion, depression, lack of sleep. All the fun stuff you go through this time of year and hope to defeat by eating better, working out and binging endless marathons of Mr Belvedere at 2 am. So, given all that, I was in desperate need of a mental health day yesterday so I decided to make the drive from my new residence in Scranton, PA to Allentown. Just about an hour away and the drive is nice and relaxing. That and I needed some White Castles.
The real reason for the hour drive though, was The Merchant Square Mall, an indoor flea market containing a few collectibles and vintage stores. The last time I was here was in 2009 for an ECW reunion convention so I don’t have too memories of the mall itself, other than a little old lady asking me if I was a wrestler, but it was still fun to see this place again.
In the 14 years, as one can imagine, a lot of stores and businesses have come and gone but I needed to see one in particular that was still kicking. Called “The Cash Cow”, a small mom and pop business that sold anything and everything you can imagine. Toys, Funko Pops, jewelry, DVDs, vhs, cassettes. Essentially if you want it, they got it. And the one thing I wanted the most, and admittedly the real draw and reason I came out was the Lionel Kiddie City aisle sign!!!!
Yes, there it is in its beautiful glory. I would recognize that anywhere! I had been tipped off about this place through a few mutual friends and thank goodness because the owners are looking to move soon. So I’m glad to have seen up in person before they move to their new (unannounced) location. Kiddie City was always my favorite toy store and to see it again, I became 7 years old again!
And yes of course I asked if it was for sale, but was told the owners love it and do not wish to part with it. Understandable! The owners and I actually had a fun chat about Kiddie City and it was nice to talk to them. Very nice and enthusiastic people who seem to love people just as much as toys and collectibles. Oh and they have most beautiful senior dog, Ophelia!
So naturally, given the nature of the store and just how much time I spent snapping photos, I wasn’t really willing to leave without SOMETHING! While digging around, I did find a lot of fun items but nothing that jumped out at me until I saw…
THE BOX OF URKEL-O’S!
Somewhat appropriate given the reason for the trip. When I think Kiddie City, I always think of the late 80s/Early 90s, and around that time, Urkel-Mania was running wild. Urkel merch was literally everywhere including the cereal aisle courtesy of our pals at Ralston! Strawberry and banana seem like a very unusual and dubious choice for Urkel but hey, he’s a rather outrageous guy himself! Gotta go with the flow here! Even better, it still had the election campaign button included in the wrapper too! Nice little piece to have for someone who is a cereal fanatic and a TGIF fanatic. Leaving this behind would’ve driven me crazy, especially given the $15 price tag. I’d have to be a real Waldo Geraldo Faldo to make such a foolish choice!
So after leaving and thanking the owners for the nice chat and allowing me to take a bunch of photos(not as many, I didn’t expect to write about this tbh), I decided to hit a local thrift store and well, I’m very happy I did because I found a couple of bags of mixed action figures. And whew buddy, I walked away with some fun pieces here…
Nice variety. Some junk but some real allstars here. Dennis Rodman, Jeff Goldblum, Dennis Hopper from Super Mario Brothers. Fun to find this many older figures again while out and about!
And yes I did get my White Castles!
All in all it was a nice trip, a much needed break from everything else and very fun. Hope to make it back out to Cash Cow before they move. I wonder if there’s anything else I missed.
Ok yes I also wanna see that sign again…